Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

June 26, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Andrew Feldman

Andrew Feldman
  (2:02 PM)

Hey everyone. Not only is it Friday, but its also the start of the $50,000 HORSE event at the Rio. Plus, Barry Greenstein and Ylon Schwartz head up the final table tonight on ESPN360.com. Lots to talk about, send in the questions and we'll get going....

Hutch (Boston)

I read where Ivey has stated that he was backing about 10 players throughout the year and he stopped doing that. Who are the other players that sort of have their own stable of players they back?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:03 PM)

Lindgren has quite a stable of players and is enjoying the WSOP very much this year....or so I've been told. Hevad Khan also backs players, but I'm not sure to what extent.

Seth (Cincinnati)

Andrew-Love the blog! Guest or no guest. Thanks for keeping us informed of what is going on out there. My question....what would the top pro's rather win. The 50,000 Horse or the Main Event. Both carry a lot of prestige and money. One is the players championship per se but the other is the most recognized in and outside of the poker world. Just interested in your opinion. Thanks.

Andrew Feldman
  (2:05 PM)

I think if you win the main event, you'll gain international fame. You'll get the endorsements, the commercials, the added money that you'd never expect. If you win the HORSE, you're known as the best overall player and take home a great paycheck. There's no added bonus from the outside world, but among the poker industry, everyone will respect the amazing accomplishment. Even though the pros will get a great amount of pride by winning the $50K, and will probably think of it as their own main event, winning the $10,000 NL HE will always carry more weight in the world and if its fame they're after, that's the ultimate goal.

Shayne - NY [via mobile]

Andrew... What's one improvement that the WSOP could make to increase its fan base?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:10 PM)

While I strongly believe that the WSOP has done some amazing things over the last few years, there are always some additions that they can do to make the game more fan-friendly. First, they'll need to get the big name personalities out to the public on a more consistent basis. Second, they need to market themselves in a way that can draw new players in. The $1,000 event was a great way to do that this year as it brought in a new crop of player to the series. After that, getting fans to Las Vegas should be of utmost importance. Get people to think that this is just as much fun as going to an all-star game or super bowl. Give them a reason to travel to Vegas, not just as a side-show while they're in town. The poker palooza is great, but nobody is sitting at home saying, man, that's the reason I want to go check out the WSOP.

Bill (Rochester, NY)

What does this win do for Lisandro's image? I mean 3 bracelets in one year is super impressive and 4 overall is a very nice accomplishment but do we view him as a stud specialist who got hot or a legitimate big time poker player on par with the John Juanda and the Daniel Negreanus of the world?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:12 PM)

I don't know how you could dismiss Lisandro as not legitimate after his accomplishment. Jeffrey never really played tournaments prior to a couple years ago. When he did play them at the beginning of his career, he claims he never got the recognition he deserved. Now, he'll get that recognition. We also can't view him as a stud specialist. While he may have won the stud tournaments, his WSOP record shows accomplishments in all games.

e morales (lakewood ca)

i know the final table of the main even starts on 11/07/09 but when does it end. i want to come to vegas and watch it live. but i need to know so i can make reservation. thanks andrew.

Andrew Feldman
  (2:13 PM)

it should end in the early hours of Tuesday, 11/10. If the schedule remains the same as last year, we'll see heads-up play begin at midnight.

Kobe (LA)

so if barry is in the FT of the other event, take it he's not playing the 50k?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:17 PM)

I'm sure he'll register for it. The final table begins at 5 pm (on ESPN360), which is 2 hours later than the start of the $50,000 HORSE. He'll get blinded out and play during breaks, but I don't think he'll just miss the event completely. If it's a long final table, he'll lose a good amount, but not enough that he'll consider unregistering for the tournament.

Scott (Philly)

How many for the HORSE tourney?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:17 PM)

137

Andrew Feldman
  (2:18 PM)

I think that the 40K knocks out 11 people from last year...also, without it being televised, getting sponsors to pay the buy-in might be a little tougher.

b-rad (vegas)

Isnt 137 really low? wasnt 200 expected??

Andrew Feldman
  (2:19 PM)

It would be an amazing thing if they got 200 players, but I wouldn't put money on it.

Pete (Rochester, NY)

Where are the women this year? Last I heard, there had been only 3 final tables for women (2 in a 1500, and Annie Duke) and there seem to have been relatively few cashes-are the registration numbers for women down this year?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:20 PM)

We're actually working the numbers for a story to be posted soon on .com. The real question is if women are just not playing this year, or are they just not doing well...BTW, given the performances of women this year, isn't it almost a lock that we'll have a woman as part of the November Nine?

