Poker’s most underrated players Part 1

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Feb 06, 2011 Posted in Op-Ed, Poker Players | 1 Comment »

There are always players who get a lot more attention than they deserve in the poker world, and it’s usually a lot of fun to discuss who the most overrated poker players are; whether it’s because of previous accomplishments, a good PR campaign, or perhaps they are simply likable players with good back-stories. On the other hand you have the underrated players; the players who fly below the radar and simply go about their business day in and day out; these are the poker players I want to examine in this series!

I’m going to take a look at 10 players who I feel are underrated in the poker world. The criteria I used is that the players:

·    Are established, winning, poker players
·    Are fairly well-known to begin with
·    Have career accomplishments/results you are unaware of

Here are the10 players I have chosen as the most underrated in all of poker, #’s 1-5:

1.    Eric “BaseBaldy” Baldwin

The 2009 Card Player Magazine Player of the Year receives very little fanfare despite having amassed $1.5 million in tournament earnings in both 2009 and 2010! The former College Baseball star has definitely found a way to get his competitive juices flowing in poker.

2.    Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond

Considering his standing in the online poker world, as well as the awe he is held in by his peers, it absolutely shocks me that Galfond is not more well-known by the casual poker fan. Galfond did after all win what is considered the toughest final table in poker history during the $5k PLO w/ Rebuys at the 2008 WSOP: Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda, Kirill Gerasimov, Johnny Chan, David Benyamine, Brian ‘tsarrast’ Rast and Adam ‘houdini’ Hourani.

3.    Roland de Wolfe

One of poker’s Triple Crown winners –having won an EPT, WPT, and WSOP tournament– de Wolfe has amassed an impressive $5.3 million in tournament earnings for his career to go with his major wins.

4.    Prahlad Friedman

Friedman was the first online poker megastar, and has consistently been one of the top poker players be it online, live, cash-game or tournament, over the past 5+ years. With a WPT title in 2009 and nearly $2.5 million in career winnings Friedman has had plenty of time in front of the television cameras –not to mention his two infamous WSOP appearances: Ante-Gate, and The Clock Stops at 1!

5.    Mike “Timex” McDonald

Considering his vast array of poker accomplishments it’s quite surprising that McDonald is best known for having retired from poker –for all the “Timex” fans, don’t worry, he’s already unretired! With over $2.7 million in career winnings already, despite the brief retirement, and McDonald and barely 22 years-old!

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One Response to “Poker’s most underrated players Part 1”

  1. Ed Killworth says:

    Not that I would argue too much with the list, but I how underrated Phil Galfond really is. He runs Bluefire and Pokerstatic with Jason Senti (another less well known and underrated player) and has been on HSP. Is Roland de Wolfe less well know that Gavin Griffin to the casual player? I think it may depend on which side of the pond your perspective is. I mean what about Frank Kassela who no one has heard of but had an unbelievable WSOP last year winning 2 bracelets. Media shy Allen Cunningham, Praz Banzi……I could go on, but think that there are less under the radar players than the ones you suggest. I’ve heard of all of them for a start.

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