European Open IV off and running - 31/01/2008
The PartyPoker.com European Open IV has begun in London, running until the 8th February with its strongest field to date. The latest news sees confirmations from WSOP Europe winner Annette Obrestad and runner-up John Tabatabai, who play in the same heat as each other! They join a line-up that includes Phil Hellmuth, who will playing and joining Jesse May in the commentary box.
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When asked about the Obrestad/Tabatabai rematch Annette said: "I'm looking forward to this for sure. It was great fun playing with John in London. He's an amazing player and I have a lot of respect for him. I can't wait to play against him again!"
The Matchroom Sport organised event will be broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK later this year and distributed internationally. This year's tournament sees the buy-in rise to $7,000 from $5,000 - creating a $504,000 prize fund that some of the biggest names in poker have their eye on. Hellmuth will face tough competition from last year's winner Liam Flood. Last year, Flood triumphed over a final table in convincing style that included former World Open champion Pippa Flanders and John Magill. Wolverhampton's Darren Hickman finished second. Familiar faces to look out for this year include PartyPoker.com Premier League title holder Juha Helppi, UK Open Champion Andrew Feldman, recent PartyPoker.com Irish Poker Championship runner-up Michael McCool, Roland de Wolfe, Andy Black, Marty Smith, Roy Brindley, Ian Frazer, Ian Cox, Neil Channing and Surinder Sunar. Jimmy White, Austin Healey and star of UK soap Coronation Street , Michael Le Vell, will also be taking to the felt.
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, the runners-up will battle it out for the remaining two semi-final spots in "last chance" turbo heats. PartyBets.com are betting on the event and currently go 10/1 Phil Hellmuth, 15/1 Ian Frazer, 20/1, Roland de Wolfe, Annette Obrestad, Nick Slade, Phil Curtis, Liam Flood, Juha Helppi. 25/1 bar. Each-way terms are a third of the odds 1st and 2nd. www.partybets.com
A PartyBets.com spokesman said: "There is a lot of excitement about this year's European Open and Hellmuth is sure to add value in the commentary box. It will be interesting to see the rematch between Obrestad and Tabatabai but there are so many players to look out for who have had success in this format. The money has been for Hellmuth but the likes of Helppi, Frazer and Flood have all been well backed in recent hours."