Dubbed “The Professionals vs Team PokerStars” this new challenge will pit the top players from the world's two biggest online poker sites against one another for a total prize of $300,000.
Negreanu will lead team members Isaac “Ike” Haxton and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier into battle against Hansen, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Tom “durrrr” Dwan.
“I think I would take the $50k slightly ahead of the bragging rights but it's so much fun to beat Daniel it's a close call,” said Hansen about the upcoming match.
Negreanu felt much the same way, continuing the friendly rivalry that sparked this challenge in the first place.
“I don't hate Gus,” laughed Negreanu. “I think he's a good guy but needling him is a lot of fun and there's a lot of material there.”
According to Negreanu, a match putting Team PokerStars up against Full Tilt Poker is always something he's wanted to organize.
And now that PokerStars.com's parent company Rational Group owns FTP as well, Negreanu's dream has become a reality.
Negreanu and Hansen both fielded questions in a press call with the poker media today, revealing a few new details about the challenge.
- The matches will be: Negreanu vs Hansen, Haxton vs Blom and Grospellier vs Dwan.
- Each match will be decided by three simultaneous Sit and Gos played on Full Tilt Poker. Whomever wins two or more SNGs wins the match
- The SNGs will start with 3,000 chips, 15-minute blind levels and could run as long as two hours.
- Use of live tracking software and/or heads-up displays (HUDS) will be prohibited.
- Negreanu and Grospellier will play under the FTP screennames KidPoker and ElkY, respectively. Haxton will play as luvtheWNBA
Mercier Narrowly Misses Second Pick
As this challenge was gaining momentum last week Daniel Negreanu picked his team and as it turns out Jason Mercier just missed the second spot.
To make his decision Negreanu first polled Twitter to see which two Team PokerStars Pros people wanted to see help him take on Full Tilt Poker.
Negreanu narrowed his choices down to Haxton and Grospellier, who ultimately made it, as well as Vanessa Selbst, Jason Mercier and Eugene Katchalov.
He then asked each of those players to make their top two picks, not picking themselves, to find out who would play.
“I weighted the number one vote as two points and the number two votes as one point and so it came down to a vote by the group to decide who would play,” explained Negreanu.
Everyone used one of their picks to choose Isaac Haxton, but the second slot was much more closely decided.
“Elky got the next most votes but I know the number was close,” said Negreanu.
“Jason Mercier got the next most votes after that.”
The Professionals vs Team PokerStars challenge is set to play out March 10 at EPT London. Keep an eye on PokerListings.com's news section for updates and results.