Captains Named For Caesars Cup Battle At WSOP APAC

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With the first foray by the World Series of Poker into the “Land Down Under” at the Crown Casino in Melbourn, Australia, scarcely two weeks away, officials have announced the captains for the three teams that will contest for the Caesars Cup during the run of the schedule.

The new team to the competition is Team Asia-Pacific and they have been assigned a captain that should be an excellent judge of talent. 2005 WSOP Championship Event winner Joe Hachem will take the lead for the team and, as one of the preeminent faces of Australian poker, is perfect for the position. Where Hachem will have some difficulties is in choosing a squad of players up for the challenge of the Caesars Cup.

Hachem has the option of going with some of the younger generation of players, including former Aussie Millions champion Oliver Speidel and Mark Vos, or skewing to the older generation, such as Antanas “Tony G” Guoga and Jeff Lisandro. There are also some players from China and Vietnam that many in the U. S. haven’t heard of who may have crossed paths with Hachem that he would consider.

Team Europe will be captained this time around by a player who has made his name over the past few years in the international poker community. The United Kingdom’s Sam Trickett has been tapped as the captain for Team Europe and, while he brings some great skills to the table in his own right, he will have a wealth of players to select from in his captaincy.

Trickett could stick with fellow Brits such as Chris Moorman, Toby Lewis or Jake Cody (or skew older for the Boatman brothers, Barny and Ross, or David “Devilfish” Ulliott) or expand his horizons across the Old Continent. Such players as Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Martin Jacobsen or Johnny Lodden might be some of the bigger names that Trickett could select.

Team Americas has to be ready for the fight if they plan to become the first team to ever defend their title in the Caesars Cup competition. With this in mind, poker pro Phil Ivey has been selected to choose his team for the battle. Ivey himself has an impeccable tournament poker record (eight WSOP bracelets) and will have a host of players who would love to defend the Caesars Cup with him.

In the past two competitions, the players for Team Americas have come from North America, with Canada and the United States providing the players. That may hold true this time as well, but it would be interesting to see some players from Latin America, South America and the Caribbean take at least one of the slots.

The Caesars Cup format will also be something that the captains have to take into consideration when determining their teams. The first segment is “alternate action,” where two players from each team will play each hand and pass it back and forth between each other as each street is dealt. The second segment is “shared stack,” which has two players making the decisions while playing a singular stack. If the match is split, the third segment will be a single player heads up format to determine the overall winner.

The Caesars Cup will be played out on April 14, with the first match pitting Team Europe against Team Asia-Pacific. The victor from that competition will have the right to take on Team Americas (utilizing the same three game format) to determine who will take down the Caesars Cup in 2013.

The Caesars Cup has been put up for grabs twice previous to this event. In 2009 at the WSOP Europe in London, captain Annette Obrestad led a contingent of European professionals to a crushing victory over the Team Americas squad helmed by Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth to capture the inaugural Caesars Cup competition. In 2011, also at the WSOP-E but this time in Cannes, Hellmuth once again grabbed the reins, this time leading Team Americas to a victory over Team Europe to bring the Caesars Cup back to the United States.

It will be another tough battle, this time with a third competitor in Team Asia-Pacific, and it will all play out in roughly three weeks when the Caesars Cup will once again be up for grabs.

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