In an effort to narrow the lottery-like odds of winning the World Series of Poker, a group of professional players have formed a team under the banner of Team PokerBlue.
The WSOP $10,000 buy-in main event, scheduled for July 28-Aug. 10, is expected to attract 8,000 players.
Team PokerBlue is the brainchild of high-limit poker impresario Yosh Nakano, who serves as chief ambassador to PokerBlue.com. Its format improves team-member odds to cash or to share in the $10 million first prize, from 800-1 to 1-3 and 8,000-1 to 308-1, respectively.
According to Nakano, a world-ranked player who is widely regarded to be the premier high-limit host in Southern California, "battling to win ... or even to cash, in an event of this magnitude, with an anticipated 8,000 participants and a $80 million prize pool on the line ... is a daunting task. Team PokerBlue represents the most creative and innovative offer in all of poker."
Team PokerBlue will be comprised of a maximum of 26 players, each of whom will own a 1% interest in each of their teammates. Therefore, if the 2006 WSOP winner is a member of Team PokerBlue, each team member will receive at least $100,000. The winner will receive $7.5 million. Each team member will also receive a piece of any cash winnings of Team PokerBlue Co-Captain’s Ted Forrest and Nakano.
Forrest is the 2006 NBC National Heads-Up Champion and the No. 1 tournament and cash player (and quite possibly the most feared) in the world today. Nakano is the 2006 CBS Intercontinental Poker Champion.
In winning the Intercontinental Poker Championship, Nakano out-gunned a field of 21 world-class players, from 21 different countries ... each player representing their native country.
Nakano represented Japan. Other notables included Doyle Brunson (USA), Daniel Negreanu (Canada), Johnny Chan (China), Sam Farha (Lebanon), and Hasan Habib (Pakistan).
Qualifying satellites for Team PokerBlue begin on July 6, at 7 p.m. (Pacific), at the PokerBlue.com web site.