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June 14, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Andrew Feldman

Andrew Feldman
  (4:00 PM)

Happy Tuesday everybody. Lots to talk about today, but figured I'd do another open forum where I throw out a topic and everyone chimes in. Send in questions/topic ideas and we'll get started in a second.

Neal (Philly)

I think yesterday was a prime example of why the quantity of events is hurting the value of a WSOP bracelet. How many players busted out of multiple tournaments yesterday? Daniel Negraneau was knocked out of the $1500 PLO in 15 minutes. Erick Lindgren busted out of 3 tournaments yesterday. These are a couple of the best known players, how are they possibly putting a 100% into every tournament they play in with these results? When their were fewer tournaments, you had to play harder in each one, but now that there are so many, guys looking to just win a bracelet, are just throwing chips around hoping to start with a big stack, otherwise they move to the next tournament. How is this either good for the WSOP or legitamizes records for most cashes or bracelets won?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:02 PM)

Neal - I think players who come into the day with the intention of busting three tournaments aren't doing themselves any favors. They aren't putting 100% in and are just playing for the hopes of building a stack or moving on. In terms of legitimacy of the bracelets, it does hurt that people play in this way, but it's their money and they can spend it in any way they'd like.

Matt (CO)

Why would the 'elitist' FS&G want to 'acquire' a tournament circuit like HPT??? What's in it for both sides, exactly?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:06 PM)

I've been trying to figure that out today, Matt. I really think they are going to use it as a feeder satellite system to their Pro-Am tournaments. Or brand the HPT to promote FS+G. I'll talk with both sites and get some answers...but honestly, I don't think they have them yet.

James Pasque (Los Angeles)

If the 3 major online sites all default on money owed to players, will this effect the growth of poker today?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:07 PM)

Well, considering PokerStars paid people back, we're down to 2 sites. If they default, which I do not believe both will, it will have an impact, but not as big as you think. I think there will be legislation in the works that makes the industry legal and once that happens, it will rebound. As far as the live poker scene, clearly everything is doing OK so far with these great numbers at the WSOP.

Levi (Florida)

Are there any early estimates on the number of entries for the main event - will it surpass last years' total

Andrew Feldman
  (4:10 PM)

I do not believe it will pass last year's total, but I'm a little more optimistic after another week of solid numbers. I'll raise the estimate from 4,700 to 5,400...a lot of people still want to play.

Jaxx (Philly)

Who did Lance Bradley see in the Starbux the other day?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:12 PM)

Lance saw a representative of Full Tilt. I was relatively surprised to hear he was at the Rio as well.

brett (atlantic city)

Are players allowed to text at the table or do they have to get up and stand behind their chair?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:13 PM)

They can text at the table as long as they are not involved in a hand. Although, I would think it would be funny to see everyone get up to text, then sit back down.

Phil's Fan (Florida)

With Phil getting so close to another bracelet - will he make another run at a final table or was that his this year flash of lightning

Andrew Feldman
  (4:14 PM)

He's focused on another big run...I think he's going to make it back to another FT.

Alex (Brooklyn)

Another day, another media/info blackout with regards to FTP?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:15 PM)

Actually, not the same blackout today. FTP headquarters have a few more visitors this week to work on the solution.

Luther (Chicago)

Here comes the most random question you've probably ever received - how was Hal Lubarsky, who's blind, able to multitable Rush Poker? Even with some kind of software to vocalize the action for him, how was it possible?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:15 PM)

That is very random and I have no idea. If I see Hal this year I'll ask him.

Jeff (Palo Alto)

Andrew, do you think that the purchase of the Heartland Poker Tour could be specifically for their TV deal. That seems to be the missing piece to the FS+G puzzle and almost the only thing they have yet to announce.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:17 PM)

I really don't think so. FS+G has boasted that their media partner will be a big one and they'll have a good presence on TV. HPT airs shows in the middle of the night on regional channels...I just can't imagine the two go hand in hand UNLESS the network that is working with FS G wanted more poker on TV and thus, HPT was a throw in. I'm really not sure though...

James (Florida)

What did you think about the news of Miramax wanting to do Rounders 2?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:19 PM)

I just don't want it to flop. Rounders was so well done and such a cult flick that it worked. We've seen how poorly big-exposure poker movies have done lately, so they know what they can't do. All that said, if Damon and Norton are interested, there's a good chance it's headed in the right direction.

