One of the most fun sweats each year at the World Series of Poker is Daniel Negreanu’s 25k Fantasy Team competition but this year he has banned serial cheats Ali Imsirovic and Jake Schindler from the draft...
Each year for more than a decade, Fantasy Team players have picked their 8-person line-up from a draft that typically has 100 or more poker players.
With $200 to spend and ‘salaries’ ranging from $1 to more than $100 (both Negreanu and Deeb were at the high end of the scale last year), the tough part of the job is choosing who is most likely to overperform in the bracelet events.
Points are distributed according to how a player finishes in an event - a cash worth 1 point up to 50 points for a tournament win.
For those hoping to choose the likes of Imsirovic, Schindler and Kenney, however, the door has been slammed shut - at least two of them persona non grata according to ‘commissioner’ Negreanu!
The Bandit and the SnakeMatt Berkey asked the question, “Are these for sure confirmed? Rumor is the bandit and snake aren't banned?”
For those new to the game (or simply living under a rock) “the bandit and snake” refers to Imsirovic and Schindler, who were outed as cheats last year by Alex Foxen and Justin Bonomo.
Despite the majority of live tours banning Imsirovic and Schindler from playing, the WSOP allowed them to play in 2022, along with Bryn Kenney who faced his own series of serious cheating accusations.
Who even are you?Schindler even won a bracelet, although the rail of two who watched his win – his girlfriend and a Hossein Ensan fan who asked, “What’s your name?”, showed up the sad state of affairs for a very promising player.
Whether Imsirovic or Schindler actually show up for this summer’s 7-week Vegas shindig or not is still uncertain, but further recent allegations against Imsirovic make it unlikely he will get an easy ride.
New allegations and rumoursAfter Ali Imsirovic publicly offered coaching on his Instagram account, Matt Berkey revealed rumours that the Bosnian-American was allegedly running a secret online poker cheating ring.
ACR CEO Phil Nagy then stepped in to offer a $100,000 reward for proof of any nefarious activities.
Negreanu had to clarify that his list of those not included in the Fantasy draft was a mix of cheats he had personally banned and those who had stated they wouldn’t be playing this year’s WSOP.
Huge interest in Fantasy WSOPIt appears as though there will be record interest in the Fantasy WSOP, with Negreanu revealing: “Interest from 22 teams and it will be the largest we have ever had, I expect 19 or 20 to actually show up.”
Last year saw Team Maria Ho come out on top, with Negreanu’s own picks in second, and Team No Gamble, No Future in 3rd spot.
Who are your top picks for this year’s WSOP? Do you think Schindler and Imsirovic will play? Let us know your WSOP thoughts on our social media channels!