Fantasy 2012 WSOP BIG-TIME GIVEAWAY
Win a superb Vegas holiday with WPT Poker and book-vegas.com!
We’re fond of a mash-up here at WPT Poker Towers, and with both the WSOP and Euro 2012 fast approaching, we thought we’d merge poker and football in one unholy humungous beast. (On top of that, we love giving away prizes).
If you’ve seen the Fantasy World Series of Poker comps doing the rounds, you’ll be familiar with the premise, but here, we’ve done the hard work for you and picked the players who we think will do the business in Vegas this summer. And here’s where the football element comes in: following (roughly) the nations who will be contesting Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland (we've included the USA and Canada, of course, and Brazil – this is a football-related comp, after all), we’ve picked out some of the young talents who’ll be there or thereabouts this summer.
HOW TO ENTER
To play, simply pick the TWO teams in our list that you think will perform best at this year’s WSOP. (Note: Teams have been balanced to make the contest as even as possible, so don’t try looking for Phil Ivey in the US team.)
Players in those teams will be scored using the following system for the duration of the World Series, as follows: Cash = 5pts, Final Table = 25pts, Bracelet Win = 50pts. Captains earn double points, and all players will earn double points for the Main Event. At the end of the Series (as the Main Event final table is decided), all scores will be totalled and the reader whose two teams scored the most will be crowned the winner.
TIE-BREAKER: In the event that two or more readers get the same score, we will decide the winner via this tie-break question: HOW MANY RUNNERS WILL THE 2012 WSOP MAIN EVENT GET?
Once you’ve picked your two teams, email them to email@example.com, together with your tie-break answer. The closing date for entries is May 25th, 2012. You can also enter via our Facebook page (WPT Poker Magazine) or via Twitter (@WPTPokerMag).
The winner will win a fantastic Las Vegas experience, courtesy of leading poker travel firm, Book-Vegas.com. The package includes flight, 4 nights in a top hotel, limo from the airport, discounts and club access. There are WPT goodie bags for the next FIVE runners-up. Good luck!
Brazil: WSOP Bracelets: 1 - WSOP Cashes: $1,423,340
Andre Akkari (Captain)
The sole bracelet winner in the group, Andre Akkari’s 2011 victory in the $1,500 NLHE netted him more than $675,000 and represented his ninth WSOP career cash.
An online legend in his own right, Thiago “XTheDecanoX” Nishijima is no stranger to the WSOP either having earned in excess of $325,000 on poker’s biggest stage.
PLO expert Felipe Ramos has two WSOP final tables in his favourite discipline to his name and having missed most of the Series last year, he’ll hungry for more this time.
The longest-lasting Brazilian in last year’s Main Event, Laborda ultimately finished 36th for $242,636 and proved South American poker is well and truly on the up.
Canada: WSOP Bracelets: 0 - WSOP Cashes: $3,253,993
Shawn Buchanan (Captain)
With over $2.2 million in WSOP winnings, the in-form Shawn Buchanan heads up a young Canadian team and looks a hot pick to land his first gold bracelet this year.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride – Sorel Mizzi has final-tabled WSOP PLO events on both sides of the Atlantic but his $878,776 in cashes hint that a triumph is near.
Having benefitted from a brief sabbatical from the game, “Timex” should be refreshed and ready to make a decent run at improving his $94,664 WSOP tally.
Don’t be fooled by his $77,065 total haul – five WSOP cashes in Vegas and one in Europe hint at the potential Mike “goleafsgoeh” Leah has to score big for his country.
Denmark: WSOP Bracelets: 4 - WSOP Cashes: $12,341,754
Peter Eastgate (Captain)
The 2008 World Champ is responsible for 75% of Team Denmark’s total cashes and having recently signed with Betfair he’ll be keen to make an impression.
A big winner in the Macau cash games, Gus Hansen’s poker career is undergoing something of a renaissance of late and he should take that form with him to Vegas.
The first player to win bracelets on both sides of the Atlantic, Jesper Hougaard knows his way around WSOP final tables and is a solid pick to perform this year.
Something of a revelation last year, Lars recorded a total of five WSOP cashes including a 22nd place finish in the Main Event for $302,005.
England: WSOP Bracelets: 2 - WSOP Cashes: $4,905,632
Sam Trickett (Captain)
A sensational year overall in 2011 was marred by a comparatively poor WSOP campaign and the genial Brit will want to put that right this year.
