Sit-and-Go Will Decide Final TOC Spot

Bertrand Grospellier
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier is amongst the nine players selected for the WSOP Tournament of Champions qualifier.

The Tournament of Champions is coming back to the WSOP for 2010 and one seat is up for grabs.

The spot in the TOC will be awarded to the winner of a "sudden-death" playoff sit-and-go, featuring an all-star lineup, organized by the WSOP Academy.

The WSOP Academy qualifier tournament will kick off Thursday at noon, and opens up a chance at a TOC seat for nine selected players that weren't on the original fan ballot.

The nine player lineup should make for an interesting sit-and-go, with Tom "durrrr" Dwan, Andy Bloch, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Gus Hansen all in the field.

"I'm really glad I was picked and I think it's a great honor for me," Grospellier told "I really hope I can get a spot (in the Tournament of Champions)."

Sorel Mizzi, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Liv Boeree and Paul Wasicka round out the field of nine.

The original fan ballot includes a list of 50 of poker's best, with the top 20 vote getters taking a spot in the 27-player TOC field. The TOC will play down to final table on June 27 with a final table scheduled for July 4.

Five players get automatic entries into the event, including 2010 Main Event champ Joe Cada and 2010 WSOPE Main Event winner Barry Shulman.

Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, Annie Duke and Mike Sexton also get automatic spots as former TOC winners.

That leaves two sponsor-exemption spots for the TOC, and the WSOP Academy tournament will fill one of the two remaining spots.

"It's very tough competition," Grospellier said. "I still like my chances in a sit and go. If I run good and play well I'm confident."

Fan voting for the 2010 Tournament of Champions is still available on through June 15.

The 2010 WSOP continues through July 17. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas tune in to PokerListings' Live Updates and News.

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