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Online Poker News Archives - December 3, 2005

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Copyright 2005 GMG Regional Digital.

December 3, 2005

Mark Williams crowned Betfred poker champ!

Last night saw eight competition winners sit down with two snooker world champions, Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams, to battle it out in a game of Texas Hold’Em poker – the hottest game around.

Betfred, in conjunction with the Manchester Evening News, ran a competition inviting budding poker players to win a seat at a table with two of the most famous snooker players in the world. Fred Done, chairman and founder of Betfred, further cemented his reputation as the Bonus King by offering up a prize fund of $10,000.

Both Hendry and Williams are regulars on the poker circuit these days, with Stephen recently taking part in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and Mark holding his own in European Poker Tour events.

The competition was open to all-comers, which meant there were some experienced players and a couple of virtual novices. Most players had tried their hand online but had yet to experience the cut and thrust of a card room. With a couple of the local players being slightly unsure of the rules, there was a need for a few quick practice hands just to bring everyone up to speed.

Held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, the scene was set for the 10 participants to battle into the evening. With the drinks flowing and the buffet due to be delivered after an hours play, everyone was understandably cagey. Chip stacks rose and fell, but none of the entries round the table looked like parting with their chips.


Everyone at the table was eligible to win money, so the snooker pro’s were as cagey as the rest to begin with.

However, once the food was out of the way and everyone was still in their seats, the game opened up and we had our first few fallers. Even our 10th place finisher, Daniel from Manchester, walked away with $230 for his evenings work.

Poker novice Victoria was next to fall, as Hendry looked to bully his way to winning first prize. Any sign of a flinch or hesitation and he was in – raising big and taking the pots.

After a few more competition winners had floundered, it was left to Ted from Cheshire to take on Stephen, Mark, and Viv. After almost going out very early on, Ted took on one pot too many and finished in fourth place with a pot of almost $1000.

With two Welsh Dragons, Mark and Viv, up against the Scottish wiz kid Hendry, there was bound to be a bit of niggle.

And so it happened. Stephen held the best cards, got caught by the turn and was out to a straight. An unlucky finish for a very strong player. Williams sensed victory and, with the blinds getting to seriously high-levels, pushed his opponent all-in.

With the clock ticking over to 1am, Viv must have thought he should take a chance and made the call. The cards were turned and Williams was victorious, taking away first prize of $3,400.

Congratulations should go to all ten players for a fantastically well played game. Clearly the Manchester Evening News reading community have some very strong poker players within its depths.

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