Jake Cody got the 2011 WSOP off to a flyer for the Brits with victory in the $25k Heads-Up Championship. With bags of natural talent, a similarly strong start looks likely.
It may have taken “moorman1” a while to crack this pesky live poker thing, but the cashes really started to flow in 2011 when he finished second in two WSOP events.
A PLO bracelet winner in 2010, Dempsey had a quiet year in Vegas last time out and will be hoping to get back to the form he’s shown on tours like the WPT.
Finland: WSOP Bracelets: 0 - WSOP Cashes: $1,542,471
Patrik Antonius (Captain)
Not traditionally a tournament player, Patrik Antonius roared back to form in 2011 and will be hoping he can build on WSOP winnings of over $900,000.
Despite comparatively meagre Series earnings, Kyllonen is a highly-respected young player who will be hoping to build on his deep run in last year’s Main Event.
A player of some pedigree on the WSOP stage, Mika has two final tables and a runner-up finish to his credit and he will be hoping to go all the way this year.
The experienced elder statesman of the Finnish team, Sointula is an ever-present at the WSOP and always a favourite to notch a cash or two.
France: WSOP Bracelets: 2 - WSOP Cashes: $3,210,242
Bertrand Grospellier (Captain)
One of two players in the French team with WSOP winnings north of $1 million, “ElkY” won a bracelet in 2011 to complete his Triple Crown and is one of the country’s hottest tournament players.
A hugely consistent pro across all the major tours, Mattern has eight career cashes at the WSOP and will be positively itching to make his first final table.
Having made three WSOP final tables without winning a bracelet, Nicolas Levi’s winless streak can’t last forever and he’ll be one to watch at this year’s Series.
France’s Mr. Consistent is the evergreen pro who boasts more WSOP winnings than “ElkY” and an incredible 18 career cashes in bracelet events.
Germany: WSOP Bracelets: 1 - WSOP Cashes: $9,255,998
Pius Heinz (Captain)
The captain of a young German team is the reigning World Champ who will be eager to prove his 2011 bracelet success was no fluke.
One of the most highly-rated young German players, Benny will need to live up to the hype by delivering his first major WSOP scores in Vegas.
A high-stakes specialist who finished 28th in last year’s Main Event, Philipp Gruissem is a name everyone should look out for in the Championship events this summer.
Seven cashes at the WSOP belie Marvin Rettenmaier’s $169,810 Series earnings and given the German’s current run of form, he could really deliver results this year.
Greece: WSOP Bracelets: 1 - WSOP Cashes: $950,851
Athanasios Polychronopoulos (Captain)
The first and only Greek player to win a bracelet, the wonderfully-named Athanasios Polychronopoulos shot to national fame with victory in the $1,500 NLHE last year.
A WSOP regular since 2009, Kapalas has cashed at least once on every subsequent visit to the Rio and notched WSOP career winnings of $189,437.
Something of a statistical anomaly in poker circles, all but one of Charalampos Tsaoussis’ cashes have come at the WSOP, with the biggest earning him $41,816.
Unproven at the WSOP he may be, but there’s a lot of buzz about Iraklis Kosmadakis and if he continues his stellar start to 2012 he’ll be a WSOP dark horse.
Italy: WSOP Bracelets: 3 - WSOP Cashes: $5,650,190
Max Pescatori (Captain)
An incredibly consistent performer at the WSOP, the PokerStars pro is a two-time bracelet winner and has scored three or more cashes at the Series on six occasions.
Part of the young, fearless generation of Italians, Minieri captured a WSOP bracelet in 2008 and has since gone on to enhance his reputation with four cashes.
One of the most entertaining characters among the 2010 November Nine, Filippo Candio has since improved his game further and cashed at events across Europe.
He may have made a name for himself on the WPT with his flamboyant final-table clobber, but Isaia knows all about cashing in Vegas – he boasts ten separate scores at the WSOP.
Netherlands: WSOP Bracelets: 0 - WSOP Cashes: $800,218
Lex Veldhuis (Captain)
A man who needs no introduction to those who use YouTube, Veldhuis has consistenly dazzled at the WSOP since he exploded onto the scene in 2007.
One of the most successful Dutchmen last year, Visser blazed a trail across Europe and got his first taste of WSOP success by finishing 44th in the Main Event.
Undoubtedly one of the most respected players in the Dutch poker fraternity, Noah Boeken has cashed a remarkable 15 times at the WSOP, earning over $200,000.
