Chat with Andrew Feldman
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com poker columnist Andrew Feldman will stop by to chat about the World Series of Poker and take any other poker questions you may have.
Be sure to check out ESPN.com's coverage of the 2009 World Series of Poker.
Send your questions now and join Andrew to chat Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Andrew Feldman (2:00 PM)
Hey everyone. Welcome to today's WSOP chat. Send in the questions now and I'll get started in a few.
Anthony (Douglas, MA)
I think poker is a great game but it has also done damage. I know people that have lost everything because of it. People damned Pete Rose for gambling and those same people pitch and promote poker which is gambling. Do you believe poker has caused much harm? I think it has.
Andrew Feldman (2:06 PM)
Loaded question to start things off. There will always be the stories where people made mistakes and gambled too much. That's the truth. Some people will spend money on blackjack or craps or in some cases, poker. The difference is that poker isn't just a shot in the dark. The more you learn and the more you practice, you bring a greater advantage to the table and then it becomes less of a gamble and more of a game. Hard question to answer....
Small timer (About to change)
AJ - I'll be playing in a smaller 2010 WSOP event - is there any other attractions that go on related to the WSOP that I should plan on experiencing after I bust out in 15 minutes?
Andrew Feldman (2:07 PM)
Well, hopefully you'll be playing for more than 15 minutes, but there's plenty to look around not only the Rio, but obviously Vegas as well. The Poker Palooza only takes place during the main event, but that's quite a sight. During the prelims, it's relatively calm in terms of attractions, but there's always something to do...
Andrew Feldman (2:08 PM)
That didn't answer your question at all...so don't bust out.
DALE D (CANTON,OHIO)
ANDREW - IF ANY HOW ARE THEY GOING TO TWEAK THE FINAL TABLE THIS YEAR- I HATED THE MONTH OFF- YEA GREAT FOR TV- BUT WHEN YOUR PLAYING AS YOU KNOW ITS ALL ABOUT MOMENTUM- AND THAT EXTRA MONTH OFF GIVES OTHERS A CHANCE TO LOOK AT TAPE AND SEE WHAT YOU DO- IN POKER ITS THEN AND NOW- IT ALL ABOUT THE MOMENT -NOT STUDY AND THEN COME BACK THANKS
Andrew Feldman (2:09 PM)
The break is shorter this year by a couple of weeks, but that isn't the change you were looking for. I think the initiatives to promote the nine players more will be increased and hopefully, the nine will be in the spotlight more constantly than last year.
Pete (Rochester, NY)
Do you think Lisandro wraps up POTY today? With the massive disparity between his stack and Wahlbeck's, it would seem at a top 4 finish would leave him in extremely good shape.
Andrew Feldman (2:10 PM)
He's got a long way to go to win that third bracelet, but I will say a top three finish should wrap it up. If Wahlback makes the comeback it would be incredible. All that said, there are still 15 more events left...
The November 9 from last year have collectively done nothing so far at the WSOP are you surprised?
Andrew Feldman (2:11 PM)
Not really, but many of them, if not all of them have cashed so far this year. Even Suharto!
JJ (San Antonio)
Is Annie Duke playing this year or is she still licking her wounds from losing to Joan Rivers on the Apprentice?
Andrew Feldman (2:12 PM)
She made a final table earlier this WSOP, so I don't think she's licking her wounds. If so, maybe she's bandaging up the wounds with dollar bills.
Do you think the WSOP will add a team event in 2010?
Andrew Feldman (2:13 PM)
I think they'll see how the dream team event goes on July 11th (I think) before they make a decision. It would be very cool to see, but I do not want to see this event as a bracelet event in the future. winning tournaments is an individual accomplishment and I don't think that a team should get the bracelet opportunity.
Will we ever see Johnnie Chan win anything?
Andrew Feldman (2:14 PM)
Sure we will. He doesn't play as many events as anyone else, but he's still a constant presence at the tables during the summer. Don't count him out just yet.
Morbid question here but I think it's valid; what would happen if one of the November 9 passed away between the 4 month break? Would they be blinded out?
Andrew Feldman (2:16 PM)
I think it would be up to the WSOP to determine what happens here. I'd assume the stack would be picked up and the prize money dispersed to the other players. Very morbid thought...
Ben (Springfield, MO)
So Phil Ivey has finally started to get back to his old form in winning tournaments. What changed in him? And could he now be considered a strong favorite for the Main Event?
Andrew Feldman (2:17 PM)
I don't think anyone could be a favorite for the main event, but if he's really focused, he definitely has a shot. It's all about avoiding the land mines on the first few days. If he can get past them, look for a big accumulation of chips on Day 3/Day 4.
Whats the deal with Dutch Boyd? I've seen that he has cashed in several events....is he still playing professionally? Is there still bad-blood surrounding him?
Andrew Feldman (2:18 PM)
Yes, there's still some bad blood with Boyd, but while his actions might have fallen out of some people's memory, others won't let it go. He's still playing good poker and I believe has cashed three times already this WSOP.
