Sam Holden, Liv Boeree make BBC News

Are British poker tournament pros Liv Boeree and Sam Holden starting a poker boom in the UK? The BBC definitely seems to think so since they prominently featured both players in a recent article called “Poker’s Faces: Are the British about to invade?”

In regards to Holden, the 22-year-old from Sussex is fresh off of a 9th place finish in the 2011 WSOP Main Event. And the big final table appearance has done more for Holden than just deliver him a $782,115 cash; it has also earned him plenty of fame through poker news. As the BBC put it, “Although he has now been a professional player for about four years, this year was his first entry into the WSOP tournament. His arrival at the final nine players at his first attempt has caused ripples in the global poker community.”

Interestingly enough, Holden doesn’t think that he’s alone in his outstanding accomplishments because there are plenty of other Brits who are playing well in the poker world. He told the BBC, “British poker is doing incredibly well at the moment. Over the last two years we’ve had brilliant results in the biggest tournaments in the world, both in live tournaments and online. Considering our population, and population of players, it’s quite incredible really.”

Moving along, those who follow poker need no introduction to Liv Boeree. She began playing in 2005, and catapulted herself onto poker’s main stage after winning the 2010 EPT San Remo Main Event ($1,698,300). Since that time, she has also experienced a great deal of success in online poker while playing at PokerStars. Currently, the 27-year-old beauty thinks that UK poker is definitely in a prosperous period as she said, “The UK has exploded onto the international poker scene. The boom started with the spread of online poker sites, and that’s trickled down into the nation’s subconscious. It was always popular in the US, but now we’re having our boom.”

She also spoke about how poker has risen from the underground clubs and high stakes casinos to become available for everybody. Her exact words were, “Twenty years ago people maybe imagined poker being played in underground rooms or in casinos with big high rollers. This is not the case…it’s so accessible now.”

One person from the BBC article who has benefited from the increased accessibility is 33-year-old Ian Taylor, who has made online poker a full-time job. But it hasn’t been glamorous for Taylor as he commented on the typical British poker grinder by saying, “If you took all the professional poker players in the country, you’d find there are a lot more like me than the Liv Boeree’s, and the big live tournament players that you’ve heard of.”

Despite the fact that not everybody can be Sam Holden or Liv Boeree, you can still bet that more Brits will be trying to emulate these poker stars based on all of the success that they’re having.

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