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June 2, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Andrew Feldman

Andrew Feldman
  (4:00 PM)

Hey everyone, welcome to Wednesday's WSOP chat! This morning two bracelets were awarded and two more will be given out tonight. Send in the questions and I'll get started in a moment.

IRS (Washington, DC)

Please tell Mr. Mizrachi to make the check out to Internal Revenue Service.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:04 PM)

Haha. When he spoke to Gary Wise early this morning he said that this issue has been taken care of more than a year ago and that it was just interesting timing for them to release the story. In any case, I'm sure a check will be sent given all the exposure he's getting from his win.

chris (greenville,nc)

Andrew one more question. Do oyu think a story like what has been going on with mizrachi hurts the poker games image as being a skill sport?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:05 PM)

Not really sure how the two can really be compared. One side is really really bad money management. The other side is playing as a career. I don't think that the skill argument will really factor in here.

Zay (Detroit, mi)

what is the cheapest way to get in a turny at wsop and how much would it be?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:06 PM)

You can buy into a WSOP event for as little as $1,000 in Las Vegas. If you'd like to satellite in, there are plenty of opportunities both online and live for you to try them out. Certain sites even offer freerolls for a WSOP experience...

jc (louisiana)

How is Sam Chauan compensated by his poker players?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:06 PM)

I'm not sure entirely, but I believe it's a flat fee. Would be hard for someone to give him a % of their action in my opinion...

Brian (Augusta, GA)

Will Michael Mizrachi's win the Player's Championship, should he be considered one of the best all-around players, ala, Ivey, Negreanu, Nguyen, Brunson, etc., or does he have to prove himself over several more years/tournaments?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:09 PM)

While he might be this year's Players' Champion, i don't think you can put Mizrachi into the category of a Ivey/Negreanu/Brunson. He's had his share of success since his emergence on the scene, but in terms of best in the world, I don't think Grinder is on that list...yet.

Michael (Akron)

As a rule, poker players ALWAYS have something to complain about. What is the biggest one this year?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:10 PM)

Isn't it always the same thing? Structure? Follow Allen Kessler on Twitter and you'll get a variety of complaints each day.

erik (easton,pa)

How many tourneys does the average pro play throughout the WSOP

Andrew Feldman
  (4:12 PM)

Depends on the player, but I'd say on average 20...which is one heck of a schedule. Ideally you want to play less since you'll be going deep in more events and thus you're not provided the opportunity with entering more.

Kim (Missouri)

Scotty Nguyen has worked hard to keep his fans loyal and happy. Why don't other poker players make the effort to interact with their fans? Is a fan base important to professional players? Why or why not?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:14 PM)

I think a lot of players do make the effort, but Scotty's phone calls to his Twitter followers was taking things to a new level. He didn't call me though. Depending on your goal as a player, you'll work towards creating a fan base or work on just being the best player and that's it. In the marketing/endorsement realm, if you can get people to cheer for you, you have a better chance of being patched up.

Brian ((South Orange, NJ))

In a WSOP fantasy pool how do you handle the top 20 in the shootout events? Is it still best to go in the order that they got knocked out?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:15 PM)

In the past I've awarded the same amount of points for those that get eliminated at the second table. So in this case, I'll count each of the 30 players who don't advance today to be in the top 20 and award points in that sense.

Jon (Columbia, SC)

Getting out to Vegas tomorrow for Friday's $1500. Go register tomorrow night or just show up to the Rio a bit early on Friday?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:16 PM)

Good luck! I'd register as soon as you can. It's not worth waiting on a line or finding out that the event is sold out.

Bud (Des Moines, IA)

Annette just started her first (not counting London) WSOP event. Will she live up to the hype?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:17 PM)

Absolutely. It might not happen this year, but Annette will be one of the most successful players in the long run.

Jon (Columbia, SC)

How does Faraz Jaka win every shootout table he plays?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:17 PM)

Was wondering the same thing. Seriously.

John (Ocala)

Are the $1000 buy in tournaments notoriously bad because of the field or becuse of the reduce in starting chips or both?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:20 PM)

I would say a mix of both. Plenty of players are just participating for the experience of it. Add their inexperience at a live tournament to a very fast structure and a need to double up within the first few levels. The donkaments won't have many notable champions, but they will have impressive prize pools.

