Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The 2012 World Series of Poker Media Draft concluded on Sunday - it took a few days to conduct the 8-round, snake-style draft - it's quite a challenge trying to conduct a draft with people from North America, Europe and Australia all involved - I want to take a moment and thank Rich Ryan for running the draft, fantastic work my friend!

Now, onto the draft. 15 media types (ranging from legends: Donnie Peters to small-timers: myself) got together to try and pick the team that would earn them the distinction of "Media Stud of the 2012 Series" ... or, at least a pat on the back from his fellow participants.

The draft process was a "snake-style" format, where the person drafting first would draft last in the next round and the person drafting last in the first round would draft first in the next round (1-15, 15-1).

Kevmath was the lucky winner of the first overall pick, he decided to take someone named Ivey ... not sure who he is, he didn't register any cashes at last year's WSOP, how good can he be, really?.

Here is a look at each team that participated in the 2012 WSOP Fantasy Media Draft - including my favourite pick for each:

TEAM KEVMATH (Kevin Mathers):
Phii Ivey, Steve O'Dwyer, David Williams, Jason Somerville, David "ODB" Baker, Matthew Marafioti, Matt Matros, McLean Karr.

I love the additions of Adzizzy and Matros late but, you have to love the Ivey pick right out of the gate. Would have been easy to skip Ivey - given that he pulled the late no-show last year - but, Kevmath went for it and Ivey has already arrived at the Rio, making it a great draft selection

TEAM LUKE (Luke Lichtensetin):
Daniel Negreanu, Jon Turner, Michael Mizrachi, Michael Watson, Vivek Rajkumar, Stevie Chadwick, James Obst, Yuval Bronshtein

Mike Watson went 0 for 30 last season in the 25K Draft ... that's right, zero points earned for Team Smith/Griffin. But, if you think he's bound for a repeat, you are dead wrong. Coming off a successful run at this year's SCOOP, SirWatts is bound for a great WSOP

TEAM DOWD (Cory Dowd):
Shaun Deeb, Brian Rast, Jonathan Duhamel, Vanessa Selbst, Frank Kassela, Nick Binger, Pius Heinz, Phil Laak

Vanessa Selbst confirmed to Daniel Negreanu that she would be playing all the games at the WSOP ... if she plays them well, she could be collecting some pretty significant points for Mr. Dowd

TEAM FRANK (Frank Op de Woerd):
Jason Mercier, George Lind, Richard Ashby, Michael Chow, Yan Chen, Yueqi Zhu, Ville Wahlbeck, Kirill Gerasimov

It will be interesting to see if 3rd round selection Richard Ashby repeats his 2011 WSOP performance - one thing is for certain, Ashby plays all games very well and should be in the hunt quite often again this summer

TEAM LUDLOW (Ben Ludlow):
Bertrand Grospellier, David Sands, David "Bakes Baker, Sam Stein, Alessio Isaia, Victor Ramdin, Owais Ahmed, Joe Cassidy

Owais Ahmed was upset when he was left out of ESPN's WSOP Fantasy Draft - he tweeted the following to Daniel Negreanu (who participated in the ESPN Draft)...

"@RealKidPoker What odds can I get that I will have more WSOP USA POY pts than Banzi, Jaka, Vaswani, Vivek or Habib? #YouLeftMeOut"

Negreanu made it a point to make Ahmed one of his selections during the 25K Players Draft, Ahmed is fired up and he could end up being a steal in the 7th round

TEAM BELL (Joshua Bell):
Phil Hellmuth, Noah Schwartz, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Ben Lamb, Michael McDonald, Matt Hawrilenko, Vitaly Lunkin, Chad Brown

Picking up a guy who has results and plays all games well in the FINAL round of a draft? Yes, please! That's exactly what Bell did with his selection of Chad Brown in the 8th round - Brown had (3) Top 30 results in Seven-Stud events at the 2011 Series - including a Top 10 finish in the 10K Championship

TEAM DANIS (Eric Danis):
Eugene Katchalov, Faraz Jaka, Nick Schulman, Daniel Smith, Bryn Kenney, Eric Froehlich, Patrick Pezzin, Sam Trickett

