Thursday marked the official start of the 3rd annual World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) at the Casino at the Empire in London, England where poker players from around the continent, and the globe for that matter, will flock for the next two weeks in an attempt to take down one of the four WSOP bracelets up for grabs.
While Thursday’s event was not a bracelet event, the Betfair-sponsored Million Dollar Freeroll got the poker action at the casino underway. The event brought together 18 qualifiers from Betfair’s online poker room to face off in a freeroll that awarded $1 million to the winner. That winner turned out to be Anestis Metsas of Greece, who defeated Frenchman A.J. Michoud heads-up to take down the tremendous cash prize.
Official bracelet events got underway on Friday with a £1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event. The tournament will feature two starting days and so far the pros have turned out full force for the event. Barry Greenstein, David “Devilfish” Ulliot, Phil Hellmuth, Andy Bloch, Erik Seidel and Roland de Wolfe all played on Day 1A and there will inevitably be more big names taking part in Day 1B as well.
The other bracelet events on the agenda prior to the Main Event include a Pot Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha tournament and a straight Pot Limit Omaha tournament. The exhibition team poker event, the Caesars Cup, is also scheduled to take place on the Friday before the Main Event begins. The Caesars Cup will pit “Team Europe” captained by Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad, who just turned 21 this week, against “Team Americas” captained by Daniel Negreanu of Canada. The names on each team’s roster have been revealed over the past few weeks, but one pro and one online qualifier remain unnamed for each squad. Joining Obrestad on the European team is 2008 WSOP Main Event winner Peter Eastgate, Dario Minieri, Bertrand “ElKY” Grospellier, Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies and Patrik Antonius while Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Doyle Brunson and Jennifer Harman will be at Negreanu’s side for the America’s team.
Once the Caesar’s Cup is all wrapped up, only the £10,000 + £350 Main Event awaits. The first of its two Day 1s gets going on Saturday September 26th and the final table will play out on Thursday October 1st. If they elect to stick around after the Caesars Cup, both former WSOPE Main Event winners should be on hand to try their luck at another bracelet. Obrestad won the inaugural WSOPE in 2007, making her the youngest WSOP bracelet winner in history. John Juanda grabbed the title last year, besting a field 362 players to claim his third career WSOP bracelet.
This year’s Main Event will once again air on ESPN Stateside along with the Caesars Cup event. ESPN is currently midway through airing coverage from this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas with new episodes from 8PM-10PM ET every Tuesday.

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