JULY 2015


You would have to be living under a rock if you didn’t know that poker is one of the most popular card games in the world.  In the UK, a lot of poker activity is based around our casino’s offering state-of-the-art poker facilities and an environment that can’t be matched.

But what makes poker so popular? We talk to The Casino MK’s gaming manager Philippe Clement, the UK’s largest casino outside of London, to find out why, get some top tips and discover why the super-casino is the only destination for poker in Milton Keynes…

We hear you have an interesting background, having worked in casinos across the globe?


That’s right; my career began 14 years ago as a croupier when I had the opportunity to work in some of the leading casinos in France, where I Philippe Clement, customer service manager - gaming at Aspersprogressed to supervisor and subsequently pit manager. I then moved to Morocco in 2009 to be part of the opening of North Africa’s biggest casino resort, the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort as head of poker.

This meant that I was responsible for organising some renowned international tournaments with the world’s best poker players including the World Poker Tour (WPT) and PokerStars Live.

I guess you could say that I pushed the boundaries of poker in my time at Mazagan, having organised the first ladies poker event and the first golf-poker tournament in North Africa.

Now, I’m proud to host the 150 seat poker room at The Casino MK, and strive to introduce innovative gaming concepts for poker players of all abilities at the super-casino.

So what can we expect from The Casino MK’s poker offering?


The Casino MK offers cash games starting from blinds 25p/25p, up to £2/£5 as well as daily poker tournaments.

We also give our customers the opportunity to take part in some exciting poker packages that include a private poker table with food and drinks, so it’s ideal if you want to get your friends or colleagues together for a great night out.

What about beginners looking to try poker for the first time?


I’d say that our poker packages are a good bet. As the Casino MK is the first casino in Milton Keynes, we strongly believe that there are a lot of people around the town that are familiar with poker but have never played it before. So, every Monday, we offer free poker tuition between 7 and 8pm.  Anyone is welcome to come along and have one hour’s tuition with a professional and friendly dealer to grasp the basics.

I also believe there are a lot of players that enjoy poker at home but perhaps want to know more about the game, or are after a change of scenery. I’d recommend our popular Monday Freeroll tournament at no cost, where you can compete to share a prize pool of up to £1,500.

And how about the more experienced poker player?


Our regular cash tables are the most popular with the more experienced players, starting from £1/£1 or £1/£2 with one of the cheapest casino rakes in the UK.

We’re also pleased to have had the opportunity to organise some national poker events at The Casino MK such as the WPT National UK, and in November we’ll be hosting an 888poker Live Local Poker Tournament Series event with a £25,000 prize pool.

What would be your top tip for a first-time player?


Always play with a small amount of money first. The chances are you’re probably going to be up against a player with more experience than you, so test the waters with a small buy in before you’re confident you can call someone’s bluff.

That’s why we offer cash games starting from a £5 buy-in, to give the opportunity for everyone to practice and be more confident in their poker abilities; it’s a game of tactics after all!

You’ve seen your fair share of poker tournaments, are there any tricks of the trade you can share on how to spot a good bluffer?


A poker player should be aware of their body language. The slightest change in stance can give the game away to an opponent. In poker, we call this a ‘tell’. A ‘tell’ is an unconscious gesture that reveals information about the hand. For example, a hand in front of the mouth often means that the player holds a weak hand! Pay close attention to those around your table and you’ll gather much more information than if you’re focused solely on your own hand.

In your opinion, what is it about playing poker in a casino that makes it special?


The main thing about playing in a casino instead of at home, in an alternative venue such as a pub, or online, is the secure environment and the casino staff which help to protect the game’s integrity.

Our professional team is trained to detect cheat moves and collusion, plus we use the same international rules and standards as if you were playing an international-standard event, whatever level of game you are playing. The best way to play or learn poker is to guarantee the correct rules for an incomparable experience.

Not only that, by playing poker in a super-casino, you’ve got the added bonus of a leisure destination to enjoy after your game. Where else can you play a poker tournament, enjoy slots and electronic games, watch your team in the cup final, have a three course meal and play Xbox with friends?!

To find out more about poker at The Casino MK, visit the super-casino open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or go to , like The Casino MK on Facebook or follow @TheCasinoMK on Twitter.


User Rating: 5 (1 votes)
Started working in the Casino Industry in 1985, just never managed to leave as yet. Visited 99% of all UK Casinos, seen them all,

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