When Daniel Negreanu AND fellow rival Remko Rinkema both acknowledge you've made a great pick in Bryn Kenney, well, you agree with them, that's what you do! A 5th round pick for Kenney could be the biggest steal of them all when it's all said and done ... quick note, in the 25K Draft, Kenney was the 14th most expensive player bid on (tied for 50pts with Hellmuth, Bakes)

TEAM HOLLOWAY (Chad Holloway):
Tom Dwan, Erik Seidel, Marvin Retteinmaier, John Monnette, Allen Cunningham, Dan Shak, Mikael Thuritz, Andy Frankenberger

"Mad" Marvin is on fire. "Mad" Marvin has been brining it in poker tournaments around the world for over 18 months now ... Will "Mad" Marvin play mixed events at the Series? Maybe not, but, he may not be able to as he may be running deep in a ton of NLH events anyway

TEAM DUCKWORTH (Tim Duckworth):
Shawn Buchanan, Christian Harder, Carlos Mortensen, James Dempsey, Annette Obrestad, Tommy Vedes, Davidi Kitai, Freddy Deeb

It's doesn't get any better than sitting with the 9th overall selection and SHAWN BUCHANAN is still around. There are a ton of great players available for selection Buchanan falling to 9th overall is a surprise to many (even those that selected in the Top 8 ;)). Given Buchanan's track record in many different poker games, look for him to have a big WSOP

TEAM PETERS (Donnie Peters):
Scott Seiver, Sorel Mizzi, Marco Johnson, Robert Mizrachi, Andrey Zaichenko, Joseph Serock, Chris Klodnicki, Christopher George

Zaichenko was one of the last players drafted at the 25K draft on Saturday, seemed to be an afterthought for most, except for Eugene Katchalov and ElkY, who were excited to add Zaichenko to their squad ... Donnie Peters had Zaichenko figured out way before the last pick, he and Katchalov know something the rest of us didn't know, and that makes Zaichenko very dangerous at this year's Series

TEAM RYAN (Rich Ryan):
Justin Smith, John Juanda, Isaac Haxton, Allen Kessler, John Racener, Abe Mosseri, Ben Yu, John D'Agostino

Allen Kessler makes me happy. He makes me smile. So much so that often times I forget that Kessler is a very good poker player, and in a variety of games. Kessler may not have the wins, but, he does cash and a few deep runs will make this fourth round pick a very valuable one

TEAM KT (Kevin Taylor):
Scott Clements, Barry Greenstein, David Benyamine, Jeffrey Lisandro, Tom Marchese, Eric Baldwin, Bryan Devonshire, Joe Kuether

We tend to forget things very easily in this new, crazy, going at 400mph world - Jeffrey Lisandro is only a few years removed from WSOP Player of the Year status ... it was a tough 2011 at the WSOP for Lisandro, rebound in the books for 2012?

TEAM COLLSON (Brett Collson):
Daniel Alaei, Dan Kelly, Alexander Kostritsyn, David Bach, Ali Eslami, Paul Volpe, Chris Bjorin, Chris Lee

paulgees81 - aka Paul Volpe - is one of poker's hottest online poker pros coming into the WSOP plus he cashed in six different events at last year's WSOP (including twice in PLO and once in 2-7 lowball). Volpe hopes to ride his online momentum into the WSOP

TEAM BRADLEY (Lance Bradley):
Justin Bonomo, Chris Moorman, Fabrice Soulier, Allen Bari, Brian Hastings, Viktor Blom, Olivier Busquet, Brett Richey

After a conversation with Brian Hastings on Saturday, I'm convinced that Lance made a great pickup in the 5th round. Hastings explained that although he won't play a ton of events, he will be playing all the 10K events as well as mixed games events

TEAM REMKO (Remko Rinkema):
Matt Glantz, Steve Billirakis, Michael Binger, David Chiu, Greg Mueller, Shannon Shorr, Alexander Kuzmin, Sebastian Sabic

Alex Kuzmin was the talk of the 25K Draft for sure - Negreanu has hoping to scoop him up early and for cheap, but, the tides turned on Daniel and Kuzmin ended up as the first player added to Team Mizzi. Negreanu, Mizzi and Remko all hoping they were right in putting their faith in him

It's time for all of us to ride our horses, here's hoping that Team Danis reigns when the WSOP Final Table reaches it's final nine playes in July.

Eric Danis

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