Chat with Andrew Feldman
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com poker columnist Andrew Feldman will stop by to chat about the World Series of Poker and take any other poker questions you may have.
Be sure to check out ESPN.com's coverage of the 2009 World Series of Poker.
Send your questions now and join Andrew to chat Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Andrew Feldman (1:58 PM)
Welcome to Tuesday's WSOP Chat. Another big night tonight for JC Tran and unfortunately, Johnny Chan couldn't pull through for #11 last night. Either way, send in your questions and we'll get started in a few.
Matthew "Rad0nk" Radus (Rye Brook, NY)
Andrew Big Fan! Do you think Ivey has a shot at winning a third bracelet this year? I was in vegas Saturday night when he captured his second and he just looks like hes on a mission. I was wondering what you thought his chances of a third was?
Andrew Feldman (2:02 PM)
It's hard to say that anyone could possibly win three bracelets during one WSOP with these massive fields, but if there was someone to put money on, I'd say it's Ivey. Given that there are only 27 bracelets left, I would say that he'd be at 4:1 or so to win a third.
Hey Andrew. With more and more pro's playing the mixed events to get their bracelets, do you see the amateurs or cameras following them?
Andrew Feldman (2:05 PM)
It's tough to transmit the mixed games over TV. We've tried it in the past and viewers just like NL hold 'em better. That said, I think that the amateurs are going to trying to catch up to the pros -- very similar to something Mike Matusow said last week.
Does Mike Sexton participate in a lot of WSOP events? You don't hear much about him at all despite him being a great player.
Andrew Feldman (2:06 PM)
He does and now he can even play in WPT events. He is a great player and one of these days I'm hoping to see him at a WPT final table instead of announcing it.
Hey Andrew, what's the vibe like around vegas during the middle of the WSOP? BTW Just curious, how many bad beat stories have you heard so far?
Andrew Feldman (2:07 PM)
Bad beat stories don't stop. The Bad Beat Hallway, located right outside the Amazon Room, is essentially where everyone walks away from the tournament area, calls someone who they think would like to hear their bad beat story, then explain the story in such detail that the person on the other side of the phone stopped caring. I've heard a couple ;-)
Phil Hellmuth (I'm all in honey!)
Much has been made about Sydney Crosby not shaking all of the Red Wings hands after winning the Stanley Cup. How come more isn't made about bad etiquitte at a poker table?
Andrew Feldman (2:09 PM)
You know, I didn't actually think about that until right now. I watched the game, saw that he wasn't shaking any hands and was pretty amazed that he would do that considering that's one of the classier things that athletes do at the end of a series. I think that this year's new rules are aimed to prevent bad etiquette and you'll probably see more penalties due to it.
I have noticed watching the live comments and twitter feeds for the WSOP that alot of the these PRO's seem rude. Calling the $1500 NLHE tourneys donkaments. DONK seems to be the "in" word. Shouldn't they be promoting the sport with some integrity? And maybe treating amateurs with some sort of respect?
Andrew Feldman (2:12 PM)
Well...I'm not sure as I categorize them as rude for calling the $1,500 tourneys "Donkaments". You get few chips for the price tag and the field is filled with players with dreams and $1,500. I can't imagine any pro not treating amateurs with respect at the table because when they do, that's when the amateur takes your chips. Their twitter feeds are their own and can promote whatever tournament in any way they want and if they want to encourage more people to take shots in these $1,500s, then you're right, they can phrase things better. Sorry for the ramble.
Chic Enparmigian (Las Vegas)
Andrew - I played in an event last week and I was moved 4 times within the first hour. Is this unlucky/unusual or ordinary? Thanks!
Andrew Feldman (2:13 PM)
Ahhh, Chic Enparmigian, clever. Moving four times in the first hour might be the most annoying story I've heard from this year. I would say that's bad luck and unusual, because getting to know your table early on in a tournament in important. However, the breaking order is predetermined, so there's not much you can do about it besides hope for players at late-breaking tables to bust.
Andrew I am coming play event #54 and would like to satellite in to main event. Which satellite would you recommend?
