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  • Daniel Negreanu Creates Plan for Olympic Poker

    Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by Ryan

With the 2014 Winter Olympics fully underway and medals being handed out all over the place, it made one specific poker player a bit curious about a potential idea to make poker an actual Olympic event. Obviously it’s safe to say that we are still a good ways away (if it would happen at all) from this happening, but the idea is actually a pretty interesting and fun one, and we’ll take a look at it here.

The idea came from Daniel Negreanu, who is never short on words, as he loves to talk at the table and put out ideas for things relating to poker. He posted a message forum on his website, which is FullContactPoker.com, and he stated an idea for how to make the game of poker an Olympic event. The idea features six different countries as you can imagine, and it is made up of teams for each specific country. The teams are going to be made up of six poker players each, and it will feature a buy-in to get into the Olympic games, which costs a total of $300,000, which we assume would be split between the players on the team.

He went on to make a list of how the Olympics could potentially look if they were done this year, and he broke down six different countries, and named a few players in each country. When looking at the list it included the following: USA: Smith, Mercier, Selbst, Seidel, Raghavan, Volpe, Kenney Canada: Negreanu, McDonald, Mizzi, Duhamel, Watson Germany: Shemion, Rettenmaier, Gruissem UK: Chidwick, Vamplew, Lewis, Silver, Ziyard, Kamel Russia: Bilokur, Puchkov, Gulyy, Lahkov, Kurganov, Vitkind France: Hairabedian, Grospellier, Pecheux, Ktorza, Lacey, Pollack As you can probably tell from looking at this, he did leave a few names off of the German team, but he apparently just did it on accident. That’s a good group of players from all over the world there, and it would definitely be a fun event to watch, especially with the layout that he set up for this. Things would start out with a preliminary event, and then move on from there.

Let’s look at his plan for the potential Poker Olympics. The preliminary stage is the first stage obviously, and in this you are going to see each player in the event play in a six handed single table tournament. Two of the tournaments are going to be held in each of three days, with the first one starting at nooneach day, and the other one starting at 8:00pm. He even went about creating a blind structure for the tournaments, and they would include 40 minute levels, with 100,000 chip starting stacks. The first level would be the 500-1000 blinds with a 100 ante, then 600-1200 with a 200 ante, and it would just continue to grow from there all the way up until you get to the 5000-10000 with a 1000 ante level. Now, for the winner of each heat, they would get $60,000 for themselves. The prize money would drop $10,000 for each place that it goes down. The winner would also get 60 big blinds for his team that go automatically towards the finals. Second place is going to get 50 big blinds, and it would go all the way down to sixth place where they would receive 10 big blinds to put towards the finals. Now, the six heats come to an end, and you’ll see the six teams then go at it again in another single-table tournament.

In this tournament the team will start with however many big blinds that they earned during the preliminary event. Basically the max starting stack would be 360 big blinds, and the minimum would be 60 big blinds, with the average starting stack being 210,000 chips. Dropping down to the final, you’ll see that each member of the final has to play at least one level during the first six levels of play, so everyone is in on the action. After the sixth and final level, the only rule that players have to follow is that no one can play in back to back levels at any point. So players are going to have to switch every level, but two players could just go back and forth, or they could rotate through three players if they choose to, it would completely be the teams call. For the final payouts, the gold medal winning team would take home $250,000, the silver medal team would win $165,000, and the bronze medal team would win $125,000. It’s definitely a very interesting idea that could bring poker to the forefront of the Olympic world, but it probably wouldn’t happen for a while, if at all.

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