GBPT Grand Final tournaments began today

Roland De Wolfe
Roland de Wolfe to ante up for GBPT Grand Final main event.

The Grand Final of the Great British Poker Tour began today with a £300+£30 No-Limit Hold'em Freeze-Out. The tournament caps off an inaugural season for the tour that hosted tournaments in Edinburgh, Teesside, Nottingham, Bournemouth and Leeds.

Now the tour stops at the Gala Casino Harbourside in Bristol where two preliminary events will lead into a four-day main event to crown a 2007 Great British Poker Champion.

The first event started at 5 p.m. U.K. time today and has an expected prize pool of £42,000. The winner of this one-day event will take home a cash prize plus a bonus seat in the £1,000+£50 event that begins Tuesday.

The £1,000+£50 No-Limit Hold'em Freeze-Out event is a two-day event with an estimated prize pool of £140,000. The winner will earn a seat in the main event as well as a chunk of the prize pool. The runner-up will also get a bonus prize of a £500+£50 main event buy-in to a 2008 GBPT festival of their choice.

The Grand Final main event begins Thursday and is scheduled for four days of play, including two Day 1's. With a £2,500+£50 buy-in, officials are expecting the event to amass a £500,000 prize pool.

On top of a piece of the prize pool, the top five players in the tournament will also get bonus prizes.

First place will get a bonus package to the Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas taking place in December. Second place will earn a prize package to the Aussie Millions in Melbourne, Australia, taking place in January.

Third place will receive a package to go to a European Poker Tour event in 2008, and both fourth and fifth place will get a £500+£50 main event buy-in to a 2008 GBPT festival of their choice.

Several professional poker players from the U.K. recently announced their intentions to enter the Grand Final main event and battle for those prizes. Joe Beevers have all said they'll be playing.

They'll be working to help keep the Great British Poker Champion title in the nation, because American players Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari, Jennifer Tilly, Robert Williamson III and Jamie Gold have all said they'd be crossing the pond to play in the main event as well.

"So far in the GBPT we've seen some really high standard of poker from local amateurs holding their own against the U.K. and European pro players, so it'll be a fascinating contest to see what drama will unfold with these star names of world poker in the frame," said Thomas Kremser, GBPT tournament director.

"For any aspiring poker players, it simply doesn't get any better than this."

For more information about the events, visit GBPokerTour.com.

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