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World Series of Poker Champions Invitational: Who’s In, Who’s Out

Written by:
Ace King
Published on:
May/21/2009
World Series of Poker Champions Invitational

One of the "buzz worthy" events at this year's World Series of Poker is the WSOP Champions Invitational, according to the folks at WickedChopsPoker.com.

The event takes place May 31-June 1 and airs on ESPN on August 4th from 8-10 pm EST.  In addition to bragging rights, the winner also gets a brand new car and award cup.

From WickedChopsPoker.com:

The previous 39 Main Event winners got invites (although four of those have multiple titles: Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, Johnny Moss, and Johnny Chan). So that leaves 34 invites, except that none of the departed obviously get an invite either, which sucks actually because we'd probably bet that a dead Stu Ungar could outplay an alive Jerry Yang but whatever. So unless Doyle Brunson loses his Bucket Bet before May 31, there are seven former Main Event champs who have passed on, leaving us with math math math seven less than 34.

Of those 27, there are still a few unconfirmed/disappeared off the face of the Earth.

Straight up NOT playing are Russ Hamilton (who had disappeared off the face of the Earth until this happened, and let's face it, his invite probably got lost in the mail anyway) and Bobby Baldwin, which isn't a surprise.

That leaves just four other former champs who are AWOL and yet to be confirmed: Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Noel Furlong, Mansour Matloubi (no fly list?), and Jose Canseco Hamid Dastmalchi.

So consider this an APB of sorts. All of you Team Full Tilters who read this site, get Jesus off his ass and in the game. Otherwise it's just Jerry Yang wearing your patch, and like having Scott Lazar involved in your movie, that's never a good idea.

What's funny is this may be the only tournament ever in poker where the most patches you'll see is for Doyle's Room. They love patching up the old guys.

Doyle Brunson, in his blog this week, speculated as to whether Hamilton would show up to the "Table of Champions".  

"Russ Hamilton is caught between a rock and a hard place," Brunson said.  "Russ is accused of being the mastermind behind the cheating scandal at UB. The evidence looks like Russ is guilty but I've learned to wait for the verdict to be handed down. If Russ shows up, he is going to take lots of abuse from angry poker players, and if he doesn't show, every will say, "See there, he is admitting he is guilty." My guess is he will be there."

Ace King, Gambling911.com

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