The calendar turning to March means March Madness, the annual college basketball championship tournament that captivates fans across the U.S. and elsewhere, is almost upon us. Bracket fever has even spread to the poker world, it seems.
In what amounts to a sort of poker popularity contest, the World Poker Tour has set up a bracket of 64 past champions in which fans can vote their favorite players onward. The bracket, available here, features three-time champions Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, and Anthony Zinno as No. 1 seeds, along with two-time champion and seven-time final tablist Daniel Negreanu.
Fans can vote once per day, cycling through each of the match-ups while looking at the players' WPT résumés, which list number of titles won, final tables reached, and total money won.
Some of the more interesting first-round match-ups include No. 10 seed Tony Dunst (one titles, four final tables, $914,711 won) versus No. 7 seed Howard Lederer (two titles, two final tables, $703,783 won), No. 8 seed Gavin Smith (one title, five final tables, $2,610,314 won) vs. No. 9 seedDavid Benyamine (one title, four final tables, $1,864,257 won), and No. 11 seed Nick Schulman (one title, three final tables, $3,534,047 won) versus No. 6 seed Aaron Mermelstein (two titles, two final tables, $1,003,350 won).
Juha Helppi, Joe Hachem, and Prahlad Friedman are some of more successful players in WPT history who did not make the cut into the bracket.
Voting for the first round commenced Friday afternoon and continues through March 16, at which point voting for the second round kicks off through March 21. A champ will be crowned Monday, April 11.
Once again, head on over to the bracket at WPT.com and get your vote in now.