Mike (Gainesville, FL)

If an amateur had a spare $50k could he make a deep run in the HORSE tourney if he got hot cards or is the talented pool just too strong?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:23 PM)

This isn't like any tournament. I don't feel that the HORSE has an "Anyone can win" mentality. To have an amateur walk into the field of ~140 pros who play every game as well as can be expected..I'd expect them to get just demolished. I don't think a run of great cards would save them. This tournament is geared for the best of the best who make such minimal mistakes that a lucky amateur player just wouldn't have a chance.

Steve (PA)

You just inherited $50,000. Do you play the $50K HORSE event or the ME for the next 5 years?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:24 PM)

The main event. Give myself five chances to get one good score. Anyone else?

Brad (Boston)

Hey Andrew, who are some of the lesser known names you are looking at for a big run in the upcoming horse event? Guys like Matt Glantz, Hawrilenko, etc...

Andrew Feldman
  (2:29 PM)

Its tough to pick a dark horse since most of the players are so well known. David Singer has had some great success in the tournament and doesn't get a lot of respect for it. Ralph Perry and James Mackey might be two under-the-radar to watch out for.

John (Phoenix)

I save another 10k somewhere and do both, Playing 1 time with all those pros I think it worth more that 5 times vs the ME field

Matt (NJ)

Neither - I'd chip my way up slowly but surely to $100,000. Put some in the bank, chip my way up some more. Then play the Main Event. Too much of a lottery to gamble it all on that one event.

John (Toronto)

I am interested to hear how you would rank the top 5 Events Worldwide? My friends and I have put this list together and your comments are appreciated:WSOP ME$50K HORSEEPT Monte CarloPCAWSOPE ME

Andrew Feldman
  (2:32 PM)

I think we're thinking similarly...somewhat. The first and obvious for me is the WSOP main event. There is no other tournament that gets the exposure that it can and thus, is the biggest and most important tournament to win all year. Second would have to be the HORSE for the reasons we've been discussing. Third would be the Monte Carlo as you had, then I'm looking at Aussie Millions and the WPT Championship to round out the 5. PCA is important, but I wouldn't say that winning it would turn heads. All of the other ones you'd get immediate respect and reconizability. Does anyone even know what Poorya Nazari is doing right now?

BillyBob (vegas)

steve's question is really dumb....obviously the ME....what about this...you get 50k..you have to choose the HORSE or 5 10k events?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:33 PM)

5 different 10Ks.

Steve (PA)

Stars is having Eastgate vs. Demidov 2 with them starting with what they had during last year's ME. Interesting rematch or lame promotion?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:34 PM)

Lame promo, but its for charity, so good for them. I'm taking Demidov this time so that they'll have to do a round three to break the tie. That said, Eastgate will most likely win ;-)

Ryan (WI)

How much pressure are past ME champions under to make appearances at the WSOP ie Yang?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:36 PM)

There's no pressure on them to play and if they don't want to show up, they don't have to. I think that if you win the event, the least you could do is show up. You're still an ambassador for poker and it would probably look bad if you weren't playing anymore...ahem...Yang...

Marty (Raleigh, NC)

ESPN entering a team into the Dream Team event?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:36 PM)

Just for the media event. Myself, Gary Wise and Bernard Lee will hopefully win some $$ for charity.

Drew (Buffalo)

I haven't followed poker that closely the past few years, but enjoy your chats still, somewhat. Does Humberto Brenes still play?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:38 PM)

Lol. Glad I can make your day enjoyable...somewhat. Yes, Brenes still plays but has had a quiet WSOP. Maybe "De Shark" is taking some time away or maybe he's just running bad. He's had one min-cash this year and nothing else. I'm sure we'll hear him yelling at some point during the main event...

John (Toronto)

Any Team with Bernard Lee in it has a very good shot at winning $$$. He is a very solid player who doesn't get enough RESPECT

Andrew Feldman
  (2:39 PM)

He'd appreciate that and yes, we're hoping he'll come through for us.

Greg (boston)

I find your take amusing, Yang is suppossed to keep putting up his money just because he took his big haul...Shouldn't we actually think better of a guy who realized he hit a once in a lifetime shot and decides to hold onto the money instead of slowing losing it away if he doesn't feel he can cash again?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:41 PM)

I'm not saying that Jerry can't do what he wants with his money because being smart with that money is a great achievement. He's donated lots of time and money to charity and deserves all the respect in the world for it, but that said, when it comes down to the WSOP main event, he should be there. i could be way offline here, but imo, a world champ needs to make his presence known every year.

Scott (CT)

let's be honest, does anyone in the poker world look at Jerry Yang as an ambassador??

Andrew Feldman
  (2:42 PM)

I think we hoped for one two years ago, but never got it. However, he still is recognizable by the public for his accomplishment. The poker industry may not care, but viewers on ESPN will see Yang and remember what he's done.

