I had the pleasure of playing the Asian Poker Tour series this month (June 2022) hosted by Grand Loyal Poker Club in Hanoi. Here’s a rundown of my experience at the room.
History of Grand Loyal Poker Club
Since the ﬁrst launch in 2019, Grand Loyal Club is growingunder supervision of relevant authorities including Hanoi Municipal People’s Committee, Department of Culture and Sports, General Department of Gymnastics and Sports and Hanoi. Department of Public Security, hosting Annual tournaments in Vietnam aka APL – Asia Poker League.
2019 – Operation Registered and certiﬁcated as member of Vietnam Bridge and Poker association.
2019 – Hanoi Series of Poker (HSOP) – Asia Poker League (APL)
2020 – The ﬁrst and only club in Hanoi receiving the approval of future international tournaments.
2020 – Hanoi Series of Poker, Grand Loyal Championship I & II in collaboration with others members of the association.
2021 – APL 2021: “ENTER THE DRAGON”
2022 – Hanoi Spring Championship Series
2022 – Asian Poker Tour 2022 (APT)
Location of Grand Loyal Poker Club in Hanoi
The Grand Loyal Poker Room is inside a 5-star hotel called Grand Vista, which is on a main road so it is easy to find. There was a previous location of the room in a neighboring building, but they moved (and improved).
Nearby poker rooms
If you decide to stay in the area, you are walking distance to the Crown Poker Club and a short drive from VSOP.
Where to stay near Grand Loyal Poker Club
For higher end, you can stay right in the Grand Vista Hotel. At the time, rooms were going for around US$90/night, but that might be discounted due to low demand from the pandemic. There are various other luxurious buildings within walking distance. Check AirBnB. Also, there are many budget rooms for between US$15 and US$40/night in the area. Check agoda.com and AirBnB. Once you arrive, usually you can negotiate much cheaper prices directly with the owner. Paying upfront in cash usually is respected too.
First impressions of Grand Loyal Poker Club
I met one of the room organizers way back in 2017 at APT in Manila. He goes by Teddy. Teddy and his friends were very friendly and left a good impression on me. I then played at the previous location where they held an APL event. The event went very smoothly considering it was one of their first international tournament events.
Once in the hotel, head for the elevators. Grand Loyal Poker has a room on the 2nd floor, which is open daily for a variety of games, and a room on the 3rd floor which was fitted out for the Asian Poker Tour. The rooms are swish and the air was luxurious. Everything is well lit, well furnished and well staffed. The rooms are both clean and spacious and look like permanent serious poker rooms.
Atmosphere of Grand Loyal Poker Club
The room is geared for higher end local players and visiting players from other cities and countries. Clearly they are differentiating themselves in the marketplace to serve this kind of client. I felt very welcome to the room for playing the tournament and games.
The air in the rooms is clean. The air conditioning is working well. Smokers do it in the elevator area or balconies near stairwells.
The immediate neighbourhood is busy grey city, thousands of motor bikes, ridiculous traffic flows and hustle and bustly of a big city. Numerous cafes and small eating holes line the main street and back streets. There is a pleasant lake for a stroll about 100m behind the hotel.
Games at Grand Loyal Poker Club
The regular games seem to be running whenever I was there, meaning they start in the mornings and finish late at night (if at all). Some games grow big and many players like to gamble it up. The games are in Vietnamese Dong.
Here’s a link to APT 2022 video at the Grand Loyal Poker Club.
Ethics and Rules at Grand Loyal Poker Club
During the APT, I felt a very clean game. I sensed no bias toward any group of players and that rules were fairly enforced. I sensed minimal soft playing and no collusion. Mostly rules were enforced enough and fairly. Perhaps a better effort could help keep players off their phones during hands however to keep the games moving along.
Dealers at Grand Loyal Poker Club
My experience is limited to the Asian Poker Tour, which employed local dealers. They were excellent overall. Now that I think about it, in the 2-week series, I didn’t really encounter a single hiccup with the dealers. Poker is still relatively new in Hanoi, yet the dealers handled the work professionally.
Staff at Grand Loyal Poker Club
Both floors are very well staffed. All the staff are well groomed, polite and ready to serve you for anything. English is limited but you can get by with gestures and translation with your phone. Locals often jump in to assist with communication challenges.
Food at Grand Loyal Poker Room
Eating at the tables is encouraged with the hotel room service available with an English menu (not everywhere in Hanoi has English menus). I tried a few dishes. The Western food such as fish and chips and the burger were yummy. However, the Asian food seemed watered down (for visiting foreigners perhaps). The fresh juices are on the money. Try their watermelon juice. The room does allow and will even facilitate you ordering from outside delivery services such as grab.
Fresh cut fruit and pastries were often served for all to enjoy, and there was always tea of coffee available.
The cashier is on the 2nd floor in a cage. The staff service was prompt and accurate. Be aware, that for tournament winnings some tax is withheld, somewhere between 10% and 15% of your profit on the event.
Contact Grand Loyal Poker Club
Level 2, Grand Vista Hotel, 146 Giang Vo Str, Ba Dinh Dist, Ha Noi
A well-managed and serious poker club for local and international players. I look forward to my next visit there.