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October 30, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Andrew Feldman

Andrew Feldman
  (4:01 PM)

Hey everyone! Great 9 to 3 action last night and I'm sure tonight is going to be just as incredible. Who do you think is going to take down the bracelet tonight?

Eric (California)

Any idea when the WSOP will release next years schedule?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:04 PM)

Usually in January.

Andras (Hungary)

Can I get my chips back?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:04 PM)

No. That was a pretty epic blow up, Andras.

Jack (UK)

Thoughts on the KQ 6bet and Thomas's call off with A9?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:08 PM)

I mean, the KQ 6-bet there really is no excuse for. I'm not sure how you put in 40 million chips in that spot. I know he was getting frustrated that everyone seemed to take advantage of him, but I thin he just lost his composure and basically gave Greg the golden ticket to tonight.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:09 PM)

As for the A-9, I think Thomas could've waited, but he was pretty defiant afterwards that it was the right move. He said he felt Jake could've had any ace there and he'd do that, so if he's figuring he's dominating a good percentage of the time against an A-3, etc, he's right. The problem is that I hate the calling off for your tournament life.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:10 PM)

Maybe the bigger concern is that he had too much confidence after the hero call against Steve that he felt he was going to be right. I'm sure there's significant math to back up his move, and really, he's the guy that just finished in 4th place in he main event, so who am I to critique...

Sameer (Princeton)

Any chance Merson doesn't win this? He seemed totally in the zone and he played great poker yesterday. Now that he's got a lead, I can't imagine him making a big mistake.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:13 PM)

After talking to Greg last night, my only real concern regarding him losing is that he doesn't care about taking flips for big pots, as we saw. Say Andras has 4-4, like Greg thought he may have had, he was risking his own tournament on a flip. Whether he goes in that direction again tonight we'll see, but if he takes another big flip, that might be the one thing that can stop him. Otherwise, his composure is great, his focus is on and he has all the confidence, and respect from the other two, in the world.

Andrew (WI)

So I guess on a scale from 1 to Cheong you give Andras' blowup an 8 or so?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:15 PM)

Cheong's shove can be argued from a strategic standpoint until you turn blue. I think Andras really needed to figure out if Greg was ever getting off that hand and if you follow the betting and listen to what Greg was saying, he wasn't going anywhere. About an 8 is right.

Dave (Boston)

Is starting in the final table 2nd in chips a curse? Since the final table has been delayed the person starting in 2nd has finished 2nd, 4th, 6th, 6th, 6th.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:16 PM)

Wow, I didn't realize that. That's pretty brutal.

discdude (cali)

Fun to watch last night. Any thoughts, now that online seems unlikely in US for quite some time, that the final tables in the coming years will be older and perhaps more international as we move forward?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:17 PM)

I think the assumption about no online poker needs to wait until January. If there's nothing passed in lame duck, then I agree with you, but there's slight optimism (again), that something may happen. In any case, yes, if the player base skews older as a result of no online poker, it makes sense that we'll see an older demo represented on poker's biggest stage.

Bill (PA)

Do you think any of the players (especially Sylvia) will donate a portion of their winnings to Hurricane relief?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:17 PM)

I'll ask them later on today. All of them have their own plans for charity and the money, but you're right, after the storm, maybe they'll put it in a different place.

Autoupdate (Autoupdate)

please turn me on

Andrew Feldman
  (4:18 PM)

It is on...sorry if it isn't working!

Bill (PA)

How did Merson come back from only a few big blinds on like Day 5? Did he have a serious of "all in's" that he had to survive?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:19 PM)

Yes. Pretty strong coverage of it on ESPN this year too. He doubled, doubled, doubled and then just went back to playing solid. Incredible story along those lines for sure.

Jeff (Atlanta)

When you see hundred of thousand of dollars switch hands on a Q on the river, isnt that the kind of play that feeds right into the hands of those who never want to legalize poker claiming that it is a game of chance rather than a game of skill?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:21 PM)

You're probably right, but the argument is that you put yourself in the best chance to win. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I think the bigger argument is Greg Merson or Phil Hellmuth. Look at what they've done this year. You can't get this lucky...

Andrew Feldman
  (4:23 PM)

Whoa, Star Wars 7?

Tim (Fresno)

Other than the 6 bet with KC, wasnt the push with Q5 in the small blind the worst play of the night but nobody is talking about it because a Q came on the river? That Q changed the whole night.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:24 PM)

It was a little out there. I think everyone understands the idea of putting pressure on the shortstack in that fashion and 19 times out of 20, Salaburu, who was playing tighter, folds. Sure, we can stand up for him because it worked, but given Rob's stack, it probably wasn't the right decision.

