The Dusk Till Dawn Story

A couple of years ago best mates Rob Yong and Nick Whiten were driving home from their local card room in Nottingham having been refused entry to a tournament for being one minute late . Nick made a throwaway comment in exasperation “why don’t we open our own poker room? “

Now usually a conversation would take place about the merits of owning your own card room and then the subject would be forgotten, however this time it was taken seriously and the end result was the start of Dusk Till Dawn.

Rob decided rather than just open a small card room operating without gaming board consent he would go legit and apply for a license; he discovered that first you have to secure the premises before applying.

It took a year before the right place was found ironically in his home town of Nottingham, the requirements were minimum 10,000 square feet, substantial parking, close to a motorway and airport, Smilin Sams, a disused pub/bowling alley/arcade, ticked all the boxes.

It has 15,000 square feet, parking for 225, is 10 minutes from M1, 15 minutes from East Midlands airport, and several hotels within 3 miles and has D2 planning for a casino.

Having negotiated a 15 year lease (and a £3,000,000 commitment!), all Rob had to do now was apply for a gaming license, rip out and refit the premises , assemble a team of directors , managers, hosts and approx 100 staff, oh and finance the project at a cost of £4,000,000!

The goal of Dusk Till Dawn is to create the largest most prestigious poker venue in Europe, all created with the player in mind. With 51 tables including a TV final table Dusk Till Dawn will be able to host EPT, WPT and at least 3 other major festivals a year all with either added money or guaranteed prize pools in an all dealer dealt stunning environment.

Rob first spoke to me in June 2005 with a view to hosting the festivals. Having secured the premises on 10th December 2005 he asked me to come up and see it. This I did on January 5th 2006, I walked round with Rob and Simon Nowab the marketing director and as I imagined what the place could look like I was sure I wanted to be involved but the scale of the project was going to require commitment for 5 years, I agreed to be Live Poker Director and host and on 6th January 2007 I move to Nottingham to prepare for the opening in April.

Originally Dusk Till Dawn was scheduled to open in December 2006 but there was a planning problem that was resolved in August and although Rob has done everything to comply with the license requirements he still has a final meeting to attend , however , as Rob says , he is now “pot committed” and Dusk Till Dawn will open in April 2007.

In the meantime a team has been assembled, these are Pete Langley IT Director , Simon Nowab Marketing Director , Nick Whiten Facilities Director , Darren Whiten General Manager , Paul “Actionjack” Jackson Online Director , Rob Goll and Daniel Bell Card room managers.

Nick and his team have commenced work on the club and the progress can be viewed at

The next step was to open the online partner to Dusk Till Dawn. This is a key part of the business plan as the intention is to make playing in Dusk Till Dawn affordable to all bankrolls firstly by hosting satellites for all the festival events but also through a unique scheme called Dusk Till Dawn Points.

On December 12th in partnership with the Cryptologic platform DTDpoker was launched with some exciting initiatives for all players. As of January 1st 2007 the maximum rake back allowed on a Cryptologic site is 30% , usually this is only available through an affiliate deal, however with DTD all players who accumulate 1000 MPP’s in a month (equivalent to less than an hour a day on a £1 £2 No Limit table) will qualify for 30% rake back.

Dusk Till Dawn will be a member’s only club with an annual or daily fee, however by playing at DTD online all players also accrue DTD Points. Every 50 MPP’s gives you £1 to spend when you visit Dusk Till Dawn. This can be used for membership fees, tournament entries, cash table charges, food, beverages and merchandise.

For the bigger online players who also play live e.g. EPT events there is the DTD TOUR. This currently comprises all the EPT events, the WPT in Paris and the Championship event at the WSOP.

If a player chooses they can join the DTD TOUR club and instead of rake back they will build a DTD TOUR club account. From this they can then buy in to any of the DTD TOUR events where, providing they wear the DTD clothing and do no deals, they will qualify for the following bonuses:

  • Make the money and DTD will give you a further £5000 for another DTD TOUR event.
  • Make the final and DTD will give you £20,000 towards DTD TOUR events of your choice
  • Win any DTD TOUR event and DTD will give you £100,000 worth of future DTD TOUR events (these can be taken over a 3 year period)
  • Qualify for any of the bonuses above and you can win them again in the events you choose to play.

This has got to be the best deal anywhere online. For all the players that already play these events I would imagine this will be a huge incentive to join the DTD TOUR club.

Also playing on the DTD TOUR will be the executive hosts Carlo Citrone, Kevin O’Connell, Michael Greco and Paul Zimbler as well as the DTD Ambassador Dave Colclough.

Dusk Till Dawn and DTD aim to give the best player value and experience. The club is scheduled to open in April. There will be a DTD launch party in Copenhagen and the DTD TOUR kicks off in Deauville.

With £4,000,000 invested by the time the club opens there is no doubt in my mind that Dusk Till Dawn will quickly fill a gap in the market. With the explosion in poker in recent years Europe has needed a prestigious purpose built poker club catering for all bank rolls that looks spectacular and with the technology utilised and attention to detail in every department from the quality of the 51 tables to the number of plasma screens, uniformity of the dealers to player friendly structures and payouts we hope you will agree.

When the club opens it will initially have a 4 day week with Rob Goll and Daniel Bell our two card room managers running mostly No Limit Holdem Freezeout tournaments and a range of cash games. The inaugural festival is currently planned for June, however you wont have to wait till then for our first big event as Cryptologic have agreed to guarantee a monthly event at 200 times the buy in; this will usually be a £500 No Limit Holdem Freezeout so you can look forward to playing in a regular £100,000 guaranteed event! Although DTD will have a full casino licence they will not be having casino games to keep the money in the poker community.

Dusk Till Dawn has been talked about all over Europe for over a year now and we are getting very close to opening. To join and be one of the first to experience this fantastic venue go to:

And remember the first time you see it remember that all this started with Nick saying “why don’t we open our own poker room?”

And how’s this for irony? Once the license is secured Rob won’t be able to play at Dusk Till Dawn!

Looking forward to welcoming you to Dusk Till Dawn


DTD Poker

$25,000 Freeroll

All new signups can qualify for a $25,000 Freeroll, just download the software, register your account, deposit and play accumulating 400 MPP’s by 31st January (equivalent to just 10 hours play on £1 £2 table) and the prizes on offer are:

1st $15,000 package for Chamionship event at 2007 WSOP
2nd $4000
3rd $3000
4th $2000
5th $1000