As the start of the 2009 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) draws nearer, more is being revealed about the special Caesar’s Cup event which will pit the best poker players North America has to offer against the premier players in Europe.
The respective teams will be captained by PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu and Betfair pro and former WSOPE Main Event winner Annette Obrestad. The two captains appeared in Las Vegas during this summer’s World Series of Poker to promote the event and announce their first picks for their teams. Negreanu’s first pick for Team Americas was seven-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey, who will participate in the Caesar’s Cup during his break from Main Event play. Ivey is the most recognizable member of this year’s November Nine and will return to the Rio on November 7th to participate in the final table of that event.
Obrestad chose a member of the inaugural November Nine to be a part of her squad. The 20-year old pro selected 2008 WSOP Main Event Champion Peter Eastgate. Obrestad was not allowed to reveal her plans for the rest of her team, but she did tell the media that her team was going to be fairly young compared to the seasoned Americas roster.
The recent revelation of the third and fourth members of each team affirmed Obrestad’s statement. Two more longtime live pros will be joining Negreanu and Ivey while two more internet hot shots will team up with Obrestad and Eastgate. A recent announcement revealed that 11-time bracelet winner and Ultimate Bet pro Phil Hellmuth and last year’s WSOPE Main Event winner John Juanda are the latest additions to Team Americas, while PokerStars pros Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier and Dario Minieri will play for Team Europe.
The Indonesian-born Juanda may not be a native American, but the Los Angeles-based pro has been a mainstay on the US poker circuit for some time. He made a huge splash in Europe last year when he won the WSOPE Main Event and then immediately finished in second place at the European Poker Tour London High Rollers event. Juanda faced off against Jason Mercier in a heads-up battle that saw the young Mercier prevail over the seasoned poker vet, but the two stellar finishes made Juanda the talk of the town.
Juanda will have a chance to try and replicate his 2008 success when the WSOPE kicks off on September 17th. This year’s series will feature three preliminary bracelet events, a million dollar freeroll for Betfair qualifiers, the Caesar’s Cup and, of course, the WSOPE Main Event which begins on September 26th. The Caesar’s Cup will run the day before the Main Event. Three more pros will be joining each team and one lucky online player will be able to qualify to play for Team Europe via Betfair’s online poker site. The rest of the team rosters will be revealed in the weeks leading up to next month’s event.

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