Double GUKPT Champion Ludovic Geilich Talks to PokerWired

04 Apr 2024
Jonathan Raab 04 Apr 2024
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  • Defending GUKPT Edinburgh Champion Ludovic Geilich talks to PokerWired
  • The Scottish poker pro talks about his role as a Grosvenor Poker sponsored player
  • Has a 'no fear' attitude similar to that of Stu Ungar
  • Felt he was going to win GUKPT Blackpool from very early on in the event
Double GUKPT Champion Ludovic Geilich
GUKPT Champion Ludovic Geilich talks to PokerWired ahead of his GUKPT Edinburgh title defence

Ludovic Geilich is one of the most recognisable poker players on the UK poker scene. Last month he secured his second Grosvenor UK Poker Tour title when he destroyed the field in the £1,250 GUKPT Main Event in Blackpoool. Ludo, as he’s better known to most, has been a regular on the tour since soon after it began in 2007 and won his first GUKPT main event title last year in Edinburgh, having been runner up in the same venue in 2022. This month he will attempt to defend that title in Edinburgh and become only the fourth player to have secured a hat-trick of GUKPT titles. 

Naturally charismatic, Ludo is am enigmatic presence on any poker table he sits at and this has not gone unrecognised by his peers and the poker industry in general. In January he was announced as the newest member of Team Grosvenor, joining a stable of sponsored players that include Katie Swift, Jamie Nixon and Calogero Morreales.

PokerWired caught up with Ludo following his Blackpool triumph, to find out a little bit more about about the life of one of the UK’s greatest poker talents.

On the Grosvenor Poker Sponsorship

Speaking about his new role as an ambassador for Grosvenor Poker, Ludo commented

It's great and I'm very lucky to be an ambassador for any successful poker company....but Grosvenor is close to me as its the UK poker community that thrive from their tours! I’ve played their tour from 2007/2008 so I've always been loyal to this tour, as its the home of UK poker!

Ludo clearly acknowledges and respects that its a privalged position to be in, that not many have the opportunity to fulfil and sees the main role as being an intermediary between the site and its customers

I honestly think it's communicating with the players on a social basis…enjoying their company having lots of banter and getting to know them outside of the poker world is much more important than poker itself!
Ludo Geilich Helps Kevin Allen Celebrate UK Open Win
Ludo helping Kevin Allen celebrate his win at the UK Open
One thing Ludo is very clear about is that getting great results as a sponsored player isn't the main goal. Its great when it does happen, but as Ludo explains:

I've never felt like I have to do well as I'm sponsored now...the reason most are sponsored in the first place is because they've made an impact on the game and being outgoing/socialising a lot and lucky enough to had enough results to be known in the poker world all just helps with not having to put yourself under pressure, to think you need a result to maintain a sponsorship deal.

In the Commentary Booth

During the Manchester GUKPT, Ludo joined Phil ‘the Tower’ Heald and Jay Harwood in the commentary booth for the event’s live streamed final table. Usually guest appearances on poker streams last for perhaps an hour, but Geilich stayed in the booth for several hours, providing a unique insight into the mind of an elite poker player. His analysis of hands was fascinating and he regaled the audience with stories of his poker life during the quieter passages of play. 

Geilich impressed so much in the commentary booth in Manchester that it was a little disappointing that he was unable to join the stream again in Blackpool. But I suppose being the chip leader all the way through the final table and winning it is as good an excuse as he’ll ever need for failing to get on the mic. Asked whether he has any plans for further commentating duties, Ludo responded

I've been asked a lot to do commentary and I'm more of an in the moment kind of person ... so I just randomly go in if I'm in the mood. Maybe later in my career I might dabble in it at some point!

He also revealed that the players that would be on his dream table to commentate on would include Phil Ivey, Barney Boatman, Jake Cody, Michael Addamo, Stu Ungar and his good friend and countryman Firaldo (Niall Farrell).

From Blackpool to Edinburgh and Beyond

Ludovic Geilich, GUKPT Blackpool Champion
Next I asked Ludo about his recent Blackpool win. To anyone who watched the event's live stream, it  seemed like he played an almost perfect game in the GUKPT Blackpool main event. Once he's assumed the chip lead he never really looked back, pulling further and further away from the (not really) chasing pack. I asked him if it really was effortless as it seemed and how pleased he was with the way he played?

