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Today in the 3-Bet we find yet another poker player added to the multiplying Team IveyPoker roster, a few of the names invited to the NBC Heads-Up Challenge beginning to leak out and WPT icon Mike Sexton making his bold predictions for 2013.
1) IveyPoker Signs Shak, Leah, Pechie, Bolotin
We still don’t really know what Phil Ivey’s new “innovative social poker game” is going to look like but we do know there will certainly be an army of poker pros, known or otherwise, affiliated with it.
Slowly building a pro team rivaling the size of the old FTP Red Pro days, TeamIvey announced the signing of several more pros over the Holidays headlined by high-stakes tourney regular Dan Shak.
More of a hedge-fund manager/poker fan who considers poker a hobby, Shak still has over $4 million in career earnings - pretty solid for a hobbyist.
Also joining the Team Ivey ranks since our last update are Justin Pechie, Alex Bolotin, Matias Gabrenja from Argentina and Canadian online legend Mike “goleafsgoeh” Leah.
Added to the first TeamIvey signings that include Jennifer Harman, Patrik Antonius, Cole South, Greg Merson, James Dempsey and more, we now know TeamIvey will be huge, eclectic and have an international flavor.
Check the full list of all 18 pros signed so far here.
UPDATE: 18 is now 21 with the signing of Christian Harder, PokerListings fav Griffin Benger and Australian Jackie Glazier. When it'll stop, nobody knows!
2) NBC Heads-Up Invites Trickling Out, Blom Confirms
The much-anticipated return of the made-for-tv $25k NBC Heads-Up Championship is fast approaching with filming set for the end of this month.
The location has been confirmed (Caesars), the filming dates announced (Jan 24-26)… now the only thing missing is the full list of 64 players.
Expected to be released by production company Poker PROductions soon, a few names on the list have leaked out to poker fans. Compiled from tweets and forum posts, the invited/accepted list so far:
- Viktor Blom
- Chris Moneymaker
- Greg Merson
- Faraz Jaka
- Olivier Busquet
- Will "The Thrill" Failla
- Andy Frankenberger
- Matt Salsberg
- Dan Cates
With pre-qualifying criteria dropped for the invite list, expect a celebrity-heavy field vying for the $500k first-place prize.
Air dates are scheduled for March 14, 21 and 28 on NBC Sports Network at 9pand April 6, 13 and 20 on NBC at 1pm.
3) Mike Sexton Predicts Kessler Wins, World Will Continue
Everybody’s favorite WPT personality (apologies, Vince Van Patten) Mike Sexton has dropped his list of 2013 predictions on the poker world and, while for the most part fairly tame, has thrown at least a few twists in there.
Backs Kessler ticket in 2013
Chief among them: Sexton predicts poker’s most famous nit, Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler, will win a poker tournament somewhere, somehow in 2013.
No mention was made of the apocalypse that poker mythology says will naturally follow, however. Some of Mike’s other picks for the coming year:
- US Full Tilt players won't see any money returned this year
- The mini $1k ONE DROP tourney at the WSOP may be largest in poker history
- Phil Hellmuth will win bracelet #14
- Daniel Negreanu will win a $25k+ buy-in event
- At least one player will win a WSOP bracelet and a WPT title
- Carlos Mortensen & Huck Seed wil be nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame
- Somebody will implement a one-minute shot clock
Check the full list of predictions here.