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Tournament of Champions Returns to WSOP

15 March 2010, By: compncards
TOC 300x200
TOC 300x200

Last week, officials at the WSOP tweeted that a major announcement was going to be made on Monday.  Monday came and details have been released regarding the “All-Star Event” that was hinted about earlier in the month.  The WSOP has brought back the storied Tournament of Champions.  The event will be held June 27th and will be played to the final table.  Once that has been reached, the remaining nine players will return on July 4th to play for the $1 Million prize pool.

Five entrants have already locked up their seats.  The winners of the three previous TOC events have automatic bids.   Those are Annie Duke, Mike Matusow, and Mike Sexton.  Something that I personally suggested looks to have been implemented with both the WSOP Vegas and WSOP Europe champions  getting an automatic bid.  Therefore, Joe Cada and Barry Shulman, come on down.  Two spots will be “sponsors exemptions” and details will be forthcoming.  Apparently these two seats will be open for the general public to play their way into the event.  (Or that is what the WSOP’s site hinted at anyway.)

20 of the players will be voted in by the fans.  Any living WSOP bracelet winner is eligible to be voted into the TOC.  The top 20 vote getters will be extended invites to play. If any turn down the invite, then the next highest vote getter claims their spot.  (Hint: Voting for Russ Hamilton is probably a waste of time, although he is eligible.)

I have cast my votes and they are as follows.

Phil Hellmuth

Johnny Chan

Doyle Brunson

Erik Seidel

Phil Ivey

Billy Baxter

Layne Flack

Jay Heimowitz

T.J. Cloutier

Men Nguyen

Barbara Enright

Chris Ferguson

Annette Obrestad

Jamie Gold

Jeff Lisandro

Chris Moneymaker

Note that my list primarily follows the list of 27 that I called for in my prior blog about the All-Star event.  Since they stuck to “bracelet winners only”, I couldn’t vote for Jeffrey Pollack.  Annie, Joe, and Jeff were already in so I didn’t have to use votes there.  I wound up with four free votes so I went back over the names again.

Dan Harrington I have always had a lot of respect for regarding his NL game.  He also put together one of the greatest back to back final table runs in WSOP Main Event history.  Scotty Nguyen has five bracelets, including both the Main Event and the $50,000 HORSE event.  He is the ONLY pro to hold that distinction, baby.  I selected Greg Raymer because I do like his game overall and he has proven that he can play more than just Holdem.  I’ve also played with Greg and do find him a interesting character to talk to.  My last vote went to someone that I really should have probably included on my other list and that is Allen Cunningham.  Five WSOP bracelets and a Main Event final table run are definitely worthy of being in  a TOC.

For those of you wondering why Daniel Negreanu is not on my list, I personally don’t feel he is one of the top 20 bracelet winners of all-time.  If it were 25 or 30, then maybe he would be on my list.  If this were WPT or an overall Poker TOC, then ya, Daniel would be in the top 20.  But, this is a WSOP top 20.

Don’t like my picks or think you can do better?  Go to the WSOP’s website and make your own picks.  You can also see the top vote getters so far.

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