Rodrigo (Guatemala)

Andras gave all the chips to the must dangerous player, my prediction is 1. Merson, 2. Sylvia 3. Balsiger.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:28 PM)

I think Balsiger has continued to surprise everyone. You don't think he can do it again?

Eric (California)

What place does Merson have to get to take over the POY?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:28 PM)

Needs to win.

Steve (San Jose)

For a hard core poker player, last night was great. But what caused the growth in poker was the casual player who took great interest in the WSOP. There was very little publicity leading up to last night and without a name in the final table, I have to imagine the average joe just didnt care, especially going against Monday Night Football. Without legalization of online poker, the game is dying a relatively slow death. Please tell me I am wrong.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:31 PM)

You have a very strong argument, but the truth is that people still love to play the game and the marquee event of the WSOP continues to put up numbers that would've made our head spin 10 years ago. The publicity angle is definitely a struggle and there just simple isn't a lot of PR love for poker these days. That's a challenge for the industry to overcome and if it cannot, poker will continue fade back into the shadows of public interest from here on out. Especially if online isn't legalized. That would change everything.

Andrew (WI)

Completely random, but that 500k chip bugs me. They already have a 250k chip. I guess I'm saying, in short, it would be fun to have a $1 million chip.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:32 PM)

I don't get why its oversized. It's a chip. Make it like a normal chip.

Ricky (NY)

Andrew, how often do you get to play poker?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:33 PM)

Pre-April 15, 2011 a lot more than these days.

Tim (Phoenix)

Why did they start play so late if they want to get people to watch? If you know that the final table is going to go on for 6-10 hours, why not start earlier in the evening and let the real drama play out at a much earlier hour than when most of the country is asleep?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:36 PM)

Putting poker in primetime seems like the natural fit for people to watch...right? The problem is that is poker is completely unpredictable and while it may be over within the 2 hour window tonight, it also may be over at 6 a.m.

Dave (FL)

Which of the remaining three do you feel would be the best ambassador for the sport?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:40 PM)

As I said on the podcast today (http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=8572317), I think it's a no lose tonight. All three of these guys are personable, outgoing, good with the media and genuinely have an excitement about the game that is refreshing to see. The challenge wold be getting each of them on the world's radar and hopefully that happens.

Jobin (Quincy)

OH MAN! A #GOODFORTHEGAME QUESTION! I wonder if Feldman actually asked that question to himself because that's his bread and butter!

Andrew Feldman
  (4:41 PM)

I actually had a line on when you would show up to point this out. You hit the under.

Bob (Seattle)

They should bring back the All In chip. It was so much fun seeing if someone would go all in by accidentally dropping it.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:42 PM)

Disaster waiting to happen. Imagine if Salaburu had one of them given his betting technique? That thing would be in the center like every other hand.

Alex (Chicago)

Isnt the other part of the image problem poker has right now, is that it is a bunch of young 20 something kids playing for millions and that is hard for the average person to relate to? If it was 40 somethings playing for the money, people would not have as much of an issue with that.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:45 PM)

But can't everyone relate to poker? Regardless of who is winning? Maybe I'm just jaded with that...

Leroy (MD)

How did each of the remaining three earn their "buy-in" to the main event? Did they win satellites, or...?

Andrew Feldman
  (4:46 PM)

I'm pretty sure all of these guys are backed in some sort. No satellites as far as I know...

Rodrigo (Guatemala)

All night Balsiger was in the low radar to all, i think. The kid was surprised all but tonight Merson and Sylvia will be more careful. Balsiger remember me Antoine Saout in the ME 2009 an he's incredible 3th place. What is your prediction Andrew Feldman??

Andrew Feldman
  (4:47 PM)

I think Greg takes it down by taking a massive pot off of Sylvia to give him most of the chips in play and then wins a flip versus Jake. I don't see a way where Sylvia and Merson don't play a 100M chip pot. Both of them are just too aggressive.

Scott (Dallas)

Any idea what the ratings were like last night? Too the earlier comment about little publicity, I can't see live poker being too attractive to the typical viewing public. Thomas in the tank for 4 minutes before calling the all in would be brutal viewing to the general public. However, to the casual and more players it's addictive TV.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:49 PM)

I have absolutely no idea about ratings, but from my own perspective, I don't know how much stock is put into anything from last night given the widespread outages.

Andrew Feldman
  (4:52 PM)

Thanks for all the questions today! I'll be chatting live throughout the final table tonight, so be sure to join me there as you watch on ESPN! Good luck to the final 3!