FS+G poker league announces criteria and roster

Posted by James Guill on May 05, 2011 Posted in Tournament News | No Comments »

the fsg poker leagueOn Monday, Federated Sports and Gaming released their Season One roster of 218 players.  In addition, the criteria for earning a tour card was also released.  Player can earn their tour card up until August 1st of this year for Season One.

For inclusion into the league, the minimum that a player needs is at least $1.25 Million in lifetime earnings and at least 9 cashes since January 1, 2008, for a total of $600,000.   The largest tourney win is capped at $600,000 for the 2-Year Category B card, and that cap moves up depending on the card criteria.  The criteria for each card can be found at the FS+G website.   In addition, lifetime exemption cards were not given out, so everyone currently in the league has been given a card based on the criteria on the site.

At first glance, you would think that this league is just a way for the pros to shut out everyone but the upper echelon players.  However, when you look closer at who is on the list and where they qualify according to league rules, the process seems remarkably fair.

For example, Doyle Brunson only has a 2-year Category A card.  These cards are for those with 2 Million in winnings, 1 major title, and 6 cashes since Jan 1, 2008 for at least $300,000.   Brunson did not qualify for either a 3 or 5 year card based on league rules.  In all honesty, that is a good thing.  If this league wants to be on par with other professional leagues like the PGA, they cannot arbitrarily give away exemptions based on sentiment and historical performances.

Certain all-time greats on the PGA like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer were granted exemptions to play in the Masters, U.S. Open, etc based on past performances, but eventually they were even asked to quit coming because they just can’t play at the same level anymore.  By showing that even the all-time greats have to earn their cards, I think this give the league an air of legitimacy that it sorely needs.

I also like how that the criteria have eliminated the flash in the pan players such as Jamie Gold, Jerry Yang, Bill Edler, and others from being able to participate.  Some may argue that former World Champions are being excluded, but in all honesty, many of those that you could make that argument for have nothing in their poker resume of worth except for those titles.  If they want to play, they need to pick up their game and earn it.

And don’t forget that much like the PGA, there is still a way to earn your spot in a Main Event tournament.  The Pro-Am tournament at each stop will award the final nine players a temporary exemption card for the that events Main Event.  Much like the U.S. Open, players can play their way into one of these events.  Anyone that feels like that they have been snubbed can still win their way in.  Again, they have to earn it.

After looking at the criteria for this league, I am even more convinced that this is a good concept.  My only concern is whether it will get off of the ground and become profitable.  With all that has happened in relation to April 15th, this is probably the worst time in recent poker history to start a league.  Personally, I hope they are able get this off the ground as this could force the pros and aspiring pros to take their game, and even the game of poker itself to another level.

One of the big winners in the whole Black Friday fiasco was the Annie Duke/Jeffrey Pollack fronted ‘professionals-only poker league’ which is seeking to create a poker tour where players will only be invited based on merit –similar to the PGA in golf and the ATP in Tennis.

The league took a dramatic step forward on Tuesday when they finally released the criteria they would be using to determine which 200 or so poker players would be invited to participate in the five scheduled tournaments.

Players who meet the entire listed criterion are eligible for one of the following tour exemptions:

5-Year Card
·    At least $4.0 million in adjusted lifetime earnings, with the single largest win capped at $2.0 million
·    At least 3 major lifetime titles
·    At least 9 cashes since January 1, 2008, for a total of at least $600,000 won

3-Year Card
·    At least $2.5 million in adjusted lifetime earnings, with the single largest win capped at $1.5 million
·    At least 1 major lifetime title
·    At least 9 cashes since January 1, 2008, for a total of at least $500,000 won

2-Year Card Category A
·    At least $2 million in adjusted lifetime earnings, with the single largest win capped at $1 million
·    At least 1 major lifetime title
·    At least 6 cashes since January 1, 2008, for a total of at least $300,000 won

2-Year Card Category B
·    At least $1.25 million in adjusted lifetime earnings, with the single largest win capped at $750,000
·    At least 9 cashes since January 1, 2008, for a total of $600,000 won

For a complete list of the 218 players who made the cut you can visit the Federated Sports + Gaming website.

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