2011 WSOP – can we beat 2010’s Year of the Brit? [Editorial]

2011 WSOP – can we beat 2010’s Year of the Brit? [Editorial]

Friday, 27 May 2011

Not to get all American and overly patriotic on you but last year at the World Series of Poker, Britain absolutely smashed it. Of course we didn’t take home the most bracelets or the most money (that will always be the US, naturally) from Las Vegas but we came closer than any other country. Five World Series of Poker bracelets came back to the shores of Anglia last year – can we top that in 2011?

In 2010 we kicked things off in style with Praz Bansi winning Event #5, one of the $1,500 NL tournaments, beating a field of 2,092 to take home over $500,000. That very same day, Neil Channing came tantalisingly close to matching Bansi with a runner-up spot in the $5,000 NL Shootout (finishing just above countryman Stuart Rutter). James Dempsey picked up the honours in a $1,500 Pot Limit Hold ‘em event and later finished second to Sam Farha in the $10,000 Omaha 8, followed by Richard Ashby taking home the $1,500 Stud 8 bracelet. Joining them in the winners’ circle were Mike Ellis and Steve Jelinek.

This year we could top it. It seems like a lofty goal and it is but honestly, look at the raw talent we’re sending to Nevada this month. Bansi, Ashby and Dempsey will all be returning to Vegas for the 2011 WSOP and they’ve proven that they have what it takes to win bracelets (twice in Bansi’s case). Also returning – one Mr. Neil Channing, the former Irish Open champion long overdue a piece of World Series gold. That doesn’t even touch on some of the likely lads who have yet to pick up a bracelet:

Jake Cody is on course for poker’s WPT/EPT/WSOP Triple Crown after an EPT Deauville victory last year followed by a win at the inaugural WPT London Classic. If he runs well at the World Series of Poker 2011 then he could join Roland de Wolfe as one of only three players to have won the Triple Crown. He’s already proven that he’s still on form by taking down a $2,100 NL SCOOP event this past month.

Roberto Romanello is another Brit going for a Triple Crown. The poker world’s favourite Welshman – besides myself – has already claimed an EPT and a WPT title since December 2010, adding a WPT title to his EPT Prague victory just four months later. We’ve already seen him make the best fold ever at the WSOP and we know he’ll cry if he wins a bracelet, which always gets you some press coverage.

Sam Trickett is probably someone you’ve scrolled down this list incredulously to see if we missed out. Don’t worry, we didn’t. You can go back up to the top now. Trickett has had a killer year with the only thing standing between him and the “OMG best tournament player ever!!!1” hysterics being The Seiborg, Erik Seidel. In the past two WSOP he has finished fourth and second respectively in the $5,000 NL event – third time’s the charm? Added to this a fantastic 2011 with over $3m won so far and the man is on form for Vegas.

Chris Moorman is one of the best multi-table tournament players in the world. With over $7m won in online tournaments including countless PocketFives Triple Crowns and topping their rankings near enough every other week. So far he has made precisely one final table in the live arena, finishing seventh at the Aussie Millions last year. The man knows variance though and any tournament could be his. Our pick for a multiple bracelet-winner.

Ben Grundy has legendary results in high stakes heads-up Pot-Limit Omaha cash games with millions of dollars won at an astonishing rate. He is quite simply one of the best heads-up Omaha players in the world and since we count six PLO events over the course of the series, it’d be mad not to think he’s got a great chance for a bracelet.

Toby Lewis recently came off a final table in the $10,300 SCOOP Main Event after leading the field into Day 2.

The Old Guard can’t be written off. The likes of Neil Channing, Roland de Wolfe, Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott and the players that were all anteing up before 2003 are still deadly tournament poker players. They might not be 22-year-olds with millions of hands played online but we all know that they have just as good of a chance as taking down a bracelet this year as the above.

Tags: WSOP, World Series of Poker, Praz Bansi, Neil Channing, Sam Trickett, Toby Lewis, Jake Cody, Chris Moorman, Ben Grundy, Roberto Romanello, Matt Perry, Editorial