17 January 2005
PokerStars, the second largest poker site in the world, hosted the very first PokerStars 'Pro-Gamer Challenge' on Thursday 13 January 2005, where nine of the best British and foreign professional gamers were invited to take part in a single table satellite poker tournament on PokerStars.com.
Professional gamers from Britain, Korea, Sweden and the US put their skills to the test in a live game of No Limit Texas Hold'em, with the winner receiving free entry and hotel accommodation to the 2000 euro tournament at the European Poker Tour (EPT) event in Deauville, France, 15-19th February.
Each player, well known within their dedicated field, was chosen based on their achievements in the gaming world and their passion for poker.
The four British contestants were invited to the HarrowLife Internet Café in Harrow where a private area was exclusively set up for the tournament.
The final battle came down to a four player shoot-out between Yorkshire's 'Mangiacapra' (Marc Mangiacapra), the experienced ElkY (Bertrand Grospellier) a French pro-gamer based in South Korea, Tillerman (playing from Glasgow) and Tobes (Toby Aldridge), manager of the Four Kings pro-gamer team.
All were about even on chips when ElkY picked up a pair of aces and successfully eliminated two players - Tobes and Tillerman - in one hand, leaving him with a towering chip lead over Mangiacapra, the last remaining player.
The tournament came to a rapid conclusion when ElkY's pair of tens was too strong for Mangiacapra, and the Frenchman - suitably enough - won his seat to Deauville EPT event (televised on Eurosport) in France next month.
"Poker is a natural progression for online gamers. It's a game of strategy, where players need to outsmart each other, think ahead and plan certain traps, and these are all skills that pro-gamers have developed through their gaming career," says professional gamer Tobes (Toby Aldridge).
"Being able to put all of their skills to use, and at the same time make a nice living, are good enough reasons for any online gamer to seriously think about taking up poker."
Results: PokerStars Pro-Gamer Challenge
(IN ORDER OF 1st, 2nd, 3rd...etc)
ElkY - Bertrand Grospellier, Korea
Gaming achievements: 2nd World Cyber Games 2002
Professional Starcraft player
Mangiacapra - Marc Mangiacapra, Britain
Gaming achievements: Member of Four Kings - UK's best counter-strike clan
Tobes - Toby Aldridge, Britain
Gaming achievements: 3rd Rapture 99, 5 Nation's Tournament
Barry's World Season 1/2/3 Q3 Champions
4th QuakeCon 2004
Tillerman - Iain Girdwood, Britain
Gaming achievements: War3 Beta Champion
War3 Intel Masters Champion
War3 VGA Champion
War3 UK Terrorist Champion
War3 Warcraft Replays Champion
War3 Campus Party 2003 Champion
War3 Games Fixx USA Champion
War3 WCG UK 2003 Champion
War3 WCG Korea 2003 Silver Medal
BW Broodwar.com: 2nd place
BW PGL: Qualify #1
BW KBK 2: Qualify Top 16
BW KBK 3: Qualify Top 16
Sujoy - Sujoy Roy, Britain
Gaming achievements: #1 Ranked European Quakeworld player
CPL Hall of Fame for Quake 3
Fox - Magnus Olsson, Sweden
Gaming achievements: Three Eurocup titles: 1st at ESWC 2004 (1on1)
1st at CPL Oslo
Best European Quake player
Grrr... - Guillaume 'Giyom' Patry, Korea
Gaming achievements: Most successful western pro-gamer
Zero4 - John Hill, America
Gaming achievements: Nearly everything going in Quake 3 the last couple of years
Most successful non-Starcraft player in terms of winnings in last few years
Lakerman - Oskar Ljungstrom, Sweden
Gaming achievements: World Champion in Quakeworld duel
Quake 3 Nordic champion
2nd place in 3 other major Quake 3-tournaments
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Robin Invest, JCPR 0207 208 7205, email@example.com
Peter O'Shea, JCPR 0207 208 7277, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
PokerStars (www.pokerstars.com), an official member of the World Poker Tour, is the world's most innovative online poker site. PokerStars was the first site to introduce advanced multi-table tournaments, integrated game statistics, players' notes, personalized images, time bank for tournaments and ring big bet games, satellite tournaments, multi-table sit and go tournaments, and much more. PokerStars' support team is truly unique, as help and support is available around the clock from people who know and understand both the game of poker, and the importance of impeccable customer service.
To date, PokerStars has run more than two million poker tournaments and dealt more than 600 million hands. PokerStars utilizes industry-leading security software to ensure the integrity of the system, including encryption, card shuffle randomness and preventative measures against cheating and collusion. PokerStars is the site where the 2003 and 2004 World Champions of Poker won their entries into the World Series of Poker, thus earning the trademark - "Where poker players become World Champions."
European Poker Tour (EPT)
The first season of the EPT, sponsored by PokerStars - host of the world's largest online tournaments, includes poker tour events in London, Deauville, Copenhagen, Vienna and Dublin. The Grand Final event will be held March 15-19, 2005 in the majestic Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco. Prize money is expected to be more than €2 million for the final event alone, with more than €1 million going to the winner.
The EPT will be hitting UK screens for the first time this Friday 14th January following an exclusive deal with Eurosport, the most widely available satellite channel in Europe. The show will be transmitted in 23 European countries and 85 million homes. This is the first time that poker will be broadcast in the UK at peak times, reflecting the significant increase in popularity of the game.
For more information, visit www.europeanpokertour.com.