When it was announced earlier this year, the inaugural British Poker Open was viewed with a mixture of enthusiasm. Why would players show up for another “High Roller” series? And, if they did, just who would be there? Halfway through the 2019 event, the numbers question seems to be a serious one but the “usual suspects” are on hand for the run of ten tournaments with buy-ins higher than £10,000.
Turnout A Bit Low, but “Re-entries” Are High!
The first tournament of the 2019 British Poker Open, a £10,000 No Limit Hold’em event, only drew in 17 players, but they weren’t shy about using their options for re-entry. By the time the registration period had closed for the tournament, 26 entries were built up and only four players would receive any money from the prize pool. Although there might not have been a great number of players, they would battle it out for the cash available and the points on the High Roller of the Year standings. After two days of battle, Canada’s Luc Greenwood emerged as the champion over Steve O’Dwyer to take down the title and the £119,600 first place prize.
This was a pattern that has repeated itself through the action at the British Poker Open. Pot Limit Omaha was the game of choice for Event #2 as George Wolff outlasted a 30-entry field to walk away with the title and a £120,000 payday (current exchange rate for the British pound to the U. S. dollar is £10,000=$13,054). Event #3 reverted back to No Limit Hold’em and Paul Newey, who battles frequently at the High Roller events, was able to emerge victorious over a 46-entry field for a £156,400 windfall.
The latest rage for tournament poker, Short Deck Hold’em (all cards deuce through five removed) got its time in the spotlight for Event #4 with a £10,000 tournament. Luc’s brother Sam came out as the champion of that event, earning a £110,400 bankroll booster and pulling closer to Sam Soverel, who is not only the overall leader of the High Roller of the Year standings but, through a couple of deep finishes in earlier tournaments, was in the lead of the British Poker Open POY standings.
Soverel came back to extend both his leads in Event #5, the first £25,000 of the British Poker Open. With the larger buy in came a larger payday as Soverel walked off with £322,000 for his victory. Finally, Sergi Reixach made his bones in the High Roller arena by taking down another £25,000 NLHE tournament as Soverel worked on his second victory of the British Poker Open by making the final table of the £25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event, which will play out tomorrow.
Soverel Owns Overall Lead with Few Events Left
With his win in Event #5, Soverel extended his lead in both the year-long High Roller of the Year race and the British Poker Open Player of the Year standings. With six events in the books, here’s how the players line up:
1. Sam Soverel, 480 points
2. Sam Greenwood, 260
3. Robert Flink, 240
4. Stephen Chidwick, 220
(tie) Paul Newey
(tie) George Wolff
(tie) Luc Greenwood
(tie) Sergi Reixach
9. Rainer Kempe, 140
(tie) Steve O’Dwyer
Especially with his deep run in Event #7, Soverel may be looking at putting the British Poker Open POY award away. Only three events – another £25,000 NLHE tournament, a £50,000 No Limit Hold’em event and the £100,000 Main Event – remain on the schedule and it is still not set in stone how many players will take their shot at that on Wednesday. Should Soverel win Event #7 or make more deep runs in the remaining events, he may remove all the drama that the inaugural running of the British Poker Open promised.