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  • Caesars Cup Teams Chosen

    Thursday, October 6th, 2011 by Nadia

With the highly-anticipated World Series of Poker, Europe (WSOPE) fast approaching, the American team captain this year, Phil Hellmuth, and Europe’s team leader Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier have been under pressure to finalize their team members. Both captains have carefully put together their teams for the second Caesars Cup. Each captain has gone in for a different approach towards selecting their players.

Grospellier has chosen a majority of young and aggressive players for his team. He seems to have selected his team for their skill at ‘Heads up Play’, the format that the Caesars Cup is played in. The team is a strong one, a mix of older pros and young players trying to make their name in the poker circuit.

Hellmuth’s choices are more conservative. He has opted to have veteran players on his team. The youngest of them is Canadian, Daniel Negreanu. Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson and Huck Seed, prior World Champions, complete the team.

The European Team

Gus Hansen, the defending winner of WSOPE’s ‘Heads up Play’ tournament, is one of the members on Grospellier’s team. Though surprising, the selection was made quite carefully. Hansen does have a lot of experience in this format of poker. The only drawback might be Hansen’s ties with Team Full Tilt. The negative response of poker fans might affect his performance.

UK’s triple-crown winner, Jake Cody, is a good addition to the team. He has, in less than 2 years, won titles on the World Poker Tour, the European Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. His third win at the ‘Heads up Play’ at the $25,000 event in the WSOP, highlights his skills at this kind of play.

Dario Mineri from Italy and Max Lykov from Russia, who are the main contenders in the race for player of the year, complete the young squad which will represent Europe.

The American Team

More interesting than the players that Hellmuth selected are the ones that he didn’t choose. Jason Mercier and Eric Seidel have had a successful year in the world of poker, yet Hellmuth didn’t pick them. Other players like Eugene Katchalov, Galen Hall and Sam Stein were all candidates for player of the year and would have also been good choices. Though older players are a safe choice, he could be sacrificing the skills that most of the young players have cultivated playing ‘Heads up’ format in high-stakes online games.

The teams are similar to those that participated in the first Caesars Cup, held in 2009 in London. Annette Obrestad, captaining the European team bested the American team, which, led by Negreneanu lost, 4 to 1. Obrestad chose a team consisting of players with vast experience with the online version of the game. They beat the American team which consisted of older players. Amongst the Americans, only Brunson won, beating Obrestad at ‘Heads up Play’.

WSOPE will begin on October 7th, with seven tournaments scheduled. This is the first time that the event will be held somewhere other than London. Le Croisette Barriere Cannes and the Majestic Barriere Cannes in France are the venues this year. The Caesars Cup will be held on the 19th of October with the best-of-five format. Heads up and No Limit Hold ’em (partnered) will be the variants offered.

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