Bill (Chicago)

I'd much rather see tourneys televised vs watching all of the cash games we see everyday. The audience knows these cash players have serious $$ and, all things considered, watching Mercier take a $200K hit doesnt mean much to me or probably him; yet when everybody starts out with the same chips in a tourney I feel everybody is on equal footing thus making better tv. The audience can relate better to a tourney. Your thoughts?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:21 PM)

I think it depends on the audience really. Many players prefer watching cash games over tournaments which is why TV shows recently headed in that direction. I think these days, tournaments are all you're going to see as there's going to be a very limited run of TV poker across the board.

Nicky (Detroit)

I saw WSOP on VERSUS on my channel guide the other day? Are those reruns? Does this have any bearing on ESPN coverage?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:22 PM)

No, it's just inputted into the TV listings really, really poorly. It said "World Series of Poker", when it should've said "World Series of Poker Circuit Regional Championship". They are new episodes from the '10-'11 WSOP Circuit season. Definitely entertaining regardless of how it shows up.

Andrew (WI)

Maybe the HPT can be used as some kind of minor league system to the FS+G League. How it would work, I have no idea, but some kind of minor league to try and scoop up everyone who doesn't get in the FS G?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:24 PM)

Sure, but poker will never have a "draft" that a minor league would provide. Sure you can award tour cards through HPT and give people an easier chance to qualify, but since the start of their league, it hasn't really been in the direction they've headed. They've wanted a pros league...not to water it down.

vic (no cal)

I was a casual online player who got his money out of PokerStars, and haven't really been paying attention to the aftermath of Black Friday. What is the reasoning behind the other two sites defaulting on what is owed to players? In other words, why did PokerStars pay, but these two aren't?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:26 PM)

PokerStars paid because the money was readily available as required by their licensing on the Isle of Man. FTP has been fundraising as what I've heard is that they were not required to keep that balance separate from their operating funds. AP/UB is a mystery, but clearly they do not have the money available either.

Brian (Texas)

Who determines who sits at the feature table? Usually there's 2 pros and 7 people nobody knows. If a regular joe-schmo like me gets assigned to it but doesnt want to be there, what are my chances of getting moved if requested?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:29 PM)

If you are thinking about getting moved instead of sitting at the feature table, you probably shouldn't play. If you get selected for the feature table then you have to sit there - they will not adjust your seat. The feature table is determined by the TV production team. They are given a list of tables prior to the start of the day and make their decision then.

Chris (Bayshore)

Who do you like in the Stud 10k Championship?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:34 PM)

Lots of great players left in this event. I think Mercier/Brown/Kostritsyn could be some of the favorites, but how can you count out Men Nguyen? Also, dark horse Chris Tryba loves some stud. He's got an uphill battle though...

Jobin (Quincy)

Andrew, do you even see the glass as half-full? Or do you see it as 75 times the capacity but just an optical illusion? You are an extreme optimist.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:34 PM)

That is probably the first time anyone has ever called me an optimist. Maybe poker is where all my optimism goes :-)

wayne (Sonoma, CA)

Andrew, kind of confused on the buy-ins. example, 1,500 NLH tourney is listed as a $1,500 buy-in. Does the rake come from the prize pool as opposed to paying an extra amount for the house cut (such as in online)?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:37 PM)

A percentage is taken out for the house and prize pool is determined from there. All casinos set this up differently, so know what you're expecting to pay ahead of time.

Larry (Florida)

I know that the number of entries in the tournaments are increased this year - but I have not heard anything on the people in attendance. How are those numbers

Andrew Feldman
  (4:38 PM)

The WSOP states that "Tournament Attendance Remains Ahead of Last Year". No firm numbers yet...

Dave (Rockland, MA)

Where can I find this year's payout structures for the WSOP?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:40 PM)

The payout schedules are listed at the bottom of this page:

Poker Fan (Reno NV)

Mercier deep in one, Lex Veldhuis deep in another tourney... I CAN'T WAIT until Bob Smith from Idaho and Bill Jones from Wisconsin take down the bracelets! #frustrated

Andrew Feldman
  (4:41 PM)

Is it really that frustrating? The circuit regulars are getting close, but haven't been able to close it out as of yet. The trend will most likely change in the coming weeks.

jack (nyc)

how often are you asked for your autograph at the Rio? what pros dont sign for people under any conditions?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:41 PM)

Haha. Never. thankfully. I don't want to devalue anything.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:42 PM)

And most pros have no problem signing if you can get them for a minute or two. I've always been amazed at how courteous players are to fans even when they only have a 15 minute break. not all of them are like this, but I'd say most...

