Card Player POY: Adrian Mateos

[SS] “Happy New Year!” Stan the Stat exclaimed.

[LL] “More importantly, good riddance to 2017!” Leroy the Lion insisted.

[SS] “You said the same thing last year.”

[LL] “I didn’t expect 2017 to be so much worse than 2016.”

[SS] “Well, you may not have had a great year, but Spaniard Adrian Mateos, at a mere 23 years old, certainly did. As did American Bryn Kenney, whom he edged out for Card Player Player of the Year honors in the closest race ever.1 Kenney tied the record of 5 titles and set the record with 23 final tables, one more than Mateos, and even won a year-high $8,201,128, over $2.5 million more than Mateos, who notably became the first non-American to win the title.2

Kudos also to Fedor Holz who followed a runner-up finish last year with third place this year.”

Card Player Player of the Year – 1997 to 2003

Year Winner
1997 Men Nguyen
1998 T.J. Cloutier
1999 Tony Ma
2000 David Pham
2001 Men Nguyen
2002 T.J. Cloutier
2003 Men Nguyen

Card Player Player of the Year – 2004 to Present

Year Winner Points Runner-Up Points Margin
2004 Daniel Negreanu 8,764 David Pham 7,068 19.4%
2005 Men Nguyen 5,204 John Phan 4,428 14.9%
2006 Michael Mizrachi 5,989 Nam Le 5,215 12.9%
2007 David Pham 6,562 J.C. Tran 5,748 12.4%
2008 John Phan 6,704 David Pham 6,022 10.2%
2009 Eric Baldwin 6,994 Cornel Cimpan 5,934 15.2%
2010 Tom Marchese 6,738 Dwyte Pilgrim 5,576 17.2%
2011 Ben Lamb 6,036 Chris Moorman 5,875 2.7%
2012 Greg Merson 5,100 Dan Smith 5,040 1.2%
2013 Daniel Negreanu 5,140 Paul Volpe 4,298 16.4%
2014 Daniel Colman 5,498 Ami Barer 5,042 8.3%
2015 Anthony Zinno 6,632 Joe Kuether 6,070 8.5%
2016 David Peters 8,601 Fedor Holz 7,058 17.9%
2017 Adrian Mateos 7,220 Bryn Kenney 7,173 0.7%

Notes:

  • Men Nguyen won the award a record four times (1997, 2001, 2003, and 2005).
  • T.J. Cloutier (1998 and 2002), David Pham (2000 and 2007), and Daniel Negreanu (2004 and 2013) have won twice each.
  • Negreanu outpoint second place by the largest (2004) and third largest (2013) margins. Merson (2012) eked by with the smallest margin. { January 4, 2018 update: Mateos edged Kenney by a mere 47 points (0.7%) for the 2017 crown. Fedor Holz finished third for a second consecutive medal finish. }

Here are the all-time records for Points, Titles, and Final Tables with data going back to the rule changes of 2004.

Most Player of the Year Points

Rank Year Player Points Titles Final Tables Winnings
1 2004 Daniel Negreanu 8,764 4 11 $4,420,221
2 2016 David Peters 8,601 5 22 $7,370,255
3 2017 Adrian Mateos 7,220 4 22 $5,664,635
4 2017 Bryn Kenney 7,173 5 23 $8,201,128
5 2004 David Pham 7,068 5 15 $1,533,268
6 2016 Fedor Holz 7,058 6 15 $16,288,714
7 2009 Eric Baldwin 6,994 4 17 $1,494,494
8 2010 Tom Marchese 6,738 2 11 $2,068,658
9 2008 John Phan 6,704 3 8 $2,075,323
10 2015 Anthony Zinno 6,632 5 11 $3,442,769

Notes:

  • David Pham was the first player to finish in the Top 10 three times (2004 [2nd], 2007 [1st], and 2008 [1st]). Jason Mercier matched him in 2015 and Justin Bonomo and David Peters in 2016. Many players (16 through 2017) have done it twice.
  • Erik Seidel and Jason Mercier are the only players to finish in the Top 25 five times. Phan, Peters, Dan Smith, Daniel Negreanu, J.C. Tran, John Juanda, Steve O’Dwyer, Erick Lindgren, and Joseph Mckeehen have each done it four times.
  • Vanessa Selbst is the only women to finish in the Top 25, which she had done three times with two Top 10 finishes before retiring at the start of 2018.

