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WSOP.com Qualifier Earns TOC Spot
The final sponsor-exemption spot for the 2010 WSOP Tournament of Champions has been claimed by a British qualifier.
Andrew Barton from Dudley, England won the spot, which was up for grabs in a tournament qualifier on WSOP.com, the WSOP's UK-only online poker site.
Barton will be the only non-pro in the 27-player TOC, set to begin June 27.
The 33-year-old mail driver is the seventh player to qualify for the TOC, taking one of two sponsor-exemption spots in the event.
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier won the other sponsor-exempt spot with his victory in the WSOP Academy tournament qualifier, while Joe Cada, Barry Shulman, Mike Matusow, Mike Sexton and Annie Duke are all automatic qualifiers for the event.
The other 20 spots are chosen from a group of 50 of poker greatest players by fan vote on WSOP.com, meaning Barton will be amongst legendary competition in one of the most watched events on the WSOP 2010 calendar.
"Regardless of the outcome I'm going to enjoy every moment of my time out there," said Barton. "I feel like a winner already."
"This is such a great opportunity for me, once in a lifetime. June 27th is a new game, so I will treat it like I do any other game I play."
A first-place prize of $500,000 is on the line, and Barton has a shot at international fame as well, with ESPN set to air the tournament in its television coverage for the 2010 WSOP.
A final field should be determined soon, as the deadline for fan voting on the TOC ends at midnight Tuesday.
Barton, who earns an all-expenses paid trip to the Rio in Las Vegas, is no stranger to the online qualifier. He earned a trip to the Aussie Millions in 2008, making in to Day 2 in his first live event.