Predicting The PokerStars vs. Full Tilt Challenge Winner
When news of the PokerStars vs. Full Tilt challenge first hit the wire, the poker community’s response was almost uniformly split down the middle. Half thought that Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand Grospellier, and Isaac Haxton were almost a lock to win the whole thing while the other side contended that the FT team of Gus Hansen, Viktor Blom, and Tom Dwan would certainly walk away with a win. Each side of the fence has been equally vocal about their predictions, but the truth is that it’s likely to be a closer race than anyone imagines. A recap of the numbers involved makes it painfully clear how well balanced this matchup is.
In the fight between Grospellier and Blom, there’s no denying that the latter is on an extremely hot streak right now, but how much of the 22-year-old’s perceived talents are truth and how much are hype? In contrast, Grospellier has a head start of several years and has built up real and tangible results to back up his game. At the age of 32, he already has $13 million in combined live and online tournament earnings, compared to slightly less than $2 million for Blom. At the same time, Blom’s career has by and large been about dominating opponents in the head’s up format, which is exactly how this challenge will be played. Based on this experience alone, he may be the favorite.
The most action-packed battle of all three might be the one between Haxton and Dwan, with the numbers being almost dead even. Their ages are about the same, their winnings are about the same, and neither has earned a WSOP or EPT title (although both have come close). In addition, both are famous for playing high stakes head’s up matches. While Dwan has gotten the majority of early votes, it could be because his many television appearances have made him more recognizable. On the other hand, Haxton has let his numbers do the talking and his head’s up cash game winnings are the stuff of legend.
The last of the three match ups will be between Negreanu and Hansen and the former has a slight edge when it comes to the numbers. His $14.5 in tournament winnings trumps Hansen’s $11 million and Negreanu has three more WSOP titles on his resume. However, the two are no strangers and their past encounters have seen Hansen definitely get the better of Negreanu, including a win at the first PokerStars Caribbean Adventure as well as a sick Quads over Full House hand worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars that was televised for all the world to see.
The eventual winner of the PokerStars vs. Full Tilt challenge may not be clear, but one thing is for sure – it will an entertaining battle for all who tune in.