Doh! Flanders Sends Daughter and Donkey to Defend PartyPoker World Open Title; Field is Strongest in Tournament's History

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The PartyPoker World Open at the Three Mills Studios, London gets underway on April 27th and features the strongest field in the history of the tournament. The televised tournament is sold out and features 72 players with a $7,000 buy-in and a total prize pool in excess of $500,000. The expected payout for the winner is $200,000. The event is produced by Matchroom Sport and will be broadcast on Five in the UK later this year and distributed worldwide.

Last year too many pros threatened Eemore with physical harm. We will not tolerate such behaviour this time around.

The PartyPoker World Open at the Three Mills Studios, London gets underway on April 27th and features the strongest field in the history of the tournament. The televised tournament is sold out and features 72 players with a $7,000 buy-in and a total prize pool in excess of $500,000. The expected payout for the winner is $200,000. The event is produced by Matchroom Sport and will be broadcast on Five in the UK later this year and distributed worldwide.

The field is packed with highly respected names. PartyPoker Premier League Poker stars Liz Lieu, Juha Helppi, Roland De Wolfe, Tony G, Vicky Coren, Dave "The Devilfish" Ulliott and Ian Frazer take their places in the field. In addition, for the very first time in the tournament's history, all four members of the UK's most successful poker playing team the Hendon Mob take to the felt. Ram Vaswani, Joe Beevers and brothers Barny and Ross Boatman will all be under the spotlight and fancied to do well on their debuts. Others to look out for include John Magill (12th WSOP Main Event 2006), recent Irish Open winner Marty Smyth, 2006 PartyPoker European Open champion Liam Flood, Don Fagan, Thomas Wahlroos, Roy Brindley and Roberto Romanello.

Last year's winner was Pippa Flanders, a well respected pro from Preston, UK, but the rise in her fortunes in the last year and the $200,000 she scooped from the World Open in 2006 mean that she inadvertently booked an expensive cruise on the QE2 later this month so she is unable to defend her title. Pippa and her husband, fellow pro Tim Flanders, have a plan, however, and are entering their 23-year-old daughter Charlotte instead.

Pippa caused quite a stir in last year's competition and is always accompanied at the table by her cuddly stuffed toy donkey, Eemore. The donkey came under attack from fellow pros in 2006, especially after Flanders continually uttered the favourite word in her vocabulary, "re-raise." Eemore is back this year as Charlotte's lucky charm. A defiant Pippa said: "If anybody touches my daughter's ass there will be trouble."

Eemore the donkey is not lame and has serious form. The same can be said about Charlotte who won a recent televised tournament and took Eemore along for the ride. Charlotte is a law student in Manchester looking for a pupilage from a barrister and as a pupil of the Flanders school of poker she is top of the class.

A PartyPoker spokesman said: "The field is the strongest in the tournament's history and we're very pleased. It's a shame that Pippa Flanders isn't back to defend her crown but Charlotte and the lucky donkey are sure to defend the title valiantly and fair well in such prestigious company."

The spokesman added: "Last year too many pros threatened Eemore with physical harm. We will not tolerate such behaviour this time around."

The tournament starts on the 27th April with a celebrity table (details to be confirmed). The semi-finals start on May 3rd with the final on the evening of May 4th.

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