One of the things I look forward to each year is the fantasy poker competitions that coincide with the World Series of Poker. I’ve been playing fantasy poker for a number of years and it always adds a little extra excitement to summer. Like any other fantasy sport, it gives me the opportunity to have a vested interest in the success of certain players. I'll admit, I'm a fantasy-poker nut.
In addition to actually playing this year, I was really excited about a new site that sprung up during the 2011 WSOP - OwnIvey.com. The site is dedicated to all things fantasy poker and did a great job keeping track of points in all the major leagues. Not only that, it provided regular standings updates and tracked all the compelling story lines, truly enhancing the fantasy-poker experience. To learn more about OwnIvey, and fantasy poker in general, be sure to peruse the site.
The ESPN Fantasy Poker League
Last year, I received an invitation to play in the ESPN Fantasy Poker League, which is comprised of selected poker professionals and members of the media. I was looking forward to testing my skills against some of the industry’s best and was ecstatic that I somehow managed to win the league. While I felt that my team was solid all around, I must admit I managed to score the “W” primarily because of Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi’s amazing run in the Main Event.
With that said, I had only one thing on my mind heading into 2011: a title defense. Unfortunately, my chances of accomplishing that diminished early on when I lost my first-round pick to unforeseen circumstances. Of course, I’m talking about Phil Ivey. Luckily, our league allows for one drop, so I was able to replace him with Steve Billirakis. Even so, I could only manage a disappointing seventh-place finish. Here’s a look at my team’s individual performances.
Team Chad Holloway
|Player||Round Selected||Overall Pick||Score|
While I didn’t do too well, there was a heated competition throughout much of the summer between Dennis Phillips, Steve "Chops" Preiss, Mark Seif, Andrew Feldman, Dwyte Pilgrim, and Lance Bradley. You can check out all of their team rosters, as well as the league’s scoring system, by checking out PokerNews' original article from May. By the end of the summer, Phillips pulled away from the pack and claimed victory with 1,063 points. His selections of Phil Hellmuth (335 points), Bertrand “ElkY” Grosspellier (242 points), Daniel Negreanu (175 points), and Allen Cunningham (150 points) were responsible for most of those points, proving the difference over runner-up Chops’ 852 points.
Here are the results from the 2011 league.
2011 ESPN Fantasy Poker League Results
|2nd||Chops (Wicked Chops Poker)||852|
Congratulations to Dennis Phillips, 2011 ESPN Fantasy Poker League Champion and winner of some major bragging rights!
Daniel Negreanu’s 2011 $25,000 League
In May, Daniel Negreanu announced that he was organizing a high-roller fantasy-poker league that would cost an eye-popping $25,000 to enter. Just before the WSOP kicked off, Negreanu released the league’s rules in his blog, along with a complete roster for each of the 15 teams, who created a prize pool of $375,000. That prize pool was to be distributed as follows:
- 1st place: $225,000
- 2nd place: $93,750
- 3rd place: $37,500
- 4th place: $18,750
Check out the final standings of the high-roller league.
Daniel Negreanu’s 2011 $25,000 League Results
|1st||Jason Mercier/Jason Somerville||871|
|2nd||Erick Lindgren/David Oppenhiem||480|
|4th||James Bord/Toby Lewis||445|
|5th||Scott Seiver/Justin Bonomo/Eric Froelich||418|
|6th||Joe Cassidy/Huck Seed||379|
|7th||Eugene Katchalov/Daniel Alaei||378|
|10th||Justin “BoostedJ” Smith/Ashton Griffin||253|
|11th||Robert Mizrachi/Greg Mueller/Jared Bleznick/”Crazy” Mike||220|
|14th||Frank Kassela/Shaun Deeb||99|
When it came to the $25K High-Roller League, there really wasn’t any competition. Team Jason Mercier/Jason Somerville ran away with it by amassing an impressive 871 points, nearly 400 more than the second-place finisher. How did they manage so many points? For one, they had Grospellier, who helped Phillips win the aforementioned ESPN League; in addition, they had current November Niner and Player-of-the-Year Leader Ben Lamb, who was responsible for nearly half of the team’s points (403 points). Interesting to note, had Team Jason Mercier/Jason Somerville not drafted Lamb, who went undrafted in the ESPN League, they would have still tied for second in their league.
Team Jason Mercier/Jason Somerville Breakdown
|Bertrand “ElkY Grospellier||18||204|
|Daivd “Bakes” Baker||40||55|
Congratulations to Jason Mercier and Jason Somerville on becoming the $25K League Co-Champions and taking down the $225,000 first-place prize!
The combination of a highly publicized $25K League and a site devoted solely to the game ensured that the 2011 fantasy-poker season was biggest and best yet. While such competitions are usually centered around the WSOP, there are still plenty of opportunities to organize your own league to coincide with the upcoming WSOP Europe and European Poker Tour. So gather your friends and get started today.