Andrew Feldman (2:15 PM)
Check out the Mega-satellites at the Rio the few days before. They'll be giving away multiple seats in each one, giving yourself a better chance. You can always play online too, but unfortunately the ESPN Poker Club seat was won by Eric "Big E 83" Mullen.
Any professional athletes making the jump over to poker like the celebs have been? I think I recall seeing Canseco playing in some tournaments.
Andrew Feldman (2:18 PM)
There are a number of athletes who play poker seriously, but with professional sports these days having such a minimal offseason, you don't see them at any major tournaments. Last winter, there was a tournament at the Venetian where Eddie Guardado threw a tourney for about 25 baseball players. Frank Thomas won and I can't remember who else did well. Years ago I had the opportunity of playing poker with Rick DiPietro and a couple other Islanders at the time, but I'm not sure who else from that group still plays. Whenever a team travels, there's a group that play, but I don't think you'll see them at the WSOP anytime soon.
Michael Phelps (Probably Vegas)
Jose Canseco has been spotted around the Amazon room and the satellite room a lot. Look for me hanging around soon enough as well.
Andrew Feldman (2:18 PM)
Very true. Rumors were that Phelps had a seat at the NBC heads-up tournament before that picture came out of him partying in Europe.
Brian (Charlotte, NC)
Everything I've ever heard / read says that the best tournament strategy is to play tight aggressive early then open up your game in the middle levels. The WSOP NLHE tourneys seem to lose half of the field in the first few levels. Is everyone in "build a stack or bust early" mode in these nowadays or is there a fire somewhere? Your thoughts please.
Andrew Feldman (2:21 PM)
Just like last year, and I think the year before that, players seem to just want to get their chips in as quickly as possible. There's no patience. That said, in the $1,500s, there's not much time to play so you really do have to make a move within the first few levels, but I dont think we should see players hitting the rail as quickly as we've seen so far this WSOP.
concerned hockey fan (DC)
Hey, Crosby's "snubbing" was taken way out of proportion. He is a classy player. He didn't do it at the speed that some of the Wings would've liked, but he shook everyone's hand that was in the line when he was. Some wings left early. Losers don't get to dictate the pace at which the post game celebration occurs. And it wasn't an unreasonable length of time.
Andrew Feldman (2:21 PM)
Thanks for clarifying.
Robert (Green Bay)
I would like to see a list of players entered for every WSOP event online somewhere. I know their are walk-ups, but I am sure most of the people that enterthe WSOP, sign up early, correct? This would really help me picking my Fantasy Poker team.
Andrew Feldman (2:22 PM)
Actually, for the first time ever, the WSOP is keeping track of this information. I don't know if they plan on posting this online, but they definitely have the info.
Robert Frank (Delray Beach, FL)
Andrew, I was a little taken aback by the amount of young "kids" playing the $10,000 heads up event the other day. I can't understand how they all have the money to play these big buyin tournaments. These kids really have no class either (and some don't shower as well).
Andrew Feldman (2:24 PM)
I understand your concern Robert and that is why many of the live veterans aren't fans of what the game has become. The influx of the younger crowd has brought with it less class and an overall lack of respect for the money they are putting up. However, this isn't everyone and in no way are all young onliners like this. Many put just a couple bucks in, grind it for a while, hit a big score and then play bigger to win bigger. It's a story I've heard time and time again. Plus, their dedication to learning and improving is unrivaled. Those who you saw the other day do whatever they can to prepare themselves for every possible situation.
Is there any sort of dress code for the tournaments? I remember a guy where a tank top (wife beater) during the main event last year and thinking that he should have classed it up a bit.
Andrew Feldman (2:26 PM)
No dress code and the guy you are thinking of was back playing in some events earlier this WSOP...The only restrictions involve logos that you can wear for companies.
Merulla Bigtush (New York, NY)
Hi Andrew! You might have been to the table to left of me in the $1,500 tourney the other day. On a side note, I would like to ask you about TJ Cloutier. After busting in the event I went over to the Rio casino and of course the mammoth, TJ Cloutier was playing craps. This might have been the 10-11th time I have seen him play craps. Does he EVER win? THanks!
Andrew Feldman (2:27 PM)
Does TJ ever win? Yes. Does TJ tend to lose more than he wins? Yes. If you don't see TJ at the poker table, the pit is probably where he's hanging out.
