Defending Champ Bord Says Europe Better than US

James Bord
“This is a good time for us to establish the World Series of Poker in Europe and to do that we need homegrown winners.”

Defending WSOPE champion James Bord says that a European is going to win this year’s main event, and he’s willing to put his money where his mouth is.

In what amounts to a marketing promotion on, Bord has pledged to refund any losing bets made on the WSOPE through the site, up to $500 each, should an American win the main event.

When asked about the specific reasons he believes Euros now have the edge, Bord’s answer was simple: “We have Sam Trickett.”

Unfortunately for Bord, Trickett was eliminated from Day 1B of the main event shortly after returning from dinner.

“But seriously, I’d like to think in this environment we’re a favorite,” Bord went on to tell in Cannes.

“This is a good time for us to establish the World Series of Poker in Europe and to do that we need homegrown winners,” he added.

With six events complete at the 2011 WSOP Europe, North Americans have notched four victories. Europe’s only bracelet was won by Swiss amateur Guillaume Humbert. The sixth bracelet went to Australia for Andrew Hinrichsen’s win in Event 2.

But while Europeans have struggled to post results, there’s no doubt that the WSOPE means more to European poker players than it does for those from across the pond.

“World Series of Poker Europe is special to Europeans, maybe the same way that the WSOP in Las Vegas is special to Americans,” said Bord.

“We’d like to build this event into what we all know it can be because poker’s massive in Europe,”

In the four years since the WSOPE’s creation, Americans and Europeans have tied at two main event wins apiece.

Norway’s Annette Obrestad won in 2007, while Bord took it down one year ago. 2008 and 2009 were won by John Juanda and Barry Shulman, respectively.

Bord earned nearly $1.3 million when he defeated 346 players in last year’s main event. And with numbers up 71 per cent over 2010, this year’s champion can expect an even bigger payday.

Follow all the action from Cannes on's 2011 WSOP Europe Main Event Live Coverage page.

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