Hellmuth Forced to Revamp Caesars Cup Roster After Brunson and Seed No-Show WSOP Europe
Last week, the teams for the Caesars Cup were announced. Phil Hellmuth announced that in addition to himself that Huck Seed, Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, and Daniel Negreanu would represent Team Americas. There was just one problem with two of these selections. Both Brunson and Seed decided to skip the 2011 WSOP Europe. As such, Hellmuth has been required to pick two new team members.
When it appeared only Brunson would be skipping the WSOP-E, Hellmuth asked the public via his account on twitter whether he should pick Tom Dwan, Jason Mercier, or Ben Lamb. Ultimately, Hellmuth decided to pick Jason Mercier to replace Brunson on the team.
A bit later, it was discovered that Seed would be skipping as well and so Hellmuth made the announcement that Ben Lamb would be joining them on Team Americas. Apparently both Daniel Negreanu and Jason Mercier asked him to place Lamb on the team, and Hellmuth obliged.
These two moves by Hellmuth were fantastic picks for a couple of reasons. First, Lamb is on a hot streak after winning a bracelet, nearly missing a 2nd one, and making the final table of the WSOP Main Event. Next, Jason Mercier has been one of the most consistent tournament poker players in recent years. He also just took down his second bracelet at the 2011 WSOP.
Both new additions help to shore up a team that was seriously lacking in modern poker ability. While it is true that Brunson, Seed, Chan, and Hellmuth have done great in the past, they have not truly proven that they can consistently hang with the current breed of player. These new additions will give Daniel Negreanu some help and give Hellmuth a couple of additional big guns at the table. Hellmuth, when running well, can still hold his own in any given event so now the team really only has one really weak spot in Johnny Chan. That “weak spot” also has 10 bracelets.
The new additions should make this matchup much more even than it was heading into the WSOP-E. Personally, I believe that either team could now take it down. With the solid mix of experience and modern theory at the held, Team Americas may now be able to bring the cup home to the Americas.