The direct flight back to Gatwick from Vegas might not have any WSOP gold to get through customs, but two of the UKs most popular players are coming home showered in glory. The World Series of Poker is not the only major poker festival in Vegas during the summer, and the Bellagio, Golden Nugget, Venetian, Caesars Palace and many more casinos all host their own marathon poker series during the summer.
Caesars Palace was home to the Mega Stack Series, a number of mid stakes tournaments with slow clocks and deep stacks, alongside the WSOP. The $1000 no limit hold'em main event was won by non other than Kevin 'Lovejoy' O'Leary from the UK. Lovejoy (As he is known for being a one time antiques dealer) topped the year off in 2007 by winning the GUKPT heads up championship and this time round is coming home with $272,378 and the Mega Stack trophy.
Not to be outdone, his good friend and one of the hottest players in the UK, Julian 'YoYo' Thew, has just won the main event of the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza. The double GUKPT and EPT champion has added to his bulging trophy cabinet with a win in the $5000 main event, electing to take a chop for around $180,000 and moving him up to 9th in the all time England money rankings.
This is a great result for the UK after such a lukewarm World Series of Poker, especially because both main events were deep stack and therefore, very skillful affairs. This also could not have happened to two more popular players on the UK circuit, who are both celebrated as being two of the true 'nice guys' of the game. Here is hoping that Lovejoy and YoYo can revitalise UK player's hopes in the WSOP and lead the charge in the WSOPE which starts this September in London.