Eight UK & Irish Players to Watch at the 2018 WSOP


The 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) kicks off today at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino with the $565 Casino Employees NL Hold’em event. While there will not be many players who call the United Kingdom or Ireland home competing in it, an army of our players are set to descend on Las Vegas over the next few weeks.

In no particular order, here are the players you should be looking to make a big splash in Sin City this summer.

Conor Beresford

Conor Beresford

Online winnings: $6.4 million
Live winnings: $510,000

Conor Beresford, known as “1_conor_b_1” at PokerStars and “ADRIEN_BRODY” at partypoker is a player with more than $6.4 million in online poker tournament winnings and who has won more than $510,000 from live poker events.

Beresford has been ranked as highly as second in the world for online poker tournaments, by PocketFives.com, thanks to results including winning a $2,100 4-Max SCOOP event for $171,248, winning the partypoker Super High Roller for $64,109 and more recently, in Jan. 2018, winning the $2,100 Sunday High Roller at PokerStars for $62,599.

The man who now resides in the Netherlands has yet to reproduce his online form in the live arena, yet he has still amassed more than half a million dollars in brick and mortar venues. Beresford’s largest live cash weighs in at €77,600, his reward for winning a €5,200 NL Hold’em 6-Max Turbo in Monte Carlo in May 2017.

Toby Lewis

Toby Lewis

Online winnings: n/a
Live winnings: $4.98 million

Toby “810ofclubs” Lewis has, like many online grinders, removed his aliases from his PocketFives profile so we cannot see his lifetime winnings, but we know they are well into seven-figures. Lewis is one of those players who also excels in the live arena, as is evident by his near $5 million in winnings.

A former European Poker Tour champion, Lewis secured an Aussie Millions ring when he won the A$10,600 Aussie Millions Main Event in Jan. 2017 for A$1,459,198, which is his largest live cash to date. Lewis also banked $600,630 for his runner-up finish in the $10,000 WPT L.A. Poker Classic a month after his Aussie Millions win.

Lewis goes into the WSOP in great form and that spells bad news for his opponents.

Stephen Chidwick

Stephen Chidwick

Online winnings: $5 million
Live winnings: $16.52 million

Stephen "stevie444" Chidwick is the current number one in the Global Poker Index and is widely regarded as one of the best all-round poker players of his generation. "The best poker player to have not won a bracelet" is an unwanted title that Chidwick is often given, but UK & PokerNews believe he will lose that in Vegas.

Chidwick is in the form of his life. With the $600,000 he just won for finishing seventh in the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl, Chidwick now has an incredible $16.52 million in live poker tournament winnings, $6.5 million of which has stemmed from his play in the first five months of this year.

As Chidwick is equally as fantastic at mixed games as he is no-limit hold'em, expect him to shine throughout the 2018 WSOP and finally get his hands on a bracelet, or maybe even two.

Niall Farrell

Niall Farrell

Online winnings: $3.11 million
Live winnings: $5.07 million

You cannot help but love Niall Farrell. The Scotsman enjoys having fun on and off of the table and he is a complete beast at both. Farrell already had a glowing reputation as a poker player when he won the Full Tilt FTOPS Main Event in Apr. 2014 for a career-best $236,233. He has since gone on to win some huge amounts online and live.

Farrell became the first Scottish player to join the Triple Crown club when he added the €25,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller title at the 2017 WSOP Europe (€745,287) to the EPT Malta and WPT Caribbean titles he won in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Farrell has come agonisingly close to winning a bracelet in Las Vegas on several occasions; he has two runner-up finishes, a sixth-place and an eighth-place. Is this the year he wins a Vegas bracelet to go with the one he won in Rozvadov?

Adam Owen

Adam Owen

Online winnings: $1.3 million
Live winnings: $2.9 million

Adam Owen may be better-known as a mixed game specialist, but he is no slouch in no-limit hold’em tournaments. Owen recently secured a €1.3 million prize when he finished second in the €10,300 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona Main Event less than two years after he won €646,250 for finishing third in the €5,300 EPT Barcelona Main Event.

Owen will be hoping to replicate his Spanish success in the Las Vegas desert and with him being more than able to play all of the different games on offer, has a legitimate shot at coming home with some poker jewellery adorning his wrist and perhaps even a chance of giving the folks back home in the UK someone to sweat in the WSOP Player of the Year race.

Marc MacDonnell

Marc MacDonnell

Online winnings: $1.25 million
Live winnings: $1.74 million

Marc “sluglife” MacDonnell is one of those players who seems to thrive in the WSOP events in Las Vegas, yet he finds a gold bracelet as elusive as ever. The Dubliner finished second in a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Hyper Turbo event in 2015 for $155,876 and was fourth in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker in 2017 for $420,805, which is his largest online cash.

MacDonnell may not be as prolific in his online poker tournament schedules as some of his peers, yet he still frequently turns up deep in some of the toughest tournaments. He also manages to pull a big score out of the bag each summer in Vegas, can MacDonnell continue the trend in 2018?

Dara O’Kearney

Dara O'Kearney

Online winnings: $2.83 million
Live winnings: $926,000

Traditional poker stereotyping tells live poker players to target players in their 50s as they are more likely to be tight players, or even nits. Target Dara “Doke” O’Kearney at your peril because he is a man who defies the years and will welcome you attacking him the table because he’ll simply eat you up.

When he’s not running marathons for fun, O’Kearney is found flying the Unibet Poker flag and winning more than his fair share of satellite tournaments at various online poker sites. “Doke” is a consistent winner online with more than 6,500 cashes to his name.

O’Kearney came ever so close to winning a coveted gold bracelet in 2015 when he finished second in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event for a career-best $424,577. If O’Kearney manages to navigate his way to another WSOP final table this summer, do not bet against him getting the job done this time.

Sean Prendiville

Sean Prendiville

Online winnings: $1.8 million
Live winnings: $739,000

Sean “monkeybudgie” Prendiville is currently ranked number one in Ireland for online poker tournaments where he has been on somewhat of a heater for the past month or so. Anyone who goes into the WSOP full of confidence and in good form stands a realistic chance of returning home having basked in glory.

Prendiville recently won the $215 Sunday Supersonic at PokerStars for $34,793 proving he has a silver horseshoe embedded somewhere on his person. He’s also won a $1,050 Turbo Series event and several other online tournaments during the current year.

Although he did not cash at the 2017 WSOP (we’re not 100 percent sure he even travelled to Las Vegas), he does usually bank a couple of cashes each time he plays at the WSOP. Surely, he will leave the Emerald Isle for Nevada with the form he’s currently in? Prendiville’s opponents will be hoping he stays home.

Follow the WSOP Action via UK & Ireland PokerNews

PokerNews is the official live reporting team for the 2018 World Series of Poker and our expert bloggers will be covering every single event taking place throughout the summer. Be sure to bookmark our WSOP live reporting pages so you do not miss any of the action.

  • Check out eight players from the UK and Ireland who PokerNews believes will enjoy a stellar 2018 WSOP.

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