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WSOP Releases Current Top 20 for Tournament of Champions

Two Months Remain to Cast Your Votes

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The Rio will host the Tournament of Champions.On July 4, the World Series of Poker will host what will be its fourth Tournament of Champions since the poker boom erupted following Chris Moneymaker’s magical win at the 2003 WSOP main event. But ironically, if voting for which players the public wants in this year’s freeroll ended today, Moneymaker still will not have competed in one of these exclusive tournaments.

The Tennessee accountant highlights quite a list of players who are not in the current top 20 of Harrah’s public poll to seat 20 of the 27 players in this year’s Tournament of Champions. Five spots are reserved for the last three TOC winners (Mike Sexton, Mike Matusow, and Annie Duke) and the reigning WSOP ( Joseph Cada ) and WSOPE (Barry Shulman) champions, while two spots are being held for sponsor exemptions, which are expected to be used as qualifiers for the public.

There are still two months for fans to vote in up to 20 players who they would like to see in the ESPN event. The top nine finishers in the 27-player field will divvy up the $1 million prize pool, with the winner receiving $500,000. Only living bracelet-holders are eligible to be voted in.

Voting concludes June 15 at midnight. There have already been over 250,000 votes cast in the poll, according to the WSOP.

The current top 20, in alphabetical order, according to Harrah’s press release today:

Doyle Brunson
Johnny Chan
T.J. Cloutier
Allen Cunningham
Antonio Esfandiari
Sam Farha
Chris Ferguson
Barry Greenstein
Joe Hachem
Jennifer Harman
Dan Harrington
Phil Hellmuth
Phil Ivey
John Juanda
Howard Lederer
Daniel Negreanu
Scotty Nguyen
Greg Raymer
Huck Seed
Erik Seidel

There are hardly many surprising names on that list, but with only 20 spots available, many people are curious of those who have fallen short of the top 20. With still two months of voting to go, it is still very possible that the top 20 list changes dramatically. But there are a few pros who haven’t garnered enough support yet who might surprise some fans.

Below is a list, in random order, of the top 50 vote-getters. You can compare with the above list and discover some of the people who are close, but do not currently have the votes to get in.

The current top 50

Currently, there are nine former main-event champs in the top 20. But there are five main-event champions in the top 50 who have fallen short of the top 20 thus far — Moneymaker, 2008 champ Peter Eastgate, 2006 champ Jamie Gold, 2001 champ Carlos Mortensen, and 1983 champ Tom McEvoy.

Of the post-boom WSOP champions, Jerry Yang appears to be the only player not in the running. Cada has already locked in one of the automatic bids as the reigning champ.

Other pros who die-hard fans might be surprised not to see in the top 20 (and who are currently in the top 50) are 2007 WSOPE main event champ Annette Obrestad, highly regarded tournament pro Jason Mercier, high-stakes cash game regulars Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond and David Benyamine, six-time bracelet winner Layne Flack, and the last two pros who won WSOP Player of the Year, Jeffrey Lisandro and Erick Lindgren.

Other pros that have gotten their fair share of TV time, but are also not in the top 20 include Humberto Brenes, Eli Elezra, and Dario Minieri.

If you’re not satisfied with the list and have yet to cast your vote, you can do so today at www.wsop.com.

 
 
 
 

Comments

hitking1
over 11 years ago

Annette"The rude little pig" Obrestad?/ Are you serious. What the hellll has she done. She luckboxed her way into 1 win. If you use that rational, you must put Moneymaker in,he defeated a field bigger than she did. Her and that other rude little pigman Selbst need to move on together and they can be rude and abrasive to each other.

 
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moritzs
over 11 years ago

Vote for Phil Galfond, he truly deserves it!