Most Titles

Rank Year Player Points Titles Final Tables Winnings
1 2005 John Hoang 3,267 6 17 $492,817
2008 Men Nguyen 3,662 10 $776,832
2012 Dan Smith 5,040 9 $3,673,806
4 2017 Bryn Kenney 7,173 5 23 $8,201,128
2016 David Peters 8,601 22 $7,370,255
2005 Men Nguyen 5,204 17 $1,004,718
2004 David Pham 7,068 15 $1,533,268
2010 Dwyte Pilgrim 5,576 13 $1,074,997
2004 Can Kim Hua 4,495 12 $785,779
2015 Anthony Zinno 6,632 11 $3,442,769
2014 Joseph Mckeehen 3,266 11 $1,223,852
2004 John Phan 3,080 10 $677,045
2009 Jason Mercier 4,130 9 $1,245,876

Most Final Tables

Rank Year Player Points Titles Final Tables Winnings
1 2017 Bryn Kenney 7,173 5 23 $8,201,128
2 2016 David Peters 8,601 5 22 $7,370,255
2017 Adrian Mateos 7,220 $5,664,635
2004 Gioi Luong 5,006 $504,004
5 2004 John Cernuto 3,631 3 19 $460,789
6 2005 John Hoang 3,267 6 17 $492,817
2005 Men Nguyen 5,204 5 $1,004,718
2009 Eric Baldwin 6,994 4 $1,494,494
10 2010 Sorel Mizzi 4,851 4 16 $1,524,371

Notes:

  • Luong tops this list but is hardly a household name. The Californian has never won a WSOP bracelet, and his biggest cash was $290,792 for a runner-up finish in a WSOP circuit event in 2007.
  • While it seems obvious to have another list with the top ten in Winnings, it’s a rather uninteresting list topped by the 2014 and 2012 One Drop winners followed by eight WSOP Main Event champs.

Footnotes:

  1. In 2012, Greg Merson beat Dan Smith by 60 points (5,100 to 5,040) for a 1.18% margin, while Mateos overcame Kenney by just 57 points and a mere 0.65%.
  2. Mateos first made a name for himself by winning the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event in 2013 when he was just 19.

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“Bad Beats and Lucky Draws” Review

[LL] “Just a year after Phil Hellmuth published his first book, Play Poker Like the Pros, he was back with his second”, Leroy the Lion explained. “The winningest World Series of Poker player in bracelets, final tables, and cashes had just caught Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan at nine WSOP bracelets when he put together Bad Beats and Lucky Draws, an impressive book of poker hands. The subtitle, ‘Poker Strategies, Winning Hands, and Stories from the Professional Poker Tour’, is accurate, but you’ll be gleaning random strategy tidbits with no unifying theme, so you have many better choices (although his first book isn’t recommended) if your main aim is improving your poker skills.”

[RR] “So, you recommend Bad Beats just for entertainment value?” Roderick the Rock questioned.

[LL] “Yes, although what Hellmuth finds entertaining and what you find entertaining might not always match. The book includes almost a hundred hands grouped by setting, with chapters on the major festivals (WSOP, WPT, and European Poker Tour), brilliant reading of opponents’ hands, and hand stories told by other players.1

The Poker Brat’s first person perspective may lend authenticity to the hands he’s involved in, but a third party perspective could have made the book more enjoyable to read (as could the exclusion of the Bad Beats, most of which seem to be included just so Hellmuth could say that he played great but got unlucky).2 Still, the sheer quantity of noteworthy hands makes this an excellent read.”

