World Series of Poker Europe Preview

World Series of Poker Europe Preview

Thursday, 3 September 2009

The Betfair WSOPE first took place in 2007 when Annette Obrestad bluffed, lucked out and bullied her way to a £1,000,000 first-place prize. This ushered in a new era for European poker where aggressive Scandinavians dominated the games. Thanks, Annette – I haven’t won a pot without the nuts in two years.

Since Annette’s 2007 victory – and subsequent sponsorship by hosts Betfair – we’ve seen Full Tilt pro John Juanda take the title in 2008. This year, as the hype from the Vegas World Series of Poker dies down and we have a lull before the November Nine take their seats, the WSOPE steps in to fill the gap nicely.

The festivities kick off at The Casino at the Empire, Leicester Square, on September 17. Firstly a Million Dollar Game will be open to 18 online qualifiers at Betfair, with a $1,000,000 prize pool split between the winners of the small tournament.

The WSOPE begins properly the next day with the £1,075 No-Limit Hold ‘em four-day event. Last year we saw PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu make a deep run in this event, and the field was star-studded with Phils Laak and Hellmuth also at the tables.

Two days later Betfair compromised with the pros love of both Hold ‘em and Omaha by introducing a PLHE/PLO mixed event with a buy-in of £2,650. This should attract a huge and star-studded field, and could do well to get Omaha more mainstream.

On September 23rd as the final table of Event #2 plays out, the £5,250 Pot-Limit Omaha event begins. Last year this attracted a field that saw Chris Ferguson and Jason Mercier reach the final table.

Finally on September 26, the £10,000 Main Event – so far it has attracted precisely 362 players each year – will begin. This is a six-day event and the huge stacks and slow structure make it a joy to watch and play in.

Another addition to the Empire this year is the Caesars Cup, a poker play-off between the Americas and Europe in the style of golf’s Ryder Cup. Daniel Negreanu of PokerStars and Betfair’s own Annette Obrestad are the respective captains, and players such as Phil Hellmuth, Patrik Antonius, John Juanda and Peter Eastgate will all compete.

You can keep up with the WSOPE here at where we will be bringing you live updates and blogs from the event. Or, alternatively, head down to Leicester Square yourself to catch all the action. The smaller field and larger buy-ins attract more top-flight players, so for a glimpse of Ivey or Cunningham in action you can go to The Empire this month.

Tags: Poker News, World, Series, of, Poker, Europe, Preview