There are a host of big names on the felt and in the field at the Borgata Spring Open 2014 World Poker Tour Championship event. One of the most prominent names that’s missing, other than Phil Ivey, is the winner of last year’s WPT Championship, David “Chino” Rheem.
With a $15,400 price tag and Rheem’s past money problems, perhaps its understandable that Rheem might not make the trip out of Las Vegas to the East Coast to defend his title.
Except that it’s a total freeroll.
The World Poker Tour Championship event one of the very few events, on any tour, where the previous year’s champion gets a free seat the following year. Rheem had a seat just waiting for him. It looks like this may have been a surprise though to Rheem when it was brought to his attention by poker pro Robert Mizrachi.
Just to make sure we reached out to the World Poker Tour President Adam Pliska and asked if it was in fact true that Rheem had free entry to the $15,400 event.
He replied with a decisive, “Yes that’s correct.”
We also confirmed via WPT officials the seat is/was non-transferable or convertible.
With the WPT Championship well underway and Chino hanging in Las Vegas, it looks like the opportunity to grab a part of the $5 million guaranteed prizepool has passed him by.
What’s he doing instead? Rheem hints that he may be taking a leadership class/lecture from the semi-controversial Daniel Negreanu-touted Choice Center.
Of course “choice” in this context could be any number of things. Whatever it is, we hope it’s worth it.
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