PartyPoker Premier League Lineup Set

J.C. Tran
J.C. Tran's title defense begins today.

The playoffs are over, the lineup is set and the PartyPoker Premier League IV gets underway in Las Vegas today.

Along with 2009 champion J.C. Tran, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Vanessa Rousso, Roland de Wolfe, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Phil Laak, David Benyamine, Luke "FullFlush" Schwartz and Tony G, the roster now includes Team Party pro Ian Frazer.

Frazer secured his place in the Main Event through a six-handed playoff Thursday that included fellow Team Party members Bodo Sbrzesny, Remy Biechel, Felipe "Mojave" Ramos, Poker Hall of Fame inductee Mike Sexton and special guest player Dragon Galic.

"I came, I fought, I conquered," said Frazer. "I've really got a feeling I can win this and I am so delighted that I have made it into the Main Event."

Also securing his place in the $100,000 Main Event this week through a playoff with a group of fellow online qualifiers was 44-year-old Giovanni Safina, a civil lawyer from Palermo, Sicily.

Safini qualified for a spot in the playoff in a €100 satellite on PartyPoker.

"This is the very first time I have been to Las Vegas," said Giovanni. "Poker is purely a hobby for me though I have won €25,000 online before. To reach the Premier League was always my goal and I am incredibly happy. 

"I am a huge poker fan and have seen all the players I will be competing against on television. It is going to be so emotional sitting down with them for the first time but I will keep myself in check."

The first heat of the Premier League takes place at the M Resort in Las Vegas today (Friday) with Frazer playing against Tran, Negreanu, Schwartz, Timoshenko, De Wolfe, Laak and Rousso.

The league features 12 preliminary single-table matches with each player competing in six.

Players accumulate points based on where they finish in each heat and the top four players advance to the final.

The next four players play heads-up matches for the last two spots in the final where starting stacks are determined by the number of points earned in the preliminary round.

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