Recently I’ve seen a rash of (I guess they are articles) where you get $15 to spend and have to put together an all-time starting five in basketball or hockey, choosing a player from each position but unable to cross the $15 threshold.
In honor of the World Series of Poker (and fantasy poker players everywhere) I’ve decided to put my own spin on this exercise and have thrown together my tournament poker “Starting Five” from five different categories I created on the fly.
Instead of simply choosing the best players I’ve decided to take a different approach, setting up five separate categories of players (with five players in each category) and instead of giving you $15 to spend I’ve settled upon choosing just one player from each category.
So without any further adieu, here are my choices and how I arrived at my decision.
My pick: Vanessa Selbst
This was an easy choice for me. Suppose my life hung in the balance on the outcome of a poker tournament (don’t ask how I got into such a predicament, although I doubt I’d be the first to do so), there is no player I would want to have playing for me than Selbst.
I’m not even going to list her accomplishments since I recently did that here: Vanessa Selbst cements poker legacy by winning 3rd WSOP bracelet
My pick: Jason Mercier
Like the Superstar, the Side-Kick group is made up of perennial all-stars, and from that group I’m taking Jason Mercier.
Mercier is always a threat to win, and more importantly he has to be among the Top 5 players the pros do not want to see at their table.
Hard to argue with $10 million in career earnings, two WSOP bracelets and an EPT title.
My pick: Phil Hellmuth
This is the player that you implicitly trust to take the big shot when the game is on the line. You know they’ve been there before and nerves are not going to be a factor. While Phil may “blow up” at the tables now and then (Read as: often) if you’re down to the final table nobody has a better shot of taking it down the “Poker Brat.”
I’m not sure Hellmuth is currently the best player in this category, but it’s hard to argue with his success.
Hellmuth’s stats are off the charts, and truth be told, if we’re only talking WSOP he probably belongs in category 1.
The Young Gun
My pick: Ole Schemion
Ole may not be playing at the WSOP, but if you want a young player with an already proven track record and an almost impossible to quantify ceiling that it’s got to be Schemion… plus he’s German, and German’s seem to win everything in poker.
21 years old and he’s got over $5 million in career earnings, a GPI POY Award, and the kid has never played a WSOP tournament!
The Role Player
My pick: David “Bakes” Baker
This is the player who can do it all. In poker that means playing any format or structure and always being up to the challenge.
Bakes is always in the running no matter what the format, and no matter where in the world he is playing. The guy is a cashing machine and if your superstar goes down he’s the type of player that can step in and fill their shoes.
25 WSOP cashes from 2009 to 2013 (that’s an average of five per year for five years) and he’s already added two more in 2014. He’s also got two bracelets and eight final tables at the WSOP, in everything from 2-7 to HORSE to Stud hi/lo.
Who would you have taken (make sure you head over to www.thehendonmob.com like I did before you make your choices)?
|Superstar||Side-Kick||Veteran||Young Gun||Role Player|
|Vanessa Selbst||Chris Moorman||Phil Hellmuth||Cal Anderson||Jeff Lisandro|
|Daniel Negreanu||Sam Trickett||Carlos Mortensen||Scott Seiver||Brock Parker|
|Phil Ivey||Antonio Esfandiari||John Juanda||Shaun Deeb||Matt Glantz|
|Mike Mizrachi||Justin Bonomo||Allen Cunningham||Mukul Pahuja||Daniel Alaei|
|Mike McDonald||Jason Mercier||Erik Seidel||Ole Schemion||David Baker|
Who would you have added to each category?
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