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U.S. PokerBowl to Kick Off at Bally's Casino in Vegas

Team Poker Showcased in a Televised National Competition


Right now, it is NFL football season, and teams are vying for a place in the playoffs to compete in the national pastime known as the Super Bowl, but this year, for the first time, there is a national team competition for poker players: the PokerBowl. This competition includes 25 cities that will compete for the national PokerBowl title. It is scheduled to take place at Bally's Casino in Las Vegas on Oct. 20, where players will compete for big money in a televised event to appear on Fox Sports.

The 25 teams consist of six players each and will compete in the following conferences:

  • Northern Conference (Chicago Sharks, Cincinnati Full House, Cleveland Crows, Detroit Wheels, Minnesota Young Guns)
  • Western Conferences (Denver High Rollers, Las Vegas Rat Pack, Phoenix Pharaohs, Seattle Sentinels, St. Louis Cards)
  • Eastern Conference (Boston Diamonds, New Jersey XFactors, New York Rounders, Philadelphia Phish, Pittsburgh Stealers)
  • Southern Conference (Atlanta Bluffers, Dallas Kowboys, Houston Wranglers, Miami Miracles, Tennessee Tilt)
  • California Conference (Los Angeles Loose Cannons, Oakland Razors, Orange County Outlaws, San Diego Players, San Francisco Kings)

J.C. AlvaradoOne of the stacked teams includes some online poker phenoms. The Cleveland Crows is owned by Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo who will compete alongside teammates J.C. "PrtyPsux" Alvarado, Jared "TheWacoKidd" Hamby, Danny Wong, Steve Sung, and Carl Olson.

The Denver High Rollers have a little love in the air since couple Vanessa Rousso and Chad Brown are both on the team. Another duo has recently announced that they will be joining this team as well. It is the father-son team of Doyle and Todd Brunson. Paul Wasicka is also a Denver High Roller.Jennifer Tilly

As expected, the Las Vegas Rat Pack is another team filled with big names such as Antonio Esfandiari, Jennifer Tilly, Phil Laak, Danny Masterson, Scott Fischman, and Mike Matusow.

Across the country, a few east coast grinders joined forces to make up the New York Rounders including Kevin "BeL0WaB0Ve" Saul, Gavin Griffin, Victor Ramdin, Daniel Alaei, and Darrell Dicken.

Although the New York Rounders have hugely successful poker pros filling each spot, the team will have to defeat the New Jersey XFactors, who are also in the Eastern Conference. Eric "Rizen" Lynch, Jon "Pearljammer" Turner, and Jon "Poker Trip" Friedberg have decided to give the online scene a break to compete in the PokerBowl and are among the players on this team.

Layne FlackIn the Southern Conference, the Houston Wranglers have not announced their full team yet but are well on their way to making a fierce one with Clonie Gowen, Michael Binger, and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson already on the roster.

A team with some major World Series of Poker experience also comes from the south. The Dallas Kowboys team has 11 bracelets altogether which are contributed by T.J. Cloutier (6), Layne Flack (5), and Keith Lehr (1). John "Tex" Barch, who finished third in the WSOP main event in 2005, is also on the team. The NFL Dallas Cowboys are undefeated at this point, and the poker Dallas Kowboys are looking to emulate that success.

"Young guns" is the theme for the Los Angeles Loose Cannons team. Good friends and pranksters Brandon Cantu, Jeff Madsen, Joe Sebok, Theo Tran, Gavin Smith, and Joe Cassidy make up this team from the California Conference. Team neighbor the Orange County Outlaws is shaping up to be the biggest competition in its conference as it includes another group of highly accomplished poker-playing friends, including J.C. Tran, Nam Le, Michael Mizrachi, Robert Mizrachi, and Tim Phan.

Nam LeJ.C. TranRobert Mizrachi

Other poker professionals taking part in this event include Steven Dannenmann (Cincinnati Full House), Sorel "Imper1um" Mizzi (Chicago Sharks), Paul Darden Jr. (Boston Diamonds), Lee Watkinson (Seattle Sentinels), Dan and Beth Shak (Philadelphia Phish), and David Williams (Tennessee Tilt).Sorel Mizzi

David WilliamsThe teams in each conference will meet and compete in a team tournament to determine which team will move on to the national competition. The way to win the tournament is to be the last team standing. To begin the competition, the teams will be split up evenly between three tables. Two players from each team will be seated at the opposite sides of each table. The three 10-handed tables will play independently until there are 10 players left competing to combine to one table. Once the final table is set, play resumes, and the team with the last player standing is the winner.

All conference winners will descend upon Bally's Casino and Hotel on Oct. 23 at 12 p.m. PT for the PokerBowl finale to compete for the first-ever PokerBowl title. The series will be televised in seven one-hour episodes that will air on Fox Sports in early 2008.

For more information on the PokerBowl, click here.



almost 14 years ago

interesting. I am curious who i on the Minnesota team.