The PartyPoker.com World Open IV begins in London this Friday – and the week-long event looks like being the best yet.
A top-class field, led by “Ambassador of Poker” Mike Sexton, includes Dave “The Devilfish” Ulliott, Neil Channing, Juha Helppi, Marc Goodwin, Barny and Ross Boatman, Theo Jorgensen, Ian Frazer, Marty Smyth, Roberto Romanello, Jon Kalmar, Jon Magill, Thomas Bihl, Robin Keston, Roy Brindley, Surinder Sunar, John Tabatabai, Pippa Flanders and Liam Flood.
Also taking his place will be the winner of the recent PartyPoker.com European Open IV, Nick Slade.
A PartyPoker.com spokesman said: “Mike Sexton is a great addition to the World Open line-up and will be keen to make his trip to London a success. However, he faces a very strong field with many UK players such as Robin Keston and Neil Channing in great form at the moment.”
Bookmaker PartyBets.com makes man of the moment Neil Channing the 16/1 favourite off the back of his recent successes at the Irish Open and PartyPoker.com Poker Nations Cup. Others who have already been backed include UK Open winner Andrew Feldman and Ben Roberts.
The Matchroom Sport organised event will be broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK later this year and distributed internationally.
The 72-runner, $8,000 buy-in event features a first prize of $250,000 from a total prize pool of $576,000. Last year, 45-year-old former Sidcup betting shop owner Anthony Hardy triumphed over a final table that also featured Ian Cox, Ram Vaswani, David Rudling, Ian
Frazer and eventual runner-up Ian Woodley. The winner in 2006 was Pippa Flanders, while in 2005 Lee Nelson won the inaugural event.
The winner of each of the 12 heats will progress to the semi-final stage, and, for the first time in the event’s history all is not lost for the runners-up on the table as they will battle it out for the remaining two semi-final spots in “last chance” turbo heats.