Tom (LA)

what would you put Tom dwan's chance of winning his 6max sng today?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:23 PM)

Dwan has a tough table with Chris Bell, Blair Hinkle, Dario Mineiri, Nicolas Levi and James Akenhead. That's pretty loaded. I wouldn't give him great odds to make it through, but if he does, it's at the expense of Dario.

Mike (Utah)

Coming out for event #45....any advice on getting pics and autographs from pros?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:25 PM)

Good luck! Don't bother the pros at the table, but ask them when they're on a break or walking in the halls of the Rio. A lot of players go into private rooms during breaks where fans can't chase them so that they can rest. If they're out in the open, most of these guys are approachable and would be happy to sign an autograph.

Chad (Chicago)

Can you give a reason why the Players' Championship shouldn't be a $10K event? Shouldn't the challenge be the mix of games, and not the buy-in?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:27 PM)

Great point, but by having such a high buy-in, only those that feel comfortable in all those games at those stakes could play. the $50K finds the players that succeed at the highest levels of the game and feel they're good enough to play in the event.

Mike (Las Vegas)

Does the sound of chips shuffling haunt you when not at the Rio?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:28 PM)

No. I actually have chips at my desk and shuffle them all day long...Additionally, I gave out chips to the rest of the dept so the "crickets" are everywhere.

Marc (Big D)

How do payouts work? Could Grinder have just piled the 1.5 mil into a duffle?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:29 PM)

Actually, yes. When you're at the cage you can either get cash, casino chips, a check or a wire transfer.

Joey (VA)

Who is more likely to win a bracelet this year, Tom Dwan or Doyle Brunson?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:31 PM)

Dwan. He'll be playing twice as many events. In fact, after he won his table in the shootout, he headed to the 2-7 triple draw event. Of course, he probably played very rushed and busted last night in that event.

Joe P. (Las Vegas, NV)

I was walking around at the WSOP yesterday to check things out. As soon as a break was called and all the pros left their tables, most of them were mobbed by people looking for autographs and pictures. Do a lot of pros complain about this being a pain in the neck as it seems it would be frustrating for them.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:32 PM)

Going back to what I wrote earlier, some complain, but some are more than happy to sign a few things.

chris (greenville,nc)

andrew, do you think that if the fields on average 10-15% smaller that it actually makes those tournaments tougher and therefore better for poker. we all know big numbers are good, but could too big be a problem. when they worried about being inthe money on day1 with 2 starting days its a problem.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:34 PM)

Tough argument there. Smaller fields might mean more intense and educated players which would mean less dead money and a tougher tournament. I don't think that smaller fields make things better, especially since the pros would rather have more inexperienced players to compete against.

Chops (Vegas)

Chops here.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:34 PM)

Hi Chops. Want to guest chat one of these days?

Frank (Wisconsin)

So then whatever way you get paid, you just sign something saying how much you won and give all personal data or what?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:35 PM)

Players fill out a form at the cage reporting their winnings. Don't think they can just leave without that happening...

Brian (East Hanover, NJ)

Eric "Basebaldy" Baldwin - Sicko, Luckbox, or Sicko Luckbox?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:36 PM)

Sicko. 15th place out of 4.3K players is pretty solid.

Nm (Parts Unknown)

Are you going to take a shot at one of the donkaments? Has Phil Gordon played any events yets?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:37 PM)

Not this year. Phil has played in three or four events so far, but no luck. I think he's in the field for Event 8 today.

Chops (Vegas)

For sure.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:37 PM)

nice.

Mike (Las Vegas)

Tell Chops we need more Girls on the Rail

robert (needles, ca)

have you you heard anything from the UIGEA yet ?????

Andrew Feldman
  (4:38 PM)

The UIGEA doesn't usually call me, but a few people have let me know they've received messages about deposit method restrictions. The waters might get really sharky for a little while as the Frank/McDermott bills make their way through the system.

Chops (Vegas)

In return for the chat, Feldman, you gotta come on a podcast with us. Deal.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:39 PM)

Deal.

Harry (Austin, TX)

Based on what you've seen in the $1,000 and $1,500 events so far, are any of the poker sites offering any event-specific logo deals to amateurs who get to the final table, or is there no longer any interest on the part of the sites now that these events aren't being televised or streamed?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:40 PM)

When there isn't major exposure, there won't be interest from the online sites for endorsement purposes. The $50K had every player logo'd up, but I doubt that there won't be any patches until the cameras are around.

