It’s already been quite the month at iGaming’s world base of London with one of the world’s largest poker festival taking place for the entire month of September. The festivities began back in late August with the WPT at the Palm Beach, with the surprise home-grown winner Jake Cody, continued with the world’s largest Poker Fair in London’s Leicester Square, Poker in the Park, including Evander Holyfield going heads-up, and winning, against a member of the public.
The party then rolled on to the English Poker Open, followed by the British Poker Awards, compered by the irrepressible Michael Caselli and Antonio Esfandiari, with the Victory Poker pro also hosting a celebrity party, and there was even a strip poker tournament thrown into the mix. This all pails into insignificance though as the WSOPE Main Event Final table comes to a close later today, or even early tomorrow, and many of the favourites have already fallen by the wayside as we await the entrance of the final nine at around 12pm today, in the Casino at the Empire back in London’s Leicester Square.
Rumours were abound amongst the poker enthusiasts that were Viktor Blom to win a bracelet here in London that he would finally reveal himself as the notorious “Isildur1,” but the poker buffs were disappointed as Blom could only make 16th as he was busted by Brian Powell’s K-Q.
The man also universally known as poker’s answer the Bret “the Hitman” Hart (the best there is, the best was, and the best there ever will be), Phil Ivey, fell out of the WSOPE saddle even before our friend Mr Blom, Ronald Lee pushing Ivey into 19th place.
Earlier on in the tournament we also saw a major poker network CEO, in the shape of Bodog’s Patrik Selin, competing in London’s WSOPE masterpiece. Only able to make the middle of day three, at one point with a stack at 173,600, the poker network story lives on to the final table, and the network is rather appropriately named for a bracelet winner.
Victory Poker CEO, and recent birthday boy Dan Fleyshman, is already out in front of his opponents at the final table with a chip count of 1,946,000, narrowly leading second placed Ronald Lee with 1,899,000, who earlier lead a field of 22 in the tournament, third place currently belonging to Daniel Steinberg (1,520,000).
Former European poker player of the year Roland de Wolfe is also in the final nine, and has as a good a chance as any to add a WSOPE bracelet to his WPR, EPT, and WSOP titles lying in fourth with a stack of 1,377,000.
James Bord may not be a household name to everyone, but after leading the field earlier on in the event, his stack of 1,331,000 places him in fifth and with a real shit at the title. Brian Powell is still hanging in there in sixth place, even after being victim of the Fleyshman and Mark Inizan lynch mob early on yesterday. Italy are represented by Fabrizio Baldassari with a stack of 697,000, Nicolas Levi and Mark Inizan completing the line-up with stacks of 428,000 and 349,000 respectively.
Check back for a review of the final day and a picture gallery at CalvinAyre.com.