How about a new style tournament in honor of Phil Hellmuth. If you get your stack all in with the best hand and are sucked out on you still retain 25% of your stack?
Andrew Feldman (2:19 PM)
Haha. A bad beat tournament? You keep the % of chips based on the % favorite you were entering the hand? I like it. It's never going to happen, but I like it.
Regarding the question about someone passing away after making the ME final table. I thought I remember reading that they all recived the 9th place prize money right away so the prize money would have allready been paid to them.
Andrew Feldman (2:20 PM)
Good point. So yea, I guess that there would just be eight players left and the first person eliminated is playing for 8th, not 9th.
Jeremy (Seattle, WA)
Any chance we have Lady Gaga sponsored for the main event? I would love to see her sing "Poker Face" to Hellmuth or the mouth at the featured table.
Andrew Feldman (2:21 PM)
Please no. Knowing Jeffrey Pollack, I wouldn't be surprised to see the song being played at the start of every day like the songs on the playlist they had last year.
Why the comment about Suharto? Was he considered the weakest at the table or something?
Andrew Feldman (2:22 PM)
Nothing against Darus at all, but many believed that he was the weakest of the nine last year and that continued success would be doubtful. Personally, I'd love to see another deep run from him this year to prove everyone wrong.
Can I cash any money out of Full Tilt now or are all accounts frozen?
Andrew Feldman (2:23 PM)
Cashing out on any site is no problem currently. I think the investigations with the other accounts are still going on, but unless there have been new developments this morning, you're good to go.
What do you think about Joe Bishops call in last years main event on Chino holding 6's with I believe a 7 high flop? He had a lot of heart but could have cruised into the final table by playing low.
Andrew Feldman (2:24 PM)
Bishop was last year's biggest blow up. We had Scotty in 2007 and Bishop was last year. We were all shocked to see him out before the final table because as you said, he could've coasted in. That said, I think it was a real shocking call and completely unnecessary. It was too much to risk imo in that spot.
Hef Terscolon (Jersey)
Hey Andrew, Would you rather have AK or QQ in an all in pre flop?Thanks!
Andrew Feldman (2:25 PM)
I'd rather be ahead with Q-Q, but I'd expect an A-A-K flop.
How do you think Phil Helmuth feels about Ivey taking down 2 so far this year? Do you think he is threatened?
Andrew Feldman (2:28 PM)
I don't think that Hellmuth is bothered by Ivey's accomplishments at this point. He's still four bracelets back. In the back of Phil's mind, he knows that if Ivey wants to win bracelets, he's going to overtake him at some point in the future. Phil will need to get himself going to keep pace, but I think year after year, he's just hoping to leave Vegas as the all-time bracelet leader.
Mike (West Point)
with a flop of 10-h, 9-h, 2-s and you holding 7-h-8h are pushing all in on the flop in a cash game if push comes to shove?
Andrew Feldman (2:29 PM)
Yes. In a heartbeat. Find someone who in a cash game is going to fold an open-ended straight flush draw postflop. Insta-shove/call/whatever.
Of the current name pros who are under 50, which do you see possibly hanging around and playing successfully into their 60s and even 70s like Doyle? Or has the dawn of Internet Poker and the increase in events and money made that unlikely to happen?
Andrew Feldman (2:31 PM)
I think we'll see a lot of the current players in their 20s fizzle out by 35, but the current pros who were there before the boom will keep going into their 60s/70s. Negreanu, Ivey, Juanda, Seidel, Hellmuth, Greenstein, Chan, etc will be the players we'll continue to hear about as they get older. Retiring from poker just doesn't happen for these guys.
Read that "Miami" John Cernuto collapsed during the Razz event and was blinded out. Any word on how he is doing?
Andrew Feldman (2:32 PM)
He's in the hospital for at least another day or two, but he did NOT have a heart-attack as initially rumored.
Cantu took some ridiculous beats heads up a few nights ago; how long do you think that replays in his head?
Andrew Feldman (2:34 PM)
I still think the 10-5 offsuit is still replaying in his head. The bracelet should've been his, but sometimes poker is a cruel game. If he's mentally sound, he's already put the beats behind him, but if he has issues in that category, he'll be thinking about it all the way until he wins his next bracelet.
Eli Rainbow Cookie (Alta)
Andrew, I'm going to a steakhouse tonight. Porterhouse or Rib Eye? THANKS!
Andrew Feldman (2:34 PM)
Rib Eye. I'm hungry.
Matt "BIG NECK" Rader (Gross Chair)
Andrew - how do you feel about cash games playing at the same time as the tournies in the Amazon Room? I think it's extremely annoying announcing all the cash game names, etc? Thanks for your thoughts and HAND (have a nice day : ) )
Andrew Feldman (2:36 PM)
I don't think that it's necessary to have cash games going on in the same spot as the biggest tournament venue in the world. I think that they need a huge room since cash games are so big at that point, but if they moved the cash games to Brasilia or one of the other venues, I think it would be more courteous to the players.
