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Poker News | World Poker News

Dream Team Poker Sold Out and Set for This Weekend

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The invitational tournament in 2008 was a success, and by all accounts, the first public Dream Team Poker tournament is set to be an utter sensation. With the tournament set to take place from March 27th through 29th at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the available seats for 170 teams are already sold out, and the excitement is building.

Many were hard-pressed to get on board with the team poker concept when it first came about. The possibility of collusion soured many tournament veterans on the idea, and those who pride themselves on the independence of mind and singular pride of their games called it a fad. But not even one year later, it seems that most fears have been put to rest. The set-up of the teams in Dream Team Poker takes care of collusion concerns, and players are beginning to see this as a new era for poker and new opportunity to bring more people to the game.

The Dream Team Poker concept consists of numerous three-person teams that allows players to be scored individually and as part of the team. The first event that was held at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas in 2008 was an invitation-only event with celebrities and poker stars experimenting with the format. After the publicity the event received, as well as the positive feedback from players, Dream Team Poker set out to offer its first public team tournament.

That brought us to the lead-up to the Caesars Palace event from March 27-29 in Las Vegas. The $500 + $50 buy-in per person, with three people to a team, was much more affordable than a major WPT or WSOP tournament and allowed players to compete with friends as a team. As the announcements of this event began gathering momentum over the past several months, the registrations began.

An announcement was made that the teams were registering in a flurry in March, and some of the teams were made known:

Team Favorites: Phil Hellmuth, Mike Matusow, Lakers owner Jerry Buss
Team Yo Mama: Lacey Jones, Maria Ho, Tiffany Michelle
Team Tao of Pokerati: Dan Michalski, Pauly McGuire, Shane Schleger
Team PICClub: T.J. Cloutier, Tom McEvoy, Kathy Liebert
Team Bluff (returning champions): Justin Bonomo, Eric Morris, Matt Parvis

And others formed teams that included names like Jamie Gold, Jerry Yang, Dennis Phillips, Hoyt Corkins, Paul Wasicka, Kenna James, J.J. Liu, Kristy Gazes, Liz Lieu, Scott Fischman, Joe Sebok, Jeff Madsen, Mark Seif, Todd Brunson, Erica Schoenberg, Jean-Robert Bellande, David Levi, Mark Gregorich, Marsha Waggoner, Kenny Tran, and Shawn Sheikhan. Also planning to participate were actor Mekhi Phifer and NBA player Chris Mills.

While Dream Team Poker organizers hoped to draw 100 teams to the event, it was announced days ago that it actually sold out with 170 teams. Registration was then shut down with the exception of those who wanted to sign up for the waiting list with the possibility of playing at the last minute. The response overwhelmed company executives, like Daniel Delshad, the Dream Team Gaming CEO. “The overwhelming interest from top poker pros to participate in a non-televised, five-hundred dollar game proves that the Dream Team Poker concept provides a needed, new experience to players. With team registrations coming in from all over the United States and internationally, I look forward to watching the battle for best team in poker.”

The poker room in Caesars Palace this weekend looks to be filled to capacity, not only with 170 teams of players and those on the waiting list, but with fans who will likely come out to watch some of the biggest names in poker do more than root for themselves. They will see teammates wandering the room to check on partners and rooting them on once they are eliminated. The poker media will be there in force as well to cover the Dream Team Poker event, one that could - and may already have - changed the face of poker.

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