World Team Poker

July 06, 2010 7:06 AM


Just a few weeks after its inaugural international event, World Team Poker landed an all-important TV deal with Fox Sports Network.

World Team Poker’s first tournament, which was held at the Golden Nugget on May 19, will kick off the new television series, set to air on Fox Sports Net. The first three episodes will be broadcast nationally on Sunday nights beginning Sept. 5, and will return on Jan. 23, 2011 for 10 new episodes.

World Team Poker is a new international poker sports league with superstars of poker acting as team captains for their respective countries.

Each team captain hand picks professional players who will represent their national poker team. The teams play in a series of poker competitions for "Pride, Passion, Country" and the distinction of being crowned World Team Poker champions.

The inaugural event featured the following eight teams:

Team USA was captained by the legendary Doyle Brunson. Also playing for the team was Phil Hellmuth, Jr., Chris Ferguson, Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow and Erik Seidel.

Team China was co-captained by Johnny Chan and David Chiu. Maria Ho, Chau Giang, Winfred Yu, Rich Zhu and Derek Cheung played for the team.

Men "The Master" NguyenMen "The Master" Nguyen (pictured) captained Team Vietnam. Players included Tommy Hang, Karina Jett, Philong Nguyen, Kido Pham, Tim Phan and Kenny Tran.

Jeff Lisandro and Tony Guoga co-captained Team Australia, featuring players Gary Benson, Mel Judah, David Saab, Steve Topakas and Marsha Waggoner.

Team England’s line up, captained by Ben Roberts, included players Joe Beevers, Peter Costa, Surinder Sunar and David "Devilfish" Ulliot.

Team Israel was captained by Eli Elezra. Josh Arieh, David Benyamine, David Levi, Michael Mizrachi, Robert Mizrachi and Abe Mosseri played for the team.

Team Brazil was captained by Juliano Maesano. Players included Christian Kruel, Leandro "Brasa" Pimentel, Rodrigo "Zidane" Caprioli and Felipe "Mojave" Ramos.

Team Greece was co-captained by George Theofanopoulos and Georgios Kapalas. Alex Zervos, Stavros Kalfas, Dimitris Lyritsis and Dimitris Chatziriotis also played for the team.

Each television broadcast will feature Team Captains coaching players and making player substitutions. In the process television audiences will be able to watch a level of team strategy previously unseen in poker as the captains attempt to find perfect matchups and place experts in different games on the felt for their respective specialties.

The five tables played down until there were two players left at each table. Once the final two players from each table were decided, the surviving teams combined their stacks with their teammates’ chips.

Multiple finalists meant more chips for the team, however only one team player could sit at the final table. At the Golden Nugget tournament, Australia, Brazil, China, Greece and Vietnam made the final table, England, Israel and USA did not make the cut.

It was up to the team captains to design a strategy for the final table showdown. This tested the skills of each player on an individual level, while taxing the tactical aptitude of the captains and their ability to lead their teams to victory.

The final table lasted 10 hours. The last two and a half hours saw Team Brazil and Team China battling it out. It was an exciting heads-up battle, but ultimately Team China won the gold medal.

To find out more about World Team Poker, visit