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June 8, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Andrew Feldman

Andrew Feldman
  (4:00 PM)

Happy Tuesday everyone. Hopefully you've had a chance to watch this week's ESPN Inside Deal (espn.com/insidedeal) and are all caught up on your WSOP news. Send the questions in, I'll get started in a minute.

Henry (Los Angeles)

If you had to pick one pro to win the 5k event today, and you CAN'T pick Phil Ivey, who is it?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:03 PM)

I'm going to go with Jason Mercier. No cashes yet this WSOP...it's about time he breaks that.

Eric (Los Angeles)

Better breakout WSOP year for a Russian: Vladimir in '10 (assuming he cashes in the 10k event today), Vitaly in '09, Demidov in '08 or Kravchenko in '07?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:04 PM)

Vitaly was awesome, Demidov made both final tables and Kravchenko won a bracelet...that said Schmelev has two final tables in the first week! And he's going to cash again tonight. Hard to argue with the man just crushing things at the very moment.

Ryan (NY)

Haven't checked, is Phil Gordon still alive in his event?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:05 PM)

Busted. He had four brutal hands in a row that took him from something like 50 big blinds to out. He's back at home (in Washington) for the next few days and is heading back to Vegas next week to play some more.

JamesDaBear (Seattle, Wa)

What is your take on UB/Absolute Poker? Daniel Negreanu thinks they should be put out of business. Would that be good for poker for an established brand to just disappear?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:08 PM)

I just think that once a business has a massive problem they should do everything and anything to fix it. To then realize that there's more issues just shows how little they cared about really improving things over there. That said, i don't think getting rid of a big business is beneficial at all. The best thing would be for them to get their act together once and for all and offer a solid, entertaining, non-problematic program with a new staff of leaders running the company. No excuse for their latest mishap...especially when it was fixed within a week. It almost seems like they were lazy when building the platform.

BDR (Nashville, TN)

If you were heads up with Dwan for the title, with a dominating chipstack, would you consider telling durrrrr to split his prop bets if you give him the title? Think it crossed Watt's mind?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:10 PM)

Considering there are no official chops allowed at the WSOP, it would've had to been done under the table. It's really hard for me to believe that Watt didn't think about that from the start...and same thing goes for Dwan. I don't know if he made an offer like that, but for what it would've been worth, I would've guessed Dwan would do all he can to make that first bracelet a reality.

Lee (Enjoying Cake)

For the inevitable questions about Don Cheadle being one of the nine in the TOC SNG: "Obviously, I love Don Cheadle but I think it is ridiculous he is playing in the 9 handed tourney for a spot in the TOC. Should all be champs" from Annie Duke's Twitter

Andrew Feldman
  (4:12 PM)

I don't get it with Cheadle, but apparently if there's entertainment value in recording the table, having Cheadle there adds another element. His entry into this thing really doesn't make sense and I completely agree with Annie. I would've loved to see someone else, more poker deserving, take his spot.

BigRedDog101 (London)

Why does Annette_15 complain about the structure of the 1K and 1.5K NLHE events as a crap IMO her style is a crapshoot

Andrew Feldman
  (4:13 PM)

Zing!

Nick (Monterey CA)

Hey Andrew,With the boom of internet players performing well in live tournaments do you believe that reading players when playing live has lost some of its benefit. It seems as though these internet phenoms can give a lot away and still do well. I played professionally for 3 years and it took me almost that long to be able to pick up things on players so I know that the internet players are not picking up much.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:15 PM)

It's the players that pick up the most as quickly as possible that really shine. You've seen online players come and go without a lot of live success, then you have some who have thrived based on what they're learning. Reading players is always of utmost importance and I think those that excel in that category will always have the upper hand. Onliners can play their style all they'd like, but if they can't prevent themselves from doing something to reveal their hand strength, it's a losing battle.

Pete (Rochester, NY)

Just a sidenote-based on Timex's post on the subject, it's been made very clear that no chops/deals/whatever are allowed for Dwan to win a bracelet. Watt may have offered but considering the stakes, I would highly doubt that Dwan would say yes, as if it got out after that he did, his credibility would get slaughtered.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:15 PM)

Correct Pete.

