Unibet Open returns to London this week with a five-day festival February 22-26 at The Poker Room, above the iconic Grosvenor Victoria Casino in Edgware Road. The Unibet Open is a can’t-miss poker series attracting players of all kinds, from recreational amateurs to live and online pros.
Unibet Open London is the first festival of 2017 and the tour will be celebrating the start of its 10th season in style. Unibet is expecting this year’s Unibet Open London to be a huge success. This is Unibet’s sixth visit to the UK capital and the schedule features 11 different tournaments. As well as the £900 + £90 Main Event, there’s also a two-day £2,020 High Roller and several other side events including a £165 Turbo Bounty tournament, £110 NLH Freezeout and £330 Unibet Open Deepstack. There are also four £100 live satellites taking place starting Feb. 20.
The field will include around 200 players that have already qualified online for the Main Event. They won full prize packages worth €2,000 which includes their Main Event buy-in, hotel accommodation for four nights and €250 toward travel expenses. For a look behind the scenes, check out this short documentary, featuring interviews with players and event organizers, shot during the record-breaking Unibet Open Bucharest in December.
Fireworks could fly during the London Main Event with both British solicitor Will Kassouf and Canadian poker pro Griffin Benger set to attend. The pair were involved in a furious confrontation during the World Series of Poker Main Event last summer when Kassouf needled Benger for several minutes while the Canadian was deciding what action to take. The angry conflict became a standout moment of the series and footage of the hand, dubbed “check your privilege,” has attracted millions of views on YouTube.
Other big names competing are Swedish high-stakes online legend Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and a host of Unibet ambassadors: British pro Ian Simpson (the 2013 Irish Open winner and UKIPT London runner-up), Dara O’Kearney and David Lappin from Ireland, Twitch streamers David Vanderheyden and Charlotte van Brabander from Belgium and Espen Uhlen Jorsad from Norway. Also taking part are two-time Unibet Open winner Dan Murariu and Unibet Open Bucharest champion Traian Bostan, both from Romania. Bostan won a Pokerfest.ro Last Longer in Bucharest awarding him a prize package for London.
Viktor Blom Joins Battle Royale Action
Coming Feb. 22, the day before Day 1a of the Main Event, Unibet will be bringing together its roster of star eSport gamers and Unibet Ambassadors for a special “Battle Royale.” All nine members of each group will compete against each other to find the “Best Unibet eSport poker player” and the “Best Unibet Ambassador.” The eSport Battle starts at 1 p.m. local time, followed by the ambassadors contest at approximately 7 p.m. Swedish high-stakes online legend Blom will be taking part in both.
Both tournaments are £10,000 freerolls with the prize pool split £5,000, £3,000 and £2,000 for the top three in each. Battling on the eSport table willbe Blom, Alan “hotted” Widmann, Sebastian “Forsen” Fors, Thijs “ThijsNL” Molendijk, Craig “onscreen” Shannon, Scott “Sco” McMillan, Sophia “djarii” White, Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey and James “JZFB” Bardolph.
Unibet Open London live stream
Unibet London will have a live stream running on Twitch throughout the five-day festival. Commentators Marc Convey and David Vanderheyden will be following the action on the feature table, chatting to special guests in the booth and running competitions and promotions.
Off the felt, there will be plenty of opportunities for players to have fun. Enjoy welcome drinks Feb. 23 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the fabulous canal-side Grand Union Bar Paddington, just a stone’s throw from The Poker Room. The eagerly-awaited Unibet Players Party is Feb. 25 from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. at The Loop Bar in Mayfair, one of London’s most exciting party venues.
“We’re thrilled to be returning to London this month with a very exciting festival planned at The Poker Room,” Nataly Sopacuaperu, Unibet Open’s head of events and sponsorship, said. “We look forward to welcoming hundreds of players to the UK capital. Unibet London is a great opportunity for our players to experience high quality poker in a fantastic tourist location with plenty of culture.”
Unibet Open London History
Last year there were 418 entries with British pro David Shallow taking it down for £62,000. There were 55 players in all who got a share of the £313,500 prize pool. The Main Event victory marked Shallow’s third biggest win; he also won the World Poker Tour Dublin Main Event for €222,280 in 2012 and the UKIPT Nottingham High Roller in 2014 for £68,000. Among others who cashed were French poker pro Nicolas Cardyn, who was third, ex-Irish football international Tony Cascarino and Adrien Allain.
* Please note that although the Unibet Open has been running since 2007, there were no London events the first two years or in 2011 and 2015.
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