If the World Series of Poker is going to go global, the atmosphere that makes the WSOP such a special event must be transported to each and every event that bears the WSOP logo. That’s turning out to be the case thanks to a series of after hour’s events that are making the WSOPE THE place to party in London this month. Last week the WSOPE kicked off with the Betfair sponsored cocktail party.
Held at the Empire (the main venue for the WSOPE) the night saw player, fan, amateur and professional gather for an unlimited sampling of the European casino high life. The very Vegas-esque Empire Casino layed a spread that was reminiscent of a high-rollers buffet in the presidential suite. But even more enticing for the hundreds of party goers was the limitless bar that seemed intent on making sure that no glass went empty. With big players including Jennifer Harmon, Devilfish, Howard Lederer and Phil Gordon in attendance, the European poker community enjoyed a truly global gathering of the best in the sport.
Tonight, Doyle Brunson is having his party, with invitations hand delivered to a spattering of lucky players and fans. The event is in celebration of DoylesRoom.com, Doyle's online poker site, but far from the "come one come all" atmosphere of Doyle’s Room, this party is held in the ultra-exclusive Century Club in central London. Typically a member's only affair, tonight's bash opens the capacious third floor of the club up to anyone with an invite and preparedness to have a good time. Doyle, Todd and Jan Brunson are all here, hosting the night, while the Doyle's girls (twenty of the most beautiful women you'll find in any country) work the room and make sure everybody feels like a VIP.
I look across the room now and I see every journalist in European poker trying to get Doyle's ear. I see player after player being looked after by the Doyle's girls, I see food, I see drink, and I see people who probably should be home licking their wounds after busting out of Day 2a of the main event laughing and having a good time with the Godfather of Poker.
Many people wonder what makes the WSOP so special, and I think, as I sip my champagne, that the WSOP is made special by the class that it brings to poker; by the spirit in instills in poker enthusiasts to play at the top of their game, while helping them remember that poker is meant to be fun. If you're wondering if the WSOPE is a real WSOP Bracelet event - well, lets say that if you were here right now, seeing what I'm seeing, you would know that everyone is taking the London event just as seriously as the Vegas event. For those that have never seen the spectacle that is the WSOP Las Vegas, come to London, close your eyes, and you'll swear that you could smell the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet from the Rio - right here in England's capital.