Hey everyone! Welcome to the final day of the 2011 WSOP. It's been a great final table so far and I'm sure tonight will be incredible as we crown a champion.
Will you be doing of highlights of the hall of fame presentation with tonights show
Yes. I'll also be live-chatting the hall of fame presentations on ESPN.com
You guys did a great job with the broadcast on Sunday. Totally looking forward to tonight's FT. Do you know who the people that have signed up for the $1M tourney (the big one) are? Super curious to see what that field looks like and hopefully ESPN will cover that event in its entirety.
I'm not sure what the coverage plans are for it yet, but I'd be optimistic that you'll see those who buy in for $1 million on our air. There are a number of people who have confirmed for it, but most notably, Jonathan Duhamel, ElkY, Johnny Chan, Patrik Antonius and Tom Dwan. There will also be lots of businessmen making this $1 million buy-in attractive for pros to enter.
Come to Belize. Please?
what do you think of Stazsko's game? he looked like he was card dead en he still managed to keep his composure and get to the final three...
Completely looked like he was going to be eliminated in fourth and really, all it took for him to make it was winning a flip and a cooler on the other side. He adjusts his game well and how he approaches tonight will really be the determining factor on how Pius and Ben will act. He's still the wild card...
Do you think BenBa can pull it out?
He's focused and ready for this. I'll stick with what I said yesterday, Lamb and Heinz will get involved and whoever emerges out of that will grind down Martin. That said, if Martin comes out super-aggressive tonight, neither Lamb or Heinz can play their game. He hasn't shown us that third gear yet, but it might be time.
With two players as aggressive as Heinz and Lamb, is it safe to predict that we'll see few, if any, big blind walks? And what's your guess as to how many hands will get to a flop - I figure no more than 25%.
We didn't see as many three/four-bets as I expected on Sunday, but I think you're right, we're going to see pots swell to ~10M preflop and very few walks. Pius told the media yesterday that Lamb flatting prefop raises really changed his game as it surprised him and limited Heinz's ability to put Lamb on hands. He said during the later days in July, when Lamb played this way, he'd sometimes show down monsters and other times show rags. If I'm Ben and I know that's what Pius was concerned about, I'd probably continue that strategy.
Is it known yet who is sitting where among the final 3? You'd have to think that whichever of Heinz and Lamb has the button when Staszko (a tight player) is in the big blind will have a significant benefit, right?
Pius will be on the button for Staszko's big blind. It's really going to be hard for Staszko to get involved without a hand given the aggression of his opponents and their seats.
Do you think Lamb will struggle with Hienz aggression and chip advantage?
I think he's probably spent the last 24 hours talking to his friends and fellow pros to figure out the right approach. Putting Pius on a hand range is tough considering he's always betting and that's why Heinz has such an edge going into tonight. He has the chips and can keep the pressure on. If he gets caught though and doubles someone up, he'll need to adjust his game instantly.
Great coverage as always, Andrew. I'm curious--why could we barely hear the table talk on Sunday? The live coverage during the summer was elevated by all the conversations the players had.
I'm not sure about that at all. Players were all mic'd up. I'll check on that.
Given the chip counts and playing styles of the final three, what is the consensus among people you talk to about how each player will approach today? In particular, what about Staszko - is it now more important than ever for him to turn on the aggression, or would he be better served trying to allow one of the aggro guys make a misstep?
The assumed gameplan for Pius will be to keep the pressure on. There's no reason for him to stop given his lead. That should be his plan for both players. Both Lamb and Heinz are going to want to pick on Staszko as he's clearly the most timid of the three. Lamb may have something on Staszko given his four-bet with 4-high which can really help him out tonight. I think people believe Lamb is going to try and trap Pius which makes complete sense. As for Staszko, we expect him to get it in good, whenever that happens. He's probably going to sit back early on and let Pius/Ben battle it out and it wouldn't shock me if he enters heads-up down in chips if he doesn't double early.
Why on earth is this starting at 9pm EST?
It's the regularly scheduled ESPN poker window...
If Staszko wins, is he going to "pull an Yang" and not actively promote poker and be the face of the WSOP? What's are you hearing on that?
He'll be the face of poker in the Czech Republic, in fact, he already is, but his limited English might hinder him in really being the poker ambassador for the next year.
The telecast is only showing on ESPN from 9-11 tonight and then Sports Center. What if it goes past 11:00?I am going to tape and do not want to miss any coverage.
I would definitely DVR sportscenter.
What would the circumstances need to be for Staszko to be favored in a heads up match with either Heinz or Lamb? I think he'd need to be ahead in chips by at least 2 to 1, maybe even 3 to 1.
Maybe he has an incredible heads up game...we don't really know. He's won A TON online and going by those results, it doesn't seem that his heads-up game is weak at all. The only way he doesn't get his money in good is if its a cooler.
Which player do you think made the best impression (skillwise) so far at the final table?
Giannetti and Pius. Both played really strong games the other night.
Top notch coverage so far, looking forward to tonight. Just wondering about Ben Lamb. He looks out of sorts, and I wasn't too impressed with his play on Sunday. He got really lucky against Matt G., and it seemed his read was off (as noted by the commentators). What do you think?