 
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seamarfan269
over 11 years ago

Galfond is a cash game player mainly and this is Touney of Champs. Yes, Phil G. is great but not T.O.C. material yet. Finally someone has said it about Annette. I thought she was an embarrassment to "Northern Europeans" (LOL to PH!!) in the USA vs. Europe Chanllenge on ESPN. Now the real shame if they don't make it is Juan Carlos Mortensen and Jeff Lisandro. Anyone that follows poker/tourney poker knows what i'm talking about. "my 2 cents".

 
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Nutts_Garcia
over 11 years ago

Apparently hitking1 can't read. Do you see anywhere on there that she made the tournament? NO. Moron. She's a top 50 contender because she's a past WSOPE Main Event Champ. She's a contender because she's one of the best players in Europe. She's a contender because this will be her 1st WSOP in the States and people want to see her. She's a contender because she made MILLIONS online before age 18. She's a force in poker and top up and coming player who people want to see. THAT'S WHAT SHE'S DONE. MONEYMAKER IS A ONE HIT WONDER AND THAT'S HE'S DONE. SO DON'T COMPARE THE TWO.

 
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herbiemontalbano
over 11 years ago

Seamafan...but she is still a "RUDE LITTLE (even though FAT would have been more appropriate) PIG. She is also very annoying.

 
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herbiemontalbano
over 11 years ago

My bad...Nutts the above was met for you.

 
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vikingpete_99
over 11 years ago

I got an idea...if you've won a bracelet and put up $50K, you're in the tourney. The way this tourney is determining it's player is a joke. It's all name recognition. The fact that two spots will go to "qualifiers" is an absolute abomination...that fact only made me not give a shit about this TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPTIONS (?!?!)

 
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limberjim
over 11 years ago

Mike the Mouth would get my vote over Sam Farha

 
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vikingpete_99
over 11 years ago

i would really like to see what the blind structure is for this tourney. i hope it doesn't turn into some type of crapshoot in the end and not poker (like many of these "elite" events do). the ridiculousness of this ridiculous tourney is ridiculous. why only 27 players? i agree Lee, so many better criterias on choosing players than this silliness. the only thing more fraudulent than this criteria is when Annie Duke won the first "TOC"... with what? 6 players. this is annoying.

 
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PokerBurro
over 11 years ago

here is an idea for the future selection, how about giving a vote multiplier bonus based on the number of bracelets won? Say you have 2 bracelets, your vote total could be bumped up 20%. 3 bracelets? let's give you a 40% bonus. At 20% per extra bracelet, someone with 6 bracelets would automatically score 2x the votes. This would at least help balance the popularity contest towards giving some consideration for players that have earned bracelets over time but may not be splashy characters. You could also give Main Event winners an extra 20%.

 
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mago
over 11 years ago

Man, you guys are all sour pusses. If the organizers had determined who was in, then you all would not be happy. As for as a poularity contest, well hell yeah. These are the players that are on TV all the time. Do you think the general public will know who Carlos is? or Phil Galfond? My god, think people. VOTE and then let the chips fall. I made that one up. Get it, CHIPS...ha ha ha . OKAY enough bad puns. When you allow the public to pick, it is always a popularity contest. Think about baseball's All Star game,and what a joke it has become. Even in the poker world, we have " poker players" picking their favorites. Looking at the line up so far, it does appear that there are some contenders that are not regular TV celebrities in the mix, which tells me that there is something driving the votes other than a complete popularity pick. T.J, Eric S., Huck Seed to name a few. Just my opinion.

 
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Apexi
over 11 years ago

Where is Patrik Antonius??? i mean he is one of the best players, he definetly should be in that top20!!!

 
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FlopMonster
over 11 years ago

To the poster who asked what has Dan Harrington done besides write books:

How about two bracelets, a WSOP Main Event title, a WPT title, two consecutive WSOP Main Event final tables (in addition to the Main Event that he won), live tournament winnings of more than $6.5 million, one of only five people to have won a WSOP Main Event and a WPT title, etc., etc. Not bad for someone who “only” writes books…

 
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