I can think of no single pursuit of vigour in which the young do not eventually consume the old. Even such contests which reward more brain stem flexing than any swiftness of ankle or litheness of form keep this system.
Poker is no different. There’s a moment, indefinable and unmarked, but a moment nonetheless, where your brain, once kingly amongst muscles, is no longer the best.
You get it right? Young eat old. Old grease wheel. Young become old. Disenfranchisement ad infinitum.
Like a first-time hostage negotiator reports to his sergeant, I’m back with another list.
The old guard
As Lestat pronounced parading the corpse of his latest date-cum-victim around the yawning sitting room of their palatial plantation home, ‘there’s life in the old girl yet.’ Yes, youth cyclically devours aged flesh, but that doesn’t mean the old guard aren’t still kicking. John Juanda, Erik Seidel, names familiar to poker veterans and perhaps not so to fresh blood, are very much involved. But here is our top 10 poker players to watch in 2019.
A veteran always one step ahead of the game. A household name. Who else?
Requiring little introduction, Negreanu is the casual beholder’s ‘face of poker’, and will likely remain so. Kingpinlike, Negreanu runs his poker empire on smiles and confidence, which written seems a sinister introduction, implying mistruth or rouguery, but not so; he’s just that charming.
A brilliant ambassador whose uncounted hours of hard work have elevated poker from a steamboat fancy to a high-roller’s dream.
He’s got it all; experience, sway with the big dogs, poker schools and weekly lessons, televised games. The RealKid has some RealPower.
When Joey isn’t setting the world to rights investigating purportedly dodgy poker practices or conducting exciting patter-filled interviews, he’s an Omaha player. Nay, omaha lover.
Joey’s best work comes as an ambassador for this lesser-played, much-loved variant, spreading the good word where he can. The gospel according to Joey.
In the wake of the McGregor/Khabib debacle Joey released several deep-dive videos to much fanfare, covering everything from the dolly incident to who hit first; Conor, Khabib, Han or Greedo?
Tonkaaap has a Medieval monarch’s name and a bankroll to match. First name Parker, as close to poker incarnate as one gets without summoning dark arcana (see Hellfire club).
Surname Talbot, eerily similar to ‘tell me about it’ as in ‘tell me about that amazing poker upstart’. Ba-dum-tssh.
After chopping the PS Sunday milly, Tonkaaap’s stream experienced enormous growth and record viewership, which mutated and eventually grew into the online force it is today.
Forget Mounties, this Canuck is mounting an assault on the poker world, and he’s taking everyone along for the ride. Get involved early, reserve your bragging rights before creamlike, he inevitably rises to the top.
Roddy Doyle helps me remember this guy’s name. Got it yet? That’s right. Other Doyle fans will instantly recognize the name from beloved 90s Dublinovel (patent pending) ‘Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha’ which features more swearing than a dockside dalliance with the devil after days of drinking dozens of daiquiris in dank dwellings.
Patrick, like ourselves, hails from the Emerald Isle. Armed with charm, skill and the gift of the gab, Patrick Clarke leaves his leafy hometown of Ardee for the glitz and prospective riches of the Las Vegas strip, a dragon’s hoard in all save name.
1,1712th on the all-time money list, 15th all time for Ireland, with $25K+ live cashes to his credit, when Patrick isn’t charming everyone at the felt, his achievements speak wordless volumes about the skill of his chosen craft.
Poker player. Snapshove innovator. Poker trainer. Crypto enthusiast. All the hallmarks of the modern online entrepreneur. Max Silver is UK-born but currently bringing pride in poker back to the Ireland’s capital and primate city.
Shove your Las Vegas, we’re bringing poker home. Over $4 mil all-time. 13th UK all-time. Max Silver is gold.
Stephen Chidwick is a man on the move, jetsetting from tournament to tournament, collecting riches and building his already-strong brand. Originally from Perfidious Albion, Stephen has his sights set on worldwide poker domination.
The second American on this particularly euro-centric list. While our transatlantic counterparts can’t avail of online poker, it’s still where the big money is at. Poker, for most of us, is a game. It’s an institution in the States, a measure of character and cunning from president to pauper alike. Peters has obviously taken this to heart, with over $30 million all-time cashes and no signs of slowing. 2019 is David’s year.
Currently residing in Dublin, Steve O’Dwyer has little left to prove. $26 mil all time. $1,872,580 single live cash record. 8th on the all-time money list. Accolades list tall as a beanstalk, and still going! It’s not all about winning, but it helps.
Team GGPoker – What? You think we weren’t going to circlejerk? This is the land of self-congratulations and I’ll cry if I want to!
Whip me up a fresh batch of Canada balls, and don’t spare the Hortons. IrEgption, like an experienced Risk player, is conquering the world one territory at a time from Canada downwards. After an amazing 2018 (you can see his graphs on Twitter and a yearly rundown on 2+2) 2019 kickstarted with a $56K cash at PSPC. Starting as he means to continue, monied to lunacy and basking in the sunshine, expect big things as the months pass.
There’s no limit to his options. Commentary gigs under his belt, a rep as an established personality, successful and entertaining Twitch stream plus all the rest, 2019 is the year Egypt rises. I R Egption.
You know Bryn Kenney right? Poker gangster, love wolf, NY badass, multi-discipline card empresario, gatherer of magic. On top of that he’s a food-lovin’, fresh-stylin’ modern hippie, with a taste for the fine things and the means to get them. Whether it’s his loud table outfits – looking at you chequered kimono – his brash-yet-calm demeanour or all those zeros at the end of his bank account, we hope you’re as magnetically drawn to this ‘I’m walkin’ here’ badass as we are.
Many of the listed players have Twitch, Twitter or whatever else profiles for you to follow along on their adventures, keep your fingers on the pulse of the online poker industry or just generally make yourself green with envy at their lavish, patrician lifestyles. You next? You next.