Title Bad Beats and Lucky Draws: Poker Strategies, Winning Hands, and Stories from the Professional Poker Tour
Author Phil Hellmuth
Year 2004
Skill Level any
Pros Almost 100 important and interesting hands from 1974 to 2004.
Cons Strategy is only taught haphazardly. Hellmuth’s incessant bragging can be annoying.
Rating 3.5

Footnotes:

  1. If you like this chapter, Steve Rosenbloom’s “The Best Hand I Ever Played” is full of them (52+ hands from 52 players).
  2. If you’re not a fan of bad beat stories, you’ll be disappointed that they’re not segregated into an easily skippable chapter.
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“The Tao of Poker” Review

The Tao of Poker: 285 Rules to Transform Your Game and Your Life, Larry Phillips’s “follow up and companion book to Zen and the Art of Poker” is similar in many ways, with non-poker quotes and lists of general poker advice. But it also differs in many ways, as it’s less mystical and more directly applicable to poker, while it pretty much ignores its title. In fact, the sequel has more quotes about Zen than it does about Taoism, which is simply the hook to get you to buy the book. Phillips explains the Tao (‘The Way’) connection as an ‘attempt to get closer to the actual truth of the game — the underlying game, when it is perceived correctly’.

The title is surprisingly misleading in a second way: the book actually gives 287 rules, two more than promised. He could even have gotten into the mid-300s if he wanted to count a little differently as he gives nine poker ‘Excuses’, nine ‘telling looks’, 25 ‘common traps’, two ‘things that separate the good player from the bad player’, six ‘solutions to being off-rhythm’ and three ‘good poker rules’ (that somehow don’t count as rules). Furthermore, his last three chapters, including sections on ‘All-Star Idea’, and ‘Online Poker’ contain a fair amount of advice but just three numbered rules.

Phillips’s sequel lacks the charm of the original but is more useful, if just as repetitively repetitive. The Tao of Poker is worth a quick skim, but it can be a painful read unless you enjoy being told the same things over and over again.”

Title The Tao of Poker: 285 Rules to Transform Your Game and Your Life
Author Larry Phillips
Year 2003
Skill Level any
Pros Solid, high level advice that’s applicable to any poker variety (and even to life in general).
Cons Beyond repetitive. The book could easily have been a quarter of its 260-page length.
Rating 2.0
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“Positively Fifth Street” Review

[LL] “Lots of poker players dream about playing in the World Series of Poker Main Event. Many poker-playing authors dream about writing about their experience in doing it. And a few lucky ones have managed to get paid to do it. Unfortunately, almost without exception, most of these book are filled with the lead-up to the event — the poker training (cue the Rocky music), the warm-up events, the obligatory airplane landing in Las Vegas, sometimes even a satellite event to qualify for the big one — because their stay in the Main Event doesn’t last long enough to fill more than a chapter or two.

Positively Fifth Street is the sole, notable exception. It has a great writeup of the 2000 WSOP Main Event because James McManus managed to last long enough to give a personal account of most of it.”

[RR] “So he got paid to play poker?”, Roderick the Rock wondered.

[LL] “No, McManus figured that as long as he was there… Harper’s magazine actually sent him to Vegas to cover several other stories:

  1. Women at the World Series of Poker.
  2. The impact of the growing crop of advice books and computer programs on poker.
  3. The death of Ted Binion.”

[RR] “A good old murder mystery?”

[LL] “Not at all. McManus actually begins his book by giving a hypothetical account of how Binion’s girlfriend Sandy Murphy and her new boyfriend Rick Tabish murdered him for a stash of silver and other valuables. Fascinating story, but its only connection to poker is that Binion’s family owns Binion’s Horseshoe, where the World Series of Poker takes place. Ted had helped to run the business for a couple of decades but had been banned in 1996, over two years earlier, because of his persistent heroin abuse.”

[RR] “Well, that’s more exciting than poker at least.”

[LL] “At first. Unfortunately, the rest of the story about how they almost got away with it but were later put on trial pales by comparison. But that’s when the poker part of the book picks up.

McManus gives a brief history of poker in Las Vegas, starting with a brief biography of Benny Binion, Ted’s father. He goes on to recount the story of Nick Dandolos and Johnny Moss’s supposed marathon poker match.”1

[LL] “Positively Fifth Street is really two books in one. For the poker player, his World Series of Poker run is a vicarious thrill that most of us just dream of.2 For everyone else, the sordid story of murder and the theft of millions of dollars appeals to the baser, more primal urges.

