And with the bringing down of the gavel, IFP President Anthony Holden (now re-elected for a second term of five years no less) brought the keynote speaker to the microphone – Charlie Nesson.
Following Nesson, members of the media were presented with the key figures involved in tonight’s proceedings, including two team captains, Rolf Slotboom (Holland) and Barny Boatman (United Kingdom).
For players of their calibre, the Nations Cup stands as a new challenge, a new title to pursue and a new trophy for the mantel piece. There was no doubting the levels of national pride involved too, with Boatman and Slotboom each eyeing the Nations Cup trophy, in all its golden glory, perched on the table next to them. One things for sure, whoever wins will need a big mantel piece.
With play due to begin at 8pm we’re now a little more than an hour away from the start of the first ever Nations Cup. Players are currently being briefed on what to expect when they enter the pods, as well as the format of duplicate poker. Then it will be a short walk outside where the London Eye waits idle, one big wheel of fortune ready for the players to give it a spin.