WSOP Main Event: Poker royalty

by Howard Swains

Tournament poker is the most level of playing fields, where one man's chips are as good as another's; once your 10,000 are gone, so are you. Reputation counts for little, social standing means nothing. Royalty around the poker table is measured in bracelets.

Among the hundreds seeking one of those through the same means as all others today is Tom Parker-Bowles, chef, writer and famous son. He has a few connections and knows a few people, but he's here to play cards.

Commissioned to write for The Mail on Sunday, Parker-Bowles was able to warm up for today's main event with a World Series debut in Thursday's celebrity and media tournament: journalists and c-listers proving why they haven't yet given up their day job. Our man Tom in particular - first hand, all-in, all out. "He had pocket kings," Tom said. "Of course he had pocket kings."

That, however, was then. This is now. Tom was safely asleep early last night and has his game face on today. We're just taking the first break - and he's sitting comfortably with the same stack he started with. Lesson learned.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker