The third annual Partypoker.com Sports Stars Challenge event takes place at 3 Mills Studio, London, from the 17th – 20th February. Sports stars, both past and present, will take their seats in the hope of being crowned the ultimate sporting poker champion.
 
Last year’s winner was snooker champion Ken Doherty, while in 2006 former England rugby union international Austin Healey emerged triumphant. Both return this year in the 36 player tournament format that includes a table for footballers, cricketers, sports presenters, snooker players, rugby stars and darts players.
 
The football heat features seasoned poker players Teddy Sheringham and Tony Cascarino, as well as Norman Whiteside, Steve Sedgley, John Aldridge and Lee Sharpe. The cricket heat includes Mark Ramprakash, while a very strong snooker heat features the likes of Steve Davis, Willie Thorne and Mark Williams.

The battle on the felt for the darts stars sees Phil “The Power” Taylor, Dutch sensation Michael Van Gerwen and Peter “One Dart” Manley lock horns. Matt Dawson will be fancied on the rugby table which also features league stars Jamie Peacock and Robbie Paul. A heat for sports presenters features Soccer AM’s Andy Goldstein, Chris Kamara and Alan McInally. Top Polish presenter and boxing champion Agnieszka Rylik, who recently knocked out the Devilfish and Poker Million winner Joe Beevers in Late Night Poker, also makes her debut in this event. 
 

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The winner of each heat will take their seat at the final table, where six players will battle it out until one of them walks away with the title. Each player sits down with £1,000 with the heat winner getting £6,000. The overall winner receives £20,000 with second getting £10,000 and third receiving £5,000.
 
For the first time this year there is also a stand alone football fans tournament made up of six players who qualified online through special tournaments on Football League club websites.
 
A Partypoker.com spokesman said, “We are expecting the standard of play to be very high. Many of the sports stars are good enough to play on the professional circuit. The strongest contenders look like the snooker players and footballers but on their day there are so many players capable of taking this title down.”
 
Eddie Hearn, Head of Online Gaming at Matchroom Sport said: “This is the poker event that the sporting world looks forward too and we have some great names and great poker players competing for the trophy, big prize money and the ultimate bragging rights.”
 
Coverage of the event will be exclusively produced by Matchroom Sport and will be aired in the UK later this year on Sky Sports and distributed internationally. ‘The voice of poker’ Jesse May will commentate alongside Steve Davis.