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Poker Moves to UK Mainstream

16 March 2004

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by the UK Telegraph: "The game of smoke-filled dens is moving towards the sporting mainstream.

"…But in the latest sign that poker is moving into the mainstream of respectable sport, four British players have landed a corporate sponsorship deal to rival what is paid to all but the biggest names in professional snooker, tennis or golf.

"The four - brothers Ross and Barny Boatman, Joe Beevers and Ram Vaswani, who are collectively known as The Hendon Mob - are being paid $1 million (£550,000) a year to promote an online gaming company as they travel the world playing cards.

"…Online poker is now the fastest growing form of internet gambling in Britain, while television shows such as Late Night Poker, Celebrity Poker Club and the World Poker Tour - which use cameras hidden beneath glass tables to allow viewers to see the players' cards - have been winning huge audiences and attracting tens of thousands of new players to the game.

"…A recent report by Ladbrokespoker.com, part of the Ladbrokes gambling empire, said online poker players were now staking £40 million a day worldwide - almost 10 per cent of that in Britain alone - compared with £6 million 12 months ago.

"…The Hendon Mob's sponsorship deal - their name derives from the north London suburb where the foursome used to play - is another.

"…Under the new sponsorship deal, PrimaPoker.com, an online poker network, is bankrolling the Mob to play in 14 major poker festivals - from Barcelona to Las Vegas, Dublin to Paris - which together is being billed as the PrimaPoker Tour…"

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