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Poker Snaps

|  Published: Jul 06, 2005


ParadisePoker's Owner's Founder Sells Up

Sportingbet founder Mark Blandford has dumped the bulk of his stake in the online betting group for £6.5 million.With the purchase of ParadisePoker, for what was considered a snip last year, the share value of Sportingbet had risen sharply for months on end.Considering the worldwide growth of online poker, the timing of the sale was somewhat curious. But, for the record, Blandford sold his shares, which were valued at around the 30p mark in 2003, for 260p apiece.

Anyone for Cricket?

Betfair, the world's leading betting exchange and popular poker site, will be sponsoring test cricket on the UK's Channel 4 this summer.

Cruising has announced details of its second poker cruise. Leaving from Miami on Jan. 14, 2006, it will last nine days and visit the islands of the Caribbean whilst entertaining 600 players battling over a $3.3 million tournament prize pool.

Last year, 200 Ladbrokes players toured the Mediterranean, where 74-year-old Eric "Lowball" Dalby netted the $250,000 first prize.

Poker in the High Street

Argos, the British high-street retailer, is cashing in on the huge growth of poker over the past two years by becoming the first retailer in the UK to stock a range of World Series of Poker - branded products.

Argos has struck a deal with Halsall International, which makes toys under brands like Action Man and Barbie, to stock the World Series of Poker range, which will be available from Argos from the end of July. It includes handheld electronic gaming devices, card shufflers, poker chips, cards, and branded table covers.

Independent View

The Sunday Independent Newspaper took an indifferent view on UltimateBet's decision to use its sponsored player Dave Ulliott to present the winner's trophy at Newmarket racecourse for the 2,000 Guineas, a race the Internet poker site sponsors. In the aftermath of the race, it reported: " … and with that, he [jockey Kieran Fallon] went off to receive his bauble from perhaps the illest-looking man to present a Classic trophy at Headquarters, David 'The Devilfish' Ulliott, one of the world's most famous poker players.

"It was one of the rare occasions in racing when those receiving the trophies appeared more reputable than those presenting them!"

Poker Face

Fancy taking a gamble on Tony Blair? Political playing cards have a long, fascinating, and sometimes amusing tradition, and this latest set, from, is sillier than most.

Someone has gone to work with some imaging software and superimposed the prime minister's face on a series of archive images. So, we find the leader of the Labour Party as the Queen, a trumpet-playing chimpanzee, a poodle, a clown, a 1950s stripper, an Edwardian sailor … you get the picture.

Fine, but where are the Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy versions? Forward, not back! The Unofficial Tony Blair Playing Cards, premium-quality, plastic-coated cards (poker size), are £7.99 a pack and available from

Europe's Biggest Online Tournament

Ali666 from Stockton-on-Tees landed Europe's richest online tournament when taking Ladbrokes European Championship of Online Poker $2,500 buy-in main event. His winnings, over a field of 425 rivals, amounted to $266,250 plus a gold bracelet and a ticket on Ladbrokes 2006 poker cruise.

Norway's luckyB2 and Sweden's Makuna finished second and third, claiming $170,400 and $117,150, respectively.

Poker Book for the Girls

The first poker book specifically for novice women players has been published. The Badass Girl's Guide to Poker: All You Need to Beat the Boys by Toby Leah Bochan can be purchased at