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July 7, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Andrew Feldman

Andrew Feldman
  (4:04 PM)

Happy main event day everyone! Let's get started.

Nick (Boston)

Should the WSOP Europe count towards the WSOP POY points?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:06 PM)

I think it should. If we're awarding WSOP bracelets for the events and have them appear on the same level as Vegas events, there's no reason why they shouldn't be counted towards POY.

Boyand (Belgium)

What's your take on the 50k final table being Holdem only?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:08 PM)

BJ Nemeth and I spoke about this last night. In this day and age, you have to be able to play the world's biggest game at a high level. I think the format of the event works perfectly and it was one incredible final table last night (and this morning).

Phil Hellmuth (2nd place)

Can I please just win 12 Andrew?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:10 PM)

First ever three-time runner-up performance in WSOP history. The bracelet will come, it's only a matter of time. If he hits any of those three flushes last night, the bracelet is his.

Andy C (Indiana)

Here's an oddball idea to generate higher ME participation: Offer simultaneous Day 1-2, over a Saturday Sunday at a handful of Caesars/Harras properties across the nation. The survivors head to Vegas to merge together to play days 3-8 beginning a few days later. You might get more amateur players if they don't have to travel so far or miss so much time away from their jobs in order to play.Thoughts?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:11 PM)

It would definitely increase attendance, but it would be a logistical nightmare. Players would have to book flights and hotel on the fly...it just wouldn't work.

Cory (Sacramento)

Epic Final Table last night, I felt bad for Phil, but he just got unlucky a few times. IS anybody runnign better than Hellmuth at the WSOP this year?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:12 PM)

I mean, maybe Rast or Ben Lamb, but no, Hellmuth is on another level this year. He had a focused look the entire final table and that appearance just hasn't been there in the past.

James (Florida)

How great would a November 9 run for Hellmuth be for the Poker World?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:12 PM)

Would he finish in second in November?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:14 PM)

In all seriousness, if there's one player who could cross over and appeal to the general public it would be Hellmuth. It would do wonders for the game. Ivey had the potential to do that, but he was Ivey and decided that media just wasn't for him.

Keith H (Seattle)

Andrew, in your Players Championship recap you neglected to mention what Brian Rast and Phil Helmuth had as hole cards on the fateful last hand. If you remember, what were they?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:16 PM)

Sure, Rast had K-Q for a flopped straight. Hellmuth had 8d-2d for a flush draw (and what he thought would've been a live straight draw too)

DG (calif)

Antonio's observations during the $50,000 PPC final table last night were very interesting. I remember you saying something about having a behavior analyst with you a week or so ago. I think this would be a big move to have that kind of commentary on poker tourneys rather than the endless analysis of hands and "what should he do in this spot" scenarios.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:19 PM)

We're going to be incorporating Navarro into our broadcasts, but I think Antonio did a great job sharing what he saw. There was a ton of pacifying by both players and an "interpreter" of that body language could've added a lot of insight for sure.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Is there a Fee to Play in the World Series of Poker?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:19 PM)

The main event buy-in is $10,000

Stan (SLC)

What is your estimate for the number of runners for the Main Event this years, seems like attendance is strong, but just not for the big buy ins.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:20 PM)

5204. I'll be happy if it goes over.

Eric (LA)

How's day 1 turn out looking so far? Meeting expectations?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:21 PM)

Pretty quiet to be honest. I don't have a count for Day 1A yet, but I would assume this will be a smaller field. The weekend approach is smart as players can come in for Friday/Saturday/Sunday to play and not miss much work.

Andrew (Vegas)

What effect will Black Friday have on the main event in your opinion? In terms of field size and toughness.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:22 PM)

Tougher, but smaller field. Regardless, an event of 5K players is still huge and one of the largest events in WSOP history.

Slick (Down South)

Phil in the November 9 would be outstanding to promote the game and it would great if he finished 2nd there too with a classic blowup in front of nontraditional fans.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:23 PM)

He's not blowing up this year and that's really the different. It's a new Phil. He shows his frustration, but then he gets over it. Really, I've said it before, but I'm impressed with the way he's handled himself in 2011.

Dennis (Dayton)

I liked your interview with Matt Jarvis on the podcast. I think he's got a good shot for a top 100 finish.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:24 PM)

Appreciate that Dennis. Jarvis is one heck of a player. Honestly though, I'll have a tough time predicting anyone could have a good shot at a top-100 finish.

Brian Rast (Las Vegas)

Hey, I'm pretty good. Won the 50k players. Where is the props?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:27 PM)

Plenty of props. He played so well last night and to keep his focus despite being down so significantly in chips was something I'll remember for a while. Calm, collected and patient, Rast really is an incredible pro.

Slick (Down South)

Building on Andy's idea, why not have the WSOP over several weekends like March Madness, have preliminary rounds at those casinos across the country and have then advance to Vegas for the Final 4, so to speak, travel is no different then when way more fans book flights on Sunday night for the NCAA basketball tournament.

Ben (Boston)

Easy Rasty, you won three flips; you were mostly outplayed by PH all night.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:32 PM)

Debatable. Rast played really well. Heads-up Hellmuth put on a clinic, but to get to that point, Rast was a dominant force at the table.

