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Copenhagen Bridge Invitational begins Thursday

The Copenhagen Bridge Invitational is an invitational event in the tradition of the legendary Sunday Times Pairs and other glorious invitational events of the past millennium.

The event is only held every second year; no players get paid to come, and in return they have to pay their own flight.Cool

Yet we are so proud to present the strongest field ever in 2017:

Versace Helgemo

Alfredo Versace - Mustafa Cem TokayItaly/Turkey

Sabine Auken - Roy Welland Germany/USA

Geir Helgemo - Tor Helness Norway

Ola Rimstedt - Mikael Rimstedt Sweden

Simon De Wijs - David Bakhshi The Netherlands/England

Marion Michielsen - Meike Wortel The Netherlands

Thomas Bessis -Frederic Volcker France

Boye Brogeland-Espen Lindqvist Norway

Per-Ola Cullin- Peter Bertheau Sweden

Johan Upmark-Fredrik Nyström Sweden

Zia Mahmood-Andrey Gromov USA/Russia

John Carroll - Tommy Garvey Ireland

Cédric Lorenzini- Jean-Christophe Quantin France

Bob Drijver- Bart Nab The Netherlands

Vincent Demuy- Tom Hanlon USA/Ireland

Alon Birman-Dror Padon Israel

Stig Werdelin- Sigurd Lauge Pedersen Denmark

Lars Blakset- Lars Lund Madsen Denmark

Signe Buus Thomsen- Bjørg Houmøller Denmark

Johan Hammelev- Camilla Krefeld Denmark

The four Danish pairs qualified through a preliminary event; the rest of the pairs have been invited.

Had it not been for a sudden change of heart by Madame Lavazza, we would also have been able to present Bocchi-Sementa and Duboin-Bilde. Sadly the team has been shipped to Australia and had to withdraw.

Some of you may wonder why there are not more Americans on the list. The answer is simple: too many regionals. We fought a fierce battle to convince who we consider the supreme American pairs to come, however we were fighting in vain. Regionals scheduled more than a year before were in the way. We really hope that we will some day be able to field ALL the best pairs in the world.

Besides being world class, it is important to us that the players are amiable. The CBI is a very social event and one of my personal highlights from 2015 was during the dinner and party on the last night, when some of the participants were discussing who would be in their top 3 of the nicest players in the event.

The Pro/Am

Thursday the 19th of January the traditional Pro/Am tournament takes place. As in previous years, poker star Gus Hansen will participate. He has picked up a lot in the past couple of years and now plays more regularly in Denmark. Playing a rubber against him used to be better business than playing poker against him, but watch out...

Gus Hansen

The Side Event

In 2015 we created a side event, the Radisson Blue Scandinavian IMP Pairs, and this year I am not sure whether to be happy or proud to say that 2/3 of the participants are international, not Danish! Actually more than 1/3 are Norwegian! Geir Helgemo and Tor Helness made a bet with me in Wroclaw that there would be 40 Norwegian Pairs. I really hope there won't be an additional 1 1/2, then I will have to leave my house. Some Americans have also come for the IMP Pairs, including World Champion Disa Eythorsdottir, who is tracking her Danish ancestors. John McAllister is also coming playing with Ida Grönkvist, and combined with half of Norway's elite, the event is tough.

Playing room

A Royal Visit

On Sunday the 22nd of January His Royal Highness Prince Henrik of Denmark (the Queen's husband) will visit the event and follow the exciting finish and play a few hands (at an extra table, not take Alfredo Versace's chair). He will assist with the prize-giving ceremony and be present at the closing dinner. It is a great honour, and he wants to sit with the players, not his friends.

Here he is pictured with Mark Horton in 2015. Mark Horton will also be in Copenhagen, enlightening us with his wits.

Of course both the pro/am tournament and the main event will be broadcast on BBO, so those of you far, far away will only miss the magical atmosphere.

You can get a feel for it by watching two videosshot in 2015:

Homepage with results and presentations of all the players in the main event:

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