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No twenty-somethings in WSOP's Tournament of Champions
4/20/10 - The World Series of Poker's latest list of player-voted pros for the 2010 Tournament of Champions suggests that younger players are not as active as they should be in the process...and the result is a list of 20 respected candidates that omits some of the exciting younger exponents of the game.
There's still plenty of time to change this list dramatically, as voting remains open for the next two months, and it would be nice to see a sprinkling of adventurous young guns among the veterans.
The WSOP list (to date) looks like this:
Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, T.J. Cloutier, Allen Cunningham, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Farha, Chris Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, Joe Hachem, Jennifer Harman, Dan Harrington, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, Greg Raymer, Huck Seed, Erik Seidel
The youngest player on that list is probably 30-year-old Antonio Esfandiari, which means that the ultra-successful early-twenty-something younger pro set are not adequately represented and need a voting boost from the player community to feature.
Running since 2004, the Tournament of Champions started as a winner-take-all $2 million Sit-and-Go. After an hiatus in 2007-2009, WSOP is relaunching the event this (2010) year but with a new and more community-oriented twist that allows the public to choose 20 of the 27 players in the field through an online voting system at WSOP.com.
Three of the remaining 7 seats are reserved for the three previous TOC winners, Annie Duke, Mike Matusow and Mike Sexton, while two more will go to the reigning WSOP Main Event champion, Joe Cada, and the current WSOP Europe champion, Barry Shulman. The final two seats are reserved for sponsor qualifiers.
Voters are asked to choose from a roster of 521 living WSOP bracelet holders, which unfortunately excludes some of the most spectacular winners and losers in, for example, the online nosebleed games at Full Tilt Poker...audacious players who win and lose millions on a regular basis but have yet to crack a WSOP bracelet.
The final roster of 27 players in the current Tournament of Champions will face each other across three tables at the Rio in Las Vegas on Saturday June 27th. Once the field has been distilled to the final 9 the tournament will adjourn until Independence Day - Sunday July 4th - for the final table - one day before the WSOP main event kicks off.
The game is worth winning - the TOC victor will take home $500 000, the runner-up will collect $250 000 and the third placed player will enjoy a payday worth $100 000. Everyone else at the final table will receive $25 000 each.
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