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June 21, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Andrew Feldman

Andrew Feldman
  (4:05 PM)

Happy Tuesday everyone! I think today is an open forum day! Let's start with the hot topic - are there too many bracelet events? Is the bracelet watered down? I was relatively surprised to see the majority think so...

Joey (Virginia)

Not too many events. As many people as possible should have a chance to win a bracelet.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:08 PM)

So at what point will there be too many? Is there a lack of bracelet prestige?

Luke (Seattle)

Keeping track of bracelets will soon be like keeping track of home runs, hits and RBIs in baseball - there will be new statistic that emerge which will prove to be more indicative of where a poker player stands versus other players. Sure, number of bracelets might factor into the overall equation, but it won't be as important of a statistic as it somehow is now.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:11 PM)

Quality starts? lol...

will (washington)

i dont think there is a lack of prestige. sure "anyone" can win a bracelet, and maybe that makes some people think it's watered down. but what i love is the chase for multiple bracelets! if anyone can win one bracelet, the best of the best are still able to prove it by accumulating bracelets. the wsop stage is the best place to do this.

Kevin (Wisconsin)

I see one problem with so many events is that many pros are not playing to their potential, they are looking ahead to next event, not the game they are playing.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:12 PM)

That I agree with 100%. There is something inherently wrong with live multi-tabling.

rage (LA)

Way too many bracelets. Before it use to be if you had a bracelet, that means you won the Main Event.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:14 PM)

Not quite true. There have been preliminary events almost always at the WSOP

Joey (Virginia)

Maybe put a limit on the amount of bracelet events one can enter? Entrants numbers would drop but the play quality would increase.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:14 PM)

And Caesars would make no money. No chance that will ever happen, but a creative idea.

Chet (NYC)

Kevin is correct - the increase in events has almost made the WSOP into a giant rebuy event for top pros where the play spewy early and basically give up if they haven't built a large enough stack to guarantee that they can stay competitive well into the money.

will (washington)

so how do u fix the live multitabling, have the wsop last 4 months? theres no way players who play all poker games will want to miss out on those bracelet chances

Andrew Feldman
  (4:16 PM)

I don't think it needs a fix because 99.9% of players do not even think about it. If players want to waste their money in trying to build stacks in two events, then so be it. Takes talent for them to make it succeed and I can't remember the last time it really worked out well.

Bob (Albany, NY)

It seems like there are two factors behind the increased number of bracelets - pros can use it for prop bets and the WSOP can use it to increase field sizes. Using bracelets to gauge skill or as a measuring stick among pros makes no sense and hasn't for several years.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:17 PM)

Especially because there are so many more tournaments and games to play during the rest of the year. I think its easier to measure success now more than ever and yes, while bracelets are part of it, they aren't the determining factor.

Scott (Austin)

Impromptu trip to Vegas this week. Where would you stay ($200 a night maximum)

Andrew Feldman
  (4:18 PM)

Wow, expensive rates right now, just tried to look them up for you. Mirage if its in the price range.

Nick (Maguy)

The fields are huge. Anyone who can win a bracelet gets respect for sure. But there is no reason why wsop wins should be any more prestigious than any other event. It's the same pool of players playing the WPT, EPT, etc etc. Long term success in both tournaments and cash games is the only true measure of a players rank. And cash game stats are not public. So poker is clearly a different animal than say golf or tennis.

Nick (Rhode Island)

Shouldn't the fact that Phil has almost obtained 2 more bracelets mean that their value goes up? I think if multiple bracelet winners can come back and continue to win events then we should use bracelets as a factor of overall tournament success/skill.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:19 PM)

I think we often lose sight of how few people actually have more than 1 bracelet. Winning one is great, winning two is deserving of a lot of recognition.

Fred (Pittsburgh, PA)

What would we say if Phil got both of those bracelets so far this year? too many bracelets, or "Congrats again Phil!" ???

Andrew Feldman
  (4:20 PM)

Congrats again. For him to finish second in both those 10Ks would be deserving and there's no way that those two bracelets, out of all the Series, have a lot of prestige attached.

Mark Gahagan (San Diego)

I think its hard to argue that there are too many bracelets when if anything the ratio of players-to-bracelets has only gone up. Good example is this year, where after 30 events there were 33,173 entrants. That's an over 1000-to-1 gap. Bracelets are just as scarce as before, and I'd say when only a few hundred people in the history of the WSOP have one that's still a pretty elite club given the numbers we are seeing today.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:20 PM)

Since everyone is talking Hellmuth, let's turn the focus over to him. Hellmuth's run in these two events were simply impressive, but will he get back to another final table this WSOP?

