For armchairs viewers of UK poker, a treat is in store tonight on Sky Sports 2 at 10pm. The "semi-final" of the William Hill Poker Grand Prix is being broadcast for the first time and this table sports a line-up fit to grace any poker final. All of these players came second in their respective heats, so will be pleased to have another crack at making the Grand Final, being broadcast next Tuesday 14th March.
The line-up for tonight's showing is, in heat order:
"Burnley" John Falconer - Runner-up in Heat 1 to Phil "Unabomber" Laak. Falconer is a veteran UK stalwart and winner of the Irish Open 2005.
Roy "The Boy" Brindley - Runner-up in Heat 2 to Pascal "Triple P" Perrault. Brindley has been a consistent tournament finalist throughout Europe during the last five years.
Peter "The Poet" Costa - Runner-up in Heat 3 to Liam Flood. Costa is one of the poker greats who proves his worth wherever he goes. Aussie Millions Champion in 2003.
Iwan Jones - Runner-up in Heat 4 to Ram "Crazy Horse" Vaswani. Welshman Jones is a solid performer and winner of the London Poker Open last August, fighting off the final table challenges of Chip and Karina Jett, Ken Lennaard, Marcel Luske and Willie Tann (who he plays again tonight).
"Gentleman" Ben Roberts - Runner-up in Heat 5 to Ken Lennaard. Roberts is another globally-respected UK player who finished 6th in the WSOP Main Event in 1998 behind Scotty Nguyen, and has a host of final table finishes at major tournaments, most recently the runner-up at the Fourth Annual Five Diamond Classic in Las Vegas.
Barny Boatman - Runner-up in Heat 6 to Greg "Junior" Hill. Boatman is a Hendon Mob member and regular on the original Late Night Poker series. Consistent performer whose most recent success was 4th place at the Boylepoker.com Irish Poker Championships in January 2006.
Willie Tann - Runner-up in Heat 7. Tann is another great UK veteran, and winner of a WSOP bracelet in 2005 at the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event.
Whatever the outcome, a superb display of the best bits of this poker table should make great viewing on the TV. The production of the William Hill Grand Prix as been excellent and the table banter an education, in addition to the display of top poker by some of the best in Europe and beyond.
Don't forget - 10pm tonight, Sky Sports 2.
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