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.
Feldman will be bringing you all of the highlights and action, while chatting every day throughout this year's tournament. Be sure to check out ESPN.com's coverage of the 2011 World Series of Poker.
Send your questions now and join Feldman Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Andrew Feldman (3:59 PM)
What's up everyone? Welcome to the 2011 World Series of Poker daily chats. Going to be taking a lot of questions over the next seven weeks, so send in today's set and I'll get started in just a minute.
Steve White (Lexington, KY)
Looking forward to the coverage of WSOP. I am glad that Blk Friday didn't affect the awesome coverage of ESPN. Just last year's coverage of the WSOP was what got me hooked on Poker. Do you think that Black Friday would bring better poker and less donks to the WSOP?
Andrew Feldman (4:06 PM)
Thanks for the question Steve. I would think that we're going to see those truly dedicated to the game in attendance from here on out. There were a lot of recreational fringe players online who came to the WSOP for their shot, but the thing is that now, they have minimal opportunities to keep up their excitement and interest in the game. I think Black Friday makes the fields at the WSOP tougher in the long run, but this year, we'll probably see a lot of people just giving the live poker experience one final shot.
How many runners did we get for the $25K HU event today?
Andrew Feldman (4:07 PM)
Starts at 5 p.m ET...I took the over on 50 the otehr day. I'm not sure I'd take the over on 70 right now. Your thoughts?
Eric (San Diego)
Tony G has said on Twitter that FTP will be making payouts soon, but we haven't heard any news. Do you know anything about this?
Andrew Feldman (4:09 PM)
FTP is raising capital in order to pay the American players back. I know that a lot of people are concerned about getting their money back, but if we think back to the Netteller freeze a couple years ago, it took nearly a year for everyone to get their funds returned. It's been less than two months since Black Friday...I think the industry needs to be patient as they get things in order. Obviously everyone wants their money ASAP, and I really thought that they'd have it before the WSOP, but they sound like they're moving in the right direction and just need more time. They can't open the bank for a run if there isn't enough money to cover it -- and there isn't enough money to cover it because they weren't required to have those funds on hand.
what are your views on the doj shutting down the largest online poker sites and how do you feel those sites handled it?
Andrew Feldman (4:13 PM)
Wasn't planning on making this a Black Friday chat, but what the heck. PokerStars handled it about as well as they possibly could have. They were in a great position financially, used PR effectively and paid back. FTP And Absolute, as I've said on Inside Deal repeatedly over the past two months, have been nothing but awful. You need to be on top of things when there's a crisis and shutting down isn't the best way to do it. The last press release I got from FTP was when they made the deal with the DOJ. Since then, FTPDoug has been the only outlet. Seriously FTP? FTPDoug...on a forum? I know that there's a PR company that hires their releases, but I guess a forum post works better....?!?!?
Scott Clements (Las Vegas)
What kind of coverage is ESPN going to have on the 25k HU event? Will they be there every day, or just in the later rounds?
Andrew Feldman (4:14 PM)
We'll have primary coverage of the final day's matches. Our cameras are out in Vegas during the first two days as well to capture anything else of interest. Coverage will be on ESPN3.com on Friday and then ESPN later this summer.
Joshua Humphrey (Rapid City, SD)
I was just reviewing your draft information and had a question about it. Why wasn't Daniel Cates AKA Jungleman selected? I thought he could have been a great sleeper in the 7th or 8th round. I understand he is as of yet unproven since it is his first WSOP but the upside could be insane, especially with his history so far online?
Andrew Feldman (4:15 PM)
Josh - in my mind, Cates was a reach and I'm sure I'll regret saying this after he wins a braclet in a few days. He hasn't proved himself live yet. In fact, his record live hasn't been great at all. I think that's what was the big deterrant for all the drafters. He has the potential to be great, as we've seen online, but I need some reinforcement first. Let him cash in the $25K heads-up and maybe I'll drop a player to pick him up.
