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Daniel - Poker Journal

NAPT $25K Bounty Shootout Starts Tomorrow

22 Feb 2010

We couldn't have anticipated so many players desperately wanting to get into this invitational event, and some were turned away, but in the end we have 49 players ponying up $25,000 a piece to play in tomorrow's Bounty Shootout Event. Here are the nuts and bolts of how it works:

There will be 7 tables, three 7 handed tables will start at 11:00am and four 7 handed tables will start at 7:00pm. All of this will be filmed to air on ESPN2, and you can watch the action one of three ways:

1) www.pokerstarsblog.net- there will be live updates on the site as normal.

2) www.napt.com- for those of you familiar with EPT Live, you'll know how cool this is. You can watch the action LIVE, as it happens, on www.napt.com and also listen in to some of your favorite commentars like James Hartigan, as well as a few new faces, including funnyman Joe Stapleton. We'll also, as usual have expert commentators rotating in the commentary booth from time to time.
You are probably used to watching poker with the hole cards revealed, but there is something fun about watching the game without that information. It gives you more of a feel for what it's like to have to guess like the players at the table do. Like, "He check-raised all in on the river? What could he have? What would I have to have to call him here? Does he look like he's bluffing."

3) Come on down! I'd encourage you to come down to the Venetian and watch it live. There will be a bar down in the Bellini room where all the action happens, and don't quote me on this... but I think it just might be a free bar? Action will be going from 11:00am to approximately 2:00am so come on down and root on your favorite players.

Here are the official table draws. Heats 5-7 will start at 11:00am, while Heats 1-4 will begin at 7:00pm:

Table 1

1. Joe Sebok
2. Phil Laak
3. Justin Bonomo
4. David Williams
5. Joe Cassidy
6. Yevgeniy Timoshenko
7. Tommy Vedes

Analysis: This could be the toughest heat of the 7. Phil Laak really impressed me recently at the Premier League, as did Timoshenko. Joe Cassidy and Justin Bonomo are also a force. I'm going with Timoshenko as my #1 seed to win this heat.


Table 2

1. (Satellite winner)
2. Dario Minieri
3. Tony G.
4. Alec Torelli
5. Isaac Haxton
6. Daniel Alaei
7. Peter Eastgate

Analysis: Isaac Haxton is one of the most successful online players in the world, and has also had success in live events. Danny Alaei may seem like he's been around for 20 years, and his poise at the table gives that kind of impression, but he's also very young. Those are my two favorites in this heat, but I'll give Haxton the edge in this faster paced structure.

Table 3

1. Chris Moneymaker
2. Keith Gibson
3. Joe Cada
4. Jason Mercier
5. Hasan Habib
6. Matt Glantz
7. Ashton Griffin

Analysis: Mercier is a rising star in the world of poker. Not only has he put up some sick results, the Bluff player of the year came across very well in his recent TV appearances on the WSOPE. His determination and his obsession with playing tournaments reminds me a lot of myself in my early 20's. I'm not even picking a second horse here, Mercier is my clear #1 choice.

Table 4

1. Andrew Robl
2. Lee Markholt
3. John Hennigan
4. Phil Galfond
5. Alex Kamberis
6. Brett Richey
7. Daniel Negreanu

Analysis: For the sake of unbiased analysis I'm going to take myself out of the equation. This is a tough one for me to call. Once again, it's a very tough heat. Two names stand out for me, Phil Galfond and John Hennigan. I'm not sure how much poker either has played in the last few months, but I know both to be very talented players. I'm going with Hennigan (but not really, if you know what I mean :-)


Table 5

1. J.C Tran
2. Joe Hachem
3. Annie Duke
4. Jennifer Tilly
5. Vanessa Rousso
6. Di Dang
7. Faraz Jaka

Analysis: What are the odds that we have exactly three women in the entire field, and they are ALL in the same heat! Of the three, one stands out in a structure like this, and that's Vanessa Rousso. Few women, or men for that matter, spend more time analyzing and working on their game. We have another high stakes online player in Di Dang at the table, but the guy I'm looking at to win this heat is the guy that I just played heads up in the Premier League: J.C. Tran.

Table 6

1. Scott Sevier
2. Brian Rast
3. Chau Giang
4. ElkY
5. Antonio Esfandiari
6. Sorel Mizzi
7. Barry Greenstein

Analysis: This is another very tough heat and it should be a blood bath. I've always been impressed with Antonio Esfandiari's game, and while he may have taken a few steps back over the years, it seems like he is taking poker more seriously of late and is very focused. The other guy that jumps out at me is known simply as "Elky." I think Elky is an incredibly talented tournament player, whether it's against weak competition or against top pros. I'm going with Elky for the win.

Table 7

1. Phil Hellmuth
2. Adam Richardson
3. Hoyt Corkins
4. Greg Raymer
5. John Duthie
6. Hevad Khan
7. Steve Paul-Ambrose

Analysis: This heat was a bit more difficult for me to pick. Hoyt Corkins is coming off of another impressive win on the WPT, but that was against a very different kind of field. I actually fancy the young guys in this heat, Hevad Khan and Steve Paul-Ambrose. I think I'm going to go out on a limb here and pick the soft spoken Team PokerStars Pro, and fellow Canadian, Steve Paul-Ambrose.

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The prize pool will look like this:

If you win your table you collect a cool $75,000. For every bounty you collect along the way, that's worth an additional $5000. All final table members will have pocketed at least $80,000, and they'll be playing for a first prize of $455,000. Not only that, PokerStars.net has donated $100,000 to the prize pool, and that money will go to the top bounty hunter. Knock out the most players... pocket $100k. Pretty sweet.

One thing I hope that many of you appreciate is the number of new names that were given an opportunity to participate in this prestigious event. I read the forums, and there has been an outcry to see some more new blood get an opportunity to take part in some of these cooler televised events. Well, you guys spoke, and PokerStars.net listened.

I think this event offers a great mix of old school players, big names you know, as well as a solid number of young, internet phenoms trying to make a name for themselves. Kids like Alex "AJKHoosier" Kamberis, Ashton "Ashman" Griffin, Di Dang, and Alec Torelli, may not be household names to the average person, but if you "know poker" you know these names, and you want to see how they'll do under the lights, and with the added pressure of the television cameras in their face. Will they dominate the "Live TV Players" as many may expect? Or will the pressure get to them and their live inexperience be there downfall? Only way to really find out, is to come on down to Venetian and join us in the Bellini room, or watch all the action from the privacy of your home, online at www.napt.com.

I'll be watching NAPT Live at home in the afternoon, and then I'll head down to play my heat in the evening. This event is going to be one you just really don't want to miss. Boys, get our your spreadsheets, get on MSN, Yahoo, AOL, or whatever messenger you have, and start your draft now! The event starts in t-12 hours!


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