Title Positively Fifth Street
Author James McManus
Year 2003
Skill Level any
Pros Very well written account of the author’s journey to and through the 2000 WSOP Main Event.
Cons About half the book has little to do with poker and may not be interesting if you aren’t into sensational murders.
Rating 4.0

Footnotes:

  1. The likely truth is that two or more separate events have been confused. Dandolos and Moss may very well have played a private poker match in 1949. And there may have been a public event at the front of the Horseshoe Casino after it opened in 1951. But neither Dandolos nor Moss had a role in the latter. Jack Binion spoke about the confusion in June.
  2. Despite never having cashed in a notable tournament before the 2000 WSOP started, McManus was already a pretty good poker player. He has since reached two WSOP final tables: the 2004 $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em (4th for $70,080) and the 2006 $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold ‘Em (6th for $53,690).

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“Poker Nation” Review

[LL] “Nothing is more American than baseball, apple pie,… and poker”, Leroy the Lion claimed.

[SS] “Hot dogs and hamburgers”, Stan the Stat suggested.

[LL] “Both based on meats created in Germany. But I’ll give you both of those.”

[RR] “Football”, Roderick the Rock added. “American football, that is, not soccer”.

[SS] “For now. Unless they solve the concussion problem, football won’t be around much longer. Players are starting to retire younger and younger just so they have functioning brains for the rest of their lives.”

[LL] “And that’s one of the great things about poker, you can play it into retirement and beyond. In Andy Bellin’s book, Poker Nation, a 91-year-old named Iron Mike at the Winchester Club says, ‘You know, this damn game ain’t baseball, or basketball, or even golf. Poker’s a thing you do your whole life. I started playing when I learned to count. I always figured I’d quit when I forgot how to. And since that ain’t happening yet, the older I get, the better I get. What else can you say that about? The only trick for a kid your age is to try not to waste your entire time on the planet playing this stupid game.'”

[RR] “I’m sure that when I’m too old to even play golf, I’ll still be playing poker. Sure beats shuffleboard or bocce.”

[SS] “And yet it’s not a dying game like bridge, where the average age of players keeps creeping up.”

[LL] “Yep. Internet poker brought the average age down a fair amount, and the effect will hopefully last until it’s legal in most states again. I started gambling for pennies before I was a teenager. Bellin played for mini-marshmallows at age eight.

Poker’s a game that can be played by anybody regardless of age, gender, bankroll, or physical capabilities, and Poker Nation covers them all at home games, underground and legal clubs, and casinos.”

[SS] “Like baseball’s World Series, when the WSOP started, it was all Americans for a while.”1

[LL] “Bellin talks about the early years of the event and the history of poker leading up to it.2 Then the self-described semipro mostly covers his own experiences at the aforementioned locations over a period of two decades. He introduces you to players of all skill levels, from tell-ridden fish to stoic, soul-reading pros.”

[RR] “Did you like the book?”

[LL] “Mostly. Although the title reflects the popularity of poker in the U.S., Andy Bellin’s book suffers from bad timing, predating the online and Chris Moneymaker-fueled 2003 poker boom by a little over a year. Luckily, Texas Hold ‘Em, which would dominate the poker word over the next few years, does appear throughout the book, including in the main hand that ties the ends of the book together. Overall, Poker Nation is readable but random, sweeping but shallow, and entertaining but empty.”

Title Poker Nation
Author Andy Bellin
Year 2002
Skill Level any
Pros Entertaining and covers a lot of ground.
Cons More than you need to know about weak players in the author’s home games, including Bellin himself. Very little poker strategy.
Rating 3.0

Footnotes:

  1. The first non-American to win a World Series of Poker bracelet was Sweden’s Thor Hansen in 1988 in the 19th running of the festival after 180 or so American winners.
  2. Although Bellin details the likely apocryphal, five-month Nick Dandolos-Johnny Moss match, which he places in 1949, he fails to mention the Texas Gamblers Reunion of 1969, which directly led to the World Series of Poker the following year.
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WSOP Player of the Year 2017 – Chris Ferguson


[SS] “Another year, another change to the World Series of Poker Player of the Year formula”, Stan the Stat complained.

[LL] “It only seems that way”, Leroy the Lion amended.

[SS] “You’re barely right, but the two-year gap between changes is actually tied for the longest since the award began in 2004.”

[RR] “And then some players will complain, and they’ll change it again”, Roderick the Rock contributed.