I'm not so much of a poker fan, but I have seen one somewhat prominent poker player pop up in the news, David Einhorn, who finished big in the WSOP a few years back and is slated to buy a portion of the New York Mets. What were your impressions of him as a poker player? Does he have any kind of reputation in the poker world? Does he still play competitively?
Andrew Feldman (4:17 PM)
First of all, worlds colliding. I'm a Mets fan so it was interesting for me to read that he was involved. When I interviewed him a few years ago, he was generally a nice guy. He seemed very on top of things which pretty much goes along with how he seems to manage his life outside of poker. He thought about the game in depth and I think the only reputation he really has is that he was extremely charitable as he donated over 600K as he said he would.
Hi Andrew, is this the year you finally play the $1500 HORSE event? Seriously...you need to play an event soon.
Andrew Feldman (4:18 PM)
It was the year. Until Black Friday.
Any blogs/twitter feeds we should be following for the best wsop updates/gossip? Besides yours of course:)
Andrew Feldman (4:19 PM)
Good question Skip. Lots of great resources out there. Twitter resources: @bluffmagazine, @kevmath, @jesswelman, @BJNemeth, @pokernews, @lance_bradley. I was going to put together a list of my favorite resources and link to it on Twitter later on today. I'll try to get to that soon.
Hey, Andrew. Thanks very much for keeping us poker fans entertained while we're at work. Considering you'll be in Vegas for the next 6 weeks or so, does ESPN simply put you up at the Rio for 6 weeks, or are you living in a house with some poker pros with a tilt room set up?
Andrew Feldman (4:20 PM)
Sammy - I'm actually going to Vegas on and off this year. I'm heading out tomorrow morning and will be back for the later events. I'll be at the Rio, come say hi.
Mark (Boston, MA)
Hey Andrew, my question is more related to the state of online poker in the US than about the WSOP. Do you think it will be legalized in US anytime in the near future? When can we expect to see FT and PS (or new major site) back in US???
Andrew Feldman (4:23 PM)
I don't think you're going to see FTP and PS in the US market anytime soon. If they're (meaning sites and owners) acquitted, then maybe they'll get back in, but these indictments basically paved the road for them out of town. I think we'll see changes in the market (to subscription sites, deemed legal), and eventually, federal legislation after some states tackle it on their own.
Joshua Carter (www.twitter.com/JoshVandeZande)
For us to watch the live streams are we going to have to have a specific internet provider as we did during the WSOP FT?
Andrew Feldman (4:24 PM)
Yes. ESPN3.com is available to only certain ISPs...head to ESPN3.com for more info on that.
Rob R (New Jersey)
Hey Andrew, ESPN kind of got my hopes up about Viktor Blom with their "players to watch" story. They say Isildur1 is making his wsop debut. That is innacurate for he will be 21 until later this year. Can you confirm this? thanks.
Andrew Feldman (4:25 PM)
His birthday is in September. I'm sorry for the confusion, our (major) mistake.
Cheeshead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
Do you think the level of talent in the World Series of Poker is increasing or decreasing?
Andrew Feldman (4:27 PM)
Increasing for the reasons I mentioned earlier. The players are better and the levels on which they need to think is incredible.
Is Doyle still with Doyle's room? Also, I read that Doylesroom got indicted as well, is that true?
Andrew Feldman (4:28 PM)
Doyle has separated his ties with Doylesroom.com and no, he was not indicted.
Chad L (Chicago)
Andrew, thanks for the chat and good luck with the grind this year. What will have to happen in the first three weeks of the WSOP to convince you the main event will have 6,000+ entries? That is, what will you be watching for?
Andrew Feldman (4:30 PM)
Thanks Chad. I guess I'll be convinced that we'll see a number over 6,000 if...wait...nothing will convince me. Even if the preliminary events are bigger than last year -- which they easily could be -- the WSOP main event is a beast of its own. The number of satellites, where nearly 90% of the field has been coming from over the past few years, are dramatically down and the sites have no incentive to send their players there as they won't get excessive logo exposure anymore. It's a new ballgame and I think the composition of this year's main event field will be very different from last year.
