First, cram some of the best poker players in the world into a subterranean poker cavern in the heart of London. Second, play for charity to tap in to their good natured hearts. Finally, make it a re-buy to give the betting muscles time to warm up. What have you got? Fast paced action and for a good cause at the Hold’em 100.
That’s the scenario this afternoon at the Loose Cannon Sports Bar in London for the Hold’em 100, a prestigious charity poker tournament now in its twelfth year in aid of the Royal Marsden, the UK's leading cancer hospital.
Members of Team PokerStars stopped off on their way to the EPT London to add their support to the event organised by Conrad Brunner who staged the first Hold’em 100 back in 1995.
Gavin Griffin and Conrad Brunner
“A 100-player tournament was a really big deal back then.” Said Brunner. “We didn't think we would get enough players but kicked off the first event with 104 runners. That made it the UK’s biggest ever tournament at the time."
Brunner and his fellow organisers were inspired to turn the Hold’em 100 into an annual event and in 2001 more than 280 players turned up.
“We’ve raised over £100,000 now. People don't believe poker players are generous, but every year we see them splashing out extravagantly on the re-buys, knowing the cash is going to a very good cause.”
Along with familiar Team PokerStars faces such as Chris Moneymaker, Noah Boeken, Daniel Negreanu and Katja Thater were Team PokerStars debutants Dario Minieri and Hevad Khan. The Italian Minieri famously became the first player on Stars to reach the lofty position on ‘Porsche’ on the FPP list, (that’s not its official title but it was somewhere beyond Supernova) whilst RaiNKahN, as he is known online, reached the final table of this year’s World Series of Poker main event, finishing 6th.
Charity aside there was still a tournament to be won and a seat in the EPT London to the winner courtesy of PokerStars. Want to know who won? Check back later for the results.