[SS] “Probably. Kings Casino Rozvadov, host of the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe in the Czech Republic for the first time, sponsored this year’s WSOP Player of the Year contest, so they replaced the Global Poker Index’s complex formula with their own new and fairly simple formula, making each cash worth:

	(prize/buyin)^(1/3) * (buyin)^(1/6) * 10

You know who’s not complaining? Chris Ferguson and John Racener, who broke the Las Vegas record for cashes in one World Series of Poker summer with 17.1 With the new formula possibly overweighting smaller cashes, they continued their battle across the pond into WSOP Europe, where Ferguson cashed another six times, two more than Racener. Jesus finally sealed the WSOP POY award when Racener exited on Day 2 of the WSOP Europe Main Event. Along the way, Ferguson won the 92-player €1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better for his sixth career WSOP bracelet, ending a 14-year drought.2 He still finished with the least money ($436,343) since Tom Schneider won with just $416,829 in 2007.”

2017 WSOP Player of the Year Top Ten

Rank Player Points
1 Chris Ferguson 1,178.53
2 John Racener 1,042.04
3 Ryan Hughes 994.35
4 Mike Leah 910.01
5 John Monnette 865.21
6 Kenny Hallaert 838.35
7 Alex Foxen 833.45
8 Dario Sammartino 775.89
9 Raymond Henson 768.49
10 Ben Yu 766.49

[SS] “Ferguson also closed in on the 100-cash mark with 97, leaping to fourth on the career leaderboard behind only Phil Hellmuth (130), Daniel Negreanu (103), and Erik Seidel (101).”

[LL] “Wow, he’ll be #2 by the end of next summer if Negreanu and Seidel don’t rise to the challenge!”

Footnotes:

  1. Ferguson and Racener broke Roland Israelashvili’s year-old record of 16. Ferguson previously held the record of 8 from 2003 to 2008.
  2. As large as that 14-year gap is, it’s a decade shorter than Chip Reese’s record of 24 years and currently ranks only 7th.

Related Links:

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“The Education of a Poker Player” Review

[LL] “The oldest poker book I’ve read is older than I am”, Leroy the Lion claimed.

[RR] “Super System isn’t nearly as old as you are”, Roderick the Rock countered.

[LL] “That was only the second oldest. Near the end of his life in 1957, cryptologist Herbert O. Yardley penned a classic poker book that has been called ‘the poker bible before Doyle published Super System‘. The Education of a Poker Player2 chronicles two main times in Yardley’s life when he played poker: as a young adult at a local tavern and later in life as a code-breaker in China.”

[RR] “Whoa, a poker book set in China?”

[LL] “Indeed, and one of the main characters is the author’s Chinese translator whom he teaches what he learned in the first part of the book.

Yardley’s book is entertaining enough to be read solely for its stories as most of the poker instruction is separated out in between the plot. But if you want to learn how to play various old types of poker — Five-Card Draw (with and without wild cards), Five-Card Draw Low, Five-Card Stud, and Seven-Card Stud (High, Low, and High-Low) — you could skip the story and focus on the poker. Then you’d miss what makes this one of the most readable poker books though; it’s even a bit raunchy at times.”

[RR] “An R-rated poker book?”

[LL] “Closer to PG-13, but still pretty out there for 1957. As are some of the poker variations in the third part of the book: Five-Card Stud with the Joker, Six-Card Stud (which gone the way of the B battery), and several Seven-Card Stud variations: Betty Hutton (9s and 5s wild), Doctor Pepper (2s, 4s, and Tens wild), Razz, HIgh Hand with the Joker, Low Hand with the Joker, Hi-Lo with the Joker, Baseball (3s and 9s wild with 4s giving an extra down card), Football (ditto but with 4s, 6s, and 2s), Low Spade-High Hand (a.k.a. Chicago), Low Hole Card Wild; and Five-Card Draw with the Joker, Low Ball with the Joker, and Spit in the Ocean (Five-Card Draw with Deuces Wild and a fifth, wild card shared by everyone.

Overall, Yardley’s instruction is a bit basic and a bit tight but can still be useful if you find yourself in dealer’s choice games with old school players as it mostly covers games that are no longer played in casinos.”

