|Ladbrokespoker.com serves up ‘Devilfish and chips’ extravaganza|
Millionaire environmentalist, Zac Goldsmith and online qualifier, Fred ‘Teddykins’ Richardson are two of the surprise finalists at this year’s Ladbrokespoker.com Poker Million II. With an estimated £300 million fortune, the heir to the Goldsmith fortune is keen to continue the family tradition established by his late father Sir James, whose notorious poker school included fellow ‘big spenders’ John Aspinall and Lord Lucan.
‘Teddykins’ Richardson has so far managed to beat 315 players after paying $12 to play online at ladbrokespoker.com. He now only needs to beat five more to win $300,000. ‘Teddykins’ said: “Who needs Euro 2004, the cricket or ‘Henmania’, ‘Teddykins’ is going to deliver an English winner this summer!” If he does win the tournament he’ll emulate the infamous Chris Moneymaker - the winner of the $2.5 million World Series of Poker Championships last year, after an initial online qualifying payment of just $40,
The final, live on Sky Sports 2 on Friday 9th July at 8pm, will see both players putting their poker skills to the ultimate test by playing Texas Hold’em against some of the world’s best poker professionals. The final table will see former Olympic swimmer and Irish ace Donnacha O’Dea, Canadian investment banker, Nicholas Barbu, Dave ‘The Devilfish’ Ulliott and student, Jon Backman join ‘Teddykins’ and Zac as they compete for the $300,000 first prize.
Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott is one of the most revered poker players in the game. Locking horns with ‘the Devilfish’ the main challenge. According to fellow professional, Roy “The Boy” Brindley: “the Devilfish harbours an ego that outweighs the prize on offer. His ferocious and insatiable appetite for victory feeds on a carefully formulated cocktail of card sense and speech play that can unnerve even the most accomplished players”.
Last year ‘the Devilfish’ won $600,000 in a three day tournament in Tunica, USA. However, in these rapidly changing times for Poker, more money is won in online games than in the traditional ‘smoke filled’ card rooms. According to independent online Poker analysts, Poker Pulse, a total of $95 million was wagered yesterday alone in online hands. Online Poker grew over 600% in 2003 and has already more than doubled again this year. It’s the gambling sensation of the moment and everyone wants to be a part of it. Ladbrokespoker.com is Europe’s biggest Poker site, dealing over 330,000 hands of Poker a day. At the busiest times over 5,000 people from 65 different countries will be playing against each other on upwards of 600 virtual tables.
This year’s Poker Million Masters II field saw 36 entrants pay a whopping £10,000 to take their seat at the green felt, a further 30 qualify online via ladbrokespoker.com and 6 exclusive seats for celebrities. This year’s celebrities included World Cup winning rugby player Mike Tindall, soccer star Teddy Sheringham, PDC Darts champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, former footballer Tony Cascarino and snooker stars Mark Williams and Stephen Hendry.
Latest Ladbrokespoker.com Poker Million Masters II Odds
Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot195,00011/4
Fred ‘Teddy’ Richardson153,0007/1
Viewers were given the unique opportunity to see the top players’ strategies as all cards were visible via cameras placed underneath glass panels on the tables. Each player was also wired up to a heart monitor, so the viewers could see how relaxed or nervous the players really were during the crucial hands. Heart rates were certainly soaring with a $720,000 prize pot, none more so than Zac who’s heart rate rocketed to a pulsating 169 beats per minute.
Ladbrokes eGaming Managing Director John O’Reilly commented: “Forget the tension of Big Brother on a Friday night, this year’s final looks set to be an exhilarating live spectacle. How many sporting finals would you expect to see a millionaire pitting his wits against five of Europe’s hottest hands? I for one can’t wait to see how Zac gets on against the ‘Devilfish’, possibly one of the greatest poker players ever.”
Barry Hearn, Executive Chairman of Matchroom Sport said: “This year’s tournament has been gripping. Four world champions (Hendry, Williams, Taylor and Tindall), one of England’s greatest ever strikers and the Goldsmith heir all vying to be crowned the Poker Million Masters II king. Forget Euro 2004 and Wimbledon, Poker Million II has it all.”
In Texas Hold’em Poker each player gets two cards and the winner is the player who via a combination of his two cards and five open or community cards on the table can put together the best five-card poker hand. After the players have been dealt their cards the first round of betting allows the players to bet money on the basis of what hand they judge they will be able to form with the cards later.
Once the first three community cards are dealt the players can then bet again. Then the fourth community card is dealt, followed by another round of betting, the fifth and final community card and the last opportunity to bet. The players remaining in the hand then reveal their cards.
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Ladbrokes, the betting and gaming division of Hilton Group plc, is the world's biggest bookmaker. It provides its customers with a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week service via over 2000 licensed betting shops in the UK, Ireland and Belgium, state of the art call centres in London and Liverpool and its interactive services. Over 400,000 registered customers from 160 countries bet on the Internet with Ladbrokes at www.ladbrokes.com and at the online casino www.ladbrokescasino.com.
In January 2004, ladbrokespoker.com published a widely acclaimed analysis on the growth of online Poker in the United Kingdom. To view the report, click on this link: http://www.ladbrokescasino.com/Poker/PDF/PokerReport2.pdf
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Matchroom Sport is one of the leading world sports events organisations, creating and marketing an impressive portfolio of major televised sports event programmes.
For over a quarter of a century it has been creating, promoting, organising and televising major events worldwide under the charismatic leadership of Executive Chairman Barry Hearn. Hearn is a renowned showman and sports enthusiast with a legendary ability for creating exciting and highly visual events and has built an experienced team of production and sales staff.
Matchroom Sport has established a strong worldwide reputation among broadcasters, sports organisations and the viewing public for promoting successful events and edge of the seat action. The company leads the way in televised sports as varied as championship boxing, 9 ball pool, big game and coarse fishing, snooker, golf, darts, poker, tenpin bowling. It produces and televises all its events for broadcast both live and delayed across the world.