Josh (Philly)

So if Hellmuth scores another top 20 finish, do you think that would lock WSOP POY?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:21 PM)

No. Especially since WSOPE is being counted as well. All it will take is someone who has had a few deep runs to win a bracelet. I doubt the POY will be a player without a win.

Kevin (Wisconsin)

but if bracelet numbers are used to measure sucess, what of the "old" bracelets, when there were 24 people entered in the event?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:23 PM)

Sorry, reverting back to this for a second because you have a great point. The fields may have been smaller, but you know each of those 24 were the world's best in whatever game.

Nick (Rhode Island)

At least one more, I bet. Would be very impressive if he FT'd the players championship. Is he good at H.O.R.S.E.?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:23 PM)

He made a deep run in the 1,500 HORSE a few years ago and he's been playing a lot of cash mixed games recently as well. I'm sure he's playing tonight if he is mentally ready for it.

Josh (Philly)

I'm pissed. I was at the rio last Saturday when it was Phil/Juanda... playing small cash game.. had no idea it was happening.. and i was there till like 2a.m. I would have definitely left the game to go watch.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:24 PM)

real life bad beat. How was the cash game?

Mark Gahagan (San Diego)

I would have said no after the 2-7 event, but seeing as he already proved me wrong there I won't say the same again. I think he can get back, its a matter of whether the time left in the series and the tourney schedule will give him the opportunity.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:24 PM)

I said yes and for the first time, accurately predicted something. #winning.

Aaron (Texas)

Would you recommend a trip to Vegas during the Nov 9? I'm considering booking early for cheap(er) flights :)

Andrew Feldman
  (4:25 PM)

Honestly, it's one of the most incredible atmospheres ever. It isn't a poker tournament, it's a show/spectacle, whatever. If you're willing to wait on line to get into the theater early, then definitely head out. It's free admission.

Ryan (Vegas)

Luck must have been involved since Phil didnt win last night

Nick (Boston)

The most impressive thing about Hellmuth's cashes are the games he is playing. He has taken a lot of heat for being a nlh tourney specialist. He has to be considered an all around tourney player now right?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:26 PM)

It's not like he never played them in the past...he just didn't win.

Josh (Philly)

it was alright (1-3nlhe).. up like $300.. then came back the next day for the $1k, was out in like 2 hours 10 mins.. lol.. so stayed till 3am in the cash game again and won another 650.. then won monday binion's poker classic tournament.. so overall a good trip :)

Andrew Feldman
  (4:27 PM)

Not bad at all. Congrats.

Paul (Los Angeles)

Does Hellmuth really need to win number 12 in order to validate his career? Isn't the 44 final tables and 81 cashes enough?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:28 PM)

No. Not at all. He's won bracelets in the modern era and so people who say he can't win these days aren't truly accurate. He might feel that it would be validation, but I don't think its necessary.

Kevin (Wisconsin)

Phil has the talent to win any bracelet, but it seems he makes final table (maybe just when televised) and falls apart. I watched him and John heads up in the 2-7.. i could tell what John had consistanly, where Phil seemed to not have a clue. Maybe hes allergic to lights

Andrew Feldman
  (4:29 PM)

Honestly, I didn't love the way Phil played last night, but it worked. He really got his money in relatively bad in a few spots and down so much going into heads-up, he really needed a miracle to pull it off. the match with Juanda was a different story where he played well the entire time...until heads-up.

Thomas (Atlanta)

Here's an interesting hypothetical - if somehow Phil H could guarantee that he will win a non-holdem bracelet but in doing so it somehow also meant that he'd be guaranteed never to win another bracelet, would he want to do that?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:30 PM)

Interesting idea. I'd say that he wouldn't do it because he'd think that he's good enough to continue to win in both in the future.

Mark Gahagan (San Diego)

An argument that was made is that he just can't close in these non hold'em events, due to a skill gap when it gets down to 2 or 3 opponents. I don't necessarily agree with that, but short of winning a bracelet in a non-hold'em event he's gonna continue to carry that stigma.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:31 PM)

He was out-classed by Rodawig last night. That guy knew exactly where he was in every hand and just dominated a final table that was filled with star after star. Wasn't even a contest heads-up.

Mac (New Orleans)

More impressive - Phil's two 2nd place finishes this year or Idema's win in the $10,000 limit event after finishing 2nd last year?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:32 PM)

Love the question. I'm going with Phil's since they came in two different variations. Idema's run is incredible and it proves that he's a great limit hold 'em player...but Phil's shows a little more depth despite not getting the win.