Title The Education of a Poker Player
Author Herbert O. Yardley
Year 1957
Skill Level Beginner
Pros Well-written with poker instruction interwoven into an interesting non-fiction plot.
Cons Dated (albeit mostly with regards to the poker varieties played) and extremely tight play.
Rating 2.5

Footnotes:

  1. Jon Pill’s review also goes into detail on Yardley’s career.
  2. Yardley’s book is not to be confused with James McManus’s 2015 novel by the same name. The poker author unabashedly borrowed the title from the older book because his young male protagonist Vincent Killeen occasionally plays poker and learns his skills from Yardley’s book. McManus’s story is well-written and worth reading if you like coming-of-age novels but decidedly not much of a poker book.
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Poker Hall of Fame Playing Card Deck: The Jokers

[LL] “The last batch is the inductees from 2017”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Jokers:”1

Phil Ivey

J
O
K
E
R

Phil Ivey

J
O
K
E
R
Phil Ivey
Born: 1976/02/01 (Riverside, CA)
WSOP Main Event: 7th (2009)
WSOP Bracelets: 10
WSOP Cashes: 56
WPT Titles: 1
Live Earnings: $23,856,033
Poker
Hall of Fame
2017
Quote: “I want to win 30 [bracelets].” — Phil Ivey (after winning his fifth WSOP bracelet in 2005).
  • Was the 2003 WSOP Main Event final table bubble boy.
  • Has won a record ten non-Hold ‘Em WSOP bracelets.
  • Owns a record five mixed game WSOP bracelets.

David “Devilfish” Ulliott

J
O
K
E
R

David Ulliott

J
O
K
E
R
David Ulliott
Born: 1954/04/01 (England)
WSOP Main Event: 72nd (2004)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 33
WPT Titles: 1
Live Earnings: $6,218,292
Poker
Hall of Fame
2017
Quote: “I used to play in a lot of dodgy places and dirty clubs. You would have to go in and out through the back fire escapes. I always carried a gun in my pocket because the problem for me wasn’t winning the money, it was getting out with it.” — David Ulliott (October 21, 2010 interview in The Telegraph)
  • Nicknamed “Devilfish” by Steve Au-Yeung for the ugly but poisonous fish.
  • Won Britain’s Late Night Poker, the first TV show featuring hole cams in 1999.
  • Had his own online poker site called Devilfish Poker.

Footnotes:

  1. Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of August 1, 2017.

  2. Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2017 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

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Poker Hall of Fame Playing Card Deck: The Aces

[LL] “The next batch includes inductees from 2015 and 2016”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Aces:”1

John “Luckbox” Juanda

A

John Juanda

A
John Juanda
Born: 1971/07/08 (Medan, Indonesia)
WSOP Main Event: 31st (2005)
WSOP Bracelets: 5
WSOP Cashes: 66
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $20,748,954
Poker
Hall of Fame
2015
Quote: “I actually love to play all the different games because they help keep my mind sharp. But, if I could only play one game for the rest of my live, I’d go with No Limit Hold ‘Em.” — John Juanda (January 6, 2009 PokerNews interview).
  • Won the 2008 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for $1,580,096.
  • Led the Bluff Power Ranking for its first four years beginning in 2004.
  • Goes by “John” but his full first name is “Johnson”.

Jennifer Harman

A

Jennifer Harman

A
Jennifer Harman
Born: 1964/11/29 (Reno, NV)
WSOP Main Event:
WSOP Bracelets: 2
WSOP Cashes: 35
WPT Titles:
Live Earnings: $2,739,645
Poker
Hall of Fame
2015
Quote: “I have always been a cash game player. I like tournaments, but with all the traveling and the long hours, I choose usually to play cash games. When I had children, I really wanted to be around for them. I hear it goes by so fast, and I don’t want to miss a second.” — Jennifer Harman (September 24, 2015 CardsChat.com interview; has also claimed to hate tournaments).
  • Won the 2000 WSOP $5,000 Deuce-to-Seven Lowball after Howard Lederer had given Annie Duke and her a crash course in how to play just prior to the event.
  • Won the 2002 WSOP $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em for $212,440.