David (North Carolina)
Will there be live coverage of the WSOP available?
Andrew Feldman (4:33 PM)
This week on ESPN3.com we have the Grudge Matches and the $25,000 heads-up finals. Thursday and Friday starting at 5 p.m. ET. Then Days 3-8 of the WSOP main event will be on ESPN2 with hole cards each night. The full schedule can be found here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/poker/news/story?id=6477409
Phil Gordon (MIA)
Hi Andrew -- Remember me? I left the country to an undisclosed location with all of Full Tilt's players' money! Enjoy the wsop!
Andrew Feldman (4:34 PM)
Strange. I know exactly where you are and that place rhymes with Bas Legas.
Andrew Feldman (4:36 PM)
In all seriousness, there are a lot of rumors out there regarding a lot of the players that many suspect had something to do with Black Friday. The truth is that the players have been told to keep silent on the topic. Just because they're silent, doesn't mean they're all hiding something.
Do you think Phil Hellmuth will win a bracelet this year? I think that question has to be asked before every WSOP.
Andrew Feldman (4:37 PM)
57 chances (he can't play in the employees event)...I'll say yes this year because I said yes the last few years. If not, at least we'll get a great blow up out of it.
With the ability to play online now pretty much gone in the US, what's the best way to prepare for a $1,000 buyin event?
Andrew Feldman (4:39 PM)
You can still play for free on a number of sites, but do what you can to get the feel for the cards and chips. A lot of WSOP rookies have problems with the stuff you'd think would be second hand the first time they're at the real WSOP felt.
Is Phil's attitude as bad as the coverage makes him out to be or is that just to keep the "poker brat" image??
Andrew Feldman (4:39 PM)
It's the image. Phil's relatively normal away from poker...I said relatively.
John Felching (NY, NY)
Who has the chance to turn the most heads and surprise everyone this year? Thanks.
Andrew Feldman (4:40 PM)
Vanessa Selbst. We already have seen her dominate on multiple stages, but a true breakout WSOP isn't out of the question for her now that she's going to be playing a full schedule for the first time in years.
Will players be wearing patches?
Andrew Feldman (4:40 PM)
Not many of them. Any site that takes a US bet post UIGEA will not be allowed according to the announcement on Twitter this morning.
Andrew, thanks for your hard work at ESPN Poker! Enjoy all of your write ups. Should we expect Phil Ivey and other big FTP pros to have security guards with them at the WSOP? I don't know how he and the others won't be bombarded by people demanding their money. Thanks!
Andrew Feldman (4:42 PM)
Thanks, Lance. No, I don't think they'll have security around them, but if anything does happen, it'll be there quickly. People may ask where their money is, but the people playing most likely don't have any information. Just because they wear a patch it doesn't mean they're responsible for all the company's actions.
What if I am not a rookie? I busted in an hour last year in the $1,000 sitting by Adam Schonefield with A 5, lol
Andrew Feldman (4:43 PM)
Don't play A-5? Limit your hand selection?
How does the cameras and audience affect a player's normal game or does it change anything?
Andrew Feldman (4:44 PM)
Being in the spotlight affects players differently. Some players are tighter because they don't want to seem like an idiot if the hand airs on TV and some players want to act out because they think it'll land them on TV. A solid player shouldn't let it bother them.
What exactly is a "Grudge Match"?
Andrew Feldman (4:45 PM)
Rematches of the WSOP main event finals: Moneymaker versus Farha, Chan versus Hellmuth and Chan versus Seidel. More info here: http://espn.go.com/sports/fantasy/blog/_/name/poker/id/6300998/heads-rematches-2011-wsop
Aaron (Needham, MA)
You're really thinking that they might not get 70 players in the $25K HU event? Wow ... where would you set the over/under line for the $50K Poker Players Championship?
