Dream Team Poker has proven itself a success in a relatively short period of time. Its second and biggest event to date was in March of 2009 at Caesars Palace, where 148 teams comprised of 444 players came to the tables to compete for individual and team prize money. Now, the organization is bringing its tournament to the Rio to host an event at the 2009 World Series of Poker on July 12 and 13.
The concept is simple. Players compete individually for a piece of the prize pool but sign up as teams of three players each in order to compete for the team prize. Each person is given a score based on their finish in the event - 200th place equals 200 points - and the two best scores for each team are tallied. The team with the lowest overall score wins the team portion of the tournament, while individuals still receive their fair share for their accomplishments as well.
Though this format of team poker does not fit in with the traditions or rules of the World Series of Poker and will not be a bracelet event at the WSOP, Dream Team Poker has found its place at the most prestigious series of tournaments of the year by hosting a tournament at the Rio during the latter days of the WSOP main event. The event will take place on July 12 and 13, and players will be given the opportunity to buy-in for $500 + $60 per person, though they must sign up in teams of three, which comes to $1,680 per team. The first 300 teams that register on DreamTeamPoker.com prior to the deadline of June 10 will receive custom jerseys for each participant complete with team name and desired style of jersey.
Participation in Dream Team Poker has grown since its inaugural tournament in November of 2008, which was invitation only. The Caesars Palace event was the first event open to the public, and the response was overwhelming with 148 teams. Organizers anticipate an even larger and more international turnout for the July 2009 event that will be in the same location as the WSOP.
Dream Team Gaming CEO Daniel Delshad noted, “The WSOP and the Rio have really shown their commitment to the players in continuing to innovate and try new concepts. Bringing our brand to the Rio during the WSOP and onto the most hollowed ground in the sport is a powerful way to introduce Dream Team Poker to the world.”
WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack added, “After seeing the terrific response to the recent Dream Team Poker tournaments in Las Vegas, we thought a team-based event would be a fun addition to the end of the WSOP. The Dream Team Poker event is one of the many new elements added in 2009 that will help make this summer a memorable one for all WSOP players and fans.”
What draws many to the team poker concept is the notion of being able to root for fellow team members, as in any team sport. The lower buy-in per person makes it more affordable for many players, especially after a summer of playing numerous tournaments with buy-ins of $1,500 or higher. Though some still dislike the idea of team poker, most admit that it has proven to dissuade collusion and simply bring more people to the game of poker.
Interested players can find more information on the Dream Team Poker website or by visiting the Dream Team Poker booth outside of the Amazon Room. The booth will be open throughout the 2009 World Series of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas, staffed with people who can answer any questions about rules, structure, or registration.