10 poker players to watch in 2012 Part 1

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Dec 21, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Every year I like to take a look at a few of the tournament grinders who have been quite successful over the past few years, but have yet to “breakout” as poker superstars — had a few cards fallen differently they would already be household names in the poker world and received plenty of poker news headlines.

So here is Part 1 of my list of the 10 tournament poker players just waiting to breakout in 2012 (Read Part 2 HERE):

Steve O’Dwyer – O’Dwyer came really close to having a monster 2011 tournament campaign, considering he finished runner-up in an EPT and WPT Championship. As it stands O’Dwyer still pocketed an extremely impressive $1.4 million in 2011. O’Dwyer has been taking part in the European poker tournament scene, likely due to the US ban on online poker, look for more of the same from O’Dwyer in 2012.

* Career live tournament earnings $2 million

Andrew Lichtenberger – One of the online poker world’s best-known players is Andrew Lichtenberger, more commonly referred to by his online poker screen-name, the legendary moniker “LuckyChewy”. But over the past couple of years Lichtenberger has been spending more and more time playing live poker tournaments, and in that time he has come within a breath of a major win two-times already. In 2011, he finished 2nd in the Epic Poker League Main Event, finished 4th at the WPT Five Diamonds, and took-down the EPT Barcelona heads-up side event. He is also known for one of the funniest answers of all-time while playing “Lodden Thinks”.

* Career live tournament earnings $2.2 million

Vladimir Geshkenbein – Beyne as he is known online does have an EPT title on his resume, but it came in the 2011 EPT Snowfest, one of the smallest EPT tournaments in recent years, as well as an APT Macau High-Roller win where he defeated poker legend Johnny Chan heads-up. He also managed a deep run in the 2011 WSOP Main Event before bowing out in 106th place. He’s young, he’s brash, and he LOVES playing poker: Seems like a perfect recipe for success to me!

* Career live tournament earnings $1 million

Matt Stout – Stout has been on the tournament scene since 2006, racking up a number of five-figure cashes in that time, but it’s the big win that has eluded the Lock Poker Pro up to this point. Stout does have a 3rd place finish in a WPT Championship as well as a WSOP Circuit Series win on his resume, and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks through with a big win considering he plays most of the major tournaments at the WSOP and on the WPT.

* Career live tournament earnings $1.3 million

Taylor Paur – The perennial Online Player of the Year candidate, “ambiguousity” started making the switch to live poker tournaments in 2010, but it was at the 2011 World Series of Poker that he proved what he was capable of, cashing six times (five at the WSOP and once at the WSOPE) including two final tables.

* Career live tournament earnings $361,000

A special thanks to www.thehendonmob.com and their incredibly detailed tournament poker database.

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