Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Fifty St James hosts sports stars in charity poker showdown

Sam Torrance OBE and Teddy Sheringham showed their skills outside their respective sports in a charity poker tournament at Fifty St James in London last night.

Sheringham finished just outside the money while Ryder Cup hero Torrance won the 6th place prize of £2,000.

When quizzed by Clare Balding in an interview before the event Torrance claimed poker was not his strong suit and that golf (predictably) was where he made his money betting.

But in a 72-strong field that included the great Willie Tann and Poker Million winner Rajesh Modha, Torrance can be well pleased with his performance.

England rugby star Tom Voyce also fared well, finishing 17th. Clare Balding, competing in her first ever poker event, made a creditable 37th place. Sports TV presenter Natalie Pinkham came 26th.

The Betfair.com Fifty Spring Festival was won by journalist and author Vicky Coren who donated half of the £12,000 winnings to the three charities supported by the event: Moorcroft, The Irish Youth Foundation and Cancer Research.

Coren also took home a trophy to sit alongside her European Poker Tour title that she won in London last year.

Including a charity auction and some generous donations from players more than £25,000 was raised for the three charities.

Notes to editors:

1. Pictures available on request.
2. Seventy-two players each paid £500 to play in the event, of which £200 went to charity. Players were also permitted to re-buy into the event before the dinner break where another £100 would be paid to charity.
3. Dinner was provided by Richard Corrigan.
4. 1st Vicky Coren (£12,000) – 2nd Karim Wilkins (£7,500) – 3rd (John Dwyer (£4,500) – 4th Martin Dwyer (£4,000) – 5th Richard Fronda (£3,000) – 6th Sam Torrance (£2,000).

Monday, 26 March 2007

Betfair sponsors European poker event in London

Betfair is the official sponsor of an exclusive televised poker tournament for the first time in its history.

The Betfair.com Poker Masters of Europe is a 36-player invite-only event with a live audience. It will take place at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith on the 11th-14th May featuring players from around the world.

The tournament will be produced by Emblaze Productions, the same team behind the British Poker Open, Million Dollar Cash Game and the European Poker Masters.

Emblaze has strong relationships with a range of European broadcasters.

“We aim to make this the most important invitational event of the year,” said Betfair’s Head of Poker Ben Fried.

“The Betfair Asian Poker Tour is a fantastic open tournament for our players but this event will be more exclusive. We expect some exciting characters from sport and screen as well as the top poker players; it will make great TV.”

Managing Director of Emblaze Productions James Hopkins said, “For the Betfair.com Poker Masters of Europe we will build on our unrivalled experience for high quality productions to make this the best televised event of the year.”

A series of six heats will feed into a final table where the winner will take home well over $100,000. The majority of players will each buy-in for $7,500 but six players will qualify exclusively online at Betfair Poker.

For further information, please contact:
Oliver Bowen
+44 208 834 8318
+44 7887 525245

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Kauto Star wins million pound Betfair jackpot

16th March 2007

Jump racing’s first million pound bonus has been won in tremendous style by the sport’s new hero, Kauto Star. Winning the Gold Cup at Cheltenham secured not only this prestigious title but a one million pound jackpot for the horse’s connections.

The bonus prize was offered by Betfair, the world’s leading betting exchange, for any horse which could win the Betfair Chase at Haydock, the King George at Kempton and today’s Gold Cup, in a single season.

Owner Clive Smith was celebrating his massive payout at Cheltenham. He said on winning: “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am. This is a very generous offer from Betfair. It is good for racing and it has created interest from outside of the sport.”

Clive Smith has had faith in the horse’s ability from an early stage. He started backing Kauto Star on Betfair for the Gold Cup last year at odds of 139-1 and he continued to back it up until the day at odds as short as 6-4.

Whilst the owner stands to win the bulk of the bonus, this is also an enormous fillip for the other connections of the horse. Trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Ruby Walsh win ten per cent each, whilst the stable staff will see a £50,000 jackpot divided between them.

Betfair’s Managing Director, Corporate Affairs, Mark Davies, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Betfair Million has been won, particularly in such impressive style by such a talented horse. We created what we believed was a challenging yet winnable bonus to bring fresh excitement to the jumps racing season. We hope that we have achieved that and we offer our warmest congratulations to all the connections.”

Notes to editors:

1. The ‘Betfair Million’ series comprised of the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock on 18 November 2006, the King George at Kempton on 26 December 2006 OR the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on 28 December 2006, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup on 16 March 2007.
2. 75 per cent of the winnings will go to the owner at the time of the completion of the treble, with similarly 10 per cent each going to the trainer and jockey, and 5 per cent to the stable staff.
3. Betfair pioneered the concept of 'exchange betting' - a new form of bookmaking that uses internet technology to enable punters to bet at odds set by other punters, rather than a bookmaker. Betfair employs around 1200 people, matches over 5,000,000 bets every day (up to 12,000 every minute), and has over 900,000 registered customers.
4. The company has won several high-profile awards, notably the Ernst and Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002 and the Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2003. Further recognition came in 2004 when Betfair won three awards, including CBI's Growing Business of the Year award, and in 2005 became the only company to retain the latter.


For further information, please contact:
Tony Calvin, Horseracing PR Manager
Tel: 07881 508 999

or Georgina Hard, Press Officer
Tel: 020 8834 8224