Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Tooling around RGP and came across a post by Daniel Negreanu about the ESPN Tournament of Champions:
From: Daniel Negreanu (anonymous@hotmail.com)
Subject: ESPN TOC event update
View: Complete Thread (68 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: rec.gambling.poker
Date: 2004-08-08 13:29:39 PST

So this is what I heard. The 10 players chosen are as follows:

Doyle Brunson
Chip Reese
Phil Hellmuth
Men Nguyen
Johnny Chan
TJ Cloutier
Phil Ivey
Howard Lederer
Greg Raymer
Annie Duke

Curious as to what the criteria was to play, apparantly they did an
independant poll of 300 players and asked who they thought the best
players were.
Of course, I don't know one person that was asked to vote in this poll
and have no idea if it actually took place. If it did, I can't imagine
who they asked? I'd be willing to bet that this poll never even took

I didn't care so much that I wasn't involved in the SuperStars of Poker
Show, but now we are talking about a freeroll for two million dollars at
stake! I'm starting to wonder what you actually have to do to qualify as
one of the best no limit hold'em tournament players.

1. Tournament results obviously don't seem to hold much weight.
2. Being a winning player in the high limit cash games can't be enough.
3. Respect from your peers also doesn't seem to be very important.
4. Longevity? No that wouldn't make sense either based on that list.
5. Winning the ESPN Player of the Year Award? Useless.

So what then, does it take to qualify for the ESPN TOC? Please
enlighten me, because I have no idea.

Daniel Negreanu

P.S. Sorry if this post comes off as whiny, but I'm a little frustrated
and feel like I've now been "double dissed" :-)
Hmmmmm, okay. I guess I can feel for Daniel and see where he is coming from - it would probably piss me off pretty good to have the kind of year he's having and than see Annie on this list. Of course, I have a good feeling - as do many of the RGP'ers - that Annie was added as a "We need a woman on the show, find someone that everyone knows". I seriously doubt that even Annie feels that she belongs on anyone's Top 10 list. Also, if you are going to have to add a woman, wouldn't you go straight for Jennifer Harman?

I guess that Daniel isn't the only one feeling a little slighted.
Message 1 in thread
From: Erik Seidel (erikseidelak@hotmail.com)
Subject: TOC Tale of the Tape

View this article only
Newsgroups: rec.gambling.poker
Date: 2004-08-09 15:15:05 PST

There seems to be a great deal of controversy on the selection process
that ESPN used to chose the 10 players for this event. Having read
through many of the posts here it seems as if there is some outrage at
Daniel being left out. I think there is a case for Daniel, and also a
case for a few others (myself among them). Here is the case for:

Gus Hanson- Hottest player on the WPT tour the last year and a half.
Even more impressive when you take into account he didn't play many
events the first year of WPT. The objection might be that although he
has dominated the WPT he has no results or history with the WSOP.

Dan Harrington- I believe Dan might have the most impressive record of
anyone in the 10k at the World Series. 6th in 87',1st in 95', 3rd last
year, and 4th this year. This is a really impressive record and he
certainly warants serious consideration.

John Juanda- Without question John has been the most overlooked and
underexposed player in poker. Runner up for Player of the Year in 01,
and 02'.
Champion of the Year in 02' and he is leading Champion of the Year
list this year. Champion of the Year only counts the major events that
the top players play. Phil Hellmuth has been publishing the list for 2
1/2 years and Juanda has a chance to win 2 out of 3. The fields have
grown so big this is really a remarkable achievement. In my opinion
he's the best tournament player in the world and it's time that he
get's the recognition he deserves.

Erik Seidel- 6 WSOP titles (4 living players have more than 6, 3 have
been picked for the show, the 4th is Billy Baxter/Mr. Lowball, who
owns all 7 in lowball).
3 Bellagio Titles, I believe only Scotty N. has won 3 also.
Phil H. has been publishing the stats for Champion of the Year since
3 players made the top 10 in those 2 years. Myself, Howard Lederer,
and Phil Ivey. I am the only player to score in top 5 both years and
was the combined points leader going into this year. My record vs. the
10 players ESPN chose, heads-up in tournament finals is 8 wins and 1
loss. The one loss being in 88' to Chan. I wonder if there is anyone
else who has even 2 wins against this formitable lineup?

All this said I think it's ESPN's show and they certainly have the
right to pick who they want. I was very disappointed to be left off
their list. Next year it sounds like we will have a clearer picture on
how to qualify.
I also think this show is a huge breakthrough for all of us. ESPN is
the first channel to step up and offer real money to some of the
players and I'm hoping this will set a precedent that other channels
will follow. The players have been waiting a long time for some
financial compensation from the other channels and very little has
trinkled down. The players have been providing quite a bit of
programming for Fox Sports, Travel Channel and ESPN and it is great to
see that ESPN/Harrah's is giving something back to us. Even though I
am not one of the invited party's and would love to see them expand
the show to 2 tables, I think the show will potentially have a big
impact on all of the players who are playing these large events. -Erik
Looking at those accomplishments, it's tough to argue with his reasoning. Even tougher to not think that Harrington deserves some serious consideration with his WSOP record. The post does kind of come off sour grapes to me, but I guess when you have that record and you get left out of a $2 million freeroll, I probably would be pretty pissed off as well.