To be honest...I actually felt like I was going to win it very early I have felt this before and not won the event...but it just felt like everything fell into place and that doesn't happen often obviously. Once I got off to a great start on day2 (60k at 600/1200 to like 250k at 1k/2k) I had so much margin for error it was always going to be hard to knock me out of the tournament! I obviously played really well/ran great and my mind was sharp the whole way basically!

Ludo also feels no prressure at all going into the next GUKPT in Edinburgh, where he is the defending champion. His approach is simple:

I just have to get off to a good start like bagging up 50bbs, basically what I done in Blackpool. And after that you have room to navigate/take hits, etc, so it will take a few blows to get you out!

Having previously been a sponsored pro with Party Poker, the Glaswegian enjoyed traveling the world, meeting new people and seeing new places. He now plans to spend most of 2024 in the UK, but will take in some overseas events as well:

At the moment I am mainly focusing on Grosvenor stops....I'm planning on playing near enough a full WSOP series and most likely will try make sure I get over to Barcelona for the EPT and hopefully Prague at the end of the year!

Ambitions and Advice

Geilich is in third place on the Scottish all-time money list, still quite far behind Niall Farrell, but closing the gap on second placed David Vamplew. 

RankPlayerLive Earnings
1stNiall Farrell$ 6,772,964
2ndDavid Vamplew$ 3,878,238
3rdLudovic Geilich$ 3,731,720
4thDean Hutchison$ 2,744,483
5thAymon Hata$ 2,683,345
6thDavid Docherty$ 1,299,469
7thAndrew Leathem$ 1,249,996
8thMichael Kane$ 976,895
9thGordon Huntly$ 931,894
10thFraser MacIntyre$ 916,874
I asked Ludo how long he thought it would be before he usurps Niall and claim the number one spot for himself?

Well yea it's inevitable that I over take David Vamplew as he's basically for taking over Niall Farrell I think that's near enough impossible as he plays higher stakes than myself and is obviously a very good player! The only realistic chance I have of ever over taking him is final tabling the WSOP main event!

The way he's playing, we wouldn't rule that possibility out entirely, it would be no surprise to see him make a big six or even seven figure score at the 55th Annual World Series of Poker. Perhaps its false modesty, as his idol is none other than a three-time WSOP main event winner. While many players now might see Ludo as a poker idol, I asked him who he wanted to emulate when he was first learning the game?

Not really emulate as I'm going for Stu Ungar lol. But he was just pure natural and that's the thing you need the most in the live environment IMO

Ludo is of course referring to Stu Ungar's troubled life off the table, which nobody would in their right mind want to copy. Stu Ungar was one of the best readers of opponents that the game of poker has ever seen and Geilich's style of play is not disimilar.
Ludo Ungar
Ludo Ungar?
I asked him what advice he has for new players taking up the game.

Knowing how much to value bet and knowing who to do it against (knowing your customer) is the most important thing in poker from my experience over the years. If a player is going to call you and you just know it, then why bet the standard amount everyone else bets? Bet more!!!

The advice is clear, study your opponents and their tendencies!

On Other Players

Speaking of opponenents, who does Ludo fear at the poker table?

Honestly never really said to myself “this person is destroying me” just all comes down to the day/ easily happens the other way around and they get the bad end of it also...its just an in the moment thing in poker!

And who would he want to be in a four-person Scottish World Cup of Poker Team with?

Well yea Firaldo is a given....after that it has to be Dean (Hutchinson), he just final tabled the WSOP main event last year and he's improved so much these last few years and his live game is very strong! The last person would be hard to pick as I think I could name a good few for the final spot! I'm going to go with Michael Kane as he has been unbelievably consistent these past few months/this past year!

And finally, I asked Ludo how often he has heard Firaldo’s classic joke about the guy who goes into a pub with a talking dog?

lol, probably a lot but I'm most likely drunk so I never remember.
The GUKPT Edinburgh festival starts on Wednesday 3rd March and runs until Sunday 14th April. The £1,250 main event begins on Thursday 11th April. Online satellites run daily on Grosvenor Poker, awarding live tournament credit that can be used to buy-in to any event on the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour. Like all GUKPT festivals, the final event on the schedule, known as 'The Closer' will take place online at Grosvenor Poker, starting on Monday 12th April.

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