Sports Stars Challenge begins Sunday

Empire Casino, London

Another PartyPoker special tournament kicks off Sunday as sports stars from soccer, cricket, snooker, rugby darts and more take to the poker felt in London for the Sports Stars Challenge.

Playing from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20, the third annual PartyPoker Sports Stars Challenge will bring 36 players to the 3 Mills Studio in London to play in poker heats. The winners of each heat will move on to the final table and a shot at thousands of British pounds in cash.

The soccer heat will feature seasoned poker players Teddy Sheringham and Tony Cascarino as well as Norman Whiteside, Steve Sedgely, John Adridge and Lee Sharpe.

Representing the cricketers at the felt will be Mark Ramprakash among others, and the snooker players' heat will see the likes of Steve Davis, Willie Thorne and Mark Wiliams.


Darts stars trying to become the ultimate sports star at the poker table will include Phil "The Power" Taylor, Michael Van Gerwen and Peter "One Dart" Manley.

The rugby players will include Matt Dawson, Jamie Peacock and Robbie Paul. There will also be some sports presenters showing off their poker muscle in the event. Andy Goldstein, Chris Kamara, Alan McInally, and Agnieszka Rylik will all take part.

Each player will sit down with £1,000, and each heat winner will get £6,000. Then they'll head to the final table where first place will receive £20,000, second will get £10,000 and third will win £5,000.

New this year, PartyPoker is also hosting a stand-along soccer fans tournament made of six players who qualified online through special tournaments.

"We are expecting the standard of play to be very high. Many of the sports stars are good enough to play on the professional circuit," said a PartyPoker spokesman. "The strongest contenders look like the snooker players and footballers but on their day there are so many players capable of taking this title down."

Coverage of the event will be exclusively produced by Matchroom Sport and will be aired in the United Kingdom later this year on Sky Sports and distributed internationally.

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