World Cup of Poker: the British are coming!
Team Ireland landed in the finals of the World Cup of Poker IV, England did it the year before, and Scotland did it the year before that. 2009, however will see these nations gathered together under the banner of Team United Kingdom as they go for the gold in the Bahamas.
Under World Cup of Poker regulations, Team U.K. received an automatic berth in the finals and will be represented by Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren, two freeroll qualifiers, one TLB leader, and one magical mystery player whom as of press time, is still to be determined.
To those of you who follow the tournament scene on PokerStars, the name "allinstevie" should be extremely familiar. Hailing from Omagh, Northern Ireland, 26-year old Stephen Devlin is one of the U.K.'s top online players, having notched victories in the $109 NLHE freezeout, the $55 NLHE deep stacks, and the $25k guaranteed in 2008. His largest online score this year, however came when he final tabled the Sunday Warm-Up on August 31st, finishing 7th for $21,000. A huge Manchester United fan, Devlin brings a good deal of live tournament experience to the table for Team U.K., having played in a slew of EPT and WSOP events in addition to playing the PCA Main Event last year.
The thing Devlin (seen left in photo below) is most excited about in the Bahamas, though? The weather, obviously. "It's frickin' freezing here at the moment" he reports of the Irish winter.
Freeroll qualifier Sean "N!GHTMAR3" Flaherty loves nothing more than to go out with his mates, have a laugh and play some online poker. Flaherty caught the poker bug after watching a televised tournament and made his way to PokerStars, where he taught himself the game. The World Cup finals will mark Flaherty's first live tournament experience.
Also earning his way in on a freeroll is Derek "Purr of Aces" Morris. A veteran online player, Morris has twice represented Great Britain at the World Cup of Poker. The 39-year old lives in Lancashire, England and works as a bookmaker's assistant when he's not making final tables on PokerStars (he claims over 400 of them). Like his teammate Stephen Devlin, Morris brings a significant amount of live tournament experience with him, having competed in two EPT events, a WPT event, and countless tournaments on the Grosvenor U.K. Poker Tour.
When asked about the prospect of spending a week on Atlantis, Morris said "I'm looking forward to the weather, trying the new dolphin cay, and sipping a few cocktails to be honest. My daughter is pretty devastated that the Jonas Brothers are playing in Atlantis two weeks before we arrive. Shame on you Stars!" he teased.