The 2014 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is only a week away and the excitement at PokerNews is building on an hourly basis. Not only are we looking forward to what should be the biggest and best WSOP in history, we also believe that 2014 is going to be another Year of the Brits.
The United Kingdom has a wealth of incredible poker talent who are more than capable of mixing it up with the biggest names in world poker. This article could easily have been 100 Brits to watch at the 2014 WSOP, but instead we narrowed it down to 10 for you otherwise you’d never read the article!
In no particular order, let’s get started.
A big part of being successful in poker is having confidence in yourself and your game and there are very few people who have more self-confidence than reigning World Poker Tour National Marbella champion Steve Watts. The former professional footballer turned poker pro is one of the most likable characters on the circuit and one of the most fearless to boot.
Watts has six WSOP cashes to his name totalling $178,376, with his latest WSOP cash being a 59th place in the 2013 WSOP Main Event that netted him $123,597.
There is no way on this planet we could have put together a list of players to watch without including Sam Trickett, especially seeing how he plans to play a jam-packed schedule in an attempt to win that elusive bracelet.
Trickett has been playing more tournaments since penning a deal with Everest Poker and looks set for a massive WSOP.
If Trickett can go one place better than his 2nd place in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event of 2010 or his runner-up finish in the 2012 Big One For One Drop then he will be delighted and it will be nothing less than he deserves he if returns to Blighty with some sought-after poker jewellery.
The online cash game grinder Patrick “pleno1” Leonard switched to tournaments a few months ago and has turned into one of the sickest players from the UK if not the world. Since making the move to the dark side, Leonard has continually gone deep in some of the toughest tournaments online poker has to offer.
Leonard’s cash game skills – he’s a big winner in the $2/$5 NL Hold’em Zoom games – and his downright ridiculous form in tournaments right now make him an obvious choice for glory in Las Vegas.
Like Trickett, it is impossible to talk about players to watch without mentioning Chris Moorman. The online legend recently won his first major live tournament when he took down the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic and will be going all out to add a WSOP bracelet to his list of poker accomplishments.
Moorman has come close to WSOP glory on a number of occasions, finishing second twice, third and fifth in various events over the years. This is the year Moorman gets his WSOP monkey off his back!
Simon Deadman is another player who is playing with confidence and it shows in his results. In 2014 alone, Deadman has 10 cashes and of those six were final table appearances, with five of those finals being runner-up finishes.
When we spoke to Deadman a couple of months ago, he said he was full of confidence in winning a tournament this year. Maybe the WSOP will be it. Deadman’s professional approach to the game should stand him in good stead in a city that is known for its exuberant partying.
Toby Lewis is in great form – there’s that word again – and that spells danger to anyone who locks horns with him in the Rio. Lewis recently climbed back to the top of the UK online rankings, booked a $164,000 win during the SCOOP and is vastly experienced despite his young age.
Lewis has 10 WSOP cashes to his name, but no final tables of yet. This fact will no longer be try come the conclusion of the 2014 WSOP.
The super loose aggressive Scottish pro Ludovic Geilich may be missing the start of the series as he attempts to defend his UKIPT Marbella title, but he does plan on heading to Vegas where his crazy style of play should bamboozle the locals. If they think they’ve seen aggressive play then they need to think again!
Memories of his brace of runner-up finishes in 2013 WSOP events for David Vamplew are all the young Scot will need to spur him on and carry him across the finishing line in 2014. The first half of 2104 has gone well enough for Vamplew, with seven cashes in some very strong European events, the latest coming in at €76,100 when he came fourth in the €5,300 No Limit Hold’em 8-Max event at the European Poker Tour Grand Final.
It is astonishing to think that Stephen Chidwick is still hunting for an elusive first major live title (OK, he won a $1,000 side event at the 2008 PCA) despite having over $2.5 million in winnings, being number one in the UK Global Poker Index (GPI) and in the top 10 of the worldwide GPI. That could all change at the 2014 WSOP.
Chidwick has come close to WSOP glory on a number of occasions and in some incredibly tough events to boot. In 2012, Chidwick finished 3rd in the $1,500 HORSE and 6th in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship (he also had three other cashes that series) and then in 2013 finished fourth in the $25,000 NL Hold’em 6-Handed event and hit the money places in eight other events.
Zimnan Ziyard, the EPT Loutraki champion, has been making a nuisance of himself on the tournament circuit for a number of years with his loose-aggressive style of play. It’s a style that has resulted in over $200,000 in winnings at the WSOP so far and it’s a style that could reap dividends at the 2014 series.
Ziyard came close to a bracelet in 2013 when he finished seventh in the $1,500 NL Hold’em event, and has been tearing the online scene up over the past month or so giving him the perfect springboard to success at the upcoming WSOP.
Good luck to the 10 players mentioned her and also to anyone who calls the UK home who is competing at the 2014 WSOP. Here’s to having to write about a ton of British success over the next few weeks.