European Open begins next run Friday

Nick Slade
Nick Slade had the best hand last year, but who will be the European Open V champ?

A week of poker action is about to kick off in London with the start of the PartyPoker European Open V on Friday.

The 72-person field for the event will be star-studded, with some of Europe's best players plunking down $7,000 to take a shot at a $200,000 first-place prize.

Among the players hoping for a piece of the $504,000 prize pool are Surinder Sunar, Barney Boatman, Padraig Parkinson, Julian Thew, Marc Goodwin, Thomas Bihl and more.

The European Open V is a televised tournament that is organized in 12 six-seat heats, with the top point getters from the heats moving on to the semifinals.

There are also two six-seat turbo runner-up heats to get players into the semifinals.

Two seven-seat semifinals will play out, with the top three finishers in each of the semifinals taking their chip stacks to the six-seat final table.

Last year Nick Slade, a pro player from Preston, Lancashire, in the United Kingdom, worked his way up through the European Open structure to land himself in the winner's seat.

The final table last year included Obrestad, Helppi, Ian Frazer, Josh Tyler and Craig Burgess, along with Slade. Slade and Burgess, an Internet sports trader, were considered the outsiders at the final table, according to PartyPoker, but in the end they were left to battle heads-up for the title.

Slade went into heads-up play with a dominating chip lead over Burgess, and he turned that into a win.

Now the battle to find a new champion will begin on Friday, with action lasting until Feb. 13.

The event will be taped for broadcast on Five in the United Kingdom and then later distributed internationally.


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