Introducing the 2009 WSOP Fantasy Pool
There are 63 different match-ups. The person who gets the most right wins the pool, with the tie-breaker being a guess as to how much I will cash for at the 2009 WSOP. You can go to the homepage at www.fullcontactpoker.com and enter today. Here are a list of the match-ups, with my picks and some thoughts:
1.Daniel Negreanu vs. Phil Hellmuth- I’m obviously betting on myself here
2.Clonie Gowan vs. Vanessa Rousso I’m betting Vanessa, she’s a better poker player and much easier to root for.
3.Justin Fitz (Fluffdog) vs. TJ Slifka (WhatARunnAA)- These are two posters in the FCP forums. I think both will do well, but I’m gonna gamble with Fluffdog here.
4.Joe Hachem vs. Greg Raymer- I think this is a mismatch, I think Hachem is a very good player and will back him, but I think a lot of the public may go the other way.
5.Scotty Nguyen vs. Erick Lindgren- Scotty says he’ll win $4 mill at this series, um, that’s a bit nuts! I’m going with E-DOG here. 6.Jamie Gold vs. Chris Moneymaker- going with Gold here simply because I think he’ll play more events.
7.Phil Ivey vs. Allen Cunningham- Allen has been a consistent horse at the WSOP for years now, but I’m going with a motivated Ivey.
8.John Juanda vs Erik Seidel- this is a really close one I think. John hasn’t done as well at the WSOP recently, but I’m betting he has a good series this year.
9.Chris Ferguson vs. Barry Greenstien- both will play a ton of events as always. Barry will probably play cash games too, and for that reason I’m betting on Chris.
10. J.C. Tran vs. David Pham- both great, great players, giving J.C. the edge here 11. Gus Hansen vs. Doyle Brunson- Doyle makes it no secret that he doesn’t like playing tournaments all that much, but Gus doesn’t play many events. Tough one, I’ll go with Gus.
12. Mike Matusow vs. Ted Forrest- both guys have a lot of heart, but Ted is more versatile and plays more games at an elite level. I bet on Ted.
13. Freddie Bonyadi vs. Freddie Deeb- Bonyadi doesn’t get a lot of press, but he is a tough cookie and will be playing hard this year I think.
14. Joe Sebok vs. Gavin Smith- Gavin is coming off a big online win that’ll be a boost to his confidence. I’m backing Gavin.
15. Ali Nejad vs. Mike Sexton- in the battle of the commentators, I’ll go with the more versatile player- Mike Sexton. 16. Phil Laak vs. Antonio Esfandiari- in the battle of the buddies I’m betting on Antonio who’s had a lot more success in tournament poker than Laak. I expect that to continue at the series.
17. Jennifer Tilly vs. Evelyn Ng- this is actually a really tough match-up because Jennifer has improved so much in the last year or so and I’m thinking she’ll play more events. I’m going with Chucky’s bride.
18. Michael Mizrachi vs. David Williams- The Grinder has fallen off the the face of the earth in the last little while, but I’m betting he’ll be primed and ready for this WSOP. David definitely has the better toothpick, but I think Grinder will get the money.
19. Ivan Demidov vs. Peter Eastgate- in a battle of the last two standing at the WSOP main event last year, this year is a mystery. I’m going to say that Demidov gets his revenge and cashes for more this year.
20. Isaac Baron vs. Isaac Haxton- two products of online poker, this will be Baron’s first year at the series and the word on the street is that this kid is a monster player. In my limited experience with him, I liked what I saw. Betting on Baron to make at least two final tables this year- both NLH. 21. Nam Le vs. Tuan Le- in the battle of the Le’s I’lll go with the more consistent of the two, Nam, as Tuan is a bit of a wildcard.
22. Todd Brunson vs Hoyt Corkins- expect to see Hoyt in the NLH events and Todd in the higher buy in mixed game events. This could be close as the NLH events have bigger prize pools. Hmm… based on that I’ll back Hoyt here.
23. Humberto Brenes vs. hevad Khan- the Chark vs. the Bulldozer. I say the Bulldozer crushes the chark once and for all!
24. Kathy Liebert vs. Andy Bloch- I have no idea, lol. This one is too close to call, but I’ll go with Kathy getting deep in some $1500 NLH hold’em events and having at least one big score.
25. Huck Seed vs. Layne Flack- both have similar back stories and both seem to be on the rebound, Flack winning a bracelet last year and Huck destroying people in heads up play. I’ll bet on the 96′ WSOP champ, Huck Seed, 26. John Hennigan vs. Nick Schulman- a couple of east coast pool players, I’ll go with the younger and hungrier version- Schulman.
27. David “Chino” Rheem vs. Eli Elezra- can Chino get it done again at this years WSOP? Maybe, but I’m going to play it safe and go with Eli.
28. Annie Duke vs. Anna Wroblewski- In the battle of the Annie’s I’m going with the younger, fearless NLH player. I’ve played with Anna and she is just awesome at NLH. She’s very creative and gutsy. Anna is limited to NLH events while Duke will play all the games, but I’m predicting a $200K+ cash from Anna.
29. Tom “Durrr” Dwan vs. Patrik Antonius- they are still going toe-to-toe in their heads up challenge with Patrik having the edge so far. Neither is a big fan of donkaments, but Patrik is a much better player in the mixed games so I’ll give him the edge at this years series.
