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Robert Butt

Poker News Round-Up 14th of September

Filling in this week for Adam who's on holiday is, I'm afraid, me. My apologies if the weekly round-up is not quite as comprehensive as you've become accustomed to but, to quote Dante, I'm not even supposed to be here today.

The major event of the week is obviously the World Series of Poker's first excursion outside of the USA, with 3 events being held at the Empire, in Leicester Square, with the Sportsman and Fifty casinos also hosting part of the £10,000 buy-in main event. The first event, a £2500 HORSE competition, was won by Thomas Bihl with Joe making the final table and Barny also amongst the 18 who cashed. Although there was a strong American contigent for the first two events, With Jennifer Harman finishing second in the HORSE, it was again a European, Italian Dario Alioto, taking advantage of (the relatively close to) home territory to take down the £5000 Pot Limit Omaha event. In a game traditionally played this side of the pond Andy Bloch was the highest placed American finisher in 8th, although that still beat the highest Brit, the indomitable Roland de Wolfe.

So far the WSOPE has run fairly smoothly considering the difficulty in accomodating hundreds of players in a London casino venue, or three, compared to the conference rooms in Vegas where thousands can be seated. And there, if they overflow, you can always put them up a tent in the desert heat to ensure no entry fee is lost.

The only major issue to have arisen so far seems to have been the deadline for entrants. Originally scheduled before the start of Day 1A, it was extended to Day 1B at the end of level 1. This effectively allowed players to choose their starting day, if they wanted to play day 1B they just had to buy in late. Prior to 1st September this would certainly have raised eyebrows at the Gambling Comission and it's still unclear if it's allowed under the new laws, which no-one but no-one in the industry, or indeed the Government, seems to fully understand. On the definite plus side you can now double on soft totals (and even split those 4s). But we don't indulge in that sort of thing of course.

On the other side of the pond Michael Gracz managed to incur the wrath of North Carolina law enforcement officers, getting busted in a raid by around 16 police officers on an illegal casino whilst he was playing poker. To be fair to the police, roulette and blackjack were being played. Fellow poker player Christopher Bell was amongst those charged in relation to organising the games.

On a more pleasant note, Bill Edler managed a great comeback in the final table of the WPT event at the Gulf Coast Championship at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Biloxi to take down three quarters of a million dollars. Surindar Sunar made 9th in that event.

Back to the World Series of Poker in Europe. The two tournaments so far have seen several world class players on every table and the main event is no exception. If you don't recognize a face it's probably because they've spent the past couple of years making six figures online. As I write 84 players remain, Gus Hansen leads with Patrik Antonius second and they will be playing together on the same table today.

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