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Kelly hunts cross-Atlantic double at WSOPE
The final table of the 2009 World Series of Poker Europe's first event was set after a 12-hour day of poker in London Sunday.
When play resumes 12-hours later in the £1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event inside the Casino at the Empire in Leicester Square Monday, Fabien Dunlop, a French cash-game pro that recently made the move to the British capital, will come in with a healthy chip lead.
"I'm very excited and probably won't sleep tonight," the Winamax-sponsored player told PokerListings.
"I am feeling confident. Not only because of my chip stack, but because most of the players I was afraid of have busted already."
The one player Dunlop should fear most in the final nine is Britain's own J.P. Kelly, who held the chip lead after Day 1.
He will come into the final third in chips with a chance to become just the second player to win WSOP bracelets on both sides of the Atlantic in the same year.
Jesper Hougaard turned that trick here in London last year.
"It's definitely a goal," said Kelly, who won the WSOP's $1,500 Pot Limit Hold'em event this summer.
Outside of Dane Thor Drexel, who made ninth at the English Poker Open in nearby Nottingham just a few days ago, French Winamax pro Anthony Roux, who made fifth in a $2k No-Limit Hold'em event at the 2009 WSOP, and the relatively unknown Adnan Alshamah from Syria, the rest of the final table is all English.
The group includes William Martin, with close to $200k in career earnings, James Tomlin, who has one small Dusk to Dawn cash on his resume, Neil Suarez, who made a final table on the GUKPT in 2008 and Richard Allen, who just recently began playing tournaments.
No Englishman has ever won a World Series of Poker Europe event and although this group is clearly not the most experienced, Kelly believes the Brits' time will soon come.
"I think the top players are getting better here," he said. "There are a lot of players that have really stepped up in the last couple of years. We're playing more tournaments with better players and you sort of have to improve or you're not going to win."
The final nine will begin playing for the £136,803 first-place prize at 2 p.m. BST Monday and PokerListings will have comprehensive coverage on our Live Tournaments page.