2011 WSOP Fantasy Poker Now A PhenomenonJune 9, 2011 9:26 am
Over the years fantasy sports have been growing rapidly in popularity with around 30 million people in the US and Canada believed to be actively involved in 2007.
Fantasy sports, as defined by Wikipedia, allow participants to “act as owners to build a team that competes against other fantasy owners based on the statistics generated by the real individual players.”
The same goes for poker, where a team of fantasy professional poker players are chosen and earn points based on their finishing position in tournaments or money earned.
Organised by Daniel Negreanu and Erick Lindgren, this year’s $25,000 WSOP fantasy draft produced so much interest that 15 individuals ponied up the huge entry fee to create a prize pool worth an impressive $375k.
Analysing the appeal of Fantasy Poker, top pro and two times WSOP bracelet winner Eric Froehlich commented:
“People want a piece of the action and fantasy sports let you have that. The fantasy leagues for professional poker players give us more people to cheer for and more sweats. It’s a really good thing.”
For poker fans wishing to follow the poker pros fantasy draft, 26 year old web developer Stan Magusiak has set up www.25kfantasy.com with the latest scores.
However, there are still some drawbacks associated with using poker as a fantasy sport, one of which is explained by Magusiak, who explains:
“Poker’s at a big disadvantage there because most people don’t have the knowledge of the player pool available to them as they do in other fantasy sports. Don’t get me wrong, ESPN does a nice job with the time they have but good luck finding Yueqi Zhu or even Scott Seiver in any of the archived ESPN shows.”
Nonetheless, players are still more than willing to take a punt on their favourite players, with Daniel Negreanu promising more refinements and ideas for next year.
Giving a quick recap at this early stage of WSOP 2011, Erick Lindgren is currently second with 77 points after Eric Froehlich’s top four finish in the $25k Heads-Up Championship. In the meantime, Negreanu is somewhere in the middle on 41 points, while Barry Greenstein is 4th from bottom on 16 points, after his chief pick Phil Ivey pulled out of the entire 2011 WSOP.