World Team Poker set for take off

Phil Hellmuth
Captain America is ready to take on the world.

Claiming to be the world's first professional poker sports league, World Team Poker celebrated its launch at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles Wednesday.

"This is the first time the poker world has seen anything like this," World Team Poker Director of Communications Gideon Cross told PokerListings. "It's really exciting."

Although the structure of the league is still in the works, Cross said it will include 32 teams of five players representing countries from all over the globe in heads-up challenge matches.

Team captains are being chosen by World Team Poker and the captains are expected to pick their teammates.

Eleven-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth will captain Team USA, which will take on Men "The Master" Nguyen's Team Vietnam in World Team Poker's first event, planned for Las Vegas this November.

Although no dates have been confirmed, Cross said the second event on the schedule will see Team USA take on back-to-back WSOP Main Event Champ Johnny Chan and Team China in Macau.

World Team Poker plans to broadcast its events live on the Internet with interactive features allowing viewers to chat with team captains and wager on the outcome.

The actual matches are expected to feature several different poker variants and allow the players involved to set the stakes and raise them during play.

"This is going to be like the World Championships or the Olympics of poker," Cross said.

More information can be found at the World Team Poker website.

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