The scoreboard reads 311-players. Yes that’s right…when you host a poker tournament in Wembley Stadium they display the important stuff on two giant scoreboards behind the goals at each end of the stadium. It really is quite surreal.
The lads and ladies working feverishly behind the scenes have told us that over 500-players have either qualified through the satellite structure, or have bought in directly; and with more satellites planned tonight the talk around Wembley is we are expecting to see a field of over 600 players by the end of the two starting flights.
So we have a stadium full of mixed emotions. The players who are here are ecstatic. They have had the chance to contribute to a sporting event held in this iconic venue, the pros are seated next to a field top heavy with €300 qualifiers and there is free money at the top with a potentially massive overlay. Then you have the owners, who must be immensely proud of what they have achieved, but none of that means diddlysquat if they end up out of pocket.
Despite the heavy influence of the amateur element, there are a lot of top players who have decided to avoid an early flight to Vegas and instead bathe in the British sun. They include EPT Champion Ramzi Jelassi, former EPT Champion Toby Lewis, the elegantly dressed Marcel Luske, the elegance himself Mr. Joe Beevers, The Boatman brother Ross and Barney, Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi and Sam Trickett.
Jelassi is here with a group of Swedish talent that includes Anton Wigg and Michael Tureniec and we managed to speak to Wigg during the last break.