Jai (Canada, eh?)

Outclassed? Playing out of a 7-1 chip disadvantage?Hellmuth's shown he's got chops in the non-hold'em games... it's really time to drop that label.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:33 PM)

Outclassed not in the matchup, but in the sense that Rodawig specializes in the game and that fact was clear. He does have the ability in the non hold 'em games, but last night, Rodawig was much better at the game at hand.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:35 PM)

Next topic - Bigger win for Andy Frankenberger or Sam Stein? WPT POY has never done well at the WSOP and Frankenberger comes through. Stein has had so many second places without a W and finally earns it...

Keith (Orlando)

(crickets).....sorry dude, but bad 2nd topic. 80% or more of your readership probably does not know who these guys are.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:38 PM)

Yeah, I get the point...

Kevin (Wisconsin)

I'd vote for option #3... Norman Chad making the money

Aaron (Texas)

Frankenberger is huge for poker imo. He has had a lot of publicity in not only poker media but wall st media as well. Him winning is good for poker in the sense that super intelligent people really do have an advantage and thus poker is a skill game.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:39 PM)

I agree with you Aaron. Frankenberger has been on Fox News, in numerous papers talking about his Wall Street to poker transition. He could be a player to make a mainstream connection given his past career.

Paul (Los Angeles)

The win has to be bigger for Stein. Frankeberger already has the WPT Title and WPT Player of the Year Honors. This is Stein's first major win! Agree?

Jai (Canada, eh?)

I'd call them equal... this year seems to be a bit different for the guys who have won or almost one before...

Josh (Philly)

i think the win is bigger for Stein because it puts his name out there more.. gives him more recognition.. Frankenberger already has the POY and publicity.. so it boosts his name even higher... it gives Stein a name though.. so i think thats bigger...

Andrew Feldman
  (4:40 PM)

Also, Stein is 23 while Frankenberger is in his late 30s. Two very different parts of the poker spectrum

Mark Gahagan (San Diego)

I'd say its a bigger win (and a bigger WSOP) for Sam Stein, if only because he's hit two final tables, one win, and is #2 on the WSOP POY race. Behind, ironically, Phil Hellmuth.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:41 PM)

Stein also has the ability to play in different games. Frankenberger hasn't taken that leap yet, but said he might in the future.

Nick (Boston)

I really wish television could handle some of the other games in some capacity. The WSOP TV coverage should at least make mention of some of the notable bracelet winners. So that the general public knows that poker isn't just one game. I know you agree and there is nothing we can do. Just ranting.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:43 PM)

Incorrect. You'll see a wider range of coverage this year. Not necessarily the actual play of the events, but we're going to address the preliminary results.

Fred (Pittsburgh, PA)

I'd say Stein's is bigger, too many late drives with no wins really drag on you. Also, Frankenberger already has his name out there more so than Stein. How's Brikdog doing today?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:45 PM)

NEXT TOPIC: FS+G - More and more players are earning their way in, but will it succeed? Do you like the idea?

Justin (Denver)

I like the idea. But, ultimately, participation will drive it's success. And if there are already pro's that are dismissing it, then it won't survive.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:46 PM)

But that's the thing...I don't know what pros are dismissing it anymore. They used to, but really, I haven't heard a lot as of late.

Jai (Canada, eh?)

FS+G = PPT - remember how long that lasted?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:48 PM)

PPT was pulled by the travel channel...

Josh (Philly)

LOVE the idea.. but success depends on their definition. Does it seem like it will be a "Pro League" that will enable more efficient tracking and ranking of players, yes. Success. Do I see it being overly profitable from a business standpoint. Can't say I do. Failure.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:49 PM)

How they make money off of this is the $1 million question. They have yet to announce sponsors/tv/etc.

Paul (Los Angeles)

It'll depend on how the reaction is from the first couple events. I was surprised to see that a $200 Satellite open to the public couldn't get more than 4 entries down at the Palms. I'd be surprised to see if does better than the NAPT did on TV.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:49 PM)

Nobody knew there were satellites being offered. Bad communication on that front.

Keith (Eddyville)

I loved when espn 2 had live final table coverage with hole cards! Do you think that will be happening again anytime soon?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:50 PM)

Yes. We're doing it Days 3-8 of the main event, July 14-19th. Also on ESPN3.com all those days. Full coverage schedule here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/poker/news/story?id=6477409

Andrew Feldman
  (4:50 PM)

Thanks for all the questions today guys! See you all tomorrow at the same time.