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Two months ago, 10 owners drafted what they believed would be the best fantasy poker teams for the 2012 World Series of Poker. Each roster boasted eight players. Some teams thrived, some teams fell short and some owners made the wrong add/drop when it mattered most, preventing them from a better finish.
No team has any players left in competition at the main event final table and, after seven years, a long-time participant has finally notched his first win. That's right, we have a new champion me.
Here's a look at the final standings:
Andrew Feldman: 660 points
Dwyte Pilgrim: 474 points
Lance Bradley: 434 points
Josh Brikis: 411 points
Eric Baldwin: 371 points
Daniel Negreanu: 355 points
Steve "Chops" Preiss: 294 points
Gary Wise: 262 points
Chad Holloway: 256 points
Bernard Lee: 212 points
Yes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. My team consisted of (in order of round drafted): Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, Ben Lamb, Nick Schulman, "The Original" David Baker, Viktor Blom, Chris Bjorin and Carlos Mortensen. Three players on my team earned bracelets (Hellmuth, Schulman, Baker) and their results alone would've put me at the top of the league. Chris Bjorin made two final tables, but I got not much else from the rest of my squad. Ben Lamb was one of three players taken to earn no points, but I probably should've done more research as Lamb's plans for 2012 were the same as 2011, when he was scheduled to play only a few events.
Pilgrim's second-place showing was mostly thanks to Michael Mizrachi, who was the fourth overall point-earner during the 2012 WSOP. Brikis' first-round pick (second overall) of some guy named Phil Ivey proved to be the best selection of the draft as he earned 245 points with his six-cash and five-final table run.
Top five scorers (Owner, round selected):
Phil Ivey: 245 (Brikis, first)
John Monnette: 206 (Baldwin, fifth)
Phil Hellmuth: 202 (Feldman, second)
Michael Mizrachi: 187 (Pilgrim, first)
"The Original" David Baker: 163 (Feldman, fifth)
Lowest scoring players (Owner, round selected):
0 points: Ben Lamb (Feldman, third), Tom Dwan (Wise, second), Phil Galfond (Lee, fourth)
1 point: Steve O'Dwyer (Bradley, fifth)
2 points: Vivek Rajkumar (Wise, third), Alexander Kostritsyn then replaced by Jesse Martin (Negreanu, third)
Scoring by round:
Round 1: 840 points (most: Ivey - 245, least: Steve Billirakis - 10)
Round 2: 519 points (most: Hellmuth - 205, least: Dwan - 0)
Round 3: 226 points (most: Justin Smith - 54, least: Lamb - 0)
Round 4: 534 points (most: Schulman - 142, least: Galfond - 0)
Round 5: 543 points (most: Monnette - 202, least: O'Dwyer - 1)
Round 6: 236 points (most: Marco Johnson - 59, least: Vitaly Lunkin - 5)
Round 7: 482 points (most: Vanessa Selbst - 129, least: Allen Kessler - 7)
Round 8: 349 points (most: Brian Hastings - 128, least: Carlos Mortensen - 3)
• It was a really rough third round that was filled with really talented players: Justin Smith, John Racener, Matt Glantz, Robert Mizrachi, Vivek Rajkumar, Alexander Kostritsyn, Shaun Deeb, Isaac Haxton, Ben Lamb and Jake Cody.
• Bracelet winners were selected in all but two rounds: Rounds 3 and 6.
• Lance Bradley's team finished third overall despite owning O'Dwyer. His big push came from David "Bakes" Baker, who won his second bracelet in the $10,000 HORSE event, but he had one of the most consistent rosters with six players with at least 50 points.
• Bernard Lee's team simply underperformed. Galfond, Sam Stein, Tom Marchese and Jake Cody gave him a total of 20 points. John Juanda was his high scorer (64 points) thanks to a final table in Event 60.
• My team was the only one with more than one bracelet earned. Six of the 10 teams drafted a bracelet winner.
• Josh Brikis dropped Matt Hawrilenko prior to One Drop to pick up Gus Hansen. He said he spent a good amount of time debating taking Hansen or Antonio Esfandiari. Of course, Esfandiari ended up winning the bracelet in that event and the points earned from that performance would've put Brikis in second place overall.