It's just a few weeks until the World Series of Poker makes it's debut down under and it's all happening at the fantastic Crown Casino Melbourne. The Caesar's Cup will now have three teams competing for it, Europe, The Americas and now the all new Team Asia-Pacific. It was no surprise when the news came through who was captaining the new Asia-Pacific team as Joe Hachem was handed the honor and the 2005 WSOP Main Event winner has a tough task on his hands. It's a large region to be choosing a team from and with Hachem on home soil, will he go with fellow Aussies like Aussie Millions champion Oliver Speidel or maybe Mark Vos, he could go with a few old faces in Antanas “Tony G” Guoga and Jeff Lisandro, and that's just from Australia. Let's not forget there's some great players from elsewhere too that may not be household names on our side of the world but Hachem will be familiar with some great Players from his region. The two other captains are also giants of the game in Sam Trickett and Phil Ivey. Of the two maybe Trickett will have the harder job choosing a team as over the last few years Europe has seen some outstanding players making their mark both on and offline but our guess is that he'll stick to a few tried and tested 'big guns'. In choosing fellow Brits he could go for Chris Moorman, Jake Cody, Toby Lewis or even a few of the more mature players such as David Ulliot or the Boatman brothers. Elsewhere across Europe he has a wealth of talent to choose from and they can't be overlooked. Players like Gus Hansen, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier and Martin Jacobsen will all be in Tricketts thoughts. As for Mr Ivey and the Americas well they are aiming to defend the title and Ivey will be wanting to add this one to his already burgeoning portfolio and with not only players from the US to choose from he really is spoiled for choice, Hellmuth, Negreanu, Bloch, Raymer, the list could go on all day and then start again tomorrow.
The Caesar's Cup
As mentioned Team Americas will have to play a good game in order to retain the cup and Asia-Pacific will be aiming to do well in their first showing. There's no doubt that there's more big tournament experience on the side of Ivey's team but Europe will know how to stay in touch. There is a bit of thinking behind the captaincy as they will have to choose where to place their players, for example in the first segment of the cup, the 'alternate action' will see two players from each team play the same hand, passing it back and forth between each other on each 'street'. Then we'll see a shared stack segment which will see players sharing the same stack, which means it really is a team competition and not just a heads up play off against each other. It all kicks off on April 14th and this is the third time it will be played, with the first time at the WSOP Europe in 2009 when Annette Obrestad led Europe to victory over Team Americas. It was then taken by the Americas in 2011 by Hellmuth's army and that's where its stands at the moment. Some poker fans out there see it as a bit of fun, and to a certain extent it is, however, when the cards are dealt the players take the Caesar's Cup very seriously, no-one wants to lose a game of poker!