Joshua (South Dakota)

Why is it that people flock to the hold em tables when there are some 1,500 buy-ins at other horse and stud events. Wouldn't it be easier to learn those games then try and like you said weed your way through a donkament.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:41 PM)

Absolutely. Bernard Lee wrote a column on this last year which is why he's been playing in the "off-game" events this year. Seriously, he played 2-7 triple draw yesterday. If you can excel on a non-hold 'em game, your chances of winning a bracelet are much greater than trying to make your way through a 2,000 player field.

Mike (MN)

Andrew, how do deals with backers go down? Are there written agreements that are signed? What would stop someone, other then getting a bad name, from getting staked from a backer and then walking away with all the winnings?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:43 PM)

Pretty much the untouchable topic, but I'll give it a shot for you. Some stakers require written agreements, but for the most part, it's usually a verbal deal set shortly before the tournaments begin. If someone were to walk on a backing arrangement, you can be sure that player won't get any action the next time they're broke...any they will be broke again.

Ryan (Cali)

Love to wacth Durrrrrrrrrrrr play online and on High Stakes Poker! Where do the top players play LIVE games? What do they play? Why play LIVE when you can play X number of tables on line in the comfort of your home? Thanks!

Andrew Feldman
  (4:45 PM)

Depends on where they live and what casino they like to call home. The high stakes Vegas players spent most of their time in Bobby's room at the Bellagio, but with the opening of Ivey's room at Aria, who knows if they'll be moving to a new location. They play a mix of games with a ton of props mixed in as well. Why play live? Poker is a social game...got to get away from the computer some times...

Jobin (Boston)

I love Bernard Lee as much as the next guy, but can you tell him to stop tweeting about all these "horrific beats" like he's never made a single mistake in his life? He just got knocked out by a flush draw, which has happened approximately eleventy BILLION times in the WSOP.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:47 PM)

Not knocked out, just down to $2,000. Twitter is a perfect bad-beat venue in my opinion.

KS (Chicago)

It seems like few of the big name players play the $1000 buy in tournaments at the WSOP. Is that because other, better tournaments are being played at the same time, poor structure for the low buy in tournies, that those tournaments are too wild with amateurs going crazy or something else altogether?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:49 PM)

It's honestly a matter of game selection for most of the top pros. They could either play in the $1K and try to beat the world or play in a higher buy-in and play against a much smaller, yet better, field. A lot of pros have the double up or bust early attitude in the $1Ks, so if they do enter, you'll see they'll have a stack early or be on the rail.

Sam (Long Island)

Are you seeing a stronger presence from any particular countries as compared to normal? I guess what I'm asking you is to fill in the blank for this quote from Phil Hellmuth for the 2010 WSOP "...... idiots from __________"

Andrew Feldman
  (4:51 PM)

Great question, but if we do get to see the "New" Hellmuth, we'll never hear the answer to the question. Poker right now is booming in Latin America and you're going to be seeing a lot of new faces from that region this year.

robert (needles, ca)

i think poker is 80% luck and 20% skill. what do you think??

Andrew Feldman
  (4:53 PM)

70:30 skill. You can put yourself in the best positions you can as much of the time as possible, but sometimes you just don't come out ahead. Other thoughts anyone?

Steve (Tallahassee)

How far along is Laak in his 80 hours?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:54 PM)

Maybe 3? He was down $1,200 the last time I heard. Would be really bad if he loses a lot AND doesn't break the record.

Jobin (Boston)

Does Johnny Chan exist anymore? I haven't seen him hawk a crappy product in like two years.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:54 PM)

I think he's still advertising all-in energy drink.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Andrew, any pros out there cruel enough to apply for a job at a casino just so they can get in the casino employees' event?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:56 PM)

I wonder how long you have to be an employee in order to qualify...I would say if you're a poker dealer for a month, it's probably worth it. Plus, you'll hopefully learn something from the players at your table.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:57 PM)

Thanks for all the questions today everyone! I'll be back here tomorrow, same time, same place. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @ESPN_Poker and everything else on ESPN.com/poker.