Thursday, May 28, 2009

2009 WSOP, Day 2: The World Series of Poker, Where Fantasies Come True

The World Series of Poker, Where Fantasies Come TrueThat $500 buy-in Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em event (Event No. 1) got things going yesterday, with 81 of the 866 entrants making it through to the money and today’s Day 2.

That event was scheduled to be a two-day event, with today being reserved for the final table. What I’ve heard is that despite having 81 left, they will be trying to end that sucker today. PokerNews is covering the event, as it turns out, so our guys who’ve been assigned to that one may be in for a long (if not particularly intense) day of reporting.

Kind of an early indicator, actually, of an issue that is going to come up fairly soon, I think -- namely, not being able to play down to the final nine before the day a final table is scheduled. Will probably talk more about that here in the coming days, but we’ll put that issue aside for now.

I’ll be heading back over to the Rio in a couple of hours to help cover Event No. 2, the $40,000 buy-in “Special 40th Annual No-Limit Hold’em” event. It’s the 40th annual World Series of Poker, by the way, despite the fact that you’ve heard (and yr gonna hear) people constantly refer to it as the 40th anniversary. First one took place in May 1970, 39 years ago. There’s been 39 of them. This here is the 40th one. Are we clear?

So I suppose when they try to bring the $40K event back next year, they’ll call it the “Special 40th Anniversary” event? Actually, I kind of doubt they’ll be doing this again. Guess it all depends on what actually happens over the next few days.

Gonna be working the event today with Change100 and Tom B. Tom was telling me yesterday about this Fantasy Poker thing over on Full Tilt Poker where you can pick players whom you think will do well in each of the events. If you open the Full Tilt Client, go to the “Requests” tab, and then click on “Check My Promotions (Internet),” a web page opens up listing various items. Down on the bottom right is “Fantasy Poker.” Click that, then click “Go to Fantasy Poker,” and you’ll figure it out from there.

Yeah, I know. Kind of complicated, getting to this here fantasy. I’d give you a link here, but you have to access it after having logged in over on the Full Tilt client. You can get to it a little more quickly, I think, via the Cashier page, too.

Anyhow, there are something like 300 players listed -- all of the many Full Tilt pros are in there, as well as most of the other usual suspects (and a few not-so-usual ones). From the list you pick five players each for your “A” team, your “B” team, and your “C” team. Basically you’re looking to choose players whom you think will cash in the particular event. If one of your “A” players cashes, you win triple their actual winnings in “Fantasy Dollars.” Then, if a “B” team player cashes, you get twice that in Fantasy Dollars, and if a “C” team player does, you get the actual amount in Fantasy Dollars.

What can you get with Fantasy Dollars? I ain’t completely sure. Entry into freerolls, I think. Some Full Tilt Poker gear, maybe. Haven’t really explored the fantasy that far, to be honest.

I went ahead and made my picks for Event No. 2. My team “A” is Jacobo Fernandez, Phil Galfond, Nam Le, Sorel Mizzi, and Kirill Gerasimov. My team “B” is Andy Bloch, Justin Bonomo, Antonio Esfandiari, Greg Mueller, and Cole South. My team “C” is David Benefield, Phil Hellmuth, John Phan, Brian Townsend, and Mark Vos.

Top 15 selected players in Full Tilt Poker’s Fantasy Poker contest for Event No. 2, 2009 WSOPOne of the tricks here is to pick players who are actually going to enter the event. (No Fantasy Dollars for you if yr player isn’t entered.) You can also peek at the “consensus picks” for each event, if yr looking for ideas about whom to select. On the left see the 15 most frequently picked players selected for “A” teams just a few hours before Event No. 2 begins.

No surprises among these 15, I guess. Hmm... I’m noticing that of these most picked players, I’ve only picked Hellmuth for any of my three teams. Going against the grain, I am. Let’s just hope Jacobo actually plays the event today. He cashed seven times at last year’s WSOP, so I’m banking on him having the necessary roll.

Should be a lot of familiar faces there today, as well as a few we’ve never heard of before. Might be one or two who emerge from this event as new stars in the poker world. Still a wide, wide range of numbers being thrown out as predictions for the number of entrants, with some continuing to predict well under 200 while others want to argue for as much as 400 or more. As long as registration is open today -- should be for the first two one-hour levels, if we follow last year’s form -- the buzz will continue to be about the number of entrants.

Then we’ll get down to some poker. Some good poker, I’d imagine, for this one. Most of those who come out today may not appear on people’s “A” teams, but they all better bring their “A” games.

See you this afternoon and evening over at PokerNews’ live reporting.

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