A host of stars took time away from Solverde Casino today to head for the beautiful Pinhal Golf Course – and the first stage of the PokerStars Fairways and Felts golf-and-poker contest. The €1,100 buy-in event even attracted England football legend Teddy Sheringham, although he had to cut his game short after just six holes to get back in time for the main event where he started the day with 301,000.
The 14 golfers were split into four teams and played the match as a Texas scramble – each player on the team hits their ball, the team chooses the best shot and then everyone takes their next shot (including putts) from that spot.
The teams were as follows (nationality and handicap in brackets):
A) Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu (Canada, 11.5) and Marcin Horecki (Poland, 20.8)., Friend of PokerStars Sheringham (UK, 16) and golf pro Tom Larsen (Norway, 0.5)
B) Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie (UK, 24), Joachim Selzer (Germany, 24), former Dutch national team golfer Willem Vork (Netherlands, 2)
C) Team PokerStars Pro Pieter de Korver (Netherlands, 17), James Dempsey (UK, 18), Roderick van Welsun (Netherlands, 2), Eddie Tasbas (Sweden, scratch).
D) Team PokerStars Pro and Challenge host JP Kelly (UK, 24), Jeff Sarwer (Canada, 20), Gary Bain (Canada, 20)
Part 2 of the Challenge takes place with a NLHE poker tournament tomorrow back at Solverde Casino in Vilamoura. Non-golfers can still compete in the poker part of the tournament if they wish (for €840), but lose the chance to win bonus chips by performing well on the golf course. Extra chips up for grabs include 500 chips for every stroke under par and 500 chips for the longest drive or putt. A hole-in-one on the 8th hole wins a WCOOP Main Event entry.