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

Andrew Feldman
  (3:57 PM)

Welcome to the Friday WSOP chat everyone. Big news potentially today with Hellmuth in good shape for a run at a final table and Phil Laak is still going 48 hrs in...Send in the Qs, I'll get started in a few.

Tony (New Haven)

Met Layne Flack and Brandon Cantu in Vegas last week. Awesome guys. Who are your favorite players away from the table?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:01 PM)

CT represent! There are a lot of really nice players away from the table, but many of them you'd expect. One of my favorites is Phil Hellmuth believe it or not. Completely different person away from the felt. Negreanu and Seif are two others who are genuinely nice off the felt.

Willy Cheese (Burlington)

Who has a better chance of winning: Phil in NLH, or Doyle in Stud?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:03 PM)

There's a pretty big difference in terms of the talent in the two remaining fields. Hellmuth's field really is made for him to take advantage. Not many of those remaining have great tournament records up to this point and he's one of the best in terms of picking up dead money. Doyle's road is extremely tough still. The 10K event has 88 players left and just about all of them are bracelet-capable. Edge goes to Phil.

Austen (Maryland)

If Hellmuth FTs will there be a live stream tonight for it online anywhere?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:05 PM)

Unfortunately not. My counterparts in TV told me they'll have a camera on site so if he does make it, we'll hopefully get some coverage out if it here on ESPN.com.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:05 PM)

Side note, someone just called my office line asking if I worked for Met Life. Interesting.

Clifford (Maryland)

Why aren't they having live web coverage of non-televised events this year?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:05 PM)

Details to come on Monday...

Ryan (Cali)

Love the chats! I will be in be in Las Vegas at the end of June and have never been. I am a very solid, but conservative poker player. I find myself shying away from NL cash games (I get pushed around in aggressive games) and moving to PL HE, O, and O/8. Do Vegas card rooms offer 1/2 or 2/5 PL mixed games? Where do you recommend I play?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:07 PM)

Thanks for the good words, Ryan. It's hard to say that you get pushed around in aggressive games and then lean towards a PLO mix, but wherever you feel more comfortable it up to you. Vegas rooms offer a wide variety of games and since the WSOP is in town, you're going to see a larger spread than usual. Check out Bellagio, Caesars, Mirage Venetian and of course the Rio for games that would suit your bankroll. GL GL.

Joe (Chico, CA)

Is it more impressive for Phil to win a lower buy-in NLHE event, a sort of mini Main Event style with with lots and lots of amateurs and minefields, or would it be more impressive for him to win a 10K NLHE event that is much, much smaller in number but a higher percentage of known quality players?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:10 PM)

It's the argument that pros have been spouting off for years. Hellmuth thrives in these low buy-in, massive field events because he's that good at limiting his risk against the unknowns. If you take a look at his WSOP record, the majority of his recent cashes are in these lower-level events. We can't discount the 10Ks though as he's made two 10K WPT final tables this year. In terms of more impressive victories, I think Phil beating 350 pros at WSOP Europe would be more impressive than beating out 2K in Event 8...

Robert Frank (Del Ray)

Hey Andrew! Thanks for your tweet updates. Always keeps me busy! I'll be in vegas in a week. I'll be stopping by the Rio to check out the scene. Have you been to Lotus of Siam? I heard it's the best Thai food outside of Thailand. Thanks!

Andrew Feldman
  (4:11 PM)

That's hysterical. Love Lotus of Siam. Good luck finding it though...it's in the middle of a strip mall. Other great hidden Vegas gem: Rosemary's. Delicious.

Eric (Los Angeles)

One week in, any predictions and/or guesses for WSOP player of the year, other than Grinder?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:13 PM)

Grinder and Schmelev are 1/2 in the 10K stud event, so at this point, if it isn't Grinder, it's Schemelev. Now, for a real prediction, look out for Praz Bansi. Yes, I'm going with a previous bracelet winner already, but he's hungry for his second of the series.

Ryan (Washington DC)

I think this is the year an ESPN staffer takes down a bracelet, how about a prediction who, what event, and why?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:15 PM)

Right now, neither Phil or Bernard have had ANY success, but I'm hoping that changes with today's event. My guess is that Phil wins event 20, $1,500 PLO. He's been doing well in the PLO cash games online...

Austen (Md)

Have you seen Lacey Jones at all and if so, have you figured out why she up and left AP all of a sudden?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:15 PM)

Listen to the Wicked Chops podcast today with Lacey. She talks about her AP departure. I bet she'll be picked up before the main by someone else.

Parker (Florida)

Day 1 of yesterday's $1,500 PL Holdem event stopped 2 players short of the bubble at the end of level 10. Should they play on?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:17 PM)

I was surprised they stopped, but that's the WSOP's decision. If they don't have the team there to handle payouts, they couldn't really do much at that time. That said, the WSOP should've been prepared for that scenario, played on, busted the bubble and called it a night. Thoughts?

