I've Got A New Best Friend: The Story Of The Swede, The Freak 250/1 Bet and Jon Kalmar Making The Final Table Of The 2007 WSOP Main Event

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The recent story of how Jon Kalmar, a 34-year old poker pro from Chorley in the UK made the final table of the 2007 WSOP Main Event is a poker fairytale in itself. Jon went to Vegas with a bankroll of $15,000 before getting down to his last $2,000 and qualifying in a satellite. He had been on a terrible run for a long time but ended up as the only UK representative making it to the climax of poker's showpiece and won $1,255,000 for finishing in fifth place. What was not known, until now, however, is that someone had bet on him to make that far - winning $25,000 from http://www.PartyBets.com after placing a bet of $100 at 250/1 that he would make the final table.

This is amazing. I still cannot believe that someone from a different country was willing to put $100 on me to make it that far. It feels great.

The recent story of how Jon Kalmar, a 34-year old poker pro from Chorley in the UK made the final table of the 2007 WSOP Main Event is a poker fairytale in itself. Jon went to Vegas with a bankroll of $15,000 before getting down to his last $2,000 and qualifying in a satellite. He had been on a terrible run for a long time but ended up as the only UK representative making it to the climax of poker's showpiece and won $1,255,000 for finishing in fifth place. What was not known, until now, however, is that someone had bet on him to make that far - winning $25,000 from http://www.PartyBets.com after placing a bet of $100 at 250/1 that he would make the final table.

The mystery bettor was a 22-year old poker pro from Skane in Southern Sweden, who doesn't even know Jon Kalmar personally, doesn't bet on sports frequently and wasn't in Vegas at the time! He wishes to remain anonymous.

"I read in a poker forum that PartyBets.com was offering odds on making the final table at the main event and that some Swedish players were over 150/1. I decided to have a look but ended up backing John Magill, who made the final table last year, and Jon Kalmar. I recognised both from being great multi table tournament players online and had $100 on each of them. I never even saw Kalmar in the chip counts until day four or five when he was in the top five. Up until that I had only been able to find Magill, who had a good start but went out before the money. I count myself as having been really lucky a lot of times but this must be number one! I don't even bet that much at all."

He continued. "I have never met Jon but I will buy him a drink! Judging from the blogs I read during the WSOP he seems to like beer so it might be a hefty bill but I guess I can afford it thanks to him!"

When told of this bet Jon said: "This is amazing. I still cannot believe that someone from a different country was willing to put $100 on me to make it that far. It feels great."

Jon known as "Skalie" to most had been a poker pro for two and a half years. "I was struggling and had lost a lot of confidence. I went to Vegas with $15,000 and was down to my last $2,000. Once I qualified for the Main Event I sold 10% of myself so I could play in another satellite and win some money to pay for a flight for my wife, so she could come out to Vegas and join me. I didn't succeed and then I promptly sold another 10% to pay for my expenses out there."

Jon finished fifth and won $1,255,000 and PartyBets.com has put Jon and his mystery 250/1 Swedish fan in touch with each other. They intend to meet up at the WSOP Europe.

A PartyBets.com spokesman said: "It has taken us a bit of time to put them in touch with each other but it really was a freak bet. With the sportsbook being a new product and the company being known for PartyPoker it made sense to put odds up on players reaching the final table. However, when you cannot name all the runners before the event starts you think you are pretty safe from having to make a significant payout! Jon Kalmar was 250/1 but arguably in a field where there are more named runners in the betting he could have been a much bigger price!"

"You cannot hide from the fact that this was a fantastic bet and we couldn't believe it when we realized. There are not many people who see 250/1 chances deliver their dough."

PartyBets.com is a popular member of PartyGaming Plc's growing suite of online games that includes PartyPoker.com, PartyCasino.com, PartyBingo.com, PartyGammon.com, Gamebookers.com and EmpirePoker.com.

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WARREN LUSH