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June 1, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Andrew Feldman

Andrew Feldman
  (4:00 PM)

What's going on everyone? The action at the WSOP today is underway and I'll be here for the next hour or so to answer all your questions. Send 'em in, we'll get started in a second.

Rob Ennis (Las Vegas)

Do you think ESPN should televise the final table of the Player's Championship in it's purest form? The actual 8-game instead of No Limit Hold'em. I think after a couple of years on air it would increase interest in those games once people understand them thus making poker even bigger. What do you think?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:04 PM)

Rob - great question. Personally I'd love to see the eight-game mix throughout the entire tournament and really get the true winner all the way through. Playing an 8-game mix final table is much different than just NL hold 'em and it adds another element to the complex game. That said, I think that for TV purposes, it's a smart decision to go only no-limit hold 'em. Our research shows us that NLHE is what our viewers like to see and we're hoping they'll be watching this final table come July 27th.

Al (Las Vegas)

Who wins the battle of the Mizrachi Brothers at the $50,000 Players Championship final table today?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:05 PM)

I think Michael takes this brotherly battle. It's tough to say that given Robert's chip lead right now, but that's my gut feeling on this one.

Lou (Houston)

Would it be safe to assume that fewer than 20 of the 116 players in the 50K event bought in for the full amount (satelliting in doesn't count) and haven't sold off at least a piece of themselves?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:06 PM)

I think 20 is a great line on this one. I'm going to say over, but probably not more than half.

Craig (Boston)

Please explain why we have a tournament play to a final table one way and than at the final table changes? Who made this stupid rule?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:07 PM)

The Players Advisory Council discussed this rule change as a method to get the tournament on TV. Gary Wise spoke to Daniel Negreanu and Barry Greenstein last week about this. Column is here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/poker/columns/story?columnist=wise_gary&id=5229825

Dave (Boston)

Do you think the holiday weekend is the reason why the $1k and $1500 events only got 4300 and 2000 players instead of 6000 and 3000? Or will this continue to be a trend all series long?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:09 PM)

Way too early to tell. I'm not worried about the 4300 in the $1,000 event simply because there are one of those events every weekend this Series. I would expect 4K to be the average field in the 1Ks and I'd be perfectly happy with that. Let's wait and see what the numbers are next weekend before we rush to any "the WSOP is getting killed" conclusions.

Eddie (Kansas City)

I found it odd on the Inside Deal that Moneymaker said he's only going to play the Main Event this year. If I recall correctly, he explained that it was due to a new baby in the family, or something like that? Would it be wrong to perhaps read more into this, like perhaps that PokerStars might not be as willing as they once were to pay for him to enter as many tourneys due to his lack of success and the Moneymaker name not meaning as much as it once had?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:10 PM)

Eddie - I spent the entire day with Chris and believe me, it's more of a family thing than a PokerStars thing. Chris would love to play more events (by the way, he's in Vegas now), but he's been busy with family responsibilities that have kept him in Tennessee.

Jessie (Rutland, VT)

As a follow-up to Rob and Craig's questions, based on the 116 that entered the 50K with NL as the final table, how many do you think there would have been (a) if the 8 game format was played until the end, or (b) if the final table was not going to be televised?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:11 PM)

a) Not much of a change. Remember they're playing eight game all the way through and i don't think they're counting on making it to the final table so that they'll have a bigger advantage. That said, Grinder is a great example of those who probably have the edge since it is a no-limit final table.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:12 PM)

b) If the final table wasn't going to be televised, I'd bet we would've seen in the 70-80 range.

Reilly (Miami)

With Full Tilt under investigation by a federal grand jury are Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer worried they will be arrested at the WSOP ? Do you think the government would make a statement to the other online poker rooms by arresting them at the WSOP?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:14 PM)

Full Tilt never acknowledged that they were under investigation and many are talking that it wasn't exactly FTP under investigation, but something else and there was confusion. I do not believe any players would be arrested at the WSOP. I think all that would do is speed up the legalization of the game as the general public would wonder why someone who plays poker for a living is in handcuffs.

Andrew (WI)

Along the lines of the 8-game question, why aren't there more broadcast of PLO final tables? I'd think that game would be the one game as TV-friendly as hold'em.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:16 PM)

Completely agree. Same reason though, we've had research that suggested no-limit hold 'em was the way to go. I'd love to see more PLO on TV as well.

Shaun Wyman (Bristol, CT)

Who wins in a fight between you, Kevin Mathers, Gary Wise, BJ Nemeth, and Matthew Parvis?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:17 PM)

Off the list: Lance Bradley.