Daniel makes some odd (at least I think they are odd) comments to Eric's post.
From: Daniel Negreanu (anonymous@hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: TOC Tale of the Tape

View this article only
Newsgroups: rec.gambling.poker
Date: 2004-08-09 22:12:07 PST

On Aug 9 2004 3:15PM, Erik Seidel wrote:

Even though I
> am not one of the invited party's and would love to see them expand
> the show to 2 tables, I think the show will potentially have a big
> impact on all of the players who are playing these large events. -Erik
> Seidel

I agree with your post completely. It's imperative that they come up
with a legitimate criteria for qualification in order to protect the
integrity of the game. The public in general doesn't have a clue who is a
"great" player and who isn't. If the players are so "great" then they'd
be making final tables without having to start at one.

The chosen list would just get demolished by a second group of ten.
Assuming Greg Raymer is a shoe in, I'd take these nine over the nine
chosen in a heartbeat:

Erik Seidel
Todd Brunson
Jennifer Harman
Daniel Negreanu
Gus Hansen
Barry Greenstein
Erick Lindgren
Ted Forrest
John Hennigan

In my opinion, this second group of nine is much, much stronger than the
ESPN TOC group. I could go on with more names that would outduel the ESPN
group in no limit hold'em, but I think you get the picture.
Several of the chosen players have shown absolutely no success in no
limit hold'em. My list here would crush em'.
Ouch. Speaking of sour grapes. Crush 'em? Hmmmm.......what do I know - I have never played with any of these guys, but crush Lederer? Crush Ivey? Crush Hellmuth? Crush Chan? Ummmmmm......sorry, Daniel, I don't see it. I really like Daniel - I like the way he comes off, I like the way he plays, but man, this is way off - serious sour grapes. I will be the first to admit, I don't know all of the background with these guys, so I didn't know there was some record with Daniel and some of these bigwigs.
From: Russ Georgiev (RussGeorgiev@aol.com)
Subject: GCA "Daniel Negreanu emails Russ G"
View: Complete Thread (8 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: rec.gambling.poker
Date: 2004-06-04 01:39:48 PST

From: Newgca (newgca@aol.com)
Subject: GCA " Daniel Negreanu emails Russ G"
View: Complete Thread (62 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: rec.gambling.poker
Date: 2003-09-06 21:42:49 PST

From: "daniel negreanu"kidpoker@hotmail.com
Sent: Monday,June 11,2001 6:48 PM
Subject: Daniel's wish
First off Russ, I hope this stays off the record. I don't need
anybody knowing about this e-mail if you know what I mean. I KNOW also
that Doyle is a big fat cheat, I can't stand him one bit. When you
guys started this whole thing I was really excited about the idea. I
figured you guys were going to expose Doyle for what he is. You see,
I'm in no position to.
You guys just aren't coming up with enough concrete evidence though,
and recently I think you guys went the wrong way. Your focus should be
what you KNOW for sure is true, anything at the Bellagio is difficult
to prove. Also, why would you use Ted Forrest's name? Ted is no cheat,
this I know for sure. Where did you get that info?
If you guys are going to talk about the Bellagio game, eventually you
have to be more specific. Also, I hope you guys keep up with the
honest player report as well. I'm very concerned with what this whole
thing is doing to honest people's reputation.
If I ever so much as hear that Jennifer Harmon is implicated in any
of this you will have a LIFETIME PROBLEM WITH ME. At present I have no
beef with you, and I'd like things to stay that way. Jennifer Harmon
has never cheated a day in her life, and I want that reputation
Stick with Doyle and Chip. Geez, use Men the Master too he literally
is the biggest cheat in tournament poker today, no question. You have
no idea what this shit has done to Jennifer. She was crying when she
heard all this shit because she was worried her name was going to be
mentioned in something. I told her not to worry.
This woman is my best friend in the whole world, and if her
reputation is important to her, it's just as important to me. This I'm
sure you will understand.
So, please continue with telling rgp who you know to be honest, I
hope that Jennifer's name is at the top of that list. By the way, she
has no idea I'm sending you this e-mail, and I hope it stays that eay.
This is a small favor I'm asking for, I'd like to help you guys in
any way I can, but it HAS to be strictly confidential.
Daniel(never cheated a day in his life) Negreanu
Well, that makes 3 of them. Guess we see why Daniel doesn't like Doyle and Chip being added to that final table. I think it's fairly common knowledge how Daniel feels about Minh (at least to RGP'ers) so I won't even touch that one.

I will not verify that email to Russ - I don't know the post story - so if it's not true, I apologize.

Again, I like the guy, but if I was Daniel, I would probably shut up and take it graciously. I would say that while they might not be the "best" out there right now, Chip, Doyle, Chan have all earned that spot. I guess we'll see.


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