What's your advice for someone who usually multi-tables online to help adjust to the much, much slower pace at live events such as the WSOP. Sure, I guess they can play just one table online, but even then it's not the same. Is there anything beyond "bring an iPod" that you can suggest?
Andrew Feldman (2:38 PM)
There's more to take in when you're playing live than online so instead of being impatient while you wait for the next hand, watch the others at your table. Pick up what you can. The game is a lot different when you're not behind a computer screen.
Jeff (Salt Lake City)
Do any of the Vegas sportsbooks have betting lines on the WSOP?
Andrew Feldman (2:39 PM)
Last year some had the November Nine, but I don't think props exist in live casinos. However, they do exist online.
Where has Hellmuth been this WSOP?
Andrew Feldman (2:40 PM)
At the Rio. Cashing for small amounts.
I've never played live, just online, so just wondering how long it takes to split pots in Omaha Hi/Lo tourneys? It's usually crazy numbers, which I would think would take some time to calculate live.
Andrew Feldman (2:41 PM)
Dealers are talented and can actually divide these pots relatively quickly. It obviously extends the time for each hand, but they've continued to give dealers the proper training to make sure they are efficient as possible.
Teddy KFC (New York)
Which restricted event has players with a better average skill level - the ladies event or the Seniors event?
Andrew Feldman (2:42 PM)
Throw me under a bus here...umm....Seniors event. More experienced players in general. I would say that the Ladies' event have some incredible players too, but on average, I'm leaning towards Seniors.
Howard Stern (NY)
Are players allowed to smoke during the WSOP?
Andrew Feldman (2:43 PM)
Not in the tournament areas.
Alex (Palo Alto)
On non-TV tables at the WSOP, do all-in players have to turn their hands face up?
Andrew Feldman (2:44 PM)
Yes. Their hands must be revealed once an all-in is called. Even though they aren't on TV, the rest of the players at the table get the edge to see what their opponents are holding.
Andrew, not sure if ESPN knows this but the messages are showing up jumbled. Thanks.
Andrew Feldman (2:45 PM)
Anyone else seeing this problem?
Any scenario in which you throw away AA preflop?
Andrew Feldman (2:47 PM)
The bubble of a satellite. Read Bernard Lee's columns about this...he's written about it extensively.
Wes (North CA)
Curiousity question, in regards to drinks and food at the table. Is there people that come around asking if you need anything? Can my friends bring me stuff? Can I bring snacks? Can you tell I am super excited and over thinking this whole experience of playing in the ME? HA HA HA!
Andrew Feldman (2:49 PM)
Your friends can't walk into the tournament area, but you can walk over to the rail and get anything they have for you. Yes, you can bring snacks and GL for when you play. They have women who walk around offering candy bars, etc, but you're better off bringing your own food. You can get a drink at any point as there are plenty of waiters.
Any word on whether Gavin Smith and Joe Sebok made their usual bet this year that will result in one of them showing up to the ME in some ridiculous outfit?
Andrew Feldman (2:51 PM)
No outfit bet this year. I think that Gavin realizes Joe has a ton on his plate this year with Poker Road...Speaking of Poker Road, check out the tanning bet...pretty crazy stuff.
Are players frowned upon for blinding out? Like someone building a 50k stack on day 1 then leaving to skip the cooler?
Andrew Feldman (2:53 PM)
It's your stack, do what you want with it. that said, I've said repeatedly in the past that if one can build a big stack on Day 1, why not leave and rest up while your opponents continue to grind? You come back fresher while everyone else is tired. Then the other school is from people who think that if you miss one hand, you miss the chance to get more chips. Yes, you can miss the cooler if you leave, but you can also miss the greatest run of cards you've ever had.
Ned (San Diego)
Do other pros besides Phil Hellmuth make a habit out of showing up late on Day 1 of tournies? Phil probably does it for the grand entrance factor, but why would others do it?
Andrew Feldman (2:54 PM)
It's become relatively commonplace to show up late these days. However, nobody shows up just as late as Hellmuth who might not make the first two levels. He gets his entrance, makes his presence known and goes to work. Negreanu spoke about this on his video blog a couple days ago...
Who determines who sits at the featured table? How do the we-have-never-heard-of-you-before players get that draw?
Andrew Feldman (2:57 PM)
The producers here at ESPN determine who will be at the featured table. Seating is random, so if you're lucky enough to be sitting with a Hellmuth or Negreanu, that basically determines if you'll be at a feature table. If I had to guess for this year's main event, I'd expect Eastgate's table, Hellmuth, Negreanu, and Ivey.
Andrew Feldman (2:57 PM)
Ok, gotta run today. Have a meeting about something big coming from ESPN Poker in a month or so...Stay tuned. You can also follow me on twitter @ESPN_Poker and I'll be back tomorrow for another chat! I'm working on the guests...seriously...