PokerStars All Star Week 3-19-09 update
The qualifiers for PokerStars All Star Week are in the midst of determining who will face off against the Team PokerStars Pros. Here's your daily update of the action from PokerStars' very own Host Bob.
by Host Bob
We're almost half way through the All Star Week selection matches, and the schedule is really starting to take shape.
After the relatively quick selection tournament of Tuesday night, Wednesday's match was a real battle. It took over two hours to play from a full compliment of twenty down to the required five.
It was American 'bluffblocker' that finally burst the All Star bubble by eliminating 'Bookie1978'. The elimination gave him the chiplead and therefore the first choice of opponent for the third day of All Star Week.
After a short deliberation he selected Match 5, the 20:00 ET clash with Chris Moneymaker. It was a brave choice, as Chris has won five of his eight heads-up matches against the Weekly TLB winners. This will be 'bluffblocker's second match of All Star Week after he secured a meeting with Dennis Phillips on Day 1.
The second choice went to another repeat winner when 'Canuck' chose to take on William Thorson in the PLO match. Yesterday, he negotiated a trade that will see him playing Noah Boeken at PLO8 on Day 2.
No-one can doubt his ability in either version of Omaha. 'Canuck' was the winner of the very first WCOOP Omaha tournament back in 2002. It was only the second ever WCOOP tournament and the win was worth $14,231.25. He gained his invitation to All Star Challengers qualification by final-tabling the $300 rebuy PLO WCOOP tournament in 2008. In the intervening years he has cashed a number of times in Omaha disciplines. The Pros have their hands full with this one.
The third choice went to 'Aryamehr', a former Sunday Million champion, who will be making his first appearance in an All Star match. 'Aryamehr' chose to take on the captain of the Pros, Victor Ramdin.
Victor earned the captaincy by winning the Team PS Pro 2008 Championship Game back in December. The tournament used the prestigious 8-Game format pioneered by the WSOP and featured all of the members of Team PS Pro. Victor battled for a long time in a heads-up clash with Daniel Negreanu before taking the title. He also had a good run in the WCOOP $25,000 Heads-Up High-Roller event in 2008 - cashing for $100,000.
Another $100,000 winner in that heads-up tournament was Vanessa Rousso; the opponent for 'PKerBL' in Match 4. Vanessa is coming off the back of a phenomenal run at the NBC Natonal Heads Up Championship, so she's the form player for the Pros. 'PKerBL' will be hoping to be the lady-killer of the Challengers team, as he is also lined up to play Isabelle Mercier on Day 1.
The last player to be chosen as an opponent, perhaps unsurprisingly, was Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier - a PokerStars legend. The first ever Supernova Elite, a former PCA champion, a WPT winner and the star of WCOOP 2008. His magical year included $320,000 for winning the aformentioned WCOOP $25,000 Heads-Up High-Roller tournament.
His opponent for the first of his two All Star Week matches will be 'VOLCANO360', another previous All Star Week winner. 'VOLCANO360' won the Sunday Million on February 3 last year, so he'll be no pushover, but you'd have be a brave man to bet against ElkY.
At the time of writing the fans tournaments show 771 players backing the Pros to win the All Star Week, with just 536 putting their FPPs behind the Challengers. So there's no question mark over which team will be the underdogs come next Monday.
If you think the masses have got it wrong, you only have another week to register your support.