Carlos “El Matador” Mortensen

A

Carlos Mortensen

A
Carlos Mortensen
Born: 1972/04/13 (Ambato, Ecuador)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (2001)
WSOP Bracelets: 2
WSOP Cashes: 39
WPT Titles: 3
Live Earnings: $12,107,757
Poker
Hall of Fame
2016
Quote: “¡Viva España!” — Carlos Mortensen (after winning the WSOP Main Event in 2001; he became the first European inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2016).
  • Moved to Spain when he was young then to the U.S. in the late 90’s. His actual name is Juan Carlos Mortensen, but somehow the “Juan” got lost when he came to the U.S.
  • Bubbled the final table of the 2013 WSOP Main Event for $573,204.

Todd “Darkhorse” Brunson

A

Todd Brunson

A
Todd Brunson
Born: 1969/08/07 (El Paso, TX)
WSOP Main Event:
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 58
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $4,342,568
Poker
Hall of Fame
2016
Quote: “Cash game players, including myself, have been drawn back into the tournament arena by the huge prize pools and large numbers of novice players looking for instant glory.” — Todd Brunson.
  • Didn’t learn to play poker until after he graduated high school but took the game up more seriously while at Texas Tech, dropping out before his senior year.
  • Won the 2005 WSOP $2,500 Omaha High/Low for $255,945.

Footnotes:

  1. Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of August 1, 2017.

  2. Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2017 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

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Poker Hall of Fame Playing Card Deck: The Kings

[LL] “The next batch includes inductees from 2013 and 2014”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Kings:”1

Tom “Grand Rapids Tom” McEvoy

K

Tom McEvoy

K
Tom McEvoy
Born: 1944/11/14 (Grand Rapids, MI)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (1983)
WSOP Bracelets: 4
WSOP Cashes: 45
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $3,034,640
Poker
Hall of Fame
2013
Quote: “No Limit Hold ‘Em. Hours of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror.” — Tom McEvoy.
  • Was the first satellite winner to win the WSOP Main Event.
  • Helped organize the first smoke-free tournament in 1998 and eventually persuaded almost all tournament directors to ban smoking.

Scotty “Prince of Poker” Nguyen

K

Scotty Nguyen

K
Scotty Nguyen
Born: 1962/10/28 (Nha Trang, Vietnam)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (1998)
WSOP Bracelets: 5
WSOP Cashes: 55
WPT Titles: 1
Live Earnings: $11,932,744
Poker
Hall of Fame
2013
Quote: “Playing the Big One, Baby, is like playing the Masters, I imagine. Hard to describe — it’s definitely a real natural high, Baby!” — Scotty Nguyen (1998).
  • Satellited into the 1998 WSOP Main Event backed by Mike Matusow.
  • Bubbled the final table of the 2007 WSOP Main Event.

Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu

K

Daniel Negreanu

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Daniel Negreanu
Born: 1974/07/26 (Toronto, Canada)
WSOP Main Event: 11th (2001, 2015)
WSOP Bracelets: 6
WSOP Cashes: 103
WPT Titles: 2
Live Earnings: $34,093,588
Poker
Hall of Fame
2014
Quote: “My first trip to Las Vegas was here, in Binion’s Horseshoe, downstairs. I brought a $3,000 bankroll, and about 24 hours later, I had a lot of free time on my hands.” — Daniel Negreanu (during his Poker Hall of Fame induction on November 9, 2014).
  • Only player to be named WSOP Player of the Year twice (2004 & 2013); also WPT Player of the Year 2004-05.
  • Became the first player to win bracelets in the WSOP Las Vegas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific in a career in 2013.

Jack McClelland

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Jack McClelland

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Jack McClelland
Nickname: none
Born: 1952 (McConnelsville, Ohio)
Occupation: Tournament Dir.
Poker
Hall of Fame
2014
Quote: “If you think you are such a genius why don’t you go and fix them?” — Jack McClelland’s wife Alma (~1983, after hearing him complain one too many times about how badly poker tournaments were run).
  • Final tabled the WSOP $5,000 Seven-Card Stud for $11,850 in 1988 (8th) and $15,150 in 2000 (7th).
  • His wife Alma won the 1989 WSOP Ladies Event.

Footnotes:

  1. Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of August 1, 2017.

  2. Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2017 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

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