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Dream Team Poker CEO – Daniel Delshad Interview

Written by:
Jenny Woo
Published on:
Jun/03/2009
Dream Team Poker

I had the chance to sit down with Dream Team Poker founder and CEO, Daniel Delshad.  As he told me that they were at the WSOP this year, we also discuss how big team poker has become and where he sees it in the future.  Read my full interview below to get the complete scoop on Dream Team Poker.

JENNY:  Where do you see Dream Team Poker as it grows? What venues do you see Dream Team Poker - nationwide and worldwide?

DANIEL:  We are very excited to be at the WSOP this summer and will continue to grow Dream Team Poker by expanding the game to other venues across the US and especially worldwide.

JENNY:  Do you think team events will become more popular and grow even more?  And where do you see "team poker" in the future?

DANIEL:  Dream Team Poker has taken the industry by storm in the few short months since our inaugural event.  Being part of the World Series of Poker was the natural next step for us, and it shows that our model of team based poker has struck a nerve with players and casinos. Based upon our success and business model, we see Dream Team Poker becoming a staple event at all major poker tournaments and tours worldwide.

JENNY:  Why do you think team poker has become so successful now vs. the past?

DANIEL:  I believe that there are several factors to the success of Dream Team Poker's model: The first is both the player and the venue benefit from Dream Team Poker's model: The player has more chances and better odds to cash in the tournament with our team and individual payout structures. The venues benefit because players have additional incentives to stay on property even when they bust out. Venues can see increases in side games, room stays, meals, etc over and above a traditional tournament.

The second factor to our success is the strong team we have assembled.  Our Executive staff and advisors have deep experience in the gaming, business, and entertainment industries.  

The third factor is the experience we provide for the player. All the feedback from the players, from the pros to the Average Joes, has been positive. We had players travel from as far away as London and Europe to play in the $500 Caesars event. You don't get that type of interest in a traditional tournament. The idea of playing with your friends as a team brings a new dynamic to poker.

JENNY:  Do you think the reason it's become so popular is because it's something different?

DANIEL:  Yes and no. Our researched showed that poker players were looking for new formats to challenge themselves that provided a new layer of strategy and a new level of camaraderie. Dream Team Poker offers all three and that is why it has become so popular. If it was just something different, it wouldn't have the same effect.

JENNY:  Your invitation only opening event was very successful.  However, can anyone play in the tournament or is it by invitation only?

DANIEL:  The WSOP event this summer and the last Caesars Palace event were all open to the public and all future events are open to the public. In fact, the first 300 teams that pre-register on www.dreamteampoker.com will get customized team jerseys!

JENNY:  How does the scoring system work?

DANIEL:  Our patent-pending scoring system was created to allow for teams to play tournaments as individuals and scored as team.  The system assigns points to each player based on the place they finish. We then combine the points of the lowest 2 scores per team.  The third player score is kept for tie-breakers. The team with the lowest combined score wins the team prize.

JENNY:  Will your events be held yearly and at the same venues/casinos?

DANIEL:  Dream Team Poker is expanding rapidly and we expect the number of venues to grow and to eventually develop into a scheduled tour.

JENNY:  Have you received a big response from other casinos wanting you to hold a Dream Team Poker tournament at their casino?

DANIEL:  Yes, many casinos inside the US and internationally have expressed interest in bringing Dream Team Poker to their poker rooms.  At this point, we can't disclose the names of the other venues for confidentiality reasons.

JENNY:  What else can you share with our readers on Dream Team Poker? And what's next on your agenda? 

DANIEL:  We are very encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response we have received from players and casinos alike. We are working very hard at getting Dream Team Poker into other venues and hopefully players will see our structure in new locations in and outside the US very soon. 

Learn more about Dream Team Poker Here 

Jenny Woo, Senior International Correspondent

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