30. David Benyamine vs. Chau Giang- both are big game regulars, and both are great players. I’m betting Chau plays more and gets another PLO bracelet this year. 31. Jennifer Harman vs. Liz Lieu- the two best female cash game players in the world, Jennifer in the mixed games, Liz crushing souls in limit hold’em. Jennifer is more versatile so I’ll bet on her.
32. Sam Grizzle vs. Eskimo Clark- I think Grizzle is better at charming people into staking him, so I’ll bet on the sizzz in a close one, $11, 348 to $5221.
33. Isabelle Mercier vs. Erica Shoenberg- I’m really surprised Mrs. B hasn’t done better in tournaments. I’m betting that she breaks through this year and hits a decent score in a NLH event.
34. Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Allen Cunningham, and John Juanda vs. Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, Huck Seed, and Erik Seidel- there might be more bracelets on the older team (28 I think), but I’m going with my crew (18).
35. Lacey Jones, Tiffany Michele, and Maria Ho vs. Jeff Madsen- Madsen vs. the ladies, I’m going to bet that Madsen makes a bit of noise this year and has some kind of score. 36. Vivek Rajkumar vs. Ram Vaswani- say those two names 10 times really fast, lol. I’m betting on the young upstart here who has loads of confidence going in to the series.
37. Howard Lederer vs. Jimmy Fricke- I’m thinking that the freak and really weird dude is a pretty awesome poker player that will play in a lot of NLH events. I’m betting Fricke.
38. Adam Junglen vs. Jason Somerville- two PokerVT guys making a splash in their first ever WSOP. Both are excited, and I’m rooting for both. Somerville just had a deep run at the EPT Grand Final, so I’m going with the “due factor” and thinking Junglen is due for a big score of his own.
39. Justin Bonomo vs Sorel Mizzi- This is another tough match-up of bad boys gone straight. Justin plays more games than Sorel so I’m going with Bonomo.
40. Justin “BoostedJ” Smith vs. Jason Mercier- Mercier rips it up on the EPT big time with his aggressive style, but BoostedJ has been honing his skills in mixed games on PokerStars, so I’m going with Justin. 41. Marco Traniello vs. Joe Reitman- in the battle of “my woman makes more money at poker than I do” I’m going to bet on cash machine Marco Traniello. He cashed 8 times in one series and will be playing a decent amount of events.
42. Shaun Deeb vs. J.C. Alvarado- J.C. has proven he can win on the green felt as well as the virtual felt, but so far, Deeb, the online superstar hasn’t had much success live. I’m betting that this year he will.
43. David Ulliot vs. Bruno Fitoussi- I’m going with the ego maniacal Englishman over the crafty and creative Frenchman.
44. Nam Le, Tuan Le, J.C. Tran, and John Phan vs. Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius, Thor Hansen, Chris Bjorin- I’m giving the edge to the Vietnamese team over team Scandinavia.
45. John Phan vs. John “PearlJammer” Turner- I’m betting on the tall red headed kid to have a big score in a NLH event. 46. David Ulliot, Rolande De Wolfe, and Surindar Sunar vs. Andy Black, Padraig Parkinson, and Alan Smurfitt- I’m going with England over Ireland.
47. Alan Kessler vs. Tony Cousineau- in the battle of the nits, I’m betting that Cousineau will squeak into the money a few more times than Kessler does.
48. Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier vs. Ilari “Zigmund” Sahamies and Jean-Roberte Bellande- Elky is so hot that I didn’t think it would be fair to match him up against just one person. Even this tandem can’t handle Elky though, I’m betting Elky to keep up his run through the WSOP.
49. Joe Cassidy vs. David Oppenhiem- in a battle of limit hold’em kings, I’m betting that Cassidy plays moe events and cashes for more as a result.
50 Lee Markholt vs. Lee Watkinson- I’m betting on Lee. Lol, ok I’m betting on the professional bull riding Lee from Seattle- Markholt. 51. Phil Galfond vs. Adam Levy- a couple of online guys, Galfond broke through and won a bracelet last year at a tough PLO final table, so I’m betting on OMGClayAitken once again.
52. Vanessa Selbst vs. Dario Minieiri- this one is being dubbed “the battle of the sexes” and I’m going to put my money on the guys team. K, that means Dario.
53. Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem, Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, William Thorson, Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Rousso, Hevad Khan, Johnny Lodden, Ivan Demidov, and Peter Eastgate vs. Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, Allen Cunningham, Erick Lindgren, Jennifer Harman, John Juanda, Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow, and Patrik Antonius- I think this group of Team PokerStars will crush souls at the WSOP with their more recent additions. I’m backing the PokerStars Pros.
54. Shaun Deeb, Isaac Baron, and David Benefield, vs. Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, and Doyle Brunson- the old school team might have 31 bracelets among them so it would seem like an obvious choice, but I’m betting on the young online superstars.
55. T.J. Cloutier vs. Berry Johnston- with no young gun to speak of in this match, I’ll bet on the former tight end, T.J. Cloutier. 56. Amnon Filipe vs. Eugene Todd- Eugene talks a better game, but Amnon plays a better game- Amnon ftw.
57. Jonathan Depa (HoosierAlum) vs. Justin Peche (looshle)- another two FCP forum guys, I’m going to take a guess here and go with Depa.
58. Barney Boatman vs. Ross Boatman- I’m betting on the more conservative Ross Boatman and that’s just because I’m bitter about Barney outplaying me at the WPT Championship! Booo Barney, go Ross!
59. Guy Laliberte vs. Rene Angeli- in the battle of the french-Canadian rich dudes, I’m going with Guy.
So that’s that. Now go to www.fullcontactpoker.com and make your picks!