The ShowDown Poker Tour – an Overview

The ShowDown Poker Tour was the innovation of two Danes, Soren Hansen and Teddy Vendersbo, who calculated that there was more than enough room on the international poker calendar to introduce another high profile poker tour, particularly in Europe.

The idea was to have an incumbent tour outside of the United States which would compete favourably with the rich prize pools so evident in the US, particularly in Las Vegas. The tour would encompass many areas which for years had been neglected as prominent poker tour venues – Estonia, Lithuania and Denmark, amongst others, would benefit from the newly conceived tour.

"The Showdown Poker Tour includes both well established and brand new poker venues across Europe. Furthermore, by joining forces with some of the most professional tournament director forces in the world you can expect a number of exciting and true player-focused events," was the initial announcement from the organisers.

Both Vendersbo and Hansen have a background in advertising, television and the internet as well as gaming itself, so most in the poker fraternity gave the new tour their blessing. One of the organiser’s biggest coups was to sign up all four members of the Hendon Mob – Ram Vaswani, Ross & Barney Boatman and Joe Beevers – for the tour. The Mobsters agreed to support all of the scheduled events of the tour.

"We are naturally proud to have the guys from the Hendon Mob attending our poker tour – since it is our first season it is of course great to be acknowledged by professional poker players like the Hendon Mob" said Teddy Vendersbo.

Another triumph was that they managed to entice one of the foremost tournament directors in the business, Matt Savage, to take hold of the reins. Savage made his name by officiating at some of the most illustrious poker events on the international calendar including the WSOP (2002-2004), Bay 101’s Shooting Star on the WPT and the ‘King of Vegas’.

All the events would have buy-ins ranging from €3000 to €5000 ensuring that the prize pools would entice the big names of the poker scene, and the grand final planned for Hamburg in Germany, had a buy-in of €10 000. All the final tables would be televised and broadcast throughout Europe, and the Scandinavian production company – East Production – was roped in.

On paper it all looked terrific, and virtually all the feedback was positive, and in late 2006 the inaugural schedule was announced.