Anthony (Pittsburgh)

In my opinion, the remaining field looks pretty soft in the $,1500 NL Event #8. I really do not know anyone else in it besides Phil Hellmuth. Who are some others remaining in this tournament that could give Phil some problems getting to the final table and winning this thing?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:20 PM)

There's something really important to remember regarding Phil here: he's fifth in chips with half the stack of Saar Wilf. That player should be on cruise control to the final table. Hellmuth's draw today seems like a good one. He's got the most chips at the table, two pretty short stacks, two stacks close to him and the rest are average. He should be able to bully most of them and build up a bigger stack.

Dave (Pennsylvania)

My family is vacation out West. We are flying into Veags June 18th, and heading towards Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon on the 19th. If I get a small window of time and want to see the WSOP, where's the best spot to look for some autographs and pictures with the pros?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:21 PM)

Hang in the Hallway before play begins (about 11:30 a.m.) You'll see pros walking in and they're more than happy to sign and pose for a second since they aren't playing yet. Enjoy the trip!

Chic Enparmigian (Bartalotta, Las Vegas)

Andrew, I've been following these chats for years now and really appreciate you taking the time to answer some questions. I was wondering who the current year's online poker sponsors are for this year's WSOP? Thanks!

Andrew Feldman
  (4:22 PM)

Thanks for the good note Chic. There's a really rough answer to that question since the WSOP cannot officially accept money from any online site that interacts with US players. So while you'll see PokerStars and FT on ESPN, you won't see them actually at the WSOP. Sites like PartyPoker/EverestPoker (despite the lawsuit) usually have a significant presence.

Brad (Seattle)

What's the real scoop behind "Ivey's Room" at the Aria? Is there that much demand for nosebleed stake live cash games that one venue (Bobby's Room) wasn't enough? Whas Ivey lured to the Aria by how nice it is, or did he have some issue with the Bellagio? Given that they are both MGM properties, are they really in competition, or are they attempting to attract a different clientele?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:24 PM)

" Is there that much demand for nosebleed stake live cash games that one venue (Bobby's Room) wasn't enough?" -- No. Considering they both are owned by MGM, it surprised me that they'd go this route and try to compete. That said, they'll do anything to get people over to the city center area, so maybe this will be a draw for out-of-towners to head there to play some poker. Still baffles me.

Nahuel Ponce (Lima, Peru)

Nacho Barbero is one of the 14 players left in LAPT Lima going for back-to-back titles. Also going for a second win in the third season is canadian Amer Sulaiman, who won LAPT Playa Conchal.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:24 PM)

You love Nacho. Don't forget to send me your rankings for this month's "The Nuts". Keep up the good work in Peru!

Austen (Md)

How much tilt do you think ZeeJustin was on after Neil Channing finished 2nd in the shootout. Are you aware of his Panarama Tower bracelet bet and would you take his action at 10-1?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:26 PM)

Didn't think about that until just now, but that's pretty funny (and brutal if you're Bonomo). That bet interested me though. I don't know anyone who would really bet against Bonomo's Panorama team...some amazing players live there. I think he wins that one easily.

Pete (Rochester, NY)

Since there hasn't been much talk about UIGEA and its impact at WSOP, has there been any talk about the lower number of qualifiers through this point for the main event on Stars and Tilt?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:27 PM)

The talk is there and I've heard of bets of people saying UNDER 4,000. I'd be shocked if it's that low, but the low qualifier numbers have to be worrying some people at this point. I'm still bullish around 6,800-6,900.

Andy (North Richland Hills, Texas)

Any predictions on the number of people for this weekends 1K event?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:29 PM)

3,850. Each of the $1Ks are going to be around that I'd think. They were never expecting 6K, so as much as we talk about the down number from that first $1K, I think we should look at the events on their own from here.

Marc (CT)

Why isn't the WSOP airing final tables online this year? It was always great to be able to see the events that weren't going to air on ESPN.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:29 PM)

Monday. Just wait a few more days. Announcement on Monday.

John (Florida)

Do any of the pros have incentives by their sponsors to win a bracelet?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:30 PM)

Every player has their own contract and there really isn't a "standard". As far as i know the incentives are strictly for televised final tables than winning a bracelet. I'll ask around though, great question.

Ashley "Freckle" Weiss (Ginger, TX)

Hi Andrew, I'm assuming you don't see many females posting on this site, but I was wondering who you think has the best chance (as a female) for a bracelet this year? Thanks! -Ash

Andrew Feldman
  (4:32 PM)

Welcome! It's hard to go against Annette this year, but she has all the weight in the world on her shoulders. I'm looking at two others though: Liv Boeree and Vanessa Rousso. Those two are tough and I believe one of them will make a final table this year.

