Fresh off the rousing success of the second Dream Team Poker tournament at the end of March, Dream Team Poker is ready to do it all again, but this time on a bigger stage. This summer, on July 12th and 13th, Dream Team Poker will be held at the Rio in Las Vegas during the 2009 World Series of Poker. Those two days will be days five and six of the WSOP Main Event, and while the size of the Dream Team Poker event is yet to be determined, there should be enough room.
As the name implies, Dream Team Poker is a team competition, as much as there can be teams in the game of poker. Each team is comprised of three players, each of whom plays in what is essentially a standard No-Limit Hold’em freezeout. Each player will receive a score corresponding to the place in which they bust out and the two best scores will count for each team. The team with the lowest score wins the event.  Individual prizes will also be awarded for the top finishers.
Until the tournament reaches two tables, teammates will not be seated at the same table.  Of course, collusion is not allowed, even though this is a “team” event. One twist is that each team that makes it to the final twenty-seven players is granted two time-outs. A player can take a time-out when it is his turn to act to talk things over with a teammate, provided that teammate has been knocked out.  Time-outs are ninety seconds in duration.
In the last Dream Team Poker, Team ACED, representing the Merge Gaming Network room ACED Poker, took the title.  2006 World Series of Poker Main Event champ and ex-ACED pro, Jamie Gold, placed 9th for his team, while Ashley Nataupsky placed 4th.  The two of them, along with teammate Houston Waldie, won $59,940. Team’s Danny Nelson won the top individual prize of $24,063 for winning the tournament.
Dream Team Poker has already become quite popular, with 148 teams shelling out $1,680 each (that’s $500 + $60 per player, a total of 444 players) to compete. There is no word yet on whether or not ACED Poker will have a team to defend their title, especially since Jamie Gold is no longer associated with the poker room. One would expect other online poker rooms, such as Party Poker, Full Tilt Poker, and PokerStars, to put together teams, whether by online qualifiers or by hand selection, but that all remains to be seen.  Since Dream Team Poker is a relatively small event when it comes to the prize pool, the field has been primarily from the United States. This may change, though, with the tournament taking place during the WSOP, when many players from around the world may still be there. Thus, we may just see a Team Party Poker or a Team Everest Poker, even though they do not serve U.S. customers.
The first 300 teams to register for this summer’s Dream Team Poker will receive customized jerseys for each team member to wear during the tournament. The payout structure has yet to be released, but if it is the same as last year’s structure, the winning team will receive 27 percent of the prize pool, while the winning individual will take home just shy of 11 percent.

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