One of the three teams competing in the Caesars Cup invitational event at the inaugural World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) is now known to us, as Phil Ivey handed in his four picks for his five-man squad (well he didn’t actually hand them in, more just announced them on Facebook): Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Greg Merson, and Antonio Esfandiari. The choices are interesting to say the least, but completely consistent with the Team Americas legacy of choosing proven, well-known, players for their Caesars Cup roster.
In 2009 Daniel Negreanu captained Team Americas, surrounded by the biggest names in the game at the time: Huck Seed, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Jennifer Harman, John Juanda, and Barry Greenstein –a last minute fill-in for Chris Ferguson. Team Americas was soundly defeated by the younger Team Europe, which included Captain Annette Obresatd, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies, Patrik Antonius, Dario Minieri, Peter Eastgate, Gus Hansen, and an online qualifier named John Harvey.
In 2011 Phil Hellmuth took over the reins of Team Americas, and obviously not learning from the mistakes of Negreanu selected a squad that looked like a Hall of Fame induction roster: Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Huck Seed, and Johnny Chan. Team Europe was captained by Bertrand Grospellier this time around, who selected another young, talented, team, in Jake Cody, Gus Hansen, Dario Minieri, and Maxim Lykov. However, Team Americas look drastically changed at the event itself, with Ben Lamb and Jason Mercier playing in place of Doyle and Huck, while Team Europe saw Tony G step-in for Dario Minieri: Team Americas cruised to victory in 2011.
For the upcoming Caesars Cup event at the WSOP APAC there will now be three teams competing in the Ryder Cup inspired poker tournament, as a team from Asia Pacific captained by 2005 WSOP Champion Joe Hachem has been added to the mix. The European squad will be captained by Sam Trickett this time around.
My money would be on Team Europe despite not even knowing their roster outside of Trickett. The matches in the Caesars Cup are basically heads-up affairs and with the a slew of talented young UK and German players, not to mention the Scandinavian ranks he can choose from, Trickett should have little trouble putting together a top-flight team. I’m picturing Trickett choosing from Marvin Rettenmaier, Tobias Reinkemeier, Jake Cody, Chris Moorman, Andrey Pateychuk, or any of the other young stars, not to mention players like Gus Hansen, ElkY, and Patrik Antonius.
In its two previous incarnations the Caesars Cup has given us surprise picks, surprise results, and plenty of action as the players seem to take it far more seriously than one would expect. Despite its “surprising” history, the one thing that is fairly certain when it comes to the Caesars Cup; the rosters are likely to change when the event begins. Begin playing poker online! Try start at Titan Poker and get lots of Titan Poker Bonus at sign up!
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