Shane warne launches world first 'The 2009 poker ashes'

There are few sporting occasions around the World that can match the cricket Ashes for pure anticipation, passion and theatre - two nations divided by half the globe; united by a burning desire to be proclaimed as the superior cricketing nation.

This English "Summer", a new event which could ultimately become as anticipated and competitive as its more celebrated cousin will be contested by England and Australian cricketing legends.

The 2009 888 Poker Ashes is the brainchild of Australian cricketing legend and Ashes demigod, Shane Warne. The event will pit the best Poker playing cricketers from England against their counterparts from Australia, including Allan Border, Damien Martyn and team manager Tony G, in a contest to find out which country holds the aces both on and off the pitch.

Regular poker players from Australia and England will be able to win a place in their 888 sponsored 2009 Poker Ashes team, captained by Shane Warne and one of England's cricketing greats, by playing in free online qualifiers at 888poker from Monday 6th April at 8pm. Full details are available at www.pokerashes.com.

Once all the qualifiers have taken place, those making the final table will then play in a Grand Final -one for Australian 888poker players and one for English 888poker players. The winner of each final will then join the team and play at the table in the Poker Ashes Final in England in June 2009. The final will be played as a 5 test series, with each test as a TV episode to be broadcast in Australia, England, South Africa, India and New Zealand later in the year.

Gareth Edwards, Director of Poker Marketing at 888 explains; "This is a unique opportunity for both poker and cricket enthusiasts to participate in the bi-annual jamboree that is the Ashes. 888 poker players can play alongside their sporting heroes, representing their country - and ultimately one 888 poker player will help win the initial 888 Poker Ashes for their country".

Although the cricket Ashes will be fiercely competitive, there is no question that the English and Australian 888 Poker Ashes will be as equally well fought, as Shane Warne explains: "Aussies don't like to be beaten by the Poms - whatever the sport. And I can tell you the English Poker Ashes team will face a stern test from our boys! We are taking this very seriously - I'm getting the very best poker players from the Aussie changing rooms, and you Poms l are set for an absolute flogging!"

For further information on the inaugural 888 Poker Ashes please contact: Kate Keane E: kate@katekeane.com.au or M: 0407 867 060 or go to www.pokerashes.com

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