The Hendon Mob to Take Part in An Out of This World Tournament

We’re delighted to announce that have teamed up with Virgin Galactic™ to jointly sponsor the first Out Of This World Series of Poker.

The idea for the tournament came as a result of some light hearted banter between players at last year’s World Series of Poker* $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, with Juha Helppi’s underwater victory against Phil Laak and Kenna James now apparently old hat. It’s said it was Scotty Nguyen who originally put forward the suggestion of a tournament in space, although he now claims to have no memory of doing so.

What started as something of a joke gained momentum when the players involved realised that reservations were already available for flights on Virgin Atlantic’s space ships and now seven, including Ram Vaswani of The Hendon Mob, have agreed to part with $1,000,000 entry fees to take part in the tournament. Joe ‘The Elegance’ Beevers is also scheduled to play, subject to first class seats being available.

There are expected to be three first flights of play and, naturally, satellites will be available to the tournament, with more direct buy-ins expected from poker players and from those in the entertainment industry who like to play poker at the highest level. One celebrity name already lined up to participate is well known poker aficionado Ben Affleck, winner of the Californian State Championship in 2004. Apart from his most obvious qualification of having no problems putting together the $1M entry fee, Affleck has already experienced space flight, some of the filming for the 1998 film Armageddon in which he starred with Bruce Willis being done on the near-earth asteroid Cruithne (sometimes referred to as the earth’s second moon).

With limited time available on the ships, and the high rollers who came up with the idea not wanting to turn the tournament into a crapshoot, it was decided more play was needed to ensure a suitable end to such a groundbreaking tournament. Given the unmitigated praise throughout the poker industry for the delayed final table at the World Series in 2008, the finalé of this Out of this World Poker Tournament will really live up to its name, taking place in true orbit rather than on sub-orbital space craft. The tournament will be paused at the end of the 3 flights with the remaining players returning to the game once a suitable base has been established on the moon. Whilst NASA are planning such a base from which they will be able to launch their manned mission to Mars, it’s not expected to be open to space tourism until the mid 2030s at least. Generously, Harrah’s, whilst not involved in the organising of the tournament itself, have offered to hold the prize monies in escrow until it has been completed.