Chat with Andrew Feldman
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, 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.
Feldman will bring you the highlights of all the action. Be sure to check out ESPN.com's coverage of the 2012 World Series of Poker.
Send your questions now and join Feldman Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Andrew Feldman (3:00 PM)
Welcome to the first WSOP chat of the season! The WSOP is in full swing and there's plenty to talk about, so send in your questions now and I'll get started in a few.
Glad the chat is back. So far, what stands out as most surprising for the series this year?
Andrew Feldman (3:04 PM)
Glad to be back. I think that the most surprising thing we've seen is the true strength of the final tables thus far. Event 2, a huge-field $1,500, reached a final table that included three former bracelet winners and two other familiar faces to those that follow the poker scene. The final 16 in Event 3 followed the same trend with Frankenberger, Sexton, Annette, etc making it that deep. Force, who won the event, is probably familiar to more people than we think based on the fact that he made his run during poker's biggest boom. Then there's the Grinder and Chris Bjorin in Event 4 and finally, Negreanu, Aguiar, Vedes in Event 5....it's pretty incredible how well the "notables" are performing thus far.
What do you make of the attendance thus far?
Andrew Feldman (3:06 PM)
Mixed bag and really, it's too early to tell. There wasn't a real match to Event 2 this year and although the stud events are up a bit, the $5,000 mix-max fell really short to where the $5K NLHE was last year at this time. 409 this year to 865 a year ago. I do think we're going to see a decrease, but how substantial is still tbd. I think we'll know more after the crowds show up for this weekend's events.
@themayorpete (san francisco)
what do you think of the rule changes this year? what changes would you make if you were TD?
Andrew Feldman (3:08 PM)
I think the WSOP did a great job with the rule changes this year. We need to get the fun back into the WSOP. I know that it sounds dumb given the fact that the game is all about winning, but it's true. We need the excitement at the tables. We need the emotion that was there in 2004 when everyone just wanted to be part of the scene. Right now we have meticulous player X wearing a hoodie and sunglasses competing against meticulous player y wearing a hoodie and sunglasses. If the WSOP is able to get some life back into the event, I think it would go a long way.
Andrew Feldman (3:10 PM)
If I were TD, I think I'd get rid of the hard stop rule which, thankfully, hasn't played a role yet this year, and make it a little more flexible to allow the players the option. I also would add a $25K heads-up PLO event...and make sure it would be broadcast on ESPN.
Who do you think is more likely to win a bracelet this year, Mercier, Selbst, or Ivey?
Andrew Feldman (3:11 PM)
Ivey. The guy is playing $1,500 events, which we would've never even considered a few years ago. He wants to win and when he's determined, we all know what happens. Tough choice though as all three of them are beyond capable of bringing in the gold.
First off, congrats Dad! When will ESPN begin showing this year's WSOP?
Andrew Feldman (3:12 PM)
Thanks, Goldy. The first broadcast of the 2012 WSOP be on July 3rd with the live final table of the $1 million buy-in One Drop event.
Matt R (NJ)
What has been the reaction to Phil Ivey showing up at the WSOP? Has Phil been seen talking to other pros at or away from the felt? Will we get an interview from him soon?
Andrew Feldman (3:16 PM)
I think that unless you're at his table, you're probably happy to see Ivey at the WSOP. Having your biggest star boycott the biggest event in your "sport" is about the worst thing the industry could imagine. People in all walks of life, not just poker circles, know about Phil Ivey and if he's able to do something significant, it's a huge story. As far as an interview from Ivey, now that he officially has nothing to endorse and no PR team to bug him, the odds of him talking to the media are slimmer than ever. If he wins a bracelet, maybe he'll open up and give Nolan Dalla a minute...but that's about it.
Phil Gordon (Las Vegas)
When will I be able to come back to the Poker Edge?
Andrew Feldman (3:17 PM)
Whenever you'd like...
is ESPN going to bring back Inside Deal? I really miss the weekly updates and recaps.
Andrew Feldman (3:20 PM)
Inside Deal is on permanent hiatus right now. Bernard and I would love to bring you the weekly updates and recaps, but unfortunately its not in the cards...
How have the players and dealers reacted to the new ChipTic system?
Andrew Feldman (3:23 PM)
I think the idea of the ChipTic system is a great one and while it may require extra effort from the dealers, it's the right approach. The WSOP needed to take a step forward in providing information on all players in their events. There are limitations with this system too, but it will allow for enhanced accuracy. It's just the start for live reporting by the WSOP and I expect them to re-imagine their offering on that front moving forward over the next few years.
