November 9 preview #2 – the ‘name’ pros

It has been eight long years since a big name poker player could call himself world champion, when Ecuadorian pro Carlos Mortensen was victorious, but many feel that now is the best chance in a while for a top pro to take down the title.

After Carlos Mortensen's win in 2001, seven successive amateurs were crowned world champion

Sure, Peter Eastgate was a pro with a couple of impressive live cashes when he won it all last year, and Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem have since gone on to achieve great things in the game, but no one had really heard of them at the time.

It’s a different story now, however, with two of the bigger names in poker sitting across from each other on Saturday: Phil Ivey and Jeff Shulman.

Like father, like son?


Jeff Shulman (left) will hope to follow in his father Barry's footsteps and win a World Series bracelet

Some of you may be too young to remember it happening, but Shulman has been here before, reaching the final table in 2000 when he finished 7th behind Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson and scooped a $146,700 prize for his efforts.

And the normally shy and reclusive editor of CardPlayer magazine has changed tack this year, putting his name in the news with his decision to hire former world champion Phil Hellmuth Jr. as his coach.

But neither this, nor his father Barry’s victory at the World Series of Poker Europe, have helped detract attention from Ivey, regarded by many as the best poker player in the world.

The 33-year-old Ivey has already won two WSOP bracelets this year, and this is his fourth top-30 finish in the Main Event since Mortensen’s win in 2001.

He is also a big player on the world tournament and cash game circuits. His brilliant reads and unique style have earned him over $12million in tournament earnings, while he regularly plays for hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time in the ‘big game’ in Bobby’s Room in Las Vegas.

Take a look at this clip for a great example of Ivey’s talent:

you see, there is a reason why he is the 3rd-favourite with most bookmakers despite only holding just over 5% of the chips in play.

If there was no luck, I’d win every time

If either Ivey or Shulman takes home the gold bracelet at the end of the weekend, then it will potentially do a lot to silence some of poker’s critics.

Many of those opposed to the game see it as gambling and nothing more, grouping it together with games such as blackjack, roulette and craps.

But I hope you will agree that clips such as the one earlier in the thread demonstrate the great level of skill involved in playing poker at the highest level.

If someone like Darvin Moon wins the tournament, after admitting to getting lucky throughout, it will only add fuel to the critics’ fire.

But if either of these two is the last man standing then some may have to swallow their pride a little.


0 Responses to “November 9 preview #2 – the ‘name’ pros”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Hi I’m Tom. I’m a freelance journalist, and I recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism at Cardiff University. In my spare time I like to play, watch and talk about poker. I hope you enjoy reading my blog.

RSS pokernews.com latest stories

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Phil Hellmuth’s tweets

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Daniel Negreanu’s tweets

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

%d bloggers like this: