Saturday the 10th of November saw nearly 100 Betfair invited guests attend the magnificently impressive Centenary hall at Stamford Bridge to play in a poker freeroll event worth $10,000. With plenty of other activities to keep the players entertained whilst overlooking the Chelsea pitch it was sure to be a great day for all involved!
'The tournament was won by Kevin Armstrong who took home a tasty $3,000 after a great heads up battle with Andre Groenen who left with a pleasant $1,950.'
Registration opened at 1pm and the players upon arrival were given a goodie bag with various Betfair merchandise they could use during their poker adventure. Players were invited to enter three tipping competitions for the football, horse racing and tennis that was taking place that day with great Betfair prizes for the winners.
At 2.30pm the poker tournament started which had 9 Betfair Bounty players scattered amongst the tables with some great Betfair prizes for those lucky/skillful enough to knock them out. Betfair ambassadors Elisbeth Hille and Hans Vogl were two of these bounties and whoever knocked either of these out won a VIP ticket for the next day's game between Chelsea and Liverpool.
For players who got knocked out of the tournament during the afternoon and evening there were plenty of other things going on to make sure they still had a fun day. The bar was long and free, there was a darts competition where the highest score with 9 darts would win another of those precious Chelsea v Liverpool VIP tickets. Also there was a blackjack tournament, a deal or no deal game with various extravagant prizes ranging from Betfair merchandise through to 4 VIP tickets for Ascot. Added to this there was a backgammon board for players to test their skills on and some STT's were started up which judging by the noise coming from them people were playing in a jovial manner.
The poker tournament lasted for eight hours and was eventually won by Kevin Armstrong who took home a tasty $3,000 after a great heads up battle with Andre Groenen who left with a pleasant $1,950. The last hand was a fitting end to any tournament with Kevin hitting a straight flush to take down the tournament!
I thought it would be a good idea to see this event through the eyes of a Betfair novice so during the day I spoke to a gentleman called Ian O'Flynn for his impression of the Betfair VIP experience.
Ian played in a live satellite at the Macau Sporting Club in Cork to try and qualify for Betfair Live Cork in October. All the players who played in these live satellites who had a funded Betfair account were invited back the week after the Cork event to play for a full package for the Stamford Bridge VIP event. Ian got down to the final three players with the most chips and then a lucky hand sealed his visit to London when his A2 beat AQ in a pre-flop confrontation.
I asked Ian plenty of questions during the day to get his thoughts on the event and a bit of background on him and here are his eloquent responses..
How long have you been playing online poker?
Only for three or four months, I actually joined Betfair through a promotion at the Macau Sporting Club and have played most weekends since.
What do you like about Betfair Poker?
I have found I like playing tournaments online and their are some great tournaments at the weekend, especially Sunday that I really enjoy playing.
How much live poker do you play?
I usually play two or three nights a week but live I generally prefer playing cash games.
How did you find the Tournament today?
I actually thought the play was quite soft with too many players playing too loose. If I had actually got some decent cards I would have fancied doing really well but that obviously wasn't meant to be as I only lasted just over four hours.
What did you make of the Betfair hospitality?
The entertainment was fantastic and the free bar was much appreciated and visited regularly. The food was outstanding, truely a feast fit for a king. The staff were really friendly and helpful and throughout the day I genuinely felt like a VIP!
I see you have an impressive moustache, is that for Movember?
Yes it is but I have cheated slightly, normally I have a full beard so i just shaved off my beard and left the tash for Movember.
Will you be trying to qualify for future Betfair Live events?
I most certainly will, I noticed in Cork you have a lot of Scandanavian players who attend your live events and they are great fun and make for some lively cash games on the side.