Online Casino BTDino

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

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Calling itself the richest sporting event on the planet, the WSP brings together 23,000 poker players from 45 countries. The tournament lasts six weeks, but only 6,600 elite players are allowed at the main event, which will start on Thursday, either by buying their way in for $10,000 or by qualifying through an online championship. Thousands stand to make or lose their for- tunes, and the ultimate prize is expected to reach $10 million.

Should he win, Mr Guinther, a Vietnam veteran who retired from the Army in 1985, said that he would give some to his church and donate to a military servicemen’s charity. “Sounds funny, but then I’d probably buy a nice big mobile home and just travel a little bit,” he said. Other participants may include Chris Moneymaker, the aptly named 2003 champion, and Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, the 2004 winner, who wears glasses resembling dinosaur eyes to distract opponents. Also in the line-up is Jennifer Harman, who is called a “pitbull in a chihuahua’s body”.

The gaming industry estimates that 50 million Americans play poker at least once a month. Tournaments receive hours of coverage on late-night television, including Celebrity Poker Showdown, among whose contestants have been the Hollywood stars Ben Affleck, Martin Sheen, Mimi Rogers and Heather Graham. Jennifer Tilley, the actress, won $160,000 at the WSP’s Ladies’ No Limit event last month.

The game has proved similarly popular in Britain. PartyGaming, the owner of the world’s biggest online poker sites, floated on the London Stock Exchange last month and is valued at more than £5 billion, putting it in the same league as British Airways and Sainsbury’s.