Brits Breaking Through at 2010 WSOP

Liv Boeree
'You're going to be seeing more and more of us.'

A British invasion has hit in the first week of the WSOP, with plenty of UK success stories to go around.

Praz Bansi of the London-based Hit Squad added to his resume Wednesday with a win in the $1.5k No-Limit event, giving the 32-year-old his second career WSOP bracelet.

Bansi's bracelet win is just one in a recent wave of British breakthroughs.

Bansi and his fellow Hit Squad member James Akenhead have each emerged in the past year, with both Bansi and Akenhead making the final table at the WSOPE Main Event in 2009. Akenhead was also one of the 2009 November Nine in the WSOP Main Event.

The UK's Neil Channing was one of three British players occupying the six final-table spots Thursday in the $5k Shootout, with the British pro eventually taking second place for $273,153 after coming up just short of his first WSOP bracelet.

"It's not like it's coming from nowhere," Channing said of the British success. "We had a good year last year."

The winner of the $5k Shootout, American Josh Tieman, felt the British influence at the final table.

"I did notice some accents out there," Tieman said after the win. "I know two or three guys were British. I wasn't really expecting that."

Perhaps no British player is making more of a splash in the media than Liv Boeree, who took down her first major title with a win at the EPT San Remo for $1.6 million in April.

Boeree's explanation for the UK's recent success is simple.

"Because we rock!" said a smiling Boeree who was on break from the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em event. "I think the Brits have been working really hard."

"Praz is an amazing player. We've got a really good stable of players from the UK. I can't put my finger on exactly why, but there are good players."

"You're going to be seeing more and more of us."

Last year John Kabbaj, JP Kelly and Roland de Wolfe all won bracelets and Boeree predicted that her country would at least match that number in 2009. With one bracelet already secured the British will have 40 days of poker to try and break last year's record by adding three more.

The 2010 WSOP continues through July 17. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas tune in to PokerListings' Live Updates and News.

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