Terry Jones (New York City)

Do you think it's possible that the Grinder and his brother colluded?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:36 PM)

I don't think either of them would've risked it. It's not like the majority of chips went from one to the other. Yes Michael knocked Robert out, but Robert was a real short stack at the time.

Chops (Vegas)

Re: WSOP ME number...I've heard internal numbers predicting "around 7,000"...

Andrew Feldman
  (4:36 PM)

TY Chops. Chops there.

Pete (Rochester, NY)

The answer to Ashley's question: "Whoever wins the woman's event."

Andrew Feldman
  (4:36 PM)

Good point.

chris (hartford, ct)

Headed out to vegas in mid-july for a bachelor party weekend. what's a good room center strip to check out?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:37 PM)

Big fan of Caesars poker room. Have fun. Direct flight at 4:30? Been on that flight a couple times...

Joe (Chicago)

Hey Andrew, how do Phil Laak's breaks work. I used to do 48 hour sessions and if I was close enough to the bathroom I could be there and back before I missed a hand. Would that count as part of his 5 min break for every hour played?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:39 PM)

It's weird to say this, but Phil has everything on a schedule. He knows when he's going to break and for how long, etc. I think anytime he gets up from the table the clock starts on him. He's been accumulating the minutes and using them pretty wisely.

Mikey (2800 miles away from the Amazon Room)

Can you imagine what Phil Laak will be like Satrurday at 7 pm. He isn't "normal" when he is well rested.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:41 PM)

If you listened to the podcast yesterday, you heard him 27 hrs in. If you haven't listened yet, definitely do. My favorite part is after he goes on a 2-minute ramble, him asking me "What did you ask me again?"

Tom (Dallas)

Looks like today's $1,500 NL is gonna be huge!

Andrew Feldman
  (4:42 PM)

Just "another" 2,500-player field. Pretty sick to think that the main event a couple years ago was at that number.

James Slusher (Martinez, GA)

I would like to see what these pros (especially Hellmuth) actual tourney ROI is. He has the most bracelets, sure, but he also plays in more small NLHE events than the other guys. Most of his colleagues play the 10k stud event and he goes for 1.5k NLHE.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:43 PM)

Negreanu did actually put this together for WPT events. The WSOP has finally started to keep stats for all this stuff, so I'm sure this type of information will be available soon. I'm hoping by the end of the WSOP.

pkhong (Oakland, CA)

I'm going be playing in my first $1000 tourney in a few weeks. Was wondering what the pros and cons of playing day 1A or 1B.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:45 PM)

First off, good luck! The biggest con of playing day 1B is fatigue. If you're tired from your first day of action, you've got to play the next day. Day 1A you have a nice day off in between to rest up and be ready for Day 2. I'd also look at any events that might be starting at 5 p.m. If there are higher buy-in events that might interest the pros more, than they won't be playing that starting day (or if they do play, they'll be very aggressive to try and double or go home).

Chops (Vegas)

Andrew, if you had to guess a rough date that ESPN.com is announcing when/where they'll be airing online final tables...what date would that be and why?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:46 PM)

I have no idea. Sorry Chops. You're just going to have to guess when it'll come out.

AL (Confused)

Is online poker legal in the US? I can deposit funds using a credit card, but its my understanding, online poker is illegal in the states, no? Ive heard conflicting reports from people I know that say they can deposit $$ via credit cards and are also able to cash out via check. Is this true? Id love to play, but I'd hate to deposit money without any opportunity to cash out??? Please explain. TY.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:48 PM)

Hi Al. It's a very confusing situation. No, it is not illegal to play online poker in the US (unless you live in Washington state). You can play all you want, it's OK for you to do so. The transactions are where the legal gray area lies and the credit card companies, due to the UIGEA, will have to start preventing any payments to online sites. The UIGEA specifically says that you can cash out, so if you have money online, you can always take it out. Depositing will most definitely be the issue.

Mikey (U know)

I did listen to it and found it hilarious that he remembers one word from 12th grade and tried to use it in a sentence 20 years later. Priceless.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:48 PM)

I was just stunned during that part of the conversation. I don't think I've ever been speechless on the podcast until then.

Austen (Md)

Did you hear about some kid stopping Eric Baldwin in the hallway on his break and asking him to flip for 800 bucks so he could buy into the tournament the next day...Which is sicker? The kid asking him, or basebaldy gladly accepting?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:50 PM)

You're kidding. I'm going to have to ask him about that one.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:51 PM)

Thanks for all the questions today everybody. Have a great weekend and speak to you on Monday!