Though something of an unknown quantity at the WSOP, Danyel Boyaciyan started 2011 in great form and his performances show no signs of letting up.
Republic Of Ireland: WSOP Bracelets: 0 - WSOP Cashes: $5,293,409
Eoghan O’Dea (Captain)
One of the best players at last year’s Main Event final table, Donnacha’s son pocketed $1.7 million for sixth place and will be hoping to add to that tally this year.
The highest-earning player in Ireland also happens to be something of a WSOP specialist, having notched 25 cashes and four final tables in his career.
Along with Eoghan O’Dea, Dermot is one of the bright young things of Irish poker and has been quietly but consistently racking up WSOP cashes – $376,415 in all.
The Grand Old Man of Irish poker, Padraig has more experience than the other three players combined and has cashed at the WSOP on 11 occasions.
Russia: WSOP Bracelets: 1 - WSOP Cashes: $2,820,976
Kirill Gerasimov (Captain)
One of the original Russian cashing machines, Kiril Gerasimov has scored 26 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP with nine final tables thrown in for good measure.
The latest name off the conveyor belt of Russian poker talent, Andrey Pateychuk is in electric form and is only a WSOP bracelet away from winning the Triple Crown.
A bracelet winner at last year’s Series, Maxim Lykov is proving to be a major poker force all over the world and few would bet against him adding to his tally this year.
Four cashes at the WSOP last year indicated that there’s far more to come from Dmitry Gromov if only he can convert his deep runs into final table appearances.
Spain: WSOP Bracelets: 2 - WSOP Cashes: $2,940,680
Carlos Mortensen (Captain)
Though born in Ecuador, Carlos Mortensen grew up in Madrid – and the Spanish team will be glad to have him given he boasts two bracelets and 25 WSOP cashes – oh, and he was World Champion in 2002.
Juan Manuel Pastor
A consistent pro in Europe who is yet to truly make his mark on the WSOP, Pastor recorded his best year in 2011 and will be eager to bag a bracelet.
Having launched her career by being the last woman standing in the 2009 WSOP Main Event, the 888poker player has since become an established pro and Vegas regular.
A deep run in the $10k PLO Championship marked Jesus Cortes’s first cash outside his native Spain and will have no doubt given him the taste for further WSOP success.
Sweden: WSOP Bracelets: 2 - WSOP Cashes: $3,915,810
Martin Jacobson (Captain)
A calculated Swedish pro with six WSOP cashes under his belt, it can only be a matter of time before he replicates his European form in the US.
With just one cash at last year’s Series, Thorson will be eager to get back to the kind of form that has seen him bag over $1.4 million in winnings at the WSOP.
Perhaps the biggest lock to cash in the whole competition, Bjorin has racked up an incredible 61 – yes, 61 – in-the-money finishes and two gold bracelets.
One of the young breed who will be playing their first WSOP (he’s already played the WSOPE and cashed for around $50,000), Isildur1 could take Vegas by storm.
Ukraine: WSOP Bracelets: 2 - WSOP Cashes: $3,112,557
Yevgeniy Timoshenko (Captain)
The original bright young thing of Ukrainian poker, Yevgeniy Timoshenko has not won a WSOP bracelet but nevertheless boasts over $1 million in Series cashes.
Another youngster currently making waves, Oleksii Kovalchuk made a great debut last year by winning a WSOP bracelet and scooping a further three cashes.
Something of a pro’s pro, Katchalov is the highest-earning member of the Ukraine team with over $1.1 million in WSOP cashes and a gold bracelet to his name.
An older, steadier head in a young team, Alexander scored an impressive six cashes at the WSOP last year, four in Vegas and two at the WSOPE in Cannes.
USA: WSOP Bracelets: 4 - WSOP Cashes: $8,653,089
Jason Mercier (Captain)
One of the hottest players on the planet right now, Jason Mercier has considerable pedigree at the WSOP with two bracelets to his name and $1.7 million in cashes.
The WSOP success story of 2011 was Mr. Lamb, who scooped POTY honours by bagging a bracelet and a third-place finish in the Main Event.
Arguably the best female tournament player in the world, Vanessa scored her first WSOP bracelet in 2008 and has continued to rack up the cashes ever since.
The only member of Team America without a bracelet, Melanie should have ample opportunity to break that duck now that she’s got a sponsor in Lock Poker.