The 2013 ESPN Fantasy Poker League Draft

Posted at 13:45 2013-05-30 by Chad Holloway

Last week, a combination of 10 poker players and media members held the annual conference call for the highly publicized ESPN Fantasy Poker League. The 2013 edition of the invitation-only league featured (in order of draft pick): Chops from Wicked Chops Poker; myself (PokerNews’ Chad Holloway); Jason Somerville; ESPN’s Andrew Feldman (the defending champ); Josh Brikis; Daniel Negreanu; Matt Glantz; BLUFF Magazine Editor in Chief Lance Bradley; Eric Baldwin; and Twitter’s nexus of poker information Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers.

This marked the eighth year of the league, which is built around the World Series of Poker, and over the years participants have come and gone. For instance, Dwyte Pilgrim, Dennis Phillips, Gary Wise, Bernard Lee, Mark Seif, Gavin Smith and Howard Lederer are all former participants who’ve given up their spots for various reasons (you can probably guess why Lederer disappeared from the league). Those spots are quickly snatched up, as evidenced by the addition of Somerville, Glantz and Mathers to this year’s league.

So how does the ESPN Fantasy Poker League work? It's simple. Each participant drafts a team of eight players who they think will find success at the WSOP. Each team earns points based upon the following criteria.

  • 1 point for making the money
  • 2 points for the top 50
  • 5 points for top 20
  • 10 points for the final table (defined as top 9 in hold 'em, 8 in mixed and other games, 6 during shorthanded events, 8 in heads-up (5-8th will be awarded 5th, etc).

In addition:

  • 1 additional point for ninth
  • 2 additional points for eighth
  • 4 additional points for seventh
  • 6 additional points for sixth
  • 10 additional points for fifth
  • 15 additional points for fourth
  • 20 additional points for third
  • 30 additional points for second
  • 40 additional points for first
  • Double points will be awarded for all $10,000 events, $25K heads-up and the $50,000 Player's Championship event.
  • Players will earn one extra point by cashing per every 100 players in the field. For example, if you cash in a 2000-player event, you will earn an additional 20 points.
  • Every team can drop one player and replace him or her with another player. Stats will only count once on your roster.

In the 2010 Draft, I managed to rack up 596 points and claim the title, due in no small part to Michael Mizrachi’s deep Main Event run. But over the past two years, I've been in the bottom rung of players. With that said, I like the team I put together in this year's draft.

Below is a round-by-round look at the 2013 ESPN Fantasy Poker draft:

Round 1

TeamOverall PickPlayer
Chops1Daniel Negreanu
Holloway2Phil Ivey
Somerville3Eugene Katchalov
Feldman4Jason Mercier
Brikis5Johen Monnette
Negreanu6Paul Volpe
Glantz7Phil Hellmuth
Bradley8Shawn Buchanan
Baldwin9Michael Mizrachi
KevMath10David “ODB” Baker

Round 2

TeamOverall PickPlayer
KevMath11David “Bakes” Baker
Baldwin12Jeremy Ausmus
Bradley13Scott Clements
Glantz14Nick Schulman
Negreanu15Dan Kelly
Brikis16Scott Seiver
Feldman17Matt Glantz
Somerville18Daniel Alaei
Holloway19Vanessa Selbst
Chops20Sorel Mizzi

Round 3

TeamOverall PickPlayer
Chops21Joe Cheong
Holloway22Erik Seidel
Somerville23Bryn Kenney
Feldman24Shaun Deeb
Brikis25John Racener
Negreanu26Mike Gorondinsky
Glantz27Brian Hastings
Bradley28Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier
Baldwin29Erick Lindgren
KevMath30Justin Bonomo

Round 4

TeamOverall PickPlayer
KevMath31Dan Shak
Baldwin32Mike Matusow
Bradley33Chris Moorman
Glantz34Terrance Chan
Negreanu35Jesse Martin
Brikis36George Lind
Feldman37Dan Smith
Somerville38Stephen Chidwick
Holloway39Andrew Lichtenberger
Chops40Christian Harder

Round 5

TeamOverall PickPlayer
Chops41Steve O’Dwyer
Holloway42John Juanda
Somerville43Antonio Esfandiari
Feldman44Chris Klodnicki
Brikis45Greg Mueller
Negreanu46Rob Mizrachi
Glantz47Jon Turner
Bradley48Philipp Gruissem
Baldwin49Allen Kessler
KevMath50Brock Parker

Round 6

TeamOverall PickPlayer
KevMath51David “Doc” Sands
Baldwin52Marco Johnson
Bradley53Chris Bjorin
Glantz54Matt Matros
Negreanu55Shannon Shorr
Brikis56Mike Leah
Feldman57Barry Greenstein
Somerville58Tom Marchese
Holloway59Griffin Benger
Chops60Scotty Nguyen

Round 7

TeamOverall PickPlayer
Chops61Mike Wattel
Holloway62Mike Watson
Somerville63Ali Eslami
Feldman64Marvin Rettenmaier
Brikis65Todd Brunson
Negreanu66Brett Richey
Glantz67Justin Young
Bradley68Brian Rast
Baldwin69Jean-Robert Bellande
KevMath70Steve Billirakis

Round 8

TeamOverall PickPlayer
KevMath71Konstantin Puchkov
Baldwin72Joe Cassidy
Bradley73Huck Seed
Glantz74Rep Porter
Negreanu75Jeff Lisandro
Brikis76John Hennigan
Feldman77Sam Stein
Somerville78Isaac Haxton
Holloway79Andy Frankenberger
Chops80Andrew Robl

The draft speaks for itself, but here are some interesting facts:

  • Past winners include: 2010—Holloway; 2011—Dennis Phillips; and 2012—Andrew Feldman
  • This was the fourth year in a row Phil Ivey went either No. 1 or No. 2. He was the first pick in the 2010 Draft and has been the second overall pick the last three years (two of which I managed to get him).
  • Many players selected fairly high in the 2012 draft went undrafted this year, including Tom Dwan (16th overall in 2012), Victor Ramdin (17th), Justin “Boosted J” Smith (21st), Vivek Rajkumar (25th), Alexander Kostritsyn (26th), Ben Lamb (29th) and Jake Cody (30th).
  • Defending WSOP Player of the Year and Main Event champ Greg Merson went undrafted.
  • The first overall pick in the 2011 draft, Eric Baldwin, was not selected. He was chosen by then first-time drafter Dwyte Pilgrim, who was immediately ridiculed by the rest of the league—including Baldwin himself!

For more on the 2013 ESPN Fantasy Poker League, check out Andrew Feldman’s draft analysis on ESPN Poker.

Whom do you think has the best team? Any players you were surprised to discover did not get drafted? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Get all the latest PokerNetwork updates on your social media outlets. Follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook!

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