World Poker Exchange Announces Poker Pros Heading to London Open

- Doyle Brunson, Max Pescatori, Along with Other Legendary Poker Pros Vie for $2 Million Jackpot This August –

ANTIGUA and LOS ANGELES, July 28 /PRNewswire/ — The World Poker Exchange announced today the first round of professional poker players who will be joining celebrities Willie Garson, Nicholas Gonzalez, Mimi Rogers and Jennifer Tilly for the $2 million London Open Tournament 2005 this August 3-6. World Poker Exchange-sponsored player Max “The Italian Pirate” Pescatori will be joined at the first-ever lifestyle poker event by international professional poker players Tony “The Lizard” Bloom, Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson, Harry Demetriou, Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari, Scott Fischman, Chip Jett, Karina Jett and Robert Williamson. The event will be held at the 19th century landmark Old Billingsgate Market. (

Born and raised in Milan, Italy, Max Pescatori is a professional tournament poker player who has won various titles and enjoyed 24 money finishes in 2004 alone. Pescatori, who wears his signature Italian flag bandana to every tournament, is often referred to as the “Italian Pirate.” To date this year, he has placed second at the Mirage Poker Showdown $2,500 No Limit Hold’Em leaving the table with $75,000. Pescatori won several tournaments at the 2005 World Series of Poker. Pescatori is well-known for appearing a record eight times at the final table of the television show, Ultimate Poker Challenge.

Tony Bloom is a Hedge Fund manager and former sports bookmaker from London, England. Bloom has won numerous titles in his short career of professional poker playing and is known for his love of travel, making him a prolific international poker player. Currently, Bloom ranks 1,323 overall and has estimated total winnings of $38,465.

Doyle Brunson, 71, is the Babe Ruth of poker. He basically invented the game of Texas Hold ‘em and was star of the infamous band of traveling poker sharks, the Texas Rounders. He was the first of the high stakes hotel poker players in Las Vegas. Brunson has won ten World Series of Poker events, including the two back-to-back world championships.

A retired clinical scientist from London, England, Harry Demetriou is a respected international poker player and formidable opponent. This professional from the UK had his first major win in July 2004, taking 250,000 Pounds Sterling and first place in the Victor Poker Cup. He has already won more than $1 million in his worldwide tournament play.

A current resident of San Francisco, Calif., Antonio Esfadiari was born in Tehran, Iran and with his win in the 2004 L.A. Poker Classic, he is the youngest player to ever pick up a World Poker Tour championship and win a prize exceeding $1 million in a tournament. Antonio first got into the world of professional poker when he was invited to a game of Texas Hold ‘em while working as a professional magician. Since winning the World Series of Poker Pot Limit Hold ‘em, and World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic No-Limit Hold ‘em in 2004 among other tournaments, Esfadiari has become a popular player within the poker circuit and had winnings totaling more than $2 million.

Pennsylvania native and former poker dealer, Scott Fischman, is relatively new to the professional poker circuit but has already won two, back-to-back World Series of Poker bracelets. Fischman’s first professional tournament was in January of 2004 at The Grand American Poker Classic in Tunica, MS where he placed 4th. Since then he has appeared at nine final tables, including those at the Orleans Open, the Mirage Poker Showdown and the coveted World Series of Poker Events. Additionally, Fischman is the spokesman for “I’m All In Wear,” a clothing line inspired by the poker phenomenon, and a columnist for Card Player Magazine.

Former lifeguard Chip Jett began his poker career in 1992 when a friend took him to a casino in his native Arizona. That trip led to jobs as a poker dealer, floorman and shift boss before becoming a proposition player. After winning numerous games around Arizona, Chip Jett went on to win his first major tournament, Best All-Around Player award at the L.A. Poker Classic at Commerce Casino. Chip Jett has won numerous titles and tournaments since then, including Phil Hellmuth’s Champion of the Year Award in 2003

Karina Jett first arrived on the Las Vegas poker scene at the age of 10. With both parents avid poker players, Karina Jett quickly followed in their footsteps, and, at the age of 18, played her first poker game in a casino. With her marriage to poker tournament player, Chip Jett, Karina Jett switched her focus to larger poker tournaments. Though Karina Jett’s tournament career has been a short one, she has already won or made final table appearances at many prestigious events, including the World Series of Poker, Poker Royale, and the L.A. Poker Classic.

Robert Williamson III was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Williamson has been practicing his poker playing skills since the age of 10 but did not start playing professionally until the early 2000s. After detours into restaurant management and real estate development, Williamson found his calling in professional poker and is now ranked the number one all-time tournament earner in Omaha. Williamson’s earnings already total more than $1.5 million.

More professional poker players and celebrities are expected to join Pescatori and the other players and confirm their attendance at the London Open. “With the UK activities of late, a great number of players have expressed intent to play but are waiting to see if things quiet down a bit before committing. This makes the gauging the final number of pro players difficult to assess, and therefore the players that compete may have extremely favorable odds due to the guaranteed minimum pot,” said World Poker Exchange Managing Director Haden Ware.

The high stakes gaming event to be staged in London on the banks of the River Thames features a $2 million guaranteed prize pool and distinctive cultural, entertainment and dining experiences. A pinnacle of the four-day style-heavy event will be a private concert, a separate charity tournament and VIP Reception featuring South London-based funky pop act Dirty Vegas, international chanteuse and “Queen of the Nightclub” Grace Jones, and celebrity club and party DJs Guy Preston and Jason Moore.

The London Open will be broadcast as a Bravo primetime TV special “World Poker Exchange London Open.” Off-camera, the competitors will enjoy high-stakes fun as they partake in the private concert and VIP Reception, exclusive tours of Kensington Palace, gain backstage access to the hit show The Producers, and enjoy the most lavish of culinary experiences in London’s finest restaurants.

On-line qualifying satellite tournaments have already begun exclusively at, with entry levels starting as small as $1 to win $10k seats.

About World Poker Exchange

The World Poker Exchange ( is a licensed and regulated multi-player internet poker room that has served the online community since the outset of online poker play. Based in Antigua and established in spring 2001, World Poker Exchange is one of the world’s fastest growing online poker sites.

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