Pitsa Baigal (Ontario)
Andrew, I had dinner the other night at the Sao Paolo Cafe in the Rio and it was terrible! Do you suggest making reservations ahead of time? Thanks!
Andrew Feldman (2:29 PM)
Sao Paolo is the worst. I haven't eaten there since 2007. I would make reservations anywhere else, especially when the WSOP is in town. The rest of the places at the Rio are usually very good.mmm Pizza Bagel.
Anthony bith Tuth (New York, NY)
Andrew do you ever see the WSOP moving from the Rio? Do they only hold it there because of the emense conference room space? I'd like to see it held at a nicer casino where players could stay and enjoy there stay instead of the Rio
Andrew Feldman (2:30 PM)
That discussion has been held every single year since Harrah's took over. Caesars is always a place brought up and I'd love to see it move there, but the Rio does have the ability to accomodate everyone and plus, it gives life back to a Casino thats off the strip.
Rob (Orlando, FL)
I know that people cannot use cell phones at the table - does that also extend to texting devices? Seems like if two players know each other at the table - they could be "chatting" with each other and the other players would have no clue.
Andrew Feldman (2:32 PM)
You cannot use any phone/text device if you are at the table. You can step away and use it, but not while a hand is in play. I don't see players chatting with each other -- especially at the same table. Poker players are always watching and if you text someone repeatedly and the guy across the table responds repeatedly, it won't last for long...And seriously, who would get cheating at the WSOP? Talk about poker-suicide.
What qualifies a player to be referred to as a professional poker player?
Andrew Feldman (2:33 PM)
It's their full time job. It can be either someone who plays cash games or tournaments, but it is their primary source of income.
How much money do the pros typically (or on average) put aside for the duration of the WSOP, to play in enough tourneys to factor into the POY chase?
Andrew Feldman (2:34 PM)
Wow, loaded question. If you're really going to go for the POY, you'll need at least $250,000. You'll have to play in all the $10Ks, the 40K and the $50K HORSE. I think you'll probably need more than that, maybe upwards of $350,000.
Heath "Bdbeatslayer" Ward (Rye Brook, NY)
Andrew Huge Fan! I'm so glad there is this chat to keep me entertained from 2-3. Who in your opinon is having a stronger world series of poker so far, the internet pros or the recognizable TV pros?
Andrew Feldman (2:39 PM)
Thanks for the good words. Ivey, Lisandro, De Wolfe, Schulman, Alaei, Sung, Luu and Mercier have really proven again that it's the live pros to worry about. The online pros have done well too with Parker's two bracelets as well as Wahlbeck having a great WSOP, but these aren't the online pros you were expecting to win. There hasn't been much coming out of the biggest online names, but there's a long way to go this year.
Lon (Tracy, CA)
Heard that there was some excessive rail bird cheering last night at one of the events and that the tourny director had issue a warning to player fans. What the rule on fans and excessive celebration?
Andrew Feldman (2:40 PM)
I think that the rule on fans celebration is strictly in the tournament director's hands. There isn't anything official saying that a fan cannot cheer for more than X seconds, but if fans do get annoying the TD can request that they're removed. This happens a lot at 2-3 a.m. when the bars stop emptying out and people think its a good idea to head to the WSOP...
Cosmo (Farmington, CT)
Feldman, buddy, as someone who has blown up at tables with you before, just wondering, if you could just blow up on one guy, who would it be? And if you can't name a guy, name a situation instead. Mine would be a buddy inviting me to partake in some new tables only to completely cripple me when he turns a set against me after my AK spiked an A on the flop. (Remember that, jerk? haha)
Andrew Feldman (2:42 PM)
For all those out there, a Cosmo blow up is always entertaining to watch as without question, it happens once a night when someone absolutely hits a miracle card. Anyway, I think Ivey would be great to blow up at because you can probably say whatever you want, yell, kick, scream, and he'll just sit there with a straight face waiting for the next hand to be dealt.
Daniel Negreanu (Vegas Baby)
Andrew, when you were answering Bdbeatslayer's question, were you listing the leaders in the player of the year race or my fantasy poker team?
