What was Dan Thinking?

by , Mar 3, 2009 | 1:51 pm

Pokerati’s own Dan Michalski took part in an “expert panel” for ESPN with Dr. Pauly, Chops of Wicked Chops Poker, Gary Wise, Bernard Lee, Lance Bradley of Bluff Magazine, and ESPN.com’s Andrew Feldman ranking the field of the NBC National Headsup Poker Championship, starting on Friday. Since I’m only able to write an article at one of these sites, let’s take a look at how Dan ranked the field:

Some thoughts:

I assume Dan thinks Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies is some random Internet qualifier if he’s ranked lower than Jennifer Tilly.
Same goes for Bertrand “Elky” Grospelier, ranked lower than Phil Laak.
David Benyamine at #3?
Doyle Brunson at #5?
Clonie Gowen at #15? (Yes, she’s tied with Johnny Chan for the most PAD wins – 3).
Kenny Tran at #37? (Dan’s pick to win, and he admits this was too low).

In my humble opinion, I’d take players ranked 51-59 (with Jerry Yang and an online qualifier) over those ranked 21-29 (with Scott Fischman’s 4 NHUPC cashes).

But the thing with these rankings is to create debate, so let the debate begin!

12 Comments to “What was Dan Thinking?”

  1. DanM

    Elky was probably a mistake, too.

    Zigmund, however, is going nowhere.

    We’ll see how I do. Last time I talked to ESPN about something I was making predictions for the WSOP main event final table on Day 2, and without naming names, I think I called it to a tee.

    (listen at about 31:30 … 32:15 specifically … Feldman was totally off)

    Benyamine? He’s a serious heads-up player, right? And Brunson? This event caters to him. And Kevin, let’s take that prop … let’s see who does finish better — my 51-59 or my 21-29. (though I do think one of the caesar’s qualifiers will go deep.)

  2. Kevin Mathers

    I’ll wager $100 virtual dollars that 51-59 does better than 21-29 and I’ll let you have the two Caesars qualifers (Jeffrey Ishbia and Kenny Yeh) as well.

  3. DanM

    Done. We’ll add up the spots they finish in, and whoever gets a lower total wins. Cool?

  4. Kevin Mathers

    Since it starts out with 4 “brackets” that play at separate times, how would a 1st round loss be treated?

  5. Kevin Mathers

    An easier way to keep score:

    1 point – out in 1st round
    2 points – out in 2nd round
    3 points – out in round of 16
    4 points – out in quarterfinals
    5 points – out in semifinals
    6 points – finish 2nd
    7 points – winner

  6. DanM

    ahh, and then most points win? cool.

  7. Poker Shrink

    The Phil Ivey ranking is totally dependent on the weather; if he can golf, he is out in round one. Doyle seems to not want to leave his house these days but Caesars is relatively closer than the Commerce. And the poker media are “celebrity bigots” otherwise Orel Hershiser would be rated much higher based on his performance last year.

  8. DanM

    You think the top of the bottom half is too low?

  9. Kevin Mathers

    I was just thinking of this, why not have the qualifiers “play in” to the final 64 like they do with the theoretical 64 v 65 matchup for the NCAA tournament? Have the 2 Caesars qualifiers play the two online qualifiers (1 each for Stars and FTP) at the draw party and have the winners join the main field. This way, you can add two more players who are more deserving of being invited.

  10. BJ Nemeth

    To be fair to Dan and the others, there are multiple ways to seed this bracket, and all have their pros and cons. Do you seed them based on overall poker skill? Heads-up abilities? Past performance in this event? Or purely your prediction for how they will finish this year?

    Personally, I don’t think a seeding system should be based on a prediction of this year’s results. It should be based on overall skill and past performance. The part I’m conflicted on is whether you should focus specifically on heads-up results — I would weigh them more heavily, but not exclusively.

    I think it’s absurd to weigh the last four NBC luckbox tourneys too heavily. If you want to pick Huck Seed or Scott Fischman, that’s fine. But don’t pick them because they’ve cashed the past four years. The same goes for Orel Hershiser — one deep run does not a champion make. (If Shannon Elizabeth were playing again, would you rank her as highly as Hershiser, Poker Shrink?) If you put random names in random slots and ran four tournaments by flipping coins, you’d probably get two players who cashed each of the four years.

    FYI, the fact that this structure increases the luck factor is yet another reason to seed based on overall poker skill rather than a prediction of performance in this event. It is *impossible* to analytically predict the results of this event, so don’t even try. It’s like the lucky housewife who wins an NCAA pool because she picked colleges that she liked, with no knowledge of basketball whatsoever.

  11. gooch

    I don’t have the time to go over how many ways I think those rankings are wrong, but to point out a couple of the most egregious errors

    Clonie Gowen 20 spots over Daniel Negreanu? Daniel could beat Clonie only looking at one of his hole cards

    Chris Moneymaker 57th, you think those other 4 players could lose to him?

    Huck Seed in 36th?

    Did you even look at the names first?

  12. Ed

    I see two things wrong with the subject of this post.

    “Dan” AND “thinking”!

    Two words that should never be that close together. 😛