James Bord's WSOPE Publicity Stunt Backfires

Ahead of the 2011 WSOP Europe Main Event in Cannes, last year’s champion  James Bord took a rather forward position and proclaimed that no American was going to win the competition due to the superiority of the European poker players.
 
Judging from the way the honours have been shared equally since the inaugural WSOPE Main Event took place in 2007, it would seem the UK pro went a might overboard on his prediction. James Bord was even prepared to announce that he would refund any losing bets made at matchbook.com up to $500 if an American player won the competition.
James Bord is one of the owners of Matchbook.com and unfortunately for him his publicity stunt backfired after US pro Elio Fox did win the 2011 WSOPE Champion, thus costing the company a fair bit of money in the process.
Seeing that the skills assumption Bord based his prediction on did not reflect reality, it is quite likely his bravado came more from a sense of competitiveness and patriotism rather than overconfidence. As he stated ahead of the event:
“World Series of Poker Europe is special to Europeans, maybe the same way that the WSOP in Las Vegas is special to Americans. We’d like to build this event into what we all know it can be because poker’s massive in Europe.”
From his statement, it is evident that James Bord was trying to stimulate as much interest as possible in the competition, and in many ways the increasing enthusiasm for Europe’s version of the WSOP was confirmed with a record 593 players entering the €10,400 Main Event.
However, compared to the 6,865 players who competed at the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, there is a long way to go before the WSOPE reaches the dizzying heights of its American counterpart. In addition, there was a noticeable absence of many top US pros from Cannes including John Juanda, Eric Baldwin, Ali Eslami, Phil Laak, Doyle Brunson and William Reynolds, not to mention Phil Ivey and a whole host of former Full Tilt pros.
Ultimately, James Bord may have been forced to eat his words after Fox won the Main Event, but it should all be taken in the context of publicity and just plain Phil Hellmuth type fun, especially after Bord later tweeted:
“Looking for new employment @BenbaLamb can I be the waterboy for you’re Nov9 final table!”
“Congrats @Smokrokflock Please don’t visit Matchbook head office anytime soon :)”

Other news:   PokerStars leaving Czech Republic

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