Top Seeds Hansen, Mortensen, Zinno, Negreanu Breeze Through in WPT Champions Challenge
Jumping on the March Madness train, the World Poker Tour released its "Champions Challenge" late last week that pitted 64 past champions in a bracket-style contest. Poker fans were invited to vote as much as once per day in the popularity contest, with the winners from the first round advancing to the Round of 32 that began on Wednesday, March 16.
The bracket's four No. 1 seeds — Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Anthony Zinno, and Daniel Negreanu all walked through to the next round with ease, but there were also plenty of first-round "upsets."
Eight Upsets in First Round
In the Spades region, David Williams (9) beat Nenad Medic (8), Andy Frankenberger (12) beat Tommy Vedes (5), Tony Dunst (10) beat Howard Lederer (7), and Phil Laak (11) beat Matt Giannetti (6).
In the Hearts region, Dan Harrington (15) edged out Erick Lindgren (2) by the narrowest of margins, and Nick Schulman (11) beat Aaron Mermelstein (6).
In the Diamonds region, only one upset took place with Vivek Rajkumar (11) beating out Randal Flowers (6).
In the Clubs region, there was also only one upset, with Doyle Brunson (11) taking down Kevin Eyster (6).
Fun Round-of-32 Matchups
With 32 players remaining, there are some interesting matchups that will be fun to watch over the next couple of days until voting for the second round closes on Sunday, March 20.
In the Spades region, Hansen (1) will take on Williams (9), and Antonio Esfandiari (2) will take on Dunst (10).
In the Hearts region, legends Mortensen (1) and Erik Seidel (8) will face off, and Harrington (15) will duel Phil Ivey (7).
Over in the Diamonds region, JC Tran (2) will battle Scotty Nguyen (2).
Lastly, in the Clubs region, Canada-on-Canada crime will take place as Negreanu (1) faces off against Gavin Smith (8).
Those aren't the only fun head-to-head competitions, though, and you can view the complete bracket by clicking here.
So what are you waiting for? Get voting today!