Andrew Feldman (4:45 PM)
The WSOP gave me the line of 44 last week.
Brian (East Hanover)
Andrew I havent seen anything on ESPN's coverage of the November 9. Are they going to keep it the same or will it be a 30 minute delay?
Andrew Feldman (4:46 PM)
Great question. I guess stay tuned?
You posted a link to Rise Poker earlier on your twitter. What makes that site legal to play in the US, and will we see other sites pop up with the same idea?
Andrew Feldman (4:47 PM)
The subscription model was deemed legal a couple years ago. Its based on the idea that you pay to be a member and then all your tournaments are free (or something like that). So you aren't really risking money directly in a tournament.
Do you think the amazon room will be running even more live satellite than in years past?
Andrew Feldman (4:49 PM)
If the WSOP didn't they'd be making a big mistake. There's a big opportunity for the WSOP to rebuild their live satellite system. Many players are looking for these opportunities since they can't go for the seat online anymore.
Eric (San Diego)
In the past, the Main Event winner was always guaranteed some sort of sponsorship deal, but all that should change now. What sort of opportunities do you think will be available for the World Champ?
Andrew Feldman (4:50 PM)
I can't wait to find out this answer. I do think there will be opportunities, but I'm not sure what exactly will be in the market come November. It's a great chance for mainstream companies to come in and advertise for cheap, but I still don't see it happening.
Che Lee Chee Frie (New York)
Andrew, who are the major sponsors of the WSOP this year? With many of the larger sites leaving the US market, who is contributing the most to the tournament?
Andrew Feldman (4:51 PM)
Jack Links Beef Jerky. Deer foam slippers, Klipsch audio, and a lot of energy drink/shot companies.
Jason (Cali Yo)
Is there a posted schedule for ESPN 2 and 3 coverage?
Andrew Feldman (4:51 PM)
If someone FTs the ME, will that guaranteed cash go toward qualifying for Annie Duke's league?
Andrew Feldman (4:52 PM)
A good question - I'll ask Annie, but I'd assume yes.
Which grudge match would you have liked to see?
Andrew Feldman (4:54 PM)
Duhamel and Racener. Put the two with even stacks...would've loved to see them battle. Two really creative players and Racener just never had a chance last year.
Gavin (Orange County)
Hey Andrew, Gavin Griffin here, interested in your main event expectations? I think somewhere around 5,000 and not much change to the other events.
Andrew Feldman (4:55 PM)
Hey Gavin, good luck this summer. I'm in your range, maybe a little less in the main, but prelims should be unaffected as the majority of those that were going to play in the events would be playing regardless of Black Friday.
So to talked about your "lsildur like" showdown from pre black friday ago with Phil G. What about a Feld showdown on the new Rise poker site for a Rise hoodie? You bite on that bet? Seriously, what do you think it will take for a subscription site in the US to really get off the ground?
Andrew Feldman (4:57 PM)
Haha. I think for a subscription site to get off the ground they should've been active two months ago and turned their marketing up right at that point. ClubWPT did a great job to try and capitalize on the moment, but I'm not sure they got there. Rise will have endorsements of the biggest names in the game and should make a big splash at the WSOP...people will be looking for the opportunity to play and the WSOP is a great place to advertise it.
What can the WSOP do to attract more "Mom" and "Pop" poker players vs the well defined poker pro?
Andrew Feldman (4:58 PM)
Offer preliminary event satelites at the Caesars affiliated casinos across the country. Get people's foot in the door with the ability to win small-event packages right in their backyard. The satellite system works, they just have to refine it.
Andrew Feldman (5:00 PM)
That's it for today everyone! I'll be back tomorrow, same time, but right from the floor at the WSOP. Talk to you all then and don't forget to follow @ESPN_Poker on Twitter for up-to-date info.