Bryan (Springdale)

When is ESPN going to start reporting more of what happens to poker players that "fall off the map" of poker? Some players seem to disappear yet no one covers if they went broke and quit poker, if they are taking a break, or if they have moved on to other ventures.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:18 PM)

We could do a "where are they now piece" after the WSOP. Who are you looking for?

Craiban (Quincy)

Great podcast with Lon & Norman - I think Norman's comments on Jason Mercier were dead on. For a guy with such immense talent, don't you think he needs to show some personality? He's very monotone and even sometimes catty at the table, which sucks because he's been all over the TV recently (NBC Heads Up, WSOPE, HSP).

Andrew Feldman
  (4:19 PM)

Thanks. Jason needs to wake up and show more personality. He could be on the level of a Daniel or Joe, but he would just rather go through the motions and play...I have no problem with players that do that since it's their profession, but if a site is going to sign someone, you'd hope the player is a little more outgoing.

Deuce (Buffalo)

Never too early to get a prediction, but who walks away with the most bracelets this year and which Phil do you see having a better WSOP (don't pick Gordon just because he's your friend ;-))

Andrew Feldman
  (4:20 PM)

Buffalo must be nicer than Bristol this time of year. I see Ivey having a better year than Hellmuth, but I think both take down bracelets this year.

Coolwhipflea (Rio - Las Vegas)

Which is the first event that Phil Gordon is going to win?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:23 PM)

The main. He's taking down the main. Ok, maybe not.

Bake Gruntly (Iowa)

Are the Mizrachis poker's all-time best brother combination?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:25 PM)

Siblings making the final table has only happened on three occasions. The Boatmans in 2002 and Annie/Howard in 1995. There are a ton of other talented sibling combinations and more recently, I like the Binger brothers to be some of the best.

Sheryl (Alabama)

Are there currently any poker news shows on ESPN television stations or do we have to get all of our poker news online? (No, I'm not asking for Poker2Nite -- ugh! -- Sorry Joe and Scott.)

Andrew Feldman
  (4:26 PM)

ESPN Inside Deal (http://espn.com/insidedeal) goes weekly starting next Tuesday. It's not on TV, but we'll definitely bring you all your poker news and entertainment.

Don (Tempe, AZ)

In the big predictions column on ESPN, and elsewhere, it seems like there will be a lot of focus on the 6-max 25K event. I can see how this will be a star studded event, but why are so many people predicting that it has a good chance of being the best event of the entire tourney?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:28 PM)

Just based on the field that is going to play. You're going to have only the best in the game playing in the game that most of them know best. The 8-game is awesome, but you're going to lose some talent based on the fact that if players feel they aren't +EV in all games (or at least average) they aren't going to play. The six-max is a game everyone loves and will definitely have a bigger field than the Players' Championship.

Ben (California)

Any chance of Eric Baldwin co-hosting the Poker Edge again? His interview with Doc Sands was fantastic!

Andrew Feldman
  (4:28 PM)

We'll get Eric back on the show at some point.

Mark (Brooklyn)

Has Annette Obrestad played in any events yet have not seen any updates on her since WSOP has started

Andrew Feldman
  (4:29 PM)

She's not in Vegas just yet, but she'll be playing in the next couple days.

Paul (Peoria)

Is Phil Hellmuth dead money in mixed games and other non-Hold'em events or has he improved enough in those games to win his first bracelet in something other than Hold'em?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:31 PM)

I don't think Hellmuth is dead money in any game. He might not be the best player at the table in every game, but he's far from the worst. While he doesn't have a non-hold 'em bracelet, he's made many deep runs in other games including two top-12 finishes in HORSE in 2008.

Sean (Las Vegas)

Are you playing in any WSOP events this year? I'll take you on for a last longer in one of those or at a Venetian Deep Stack this summer. PS - pretty sure Bernard would be dead money eh?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:32 PM)

Unfortunately I'll just be in front of the computer screen or on camera. No playing for me this summer besides the media event which I can't wait for. Bernard is a Sam Chauhan guy now...let's see if he can work some magic.

Andy (North Richland Hills, Texas)

i will be in Vegas in about 11 days can you tell us if the buzz around town is good for the WSOP this year or is this weekends declining numbers more indicitive of a lack of interest compared to years past

Andrew Feldman
  (4:33 PM)

There's no lack of interest and if anything, your experience as a spectator will be better this year than ever before. Have fun!

Jim (Currentlydeployed in Afghanistan)

What are the chances of Doyle taking a bracelet this year?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:35 PM)

It's tough to predict Doyle winning a bracelet just based on his reduced playing schedule. Doyle doesn't put in the grind, but when he does play, I'd say it'll be in the events he's excelled at. I'd love to see him win #11, but I really thought that the 50K was a perfect opportunity for him to capitalize this Series.