Dion Renno (Colorado)

Andrew, do you have any way of contacting anyone from FT re: our money? Michele (FTPDOUG) or getting in interview with Howard of Chris with ESPN credentials? Could we please get ESPN to do a featurette exposing this problem ? on TV...

Andrew Feldman
  (4:43 PM)

They aren't talking right now...even to us here at ESPN.

Bill (Indiana)

Do you have a favorite non-traditional hand that you always play, assuming there are no ridiculous raises?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:44 PM)

As-Js is about the closest hand I have to something like that.

Matthew (New York)

Hey Andrew! I'm playing the $1500 event next wednesday. I am playing the deepstack $235 on tuesday to warm up. Is it a re-entry tourney? How many are allowed? thanks and continue to enjoy your coverage. the info on is limited

Andrew Feldman
  (4:46 PM)

Good luck! The deep stacks are all re-entry meaning, "Re-Entry is allowed for any player who has been eliminated during the registration period in Turbo, Deepstack, and Mega Satellite Tournaments only."

Brian A (Chapel Hill, NC)

I noticed Jason Mercier has a couple cashes but also a couple near cashes and bubble losses... is there a website that tracks POY standings how many cashes people have? Thank you sir

Andrew Feldman
  (4:46 PM)

J (Memphis)

Have you used Blue Shark glasses? Any opinion on them?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:47 PM)

I've tried on a couple pairs. My first impression was that it would take some getting used to.

Ramon (Pawcatuck CT)

Have you ever thought about having some ESPN contest where the winner gets to play in your home game?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:48 PM)

Believe me, my home game is not as glamorous as it sounds.

Tecmo (Smoothie Bar)

Speaking of new sponsors, have you tried these new Sheets Energy things? There's something about them I don't trust...

Andrew Feldman
  (4:49 PM)

No, but I called the fact that they'd be WSOP sponsors much earlier this year. I'll be sure to grab a few during the main know, alternating between Red Bull, Amp, and 5 hour energy. Sounds healthy.

Dion Renno (Colorado)

SO even if they aren't talking, any chance of doing a featurette to expose this problem to the poker masses? I cant stand the idea that they dont get any negative press for this debacle, or at least get something on their about Ivey suing them....

Andrew Feldman
  (4:50 PM)

I think it's been pretty well discussed. We addressed Ivey's lawsuit here:

Woody (Tampa)

Most everyone, including you, seem to think that the big numbers at this year's WSOP show that things are healthy. Isn't it just as possible that people are taking one last shot hoping for a big score, and that if they don't get it then they'll either be forced to or will choose to leave poker? What will be telling is the number NEXT year if there is no legalization in the US.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:52 PM)

I think the question is why is attendance so high? Is it because people don't have anywhere to play? Is it because they are taking their last shot? Is it because the WSOP just continues to grow naturally? Once the WSOP ends, the key metrics will be WSOPC and WPT turnouts in the US. I'm less concerned about Europe as their market truly hasn't changed. You're right though, the 2012 WSOP will be telling if no legislation is passed by that time.



Andrew Feldman
  (4:53 PM)

Raisy Daisy? He's a businessman and plays cash games. And buys nice suits.

wayne (Sonoma, CA)

What is the average wait time to use the can on the first break of big tourney?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:53 PM)

5 mins.

Willy (Vermont)

Woody has a good point. Next year will be important. I am still somewhat interested in poker, but if I can't start playing online soon, I am going to move to other things. Will I still be interested in the WSOP next year, if the online stuff is not legalized? Not as much, that is for sure.

Dion Renno (Colorado)

Thanks Andrew, last question. Do you know if Full Tilt and Pokerstars have bout advertising for this years wsop?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:57 PM)

They will not be sponsors of the WSOP on ESPN here in the US.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:57 PM)

Thanks for all the questions today. I think tomorrow we're chatting at 3 p.m. ET and I'll send out an update on Twitter - @ESPN_Poker. Speak to you all then!