He admitted to me yesterday he was a little off on Sunday. I'm waiting to see if he's going to pull things together tonight.
How will the coverage work tonight when play extends past the 2hrs blocked of on ESPN?
Stays on ESPN.
Hey, remember me?
Will it also be simulcast online?
Yes, you can watch it online right here: http://espn.go.com/espn3/index?id=302980
Any word on who will be doing commentary tonight with Lon? Please say Olivier, or if not him then at least Antonio. Phil was pretty much insufferable on Sunday.
Why on earth is poker considered a sport? I challenge you to provide me 5 solid reasons why it is Mr. Feldman.
Who said it was? It's a game imo.
Andrew, with the success of live coverage at this year's WSOP, do you think ESPN might start expanding to show games other than no-limit hold 'em in future years? I know NLH appeals to the largest audience, but it would be great to see some other games as well. I think the live coverage and excellent commentary we've had this year would help build up a fan base in some of the other games.
Showing new games is always a discussion we have during the "offseason" and it's definitely something to bring up for next year. Personally, I'd rather see more live events than change the games, but whatever works...
Are there any big time tournament pros opposed to the new style of coverage. It seems a bit like poker is no longer "one player to a hand". As players get info on holdings, possible tells, etc., albeit 15 min delay.
After watching and re-watching the final table, there were maybe 5 hands I really wanted to see what the players were holding. And after seeing them and talking to the players, they said it didn't really affect the game that much. All it was doing was confirming their reads. Ben would walk over to the sidelines and said, he had XX there, and his friends would agree with him...it was quite impressive.
Was there any thought given by ESPN to showing all three sets of hole cards for the final 3, rather than just the last 2 to act? After all, if 2 works, why not 3? I think the dynamic would be really interesting.
This probably would have to be cleared by GCB, but I'm with you, I would love that for next year if we aren't doing it tonight.
Is there still going to be an 'old fashioned' 2-hour edited version of the final table produced? Don't have the time or DVR space to watch the entire final table more than just the one time but it would be nice to have an edited version to watch.
Eventually. I don't have an air date for it yet, but I'll pass it along when I do.
If Lamb wins, do you see a scenario where PokerStars makes him a huge offer to come on board, and as a condition of that he moves to another country, or do you think there would be too much of a risk of backlash for Lamb and/or Pokerstars?
I don't think he wants to leave the country. He's become a really big fan of the live game and I expect that he'll continue to play on that front. If PS wants to sign him, it would have to be an incredible offer....
Do you think Benba winning will help American poker get online sooner? Please let me know your thoughts on this. I really want online poker in our country.
He could be a great ambassador for the game in the US, but I don't think a win from him will instantly impact our legislative efforts.
Just remember...Entertainment comes before Sports in ESPN...looking forward to the coverage online tonight!
It actually doesn't stand for anything anymore. It's just ESPN.
Will Martin Stasko borrow a shirt again tonight from either George Festrunk or Yortuk Festrunk, Two Wild and Crazy Guys!
I think it's even money that it's a button down plaid shirt.
In a chat last summer you expressed hope that the ESPN Poker Club would be reborn soon. Has any progress been made toward the rebirth of the club, and is the rebirth dependent on Federal legislation being passed?
Still working on it. independent of legislation.
How does the cities get chosen for the WSOP Circuit? They need to come to the NorthWest!
There needs to be a Caesars' operated casino or a casino they work with in order to have a WSOPC stop. The WSOP staff determines the locations each spring.
Andrew! It seems to be a very popular sentiment that Ben Lamb will bust 3rd because he won't take his foot off the gas and will be boom or bust while Staszko sits by content to move up another spot. I'm not sure I see it that way. As someone with some insight into Lamb's mindset, do you feel like he'll be focused on chipping up 3-handed? Or determined to get it to heads-up?
He's determined to win, not get heads-up. I think the chips are going to fly early and often.
Andrew, awesome job on the coverage so far! If Lamb wins, how will no online poker in the US affect him being the new poker ambassador?
He's already representing the Aria and given his overall personality, I think he could pick up some additional deals. If he wins he'll get some opportunities in the spotlight, but maybe not as much as those in the past.
Saw an article over the weekend about MGM and Boyd Gaming both positioning for online poker, any more word from out there on the big boys starting to lobby Congress for it?
Caesars continues to spend a lot to lobby and MGM is building up their own efforts. There's too much money to be made for iPoker to be dismissed at this point.
What is the status on legislation of online poker in the United States? Any recent news? Also, what is the timeframe in your opinion that online poker will finally become legalized in the US?
legalized in the next year, games going by August 2013.
That's my estimate btw, obviously not official.
As someone who can't watch tonight, is there going to be the usual 2 hours or so of produced episodes with final table coverage, or is the live the only airing we'll get?
There will be an edited version, but as I wrote earlier, I don't have a time or date yet for it. You can always watch the action online tomorrow as ESPN3.com offers replays of their events.
Thanks for all the questions everyone. Don't forget to watch tonight's coverage of the final 3 on ESPN starting at 9 ET. I'll also be chatting live throughout the final table on ESPN.com. Enjoy the last few moments of the 2011 WSOP!