Betfair's Million Dollar Game kick-starts 2009 WSOPE

Betfair's Million Dollar Game kick-starts 2009 WSOPE

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Betfair Million Dollar Game is well underway at the Empire Casino London, marking the beginning of the 2009 World Series of Poker Europe.
18 online qualifiers took to the felt at noon today in order to begin their quest for the 1 $million 1st prize.

As I walk towards the action, lights glaring, I see the stage on which the final nine players of the Main Event will sit in 8 days time. The Empire is actually no more busy than usual. A few of the table games have made way for the poker tables and there is the usual contingent of degenerate slot players, oblivious to the action going on beside them. Whilst Event #1 starts tomorrow, the 18 players currently propelled under the spotlight are the regional qualifiers of the Million Dollar Game, a promotion that began on Betfair 6 months ago and one that has brought players from every corner of Europe as well as Canada and Asia together through a series of regional freerolls, both live and online.

Each player competing for the million dollars have all won their respective live qualifiers and have got this far having not staked a single penny! And if the freeroll element of the game has lightened the weightiness of what’s at stake, the mountain of stacked $100 bills in front of them should rejolt their memory if they forget. (Fake $100 bills I may add, but effective nonetheless

Currenly mid-way through the day, 12 of the original 18 remain In the hunt for a million dollars. At 12.00pm all 18 player started with 10,000 chips on a 30 minute clock. Thus far, Sean Reddington of Ireland, Germany's Deniz Demirkan, Denmark’s Kenneth Knudsen, UK’s Gary 'Nutmeg' Richardson and Asia’s Sumantri Soewarno have all crashed out early. The current chip lead sits with Piergiorgio D'ancona from Italy who nurses a stack of 30,000.

A rather thin-looking Phil Hellmuth walks pass unassuming and alone - perhaps in a quite attempt at self-promotion before the real action kicks off. On second thoughts, perhaps he is doing a reccy in order to determine how best to make his entrance for the Main Event. Who knows. Oh wait, he has found Mike Matusow and what do you know they start discussing bad beat stories. Nice.

Follow updates on all the action here at the WSOPE.

Tags: Poker News, Betfair's, Million, Dollar, Game, kick-starts, 2009, WSOPE