Countdown to the 2011 WSOP: The Rookies

Posted by Steve Ruddock on May 26, 2011 Posted in WSOP News | No Comments »

We are T-Minus 6 and counting until the start of the 2011 World Series of Poker on May 31, when the $500 Casino Employees tournament and the $25,000 Heads-Up No limit Holdem Championship get underway, and in this article I’ll take a look at a few of the players who will be making their WSOP debuts this summer in Las Vegas.

Daniel “jungleman12” Cates –Cates will be making one of the most anticipated World Series of Poker debut in recent memory, on par with Tom Dwan in 2008 and Annette Obrestad in last year’s WSOP.

Cates will likely be playing a very full schedule at the 2011 WSOP, and my guess would be that there will be a lot of prop-betting taking place both for and against the young superstar. With just one cash in live tournaments on his resume, “jungleman12” will be looking to make a big splash at the WSOP and draw some mainstream recognition from the casual poker fans out there.

Over the past two years, Cates has absolutely dominated the high-stakes online poker action, having won in the neighborhood of $7 million since January 2010! Cates is now considered one of the best No Limit Holdem players in the world, a remarkable feat for a player who just turned 21.

Jens “Ingenious89” Kyllonen – Kyllonen is another online legend, and although his main game is PLO, I wouldn’t bet against him in any discipline should he make a deep run in a WSOP event. I would expect Kyllonen to play in virtually every pot limit tournament at the WSOP, where it’s not out of the realm of possibility for him to win multiple bracelets in these smaller field events.

At 19, Jens won the EPT Scandinavian Open, worth over $1.1 million, and has cashed in seven other events since then, proving he is adept at NLHE tournaments, despite not being old enough to play US poker tournaments.

Kyllonen’s real prowess lies at the online poker tables where in 2011 alone he is up over $1.5 million at PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker combined, according to

Toby Lewis – Lewis was thrust into the poker spotlight after his 2010 EPT Vilamoura win, and the young Brit has been proving he isn’t simply a one hit wonder having cashed nearly a dozen times over the past year.

Lewis will be coming into the WSOP at the top of his game, having just finished in 6th place in the most recent running of the PokerStars SCOOP Main Event, a $10,000 buy-in tournament that saw 380 runners take part in the 2-day event. According to, Lewis has booked an impressive $1.3 million in career tournament earnings online.

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