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Best of Vin Narayanan

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Casino City WSOP fantasy league update #3

22 June 2009

There are two basic axioms in fantasy sports:


  1. The first two rounds of the draft won't "win" a league, but they can certainly "lose" it.
  2. You can't win unless some players at the bottom of your draft deliver.


Through 38 events at the World Series of Poker, these fantasy sports rules are holding true in Casino City's fantasy WSOP league where Team Narayanan (385) holds a healthy lead over Teams Igo (200) and Trask (144).

And in true fantasy fashion, one team appears to have lost because of the top of their draft, and the bottom of the draft has provided the separation between the top two teams.

The second-picks for all teams are rapidly approaching bust territory, with Erick Lindgren (Igo), Chris Ferguson (Trask) and Allen Cunningham (Narayanan) combining for nine points.

But the first-round picks killed Trask. While Phil Ivey's 107 points and Daniel Negreanu's 104 points helped teams Igo and Narayanan get off to good starts, Phil Hellmuth has provided just eight points for Team Trask. Between Hellmuth and Ferguson, Trask has received just nine points from his top two picks. Uggh.

Meanwhile, the bottom of the draft has provided the separation between teams Igo and Narayanan. Igo's last four picks – Gus Hansen, David Pham and Freddy Deed – have combined for 20 points. Narayanan's last four picks – Jeffrey Lisandro, Alex Jacob, Chau Giang and Jen Harman – have combined for 200 points. (EDITORS NOTE: Since this story was posted Lisandro won a third braclet this year, giving Team Narayanan an even bigger lead in the standings)

After the updated standings were posted, the team owners – minus Dan Igo who was off watching the final round of the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black -- came to the mic strong with their takes on the league so far.

Gary Trask:

"I can't believe I'm so far out of it, so soon. I feel like the 1988 Baltimore Orioles. As much as I'd like to blame Team Narayanan for fixing the draft lottery in a manner that would have made David Stern blush, I have to tip my cap to him for a spectacular draft. Getting Lisandro in the 7th round is turning out to be greatest steal since the Patriots plucked Tom Brady out of the sixth round.

"It looks like Dan (Igo) and I are playing for second place and I'm not counting my team out. Jesus Ferguson is slumping badly. How does he play 17 straight events without cashing? He's got to start running better. Thank God for Johnny Juanda, he's carrying me. I still like Phil Hellmuth to win a bracelet and Brandon Cantu to win the Main Event. If those two things happen I have a fighting chance."

Vin Narayanan:


"Sure. Patrick Ewing went to the Knicks. But the next five picks were Wayman Tisdale, Benoit Benjamin, Xaiver McDaniel, Jon Koncak and Joe Kleine. That's nowhere close in caliber to Ivey, Hellmuth, Ferguson, Lindgren and Cunningham. But Gary's had a lot of bad luck this year. Who knew Hellmuth and Ferguson were going to struggle so much?
"And his team hasn't recorded a single bracelet. I'm not ready count Team Igo out yet. He has the type of team that could go on a bracelet spree to make things interesting. And Lisandro is proving to be a huge pick. His two bracelets, including one in a 10k event, have been critical for my squad."

Team Narayanan


  1. Daniel Negreanu 104
  2. Allen Cunningham 1
  3. Barry Greenstein 10
  4. Howard Lederer 12
  5. J.C. Tran 51
  6. Gavin Smith 7
  7. Jeffrey Lisandro 179
  8. Alex Jacob 3
  9. Chau Giang 8
  10. Jen Harman (last woman drafted) 10

Team Igo



  1. Phil Ivey 107
  2. Erick Lindgren 7
  3. Scotty Nguyen 10
  4. Erik Seidel 16
  5. Huck Seed 40
  6. Ted Forrest 0
  7. Vanessa Rousso (first woman drafted) 10
  8. Gus Hansen 0
  9. David Pham 5
  10. Freddy Deeb 5


Team Trask



  1. Phil Hellmuth 8
  2. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson 1
  3. Betrand Grospellier 7
  4. Michael Binger 37
  5. Andy Bloch 5
  6. John Juanda 81
  7. Robert Mizrachi 2
  8. Justin Bonomo 2
  9. Brandon Cantu 1
  10. Vanessa Selbst (second woman drafted) 0

Casino City WSOP fantasy league update #3 is republished from CasinoVendors.com.
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Best of Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan

Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.

Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.