Andrew (Vegas)

Out of three categories: established pros, unknowns pros, amateurs the main event will come from...?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:32 PM)

Unknown pros

Slick (Down South)

Great news on Texas Dolly showing up and excited to see that he is that the featured TV table, if he had not arrived, what pro that is playing today did he bump from that table?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:35 PM)

Not entirely sure. Maybe Johnny Chan. Maybe Raymer/Busquet/Schneider's table. In any case, with logos not an option anymore, it's not as profitable as it once was to be at the feature table.

seth (minnesota)

is eugene kachalov or alexander kostritsyn playin day 1 today? i have them both in my maint event draft

Andrew Feldman
  (4:36 PM)

I haven't seen either yet today. Still working my way through the field though.

Matt (Knoxville, TN)

Is Ivey in the Field for ME?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:38 PM)

Not today and I'm not expecting him to be at all. I know there are rumors going around that he might show up, but until he actually shows his face at the Rio, I'm not believing anything.

Dave (Rockland, MA)

Besides his win in the Heads-Up event, has Phil won a televised event in recent years? It seems like all of his wins are not televised, which is ironic for someone who loves the spot light.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:39 PM)

He really hasn't won anything for years. He's had a ton of deep runs not only at the WSOP, but WPT as well.

Dave (Rockland, MA)

The 50K Players Championship has lived up to the hype where well known established players could be crowned the best. The players that have won are well known players either among several fans or on the circuit. However, with the exception to last night the more well known player as won the headsup match. Do you think this event would have a slight less degree of prestige among fans if the headsup matches ended with different results? Besides Bloch and Hellmuth the other four runner-ups are not household names. Imagine if Bruno Fitoussi, Michael DeMichelle, John Hanson, and Vladimir Schmelev were champions of this event.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:43 PM)

Good point, but no, this is the bracelet among bracelets. Regardless of who eventually came out on top, it still would remain an elite event.

George (Minneapolis)

So...hellmuth got tired at the end you think?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:44 PM)

Not at all. He was doing fine in terms of fatigue, it was simply his aggression with he draws that did him in.

Andrew (New York)

Worse table to be a player at right now: Glantz/Shulman/Selbst/Alexander or Schneider/Raymer/Busquet

Andrew Feldman
  (4:44 PM)

Glantz's table. Although it would be more fun with Jason Alexander there.

Bob (Seattle)

If you're wearing a logo, what's the worst they can do to you? Kick you off the featured table, remove you from the tournament, give you dirty looks?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:45 PM)

They forced Hellmuth to remove a hat last night with an Aria logo on it. If you are wearing something that isn't approved, they'll make you remove it.

dave (toronto)

how much do you think antonio had of rast ?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:46 PM)

Enough.

Josh (Philly)

Why is Rast skipping the ME? I mean don't get me wrong, taking the down the PPC is huge and doesnt' get more gratifying, and seeing the GF is nice, but wasn't she there last night? I mean this is the MAIN EVENT!

Andrew Feldman
  (4:47 PM)

No, there are visa issues with Rast's girlfriend and she was unable to watch the final table last night. I think he's on his way there to fix that situation.

seth (minnesota)

Andrew, who would you personally rather see make a deep run this year: Negreanu or Tow Dwan

Andrew Feldman
  (4:49 PM)

I think I'd go Negreanu. Basically a coin flip.

Jobin (Quincy)

What's up with Basebaldy's WSOP? He's had a pretty terrible run. I'm guessing you put the Feldman curse on him and grabbed him for your WSOP team?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:52 PM)

Not his best performance, but I hear his sports betting is doing OK.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:52 PM)

Not his best performance, but I hear his sports betting is doing OK.

Andrew (New York)

Didn't Pilgrim take Baldwin first overall?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:53 PM)

Yes. The "man who changed his life". No joke, greatest conference call ever.

seth (minnesota)

Whats the status on Lederer? He playing the ME or in hiding?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:53 PM)

He's in the US. Doubt he's playing.

Richard (Florida)

so if you had to take the over/under at 6000 players in the ME, you would say really good chance it's under?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:53 PM)

Personally yes. I don't see this field over 6K.

Big Tex (Rockwall, Tx)

What was the reaction/mood at the Ladies event with a guy making the final table? And is the WSOP always going to have a ladies bracelet event?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:55 PM)

I think the WSOP will always have a ladies' bracelet as it is one of the few untapped potential poker markets. The WSOP was not happy to see a man at the final table and it was a shame that men felt the need to play in the event.

Cory (Sacramento)

Any Ferguson or Gordon sightings in the US lately?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:55 PM)

I'm not sure. I don't think either are playing the main though.

William (Nevada)

In your opinion who is currently the best Hold-Em player?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:56 PM)

Hellmuth is among the best, but I can't say there is one player, specifically in hold 'em that is better than all others.

Chad L (Chicago)

Are only poker site logos banned from the feature table, or all logos? Could we see someone repping Cheetos or Fram Oil Filters?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:58 PM)

I think online gaming logos specifically. Not sure of the exact ruling, but will find out.

Boyand (Belgium)

Considering both Ahmed and Ly were kinda shy of the action, PH and Rast had no other choice but to tangle with each other

Andrew Feldman
  (4:59 PM)

Good observation. Those two sat back after dinner and just waited while Hellmuth and Rast went at it. It was a two horse race most of the night.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:59 PM)

Thanks for all the questions today! I'll be back tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET. have a great day everyone!