Andrew Feldman (2:43 PM)
Haha. I saw that in your video blog for RawVegas, you mentioned that your team is better than the other 80 combined...actually, that's not quite true, but it's very close. I'll have an update on the fantasy league later on today.
What does the POY win? Money? A Trophy? A Bracelet?
Andrew Feldman (2:45 PM)
I believe they get a trophy and a pat on the back. Nothing good as the prize isn't sponsored.
Porqu Peyne (Rader, CA)
Andrew, can you believe the amount of Red Bull that players are drinking at the WSOP tables? I was completely shocked. A man to my right literally had 6 within the first 2 hours. Poker players need a nutritional wake up call in my opinion.
Andrew Feldman (2:48 PM)
Porqu always makes points that stick....terrible...anyway, they're at the table for up to 13 hours. They're exhausted and the only thing keeping them away is the Red Bull. I agree that poker players need to make sure that they aren't doing more damage than good, but they don't see any other option. I think my max is 3 Sobe Adrenalines.
Can I be POY if I run the tables at my local Harrah's? What criteria does a tournament have to meet to contribute points to one's POY standing?
Andrew Feldman (2:50 PM)
It depends on the buy in and how many players participate. All WSOP tournaments are included in the POY for both the Cardplayer and Bluff awards. In terms of WSOP POY, its pretty top heavy with the points going to the final table (as expected), but pretty much anyone who cashes will get some points.
Even if the UIGEA had never happened, isn't it safe to say that the "poker boom" would've peaked by now?
Andrew Feldman (2:52 PM)
No. Once Party Poker pulled out of the US a lot of potential players went with it. With the UIGEA there was a loss of new poker TV shows (yes, even though it was saturated) and other media developments. I think that if the momentum continued, we'd still be growing.
Mikey (Amazon Romm red 42 seat 6)
Speaking of beverages, what is the average over under of drinks for Gavin Smith per night?
Andrew Feldman (2:53 PM)
We should ask him. He went dry due to a bet this winter, but I think he's back at the bar.
Drinking alcohol while playing a WSOP event..... ok? banned? frowned upon? encouraged?
Andrew Feldman (2:54 PM)
As long as you don't get as drunk as Scotty did last year, I think it's ok. The rest of your table would love to see you get drunk and lose your chips!
Where's your favorite place to play in Atlantic City?
Andrew Feldman (2:54 PM)
Borgata, hands down. Used to love the Taj, but there's no comparison anymore.
Rob (Orlando, FL)
Any word on how some of last year's November 9 are doing? And specifically - any word on how many event Dennis Phillips will be playing in this year (or has played in so far)?
Andrew Feldman (2:56 PM)
I think that the majority of the N9 have cashed already this WSOP. In Event 28, both Demidov and Kelly Kim made the moeney. Dennis has been playing a lot, but playing in the $40K wasn't his best idea...
Ryan (Orlando, FL)
Who cares about Dennis Phillips?
Andrew Feldman (2:56 PM)
Stan H. (Bakersville)
Again, what do the Pros think about the $18-20 million that got frozen recently by some N.Y. Lawyers?
Andrew Feldman (2:58 PM)
Nobody is happy about this at all, and the PPA (Poker Players Alliance) is having a web-based conference later on today where they'll address what is going on. This isn't a good thing for poker and every acknowledges that, but steps are being taken to make sure that everything is cleared up ASAP.
Luke "I one out you" Vrabel (Rio, Las Vegas)
Andrew - Do you think spectators should be allowed to come right up to the tables in the Amazon room? My friends were railing me in the $1500 event and were being kind of loud and the dealer got security to rope off the area. I'm curious on your thoughts on this.
Andrew Feldman (3:00 PM)
There should be at least a little buffer between players and spectators and usually, the security does a very good job to make sure that players aren't bothered. I'm not sure it's up to the dealer to make that decision, unless your friends were doing something specifically to get under his skin.
keep the chat going til 4 today.... work is boring
Andrew Feldman (3:01 PM)
No can do. Thanks for all the questions today everyone. I'll see if I can get a pro for tomorrow, but we'll definitely have someone this week. See you tomorrow at 2!