For those of you who think this is going to be about the 2004 South Park creators' animated movie Team America: World Police – we'll have to disappoint you. This time it's about the all-American poker team consisting of some of the best American poker players (some of whom come from Canada) beating Team Europe in the 2011 Caesars Cup which took place on Wednesday, October 19th 2011 in Cannes, France along with the other World Series of Poker Europe events. By winning the tournament Team America took revenge for the defeat it suffered when it lost to Team Europe in the 2009 Caesars Cup which also took place during the WSOPE.
Both teams were made up of five recognized poker pros and led by one captain. The American team was represented by Johnny Chan, Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Ben Lamb and Phil Hellmuth who was also the captain of the team whereas team Europe consisted of Tony G, Jake Cody, Gus Hansen, Max Lykov, and team captain Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.
The match-up between the two teams consisted of three challenges – first the captains picked two players from their team to play against the two from the opposing side. In the first challenge the players had to play the same stacks and hands along with their teammate, but switch places after each street of action. Team America captain Phil Hellmuth delegated Mercier and Lamb for this game whereas Grospellier called out Tony G and Cody.
The game started at a high rate with the blinds going up every 10 minutes and the chip balance swinging from one side to another. After Team America scooped a huge pot early in the match, Europe was left with only 8,000 chips and it seemed that the game was going to be a really short one. Europe doubled up on the next hand to keep their hopes alive, but just one hand later Tony G and Cody were left with nothing giving Team America its first point.
For the second round the European Team Captain Grospellier picked Lykov and Hansen to play against Negreanu accompanied by the American captain himself – Phil Hellmuth. During this challenge the team members played the same stack changing one another after each hand. This time things went Europe's way with Team America losing a couple of big hands and finally falling when Negreanu shoved all-in holding and was called by Hansen with . The board brought four more spades for Team Europe and the result was even.
Third game featured the match-up between the two heads-up masters – Chan playing for the American side against Team Europe Captain Grospellier. After a couple of big pots, a lot of preflop all-in action began to take place. And then the battle was over – Chan shoved his chips from the button and Grospellier called. Chan's pocket fours found another one on the river along with a pair of tens and the full house brought another point for Team America.
The fourth and the last, as it appeared later, match was again played heads-up. This time the American captain Hellmuth chose to go against Lykov from Team Europe himself. The European began the game in a very aggressive manner and took a couple of pots from the Poker Brat, but that didn't get the American Captain. Hellmuth doubled up in the second level of the game and soon got hold of most of the chips in play.
As the match went on the power balance switched a number of times until Lykov shoved all-in from the short stack and Hellmuth called him with . The board ran out and was no good for Lykov holding – Hellmuth's pair of queens won the game along with the 2011 Caesars Cup.
By winning this year's cup Team America tied the overall result to 1-1. According to the tournament rules – the next Caesars Cup will take place on the winner's home ground which means it is going to take the Vegas route.
*Photo courtesy of PokerNews.com