Bryan (Springdale,AR) [via mobile]

How long do players contracts with websites usually last? Any chance we start seeing poker pros endorsing generic, mainstream products to the public soon?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:17 PM)

It really depends on the player and site, but what I'm seeing now is more one-year deals than longer. I'm still waiting for the day that pros endorse generic non-poker companies, but for some reason, there's still the gigantic negative connotation when you talk about poker with the mainstream population.

Dustin (Jenison)

Who do you believe has the best chance to win their 12th bracelet?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:18 PM)

Um, Phil Hellmuth because he's the only player that has 11.

Henry (Los Angeles)

WSOP POY race is shaping up. Seems to be a race between Mizrachi and Schmelev, maybe some Dwan thrown in?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:19 PM)

Grinder has the control right now, but Schmelev might take over the top spot tonight. Don't discount Dwan or Bansi though. The next week should allow us to make a better prediction.

Henry (Los Angeles)

Cheadle has obviously done a lot for the poker community. He's a "champion" in the sense that he expands the player base and has basically single handedly connected the WSOP to charity through the Ante Up for Aids tournament. Not to mention he's not a bad poker player. If one celebrity had to be a part of that table, and you wanted him or her to both be good at poker and significantly connected to the poker world, who would you pick?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:21 PM)

Jason Alexander. All day, every day. Just because I still am a huge Seinfeld fan and I can't get over George at the table. I don't disagree with you about Cheadle and his efforts among the community, I was just really amazed that in such an elite field, they throw him in there.

AJ (Tempe)

Can you explain how POY works, I was a bit confused last year when Lisandro locked it up while Ivey was still in the ME even though if Ivey won the ME he would have had 3 bracelets as well.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:23 PM)

The POY format does have its flaws and you acknowledged the problem in your question. If Ivey won last year, he wouldn't have won POY and there's something wrong with that. Each type of event is assigned a different point value. Based on the type of event (shootout, heads-up, standard), points are awarded in a different fashion, but players must cash to receive points.

Allen (Vegas)

Have you picked out a headline for me in case I win the 10k Stud 8 today?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:25 PM)

Loved the one AlCantHang just came up with on Twitter since it would let me re-use the alligator head photo - "Chainsaw takes a bite out of the WSOP". Other ones I'm leaning towards are The Vegas Chainsaw Massacre, A Chainsaw Champion and No Complaints from the Chainsaw. Still open to lots more...and he'd have to win too.

Dave (Cleveland)

If they TOC really wanted to hit a home run with the celebrity angle, why not Shannon Elizabeth? She's easy on the eyes and takes the game pretty seriously.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:29 PM)

If they're going celebrity angle 100%, she is a good alternative, but she hasn't been as active on the scene as she used to be.

Jeff (OH)

I think people need to stop crying about who gets to play in a freeroll. Hey Annie, guess what: People don't really care to watch you play poker. Sorry.

Ricky (Chattanooga)

I think they should field the TOC sng with players that had huge chip stakes in the main event and then squandered them like Dmitri Nobles or Brian Schaedlich just so we could see that sick look on their faces one last time.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:29 PM)

Love it. Best idea I've heard all day. I wonder how Schaedlich is doing. Nice kid.

Andy Bloch (Vegas)

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride...WHEN WILL I BE THE BRIDE DAMNIT!

Andrew Feldman
  (4:30 PM)

Knowing your luck, you'll win the seat into the TOC and finish runner-up in the actual event. Brutal.

Phil (Albany, NY)

Can you give us on update as to what big names are currently deep in tournaments at this time?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:33 PM)

Writing a blog on it. Check out the poker blog a little bit after the chat with an update on all the events that are in progress.

Bryan (NYC)

Gary's prop bet article was great. At this point, are there any "name" pros that completely abstain from prop betting, or is is safe to say all of them at least dabble in it?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:34 PM)

I guess from the article Brandon Adams isn't a huge fan. I don't think that any players are 100% against it as they probably participate in a prop bet at some point. All the players crave action and they take that to whatever level they feel comfortable.

Pete (Rochester, NY)

No Complaints from the Chainsaw would be especially good, because you know that you're going to have to fill the article with statements like "The bracelet isn't nearly gold enough."

Andrew Feldman
  (4:34 PM)

"I thought that they would extent the national anthem ceremony for me"

george (state college, pa)

Do you know if ESPN filmed Tom Dwan's FT? If so any chance they air it?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:35 PM)

We did not film it and it will not be aired, sorry.