Vinny B. (Albuquerque)

Are IRS agents sitting on the rail waiting to walk Michael Mizrachi to the pay window tonight?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:36 PM)

Haha. I bet he'll be writing a check tomorrow (or soon).

Kent (Albany, NY)

Everyone is saying how a woman winning the WSOP ME would be the best thing that could happen to poker in terms of creating a second "Moneymaker effect" to get the game publicity and new popularity. What would be the worst make-up of a champ?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:38 PM)

Just a quiet individual who wants nothing to do with the glory of being a WSOP champion. Someone who wins and fades out of the spotlight immediately. Insert recent main event champion joke here.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:39 PM)

Think about it, if we had another hachem/raymer/moneymaker type in 2006, 07, 08, would things have changed?

Lon (Tracy, CA)

I heard there was a player banned for chips stealing in an event. Your thoughts Andrew?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:40 PM)

Did he really think he wasn't going to be caught? That is simply unacceptable. Hey guy, you're at a casino, with cameras everywhere and chip counters walking around at all times. Really? You thought you were going to get away with it? #dubmdecision

Heath (Calrsbad, CA)

The next event Phil Ivey will play is ______?Oh, and to give my 2 cents on Kent's question, clearly a champ with any sort of criminal or shady past would be the worst thing for poker now, what with all the US legislation.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:41 PM)

Today's $5,000 shootout.

JWWeatherman (Boston)

Would you feel comfortable being at a final table with the Mizrachi brothers? Could there be any hint of soft play or collusion?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:45 PM)

As a player I'm sure it's always in the back of their minds, but with hole card cameras and this event being broadcast on TV, it would be really bad to even risk it. I hope that nothing is done along these lines today.

Benji (Providence, RI)

What is your prediction for the 3 name pros that will play in the most total WSOP events?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:46 PM)

Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and Barry Greenstein

Dave (Boston)

Besides the Main Event, $50K Players Championship, and the $25K 6 handed events, are any other events going to be filmed this year?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:47 PM)

The Tournament of Champions -- 27 player invitational freeroll.

Pete (Rochester, NY)

Two months ago one of my friends was talking up about how he was going to play every WSOP event he could because he is +EV in every one. I laughed at him and gave him a hard time because I said "there is no possible way you can be EV in every event, some of them are super strange games with weird stack sizes that other people have to be able to play better." Now that he's made the FT of the 50k 8game, how much crow should I be prepared to eat?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:48 PM)

A lot.

Brian (Augusta, GA)

With all of the positive feedback by moving the WSOP to the pavillion, do you think this will help The Rio keep the WSOP or is it inevitable that the WSOP moves to Caesar's Palace?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:49 PM)

If Harrah's sells the Rio, then they're not going to put one of their marquee events at a competitor's casino. I would say it's inevitable that the WSOP moves to the strip with location TBD.

Mike (Florida)

If you were given money to play in any 5 events, which 5 would they be?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:50 PM)

The main (obviously), $25K six-max (I like shorthanded tables), $10,000 HORSE (big fan of mixed games), $5,000 shootout (enjoy SNGs) and a $1,000 weekend donkament.

Clint (Shreveport, LA)

I saw a lot of names among the 50K entrants who did not strike me as the type for whom playing an 8 game tourney would be +EV. Why would those players enter? Is it a case of NL/PLO experts thinking they could get enough of an edge there to put them with a realistic shot at the money, even with only 10% getting paid?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:53 PM)

Great question and good point. I'm not sure why some players decided to take the risk other than the fact that if they did run well, they would be in line for a lot of potential industry exposure and endorsements. No real validation there, but some of these players might be playing these games a lot more than we're aware of.

Todd (Vegas)

In what way does the UIGEA affect online poker players? Problems with withdraws? Fish being unable to reload?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:54 PM)

Basically it prevents the banks from processing any transaction from an online gaming company. So players will have a tough time depositing their funds in order to play. Withdraws should be fine at the moment, but if money isn't brought into the online economy, it might become a really tough game for those that play.

Mark (Grand Rapids)

Does my boy Bakes have a shot at taking down this crown?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:56 PM)

Would be quite the story if he can defeat this final table, but there's no reason in my mind he can't. Second in chips, he has the experience and loves the game and the challenge. He'll be against some of the best though tonight...

Jeremy (Seattle)

Andrew, do you know of any way to get the top players in each field before each event starts? I follow the tweets, but don't know if there is any other way.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:57 PM)

There's no way to get a registration list before hand, but follow WSOP.com for information. They usually have an entrants list up relatively quickly.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:57 PM)

Ok, that's it for today everyone. Thanks for all the questions and I'll see you all here tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET.