London has been the center of the poker universe lately, hasn´t it? The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) just finished up at the London Clubs International at the end of September and now the World Open V is ready to roll this weekend.  Organized by Matchroom Sport, the invitation-only event will take place October 11th through October 15th at the Palm Beach Casino.
The unique poker tournament will feature just 48 players, most of whom were hand-selected by Party Poker organizers. Rather than seating them all at a few tables and having them play until one player is left, as traditional format would have it, the World Open is more like a shootout tournament. There will be six eight-handed qualifying heats, with the winner of each advancing to the final table. The runners-up in each heat will battle it out in a round robin format to claim the seventh and final spot at the final table.
With a buy-in of $10,000, the total prize pool will be $480,000, with $250,000 going to the winner.
Headlining the field are Poker Ambassador and 2009 Poker Hall of Fame nominee, Mike Sexton, Phil “The Unabomber” Laak, Academy Award-nominated actress and WSOP bracelet winner Jennifer Tilly, 2009 WPT Champion Yevgeniy Timoshenko, 2009 WSOP (Las Vegas) and WSOPE bracelet winner J.P. Kelly, Scott Fischman, JC Tran, Steve Sung, Neil Channing, Layne Flack and Andy Black. Also in attendance will be 2009 WSOP November Nine members James Akenhead and Antoine Saout, who both also made the final table of the 2009 WSOPE Main Event.
Perhaps the most anticipated potential pairing is that of online poker studs Tom “durrrr” Dwan and Luke “Full_Flush” Schwartz, two rivals with no love lost between them. Schwartz recently made news at the European Poker Tour´s London stop, not because of how he did at the tables, but because of what he did at the lunch table, so to speak. Schwartz allegedly swiped a pickle and cheese sandwich from a refreshments stand at the Hilton London Metropole casino, believing that since he was a “kind of a big deal”, he shouldn´t have to pay. Prior to that incident, he was banned from the Victoria Casino for not abiding by the dress code and refusing to remove his hat in the poker room. The ban was lifted in time for him to play in the EPT event, but after the sandwich theft, he has now been banned from all Grosvenor properties.
Ten players also qualified for the World Open via satellites on The prize packages were valued at $13,000, which consisted of the $10,000 buy-in, seven nights accommodation, and $1,000 spending money. As reported here at, one of those qualifiers is Johannes Nord Jorgensen, who won the in the Sky event in Copenhagen.
According to PartyGaming´s sports betting site,, Tom Dwan is the favorite to win the World Open V at 11-1, followed by JC Tran at 13-1. Luke Schwartz, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Roland de Wolfe, James Akenhead, and Layne Flack, are close behind at 15-1. Most of the online qualifiers are coming in at 67-1.
Last May, Marty Smyth of Belfast won the quarter million dollar first prize at a final table which included the aforementioned Neil Channing. Previous winners include Lee Nelson (2005), Homer Simpson´s neighbor Pippa Flanders (2006)*, and Anthony Hardy (2007).
The World Open V will be filmed and broadcast on Five in the UK later in the year before being released internationally. Jesse May will serve as commentator.
* The Simpsons thing is not true, although Pippa Flanders completely sounds like a Simpsons character, am I wrong?

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