Lonnie (NJ)

Was there ever talk about having a "Champions" SNG freeroll event with every WSOP ME winner from the 2000s decade? I think something like that would've been interesting to run this year.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:35 PM)

OK, so who wins that freeroll? I'd go with Mortensen.

Henry (Los Angeles)

Well, how do you feel about the fact that a WSOP Academy player gets a seat? Or that we as fans get to vote for our favorite players - cool and all, but many of the top 50 vote getters are small name one bracelet winners supported by family and friends?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:40 PM)

I'm not a fan of the whole sponsor exemption thing, but it is part of the WSOP Tournament of Champions history. The fact that they gave it to the WSOP is symbolic, but really, it's the WSOP giving away a seat just through a different route. I'm looking forward to seeing the final list and I doubt that we're going to see a family and friend supported player in the event. I hope the public makes their voices heard.

Bill (CT)

Would someone be allowed to advertise a different casino such as Foxwoods at the final table at the Rio? If so are other casino's allowed to offer serious perks if you win it all with their ads showing?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:41 PM)

Of course. There are certain limitations to what can be advertised at the WSOP, but a live casino is not one of them. Remember that Darvin advertised his local casino throughout the WSOP main event last year and at the final table. The perks will be up to the sponsoring casino to decide, but I would imagine they would be pretty happy to get their logo on national TV.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:42 PM)

I think it just might be that he wants to play more. Yang cashed only once so far this WSOP in the $1,500 Event 11, but he has proven to be motivated to do well this year. Let's see how long it lasts though...

JamesDaBear (Seattle, Wa)

I'd go with Ferguson (2000) on that.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:43 PM)

probably be my second choice, but yeah, well ahead of the other seven as well.

Ville (Finland)

Do you think Vladimir Schmelev can get a PokerStars deal like me?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:44 PM)

Seems like he's going in that direction. They love the international phenoms for sure and Schemelev has been a beast to date.

Toby (Lowell, MA)

Would it be safe to say that the average skill level for the players in the WSOP ME is no better than for a $1500 NL event, perhaps even worse?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:45 PM)

I'll disagree. While the main is filled with a lot of amateurs, there are players who really don't care about the smaller buy-in events and just do it to say they've played in the WSOP. Those that satellite in online have earned their spots and I think they have the edge in the skill argument.

John (NY)

What is the deal w/ online poker and UIGEA now? Is it illegal to play online poker?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:47 PM)

No, it is not illegal to play online poker. The UIGEA is in full effect and the biggest difficulty you'll find is trying to get money online. If you do, however, you can play all day, everyday. You are not doing anything wrong.

JamesDaBear (Seattle, Wa)

No live internet coverage of WSOP events this year? I'm really missing the live feeds with such great action on these non-televised events.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:48 PM)

There are 5 events that will be streamed on ESPN3 later in the WSOP.

Adam (Austin, TX)

Better chance of happening at WSOP 2010 - Bernard Lee makes a final table or an "established" pro wins the ME?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:48 PM)

Nothing against Bernard, but the odds are much better to see an "established" pro win the main.

Matt (Phoenix)

What's the going rate to wear a sponsor's logo on a feature table this year?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:49 PM)

Haven't been many, but I'm assuming that the players got paid well at the 50K final table, probably more than the standard 10K.

Barton (Seattle, WA)

I know that Laak played for 115 hours and made money - how crowded was his table and how deep was the waitlist? What would've happened if everyone just decided to stop playing him?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:51 PM)

I don't think anyone would've stopped playing him just to thwart his efforts to set the record...that's pretty ridiculous and rude at the same time. The waitlist was deep at some points during the day, but not all. If you wanted a seat, you probably could've hung around and waited.

BigRedDog101 (London)

With Grinders win does that mean he gets to keep his house?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:52 PM)

His whole house issue took place a year and a half ago...the media was just late in reporting the issue and yes, I'm sure his win took care of part of the problem.

Chris (Houston)

What time do the events start back up today?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:54 PM)

Event 17 is already underway. Event 16 starts at 5:30 and I believe Event 15 will start around that time as well.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:54 PM)

Alright everyone, thanks for the questions. Don't forget to play in the Inside Deal home game tonight and be back here tomorrow for another WSOP chat at 4 p.m. ET. Speak to you all then!