EPT London is well and truly under way at the Hilton London Metropole and the Grosvenor Victoria Casino, with Day 1a taking place right now. Last year's Main Event winner was Scotland's David Vamplew and it would be fantastic to see another Brit win the Main Event but also smash up the other 30 events that are running between now and October 6.
Here are five British players who could make a big splash during the PokerStars EPT London Festival:
It is hard to have pity for anyone who has almost $3,000,000 in live tournament winnings when they talk about the bad run they are on but speak to anyone who is fortunate enough to be around James Akenhead and they will all agree he has been on the most horrendous of runs over the past year to 18-months. After winning more than $660,000 in 2008 and almost $1,950,000 in 2009 thanks to making the final table of both the WSOP and WSOPE Main Events, Akenhead has had to endure quite a barren spell (by is standards) and ha snot been getting his fair share of luck in major events.
However, he recently finished fourth in Event #53 of the PokerStars WCOOP for a cool $71,887.50, which will have hopefully given him a renewed confidence so that he can crush some of the events at EPT London, after all he is due a big score.
Another player who has been unfortunate in major tournaments over the past few months is Southport's John Eames. I have personally witnessed him get his chips in good time and time again only to see his opponent's suck out on him but going runner-runner on him or spiking a two or three outer, but he never complains at the table instead he just disappears and registers for another tournament. It really would not come as a surprise if he took down one of the 31 events over the next week or so.
Double WSOP-bracelet winner JP Kelly is a very talented and consistent player who has a fantastic record in London, the place where he won the £1,000 event of the 2009 WSOPE and came runner-up in the same event the following year. Kelly's best finish in any EPT event was a 24th place finish at EPT Barcelona back in 2006 and I really fancy him to go deeper at this festival, especially after his tremendous run in the WSOP Main Event this summer where he finished 26th for $302,005 the biggest score of his career so far.
Nobody has ever won two EPT Main Events so it would be amazing if David Vamplew could become the first player to do just that, especially as he won the EPT London Main Event last year. Since his £900,000 victory Vamplew has become a regular on the tournament circuit and has notched up final table appearances at WPT Venice, the WSOP and he recently won a €1,000 side event at EPT Tallinn. Can he conjure up some magic and take down back-to-back EPT London Main Events?
Chris Moorman is the name that is synonymous with destroying online poker tournaments but the Brighton-based pro is still seeking his first major live title, and what better place to do it than in the UK. Moorman has come close to that elusive first title already in 2011, finishing 7th at the Aussie Millions Main Event, and finishing third and second in two WSOP events, the latter netting him a career-best $716,282.
There are obviously dozens of brilliant British players participating at the EPT London Festival but these are the first five off the top of my head, and five that I think should perform between now and October 6. There is no disrespect intended to any players who I missed out, nor do I accept any responsibility for bokking those mentioned, though I would happily take a 1% of any Main Event score for the run-good these pages may produce!