5 online poker players poised for a big 2011

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Oct 09, 2010 Posted in Poker Player News | No Comments »

When it comes to top-lists about poker they usually contain names like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, durrrr, and Ziigmund. Where this article differs is that it looks into the future, in an attempt to find the five online poker players ready to breakout in 2011, and go from Internet sensations to household poker names.

So here are the 5 players I believe are poised to be the 2011 versions of Tom Marchese, Dwyte Pilgrim, Sam Trickett, Jose Barbero, and Vanessa Selbst.

#1: Melanie Weisner – Weisner has had tremendous results online, so much so that Full Tilt Poker signed her as a sponsored pro and with the rising popularity of women poker players Weisner will likely be a media darling should she make a deep-run in a televised event. Weisner has been on the poker scene since 2008, and in that time has five online cashes of over $10,000, including a $50,000 score in the Full Tilt Poker Sunday 500 in August 2010.

Weisner has also had some success in live tournaments, and in less than a year has racked-up five more 5-figure cashes, including three scores between $29,000 and $33,000. When you combine Weisner’s live and online results she has roughly $425,000 in career earnings, and has been incredibly consistent. And there is no telling how she does in online cash games.

Weisner goes by the PokerStars Screen-Name, Callisto 5, and as a Full Tilt Poker Red Pro uses her full name on Full Tilt Poker, Melanie Weisner.

#2: William ‘Altrum Altus’ Reynolds— Reynolds is a favorite of Daniel Negreanu, who brings up his name in virtually any poker discussion about up and coming players, and considering he already has a huge score, winning the PCA High-Roller event, at the age of 21 it’s no wonder Negreanu speaks so highly of him.

With nearly $900,000 in online tournament winnings, and over $1 million in live tournament earnings Reynolds looks like he will be a force in the poker world for years to come.

#3: Matt ‘ADZ124’ Marafioti – Marifioti is perhaps best known as the guy who offered to pay Daniel Negreanu $500/hour per table to sit across from him; challenged Neagraneu to a $100k cage-fighting match; or perhaps his infamous 10 shots of Patron in 15 minutes prop bet with durrrr. After reading the opening sentence, it should come as no surprise that Marifioti is one of the brasher, more outspoken, young poker players –think ‘fullflush’ on steroids.

That said, the kid can back up his play; Marifioti just missed winning his first WSOP bracelet in 2010 when he finished 2nd in the $10k PLO championship, and has racked up over $1 million in live tournament earnings for his career. However, that pales in comparison to the results Marifioti has put-up as ‘ADZ124’ on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker: Having won in the neighborhood of $1 million in online poker tournaments, and rumored to have won in the neighborhood of $4 million in cash games.

#4: Paul ‘GiantBuddha’ Hoppe – Hoppe is the wild-card in this bunch, the guy has all the poker talent in the world, but he is a Limit Holdem specialist who grinds away at the mid-stakes games, which is not exactly the sexiest form of poker these days. But Hoppe has something going for him that the other players do not: He published his first poker book, Way of the Poker Warrior, has a popular website, www.giantbuddha.com, and he is one of the lead instructors at www.DragtheBar.com.  Hoppe is turning into a poker media giant (or perhaps giantbuddha)!

It’s hard to say what Hoppe’s results at the online poker tables are, since few people follow the Limit Holdem games, but Hoppe did manage his first live cash in the 2010 Main Event in 2010. But I think Hoppe has the potential to be more of a David Sklansky, Ed Miller, type of poker player, where his reputation comes from his thoughts and insights, as anyone who has read Way of the Poker Warrior, or watched his training videos at DTB can attest to.

#5: Scott ‘URnotINdanger2’ Palmer – His screen-name is a play on words of Di ‘UrInDanger’ Dang’s, and his results are starting to match those of Dang’s, one of most feared high-stakes NLHE players. Palmer has had a wild ride at the $50/$100 tables on Full Tilt Poker, which can only be expected when you first enter the nosebleed games, but he definitely has the skills to turn into one of the best –Being good friends with Daniel ‘jungleman12’ Cates should also be quite helpful!

Palmer scored his first deep-run in a major tournament in the 2010 EPT London tournament, where he finished in 31st place, so expect to see him at more and more live poker tournaments in 2011. Palmer has also signed on as an instructor at Tony G’s PokerNews Strategy online poker training site, where he is featured prominently on the coaching team.

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