Greg (boston)

Why not play the horse event, listen, i know you seem to think that a great run of cards can't get you as far with that many pro's I disagree as long as you don't play like a complete donkey afterwards. With only 140 as opposed to 6-8K, it would be so much higher proposition to cash in the HORSE tourney

Andrew Feldman
  (2:43 PM)

18 players might make the money this year. I can't imagine that as an amateur I'd be one of the top 18 in that tournament.

Scott (CT)

Do you think it kills a player like Phil Helmuth that Jerry Yang and Jamie Gold have a ME bracelet?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:44 PM)

He has one. Not sure why he'd be mad...he might think that it devalues his bracelet, but no, I don't think that keeps him up at night.

George (New Hampshire)

Has Bryan Pellegrino made any noise at this year's WSOP?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:44 PM)

He finished eighth in the heads-up world championship a few weeks ago, but nothing else.

Tom (Tampa)

What is the current over under for Main Event players?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:45 PM)

6301. Over/under?

Greg (boston)

Actually, I'm going to respond to your response. poker consistently wants to be considered a sport/game of skill and not just flat gambling...So why when someone realizes in sports that they don't have the ability to compete at top level, they can retire, but you would expect someone who probably realizes he can't win again (just look at Jamie Gold as exhibit A, great ambassador who played a whole lot of events that he took a bath in and wasted loads of money) to keep throwing 10K at something that he can't possibly profit from...to me, your response tarnishes the thought of poker far more than Yang not playing...

Andrew Feldman
  (2:46 PM)

That's actually a good point, but I'll take it a step further. Do we think that Yang is paying for his ME entry? He's probably free-rolling.

Steve (PA)

Andrew, over 6301 by a hair for a burger at the Poker Kitchen next summer? ;-)

Andrew Feldman
  (2:47 PM)

Those burgers are terrible, but ok.

Mike (Gainesville, FL)

How about ESPN Poker Club buys an amateur into the 2010 HORSE tourney? Could be some good publicity if he/she makes a run.

Andrew Feldman
  (2:48 PM)

It would be absolutely amazing if we could pull that off. Unfortunately, begging for $10K to send someone to the main event takes up most of the year...imagine if I asked for $50k!

Marty (Raleigh, NC)

Any word from the poker sites as to how many people have qualified online? I heard someone say that less than 25% of the qualifiers actually show up in Vegas for the ME. Think that's accurate?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:50 PM)

In the past we were looking at a third of WSOP ME qualifiers taking their seats in Vegas. I think that 25% is more like it. So far on their website PokerStars is saying they're sending 1572 to the WSOP. I think that number of seats is far fewer than last year...but there is still a week to go...or maybe the site isn't updated.

Pete (Rochester, NY)

Who would be the best person to win the main event from an overall poker standpoint? Additionally, is it necessary for a dynamic young American player to win the main event and establish themselves as a major star? I feel like there hasn't been a major tv presence who is young stepping up behind guys like Negreanu, Ivey, etc.

Andrew Feldman
  (2:52 PM)

Negreanu, Doyle, Ivey or Hellmuth. You're right on the younger kids not stepping up, but I think that's because while many of them are talented, they haven't proven themselves for a long period of time like Daniel or the others have. We'll see new players in the spotlight, but to have a big name win the main event this year would be optimal.

Dan (NYC)

I gotta agree with Greg. The most important skill for a poker player is bankroll management, if you know you can't be profitable in a certain situation, or it won't help you become more profitable later on you have to bow out.

Shelton (MO)

Yang shouldn't have to ever play again if he doesn't want to. Winning the ME doesn't commit him to anything, unless he has some deal that says otherwise.

John Zurak (Charlotte, NC)

Robert Williamson III and others were twittering about being involved in a 50K HORSE Satellite. Any idea how got through into those two spots....oh and whats the buzz about how many are playing in the event today.

Andrew Feldman
  (2:55 PM)

I'm not sure who won, but I'd like to find out...there aren't a ton of satellites for that event like there are for the main event. We'll have an accurate number in a few hours.

Brian (Stamford)

I don't get it - why would you play a ME sat, win and not show up?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:55 PM)

Because unlike in the past, you get the money in your account. It's going to be hard during these economic times to turn down $12,000...

Bart (Anchorage)

Andrew, what is the likelihood that Harrah's brings back re-buys next year? Also, do you think ESPN will stick with only showing NLHE tourneys from here on out? I would like to see more coverage of PLO tourneys to bring it more to the forefront, what do you think?

Andrew Feldman
  (2:57 PM)

I'd say there's a 50/50 shot about the rebuys. While many were angry that they were removed, not many are bringing it up when you talk about WSOP issues this year. I think they should bring it back as it's part of the history of the WSOP. I also hope that we're able to extend WSOP coverage away from NLHE, but that's not my decision

Andrew Feldman
  (2:58 PM)

Ok, gotta run. I'll be back on Monday when we have a HORSE final table and don't forget to watch tonight on ESPN360 and follow me on twitter -- @ESPN_Poker. Have a good weekend!