The 42nd annual World Series of Poker starts on Tuesday 31st May and once again thousands of poker players will descend on Las Vegas in the hope of capturing the greatest prize in poker – a World Series bracelet.
Seasoned professionals will join online players, home game qualifiers and amateurs in what is expected to be one of the biggest World Series yet. We take a look at some of the notable players who always carry big expectations on their shoulders at this time of year.
Players can still qualify online for the WSOP at 888poker
1. Phil Ivey
It just wouldn’t be a list of players to watch in the WSOP if it didn’t start with Phil Ivey. At 35, Ivey is an eight time bracelet winner and has had two memorable deep runs in the Main Event. Ivey finished on the final table bubble in 2003 and more recently finished 7th in 2009. Ivey showed that he still worthy of being tagged the best player in the world by winning the H.O.R.S.E event at the 2010 WSOP.
2. Phil Hellmuth
As with Ivey, no list of players to watch at the WSOP would be complete without the man known as ‘The Poker Brat’. Hellmuth was the youngest man to ever a win a Main Event back in 1989 and since then has become the most successful player in the history of the WSOP, winning a total of 11 bracelets. Hellmuth is well-known for his grand entrances to the Main Event and also his mouth, which has gotten him into trouble a few times. Say what you like about Phil Hellmuth, the truth is the man is an absolute great of the game and he can never be underestimated in big tournaments.
3. Tom Dwan
Dwan represents the new age poker professional. Dwan plays most of his poker online under the screen name ‘durrr’, and he has been making some waves in recent times with some massive wins. Despite the fact that Dwan is an online prodigy, he does have experience in high-stakes live poker so he won’t be overawed by the occasion. Dwan has finished in the money seven times in the WSOP and has also made a World Poker Tour final table. His brash, confident style could see him make his mark on the 2011 WSOP.
4. Erik Seidel
If there is a player having a better 2011 than Erik Seidel they are doing a good job of hiding it. Seidel’s poker winnings for the first five months of the year have already exceeded $5 million. And it’s not as if this streak has come out of nowhere, Seidel has been one of the top performers in poker for a number of years. Seidel has captured eight WSOP bracelets, with the last coming in 2007, but what is even more impressive is that he sits fourth all time in terms of WSOP cashes.
5. Gus Hansen
What a year it has been for Gus Hansen. The Great Dane has experienced some major fluctuations online this year, but seems to keep bouncing back after blows that would floor most of us. It is Gus’ dangerous style of play that makes him so unpredictable, but after winning his long awaited first bracelet in the 2010 WSOP Europe High Roller Heads Up event, Hansen will be out to assert himself as one of the top players in the world.
You could be seated next to any of these players if you qualify for the WSOP with 888poker