David T (Vegas)
Any chance that ESPN brings back the "live" coverage? ...The fans are clamoring for it
Andrew Feldman (3:25 PM)
I wish there was more live coverage this year, but unfortunately the two live final tables will have to do. The Live WSOP.com feeds should provide fans with some great coverage and I encourage everyone to give those a watch over the next few weeks.
What advice would you give a first time WSOP goer?
Andrew Feldman (3:27 PM)
If you're playing the WSOP for the first time, just enjoy the experience. Of course you should dream of yourself winning the bracelet and lots of cash, but if you're a true amateur and are playing for the first time, you've gotta have fun. And win.
Eric (Los Angeles)
Congrats on the little one! When are you going to teach her Razz?
Andrew Feldman (3:28 PM)
I think I'll start with go fish, then Razz after that.
Can you explain what the ChipTic system is? Please tell me that you don't think they will ever go to the electronic tables we saw a few years ago for heads up matches.. takes something away...
Andrew Feldman (3:29 PM)
ChipTic is a system that allows the dealers to report the chip counts and players at their table. They're tasked with updating this information during the breaks...which is why it isn't as timely as what's available now, but hopefully more accurate since it's the dealers who are the ones responsible.
Andrew Feldman (3:30 PM)
No, we will not see automatic tables, but I don't think it's out of the question that RFID chips will be the future on the WSOP felt.
Will you be playing in any events this year?
Andrew Feldman (3:31 PM)
Nope. I'll have to wait until 2013 to play the HORSE event I've been waiting for...
You looking forward to the $1 million Buy In event?
Andrew Feldman (3:32 PM)
Absolutely. I think it's beyond insane that there are going to be 48 players who spend $1 million on the event, but just imagine what that bubble will be like and the reaction when someone wins $15 million after three days of play. It's going to be incredible.
Do you think Ivey playing the smaller event has to do with a diminished bank roll or just wants to play more? I mean he is one of the few big pros not registered to play in the Million $ Tournament
Andrew Feldman (3:33 PM)
He has more than $2 million in earnings already this year...I doubt it's a bankroll issue. I mean, it might be, but that's not my first thought when I see him in $1,500 buy-ins.
When do you think the pokerstars/FTP deal will get done or do you think FTP will never get a deal done with anyone?
Andrew Feldman (3:35 PM)
I believe it will get done. The fact that the DoJ needs to be involved makes this more challenging, but the deal should go through eventually.
Why are you not harder on people like Phil Ivey in their role with FTP. He took more money from FTP than most.
Andrew Feldman (3:37 PM)
Ivey's role with FTP was that of a spokesperson. Very few FTP-sponsored players had the real insight on what happened on a day-to-day basis and Ivey was not one of them. Sure, he made more money than most thanks to the company, but can you blame him for just getting a paycheck?
Good to chat again, Andrew. Have you heard if major players who aren't signed up themselves for $1M Big Drop event are buying up big chunks of players who are? I've seen the list thus far and was suprised Justin Smith (Boost mode baby!) is signed up, wondered how backed he is ... and I imagine Ivey has a big piece of some horse in the event, we just don't know who.
Andrew Feldman (3:38 PM)
There hasn't been too much public knowledge regarding players and their backers for the $1 million. I know players are looking, but who is actually buying up pieces isn't clear. I'm sure Ivey will have a piece of the game if he's not in it himself...
Even though it's less than a week into the 2012 WSOP, it's the Year of the _________?
Andrew Feldman (3:42 PM)
Good question, Kev. I would like to say "Pro" because at this point, besides the weekend events, that's really all who is going to be at the WSOP. The problem is that pro is a little too generic. I guess I'll have to wait a few more days to figure that out. What do you guys think?
Kyle (New Orleans)
Year of the former US online pros. They've had a year to adapt to the live game, so you can count on them making heaps of runs this year and getting most of the bracelets. The 1st $1500 NLHE tourney was no fluke.
Andrew Feldman (3:44 PM)
I like that idea, Kyle.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Any pro wrestlers in any events this year? I've got a bet with a buddy of mine that we see 3 wrestlers play in the WSOP before we see 1 professional poker player wrestle in the WWE
Andrew Feldman (3:45 PM)
Great prop. I don't think any as of yet...but you know, if the WWE has a stop in Vegas during this time....
what's the best way to petition bringing back a Chinese Poker tournament to the WSOP? Seems there's lots of interest from the big pros who all seem to play it during down time.
Andrew Feldman (3:49 PM)
I would tweet @WSOPTD and talk to Jack Effel about it. If you get it on his radar, he'd be the person who could bring the tournament back to the WSOP felt.
Andrew Feldman (3:49 PM)
Thanks for all the questions today everyone! Enjoy the weekend action and I'll be back next week with another chat!