Aspers Casino in Swansea has decided it’s time to open their doors after three years in the wilderness, and one of their own, Roberto Romanello, cleans up online.
Dylan Thomas once called it an ugly, lovely town. In the movie Twin Town, Dougray Scott’s character Terry called it a pretty, shitty city. If you take the words lovely and town out of those two quotes you won’t be far off the mark.
Once upon a time it was one of the most vibrant places in the UK. Debauch, drugs and a city full of Dai’s. It was positively dai iawn. It was a stag and hen weekend paradise. When it came to nightlife Cardiff couldn’t keep up. Then they built the Millennium Stadium. Then they closed Wembley. The FA Cup, the League Cup and all the other tin pot trophies held their finals in Cardiff. Swansea died on its ass.
When Aspers closed their Swansea casino in 2012 the only people who were surprised were working for PokerStars. The United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) were scheduled to hold a Season 3 festival in the joint. The Welsh, who had been cut from the UK poker scene, were suddenly back in business. Then they closed. There hasn’t been a UKIPT since.
But there is good news on the horizon.
Aspers are looking to reopen the casino sometime in the near future. It’s believed that the new look will be a drastically cut down version of it’s previous pomp and circumstance, so there is no word yet on news of a poker room, but those of us living in Wales will have our fingers crossed. It was great when it was open. The drunks would fill the cash games at 4am, and there was even the odd live sex show in the toilets.
Between 60-100 people lost their jobs when the casino originally closed.
Roberto Romanello Ventures Online; Wins $50k
The closure of Aspers meant Swansea only had one casino. That was the Grosvenor, and if you walk in on a Thursday night you might be lucky enough to see a certain Roberto Romanello playing in the £150 (1x rebuy & 1x add-on) Dealers Choice tournament.
The former World Poker Tour (WPT) and European Poker Tour (EPT) champ, has made the final table three times in the last month, and won it twice. He even admitted to me that he never rebuys or buys an add-on just to wind his mates up.
Romanello was never one to play online poker. Even during his Full Tilt days he ensured that his contract was ostensibly catered for his live game. But on Saturday night, Romanello thought he would give it a go.
“I was having a bit of a lad’s day,” Romanello told me. “The Premier League had started, so I watched the football, and then I deposited $250 into my PokerStars account and ended up finishing eighth in a $215 NLHE Turbo for $1.7k.”
The next day, Romanello decided to use that $1.7k to play in some of the bigger buy-in events on Stars. It was a solid decision. He made two final tables, chopped one of them, and shut down for the night with over $50,000 in his account.
The winningest Welshman of all time finished eighth in the Sunday 2nd Chance for close to $5,000, and then chopped the Sunday 500, when heads-up, for $49,000.
“I was buzzing. I got a lot of chips early and I knew if I played my ‘A’ game I was going to go deep,” Romanello told me. “My parents were railing me. At one point I had to send my Mum to bed. She was checking me out to make sure I didn’t fall to sleep. I made sure I sent them a message telling them how much I won.”
What did you think Romanello did after winning $50,000?
He walked down to Roma Fish Bar, got his apron on, and got down to work.