The Nottingham, England DuskTillDawn poker club was vandalized this week. Rob Yong, the owner of DTD, was checking up on the lockdown-shuttered poker room this week, only to find that the conservatory-style windows at the back had been smashed in.
“I know people wanna play some poker but this is a bit extreme,” Yong joked.
The caption went beneath a video of the carnage that he posted to Twitter. In the video, you can see that the glass was shattered inwards. There are empty beer cans tossed casually into the glittering piles of glass pebbles.
From behind the camera, Yong is pretty sanguine about the mess.
“Just came for a check on the club. Got a bit of bad news,” he says as he approaches the disaster zone. “Had some vandals breaking in. The smoking area’s not looking too hot. People have had a bit of a good time here.”
Smoking indoors in public spaces is illegal in the UK. Most pubs and casinos provide semi-outdoor zones where tobacco fiends can sequester themselves for a non-jazz cigarette.
Despite the chaos, Yong seems pleased that the local motorcycle training school is using the empty parking lot. Yong points the camera to show the audience a moped weaving between orange cones. “Glad the parking lot is being put to good use at least,” he says.
So far, Yong has not commented on whether anything was stolen from the property.
Closed from dusk till dawn
It seems a particular shame that DTD was hit in this way. The Nottingham poker room is one of the key nodes in the UK poker network and one of the flagship European partners of partypoker.
The G Casino in Coventry might have a bigger poker room — especially when switched to max capacity, for the Goliath tournament. But DTD is pretty much the modern home of UK poker. It is the only major casino on the island that is first and foremost a poker room.
In pre-pandemic times they hosted a number of live-streamed cash games and tournament final tables.
The name of the club evokes the 1996 Robert Rodriguez movie From Dusk Till Dawn. This was the vampire movie that marked the moment that George Clooney went from TV actor to movie star.
Like all UK casinos, COVID shut DTD down. But unlike most UK casinos, DTD has also held off on re-opening. Rob Yong is waiting for some certainty to return to the market. And he’s waiting for the time when he can open DTD without it being a public health hazard.
The wait is socially responsible but might involve him missing a large part of the returning market. It is clear that the UK populace is gasping to get back to poker. The number of illegal gatherings that turn out to be poker games is remarkable. People are likely to be flooding back to the tables as vaccination reaches the under-30s.
Goths and vandals
Fellow tournament maven, Matt Savage, commiserated in Yong’s native tongue.
“Wankers for sure Rob,” he wrote. “Hope to see you up and running again soon. You were definitely a light in the poker world when we were at our darkest. Hope you and the family are well.
There is something comically awkward about Americans trying to use the word “wanker” that the British will never stop finding either endearing or annoying, depending on xenophobia levels. Yong probably took the awkwardness well.
Old customers reached out with commiserations too.
“This makes me sad,” wrote Lee Hopper. “Too many knobheads about. Hope you get it sorted and things up and running again ASAP. I’m literally itching to drive down the A50.”
If you too are literally itching, please call your doctor or speak to a pharmacist about a topical ointment.
“Upsetting to see mate,” wrote Bobby James. “Hoping that insurance covers it, probs does. Love DTD. As a Londoner, it’s quite possibly the only journey up “North” that I love to make.”
Here’s hoping that DTD will be able to reopen soon, with all its windows once more intact.
Featured image source: Twitter