Warning: Missing argument 2 for wpdb::prepare(), called in /home/tptpoker/public_html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/lib/tags.php on line 318 and defined in /home/tptpoker/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1198

I read an article today by ESPN’s Gary Wise (The November Nine are back in Vegas) talking of the patching concerns on the eve of the Final Table of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker.   The article talks about the WSOP rules that state that 1) No one company may patch more than 3 players at a televised final table, and 2) Once final table play gets underway, no player may acquire new patches.

It’s an interesting dilemma that Full Tilt Poker faces as they did an outstanding job (beginning on day 5 of the main event really), of patching up a large number of players to the World’s 2nd largest poker site.

In the quest to bring into Full Tilt’s stable of incredible pro’s a Main Event Champion from a WSOP after the 2003 poker boom, Full Tilt Patches were plentiful, guaranteeing them a ton of TV time.  As play got down to the final table, there were only 2 players (Jonathan Duhamel and Jason Senti) who were not wearing Full Tilt Patches.  7 players consequently are wearing Full Tilt gear, but only 3 are allowed.  Hence, the dilemma.

In choosing whom Full Tilt should patch between John Dolan, Joseph Cheong, John Racener, Matthew Jarvis, Filippo Candio, Michael Mizrachi, and Soi Nguyen, the brass at Full Tilt has a tough business decision on its hands.  First: which of the players is going to be the most likely player to gain the most TV time, and Second: which of the players are most likely to help grow the site.

When answering question 1, you have to take a look at chip stacks, and the person with the most of the group is John Dolan.  With 46,250,000 in chips, Dolan has twice as many chips as any of the remaining Full Tilt Players.  He’s 2nd in chips heading into the event, and what history has shown us is that even though that might not guarantee a win, Dolan could practically fold his way to a 3rd or 4th place finish.  What that means is he’ll have the most time on camera, which means that he should get the patch.

When answering question 2, I would have to say that you have to look at patching Michael Mizrachi.  The seasoned pro has the opportunity to become Poker’s all time leading money winner, and accomplish a feat like no other in poker.  Mizrachi can pull off an amazing double by winning both the $50k Players Championship and the Main Event should he outlast 8 more players, and also brings to the table perhaps the best back story in poker as a result.  Couple that story along with the run that everyone with the last name Mizrachi had in this year’s main event, “The Year of the Mizrachi” is a story that has the interest of both the poker enthusiast and the casual observer, which makes him interesting to everyone.  And with that, he should lock up the second patch.

Now for the last patch, you have to ask the question of the 5 remaining players, which of them is the most deserving to wear a Full Tilt Logo?  Joseph Cheong and John Racener come in with the next most chips with 23 million and 19 million respectively.  They are followed by Filippo Candio and Matthew Jarvis who have virtually identical stacks with 16 million each, and then Soi Nguyen as the shortest of the group with 9.6 million.  The reality is, any one of these players is a single double away (save for Nguyen who might need 2) from completely flipping this table on its head.  And really, it’s still anyone’s tournament to win as even the short stack has about 15 big blinds to play with.

While I think that John Racener and Joseph Cheong are probably the most likely players to exert their experience and win the event, I find myself agreeing with the selection of Filippo Candio as the 3rd player.  I actually picked Racener to win the event, and I think that he would be a fantastic addition to the list of “Poker Ambassador’s” that have won the event in the past, but it is Candio alone that can really extend interest to the European market.

The lone remaining Italian in the main event is also the only Euro left, and in a continent that has absolutely exploded during the poker boom, is the best remaining player to represent the continent across the pond.  When it comes to the U.S. Market, Dolan and Mizrachi have (as Gary Wise puts it) “got that covered.”  But for all of Candio’s faults as a player, and for all the times that he luck-boxed his way into the position that he’s in (See the Cheong hand where Candio cracks Aces with a runner-runner straight for his life as exhibit “A”), Candio has something going for him that no other player can bring to the table, a target demographic that can’t be reached by anyone other than him.

We’ll find out tomorrow whom Full Tilt elects to go with to represent their brand, but I’m really interested in seeing who it is that they choose to wear their colors.