Tuesday, April 28, 2009

URBAN LEGEND: 3 Most Underrated Professional Poker Players

*Posted September 25, 2008*

These are three poker players that don’t get the amount of TV air time that others get, mainly because they aren’t loud, annoying, and over-the-top. Even though poker is become way too widespread and on TV more than it should be, these players deserve a little more exposure.

3. Patrik Antonius – A Finnish professional poker player who was a former tennis player and coach is one of the top pros in the world. He has won millions of dollars in both the World Poker Tour (WPT) and World Series of Poker (WSOP). He is also known for being one of the top heads-up players in the world. FullTiltPoker.com has many heads-up tournaments in which winners advance for the chance to play against Antonius. The Finn also plays large cash games in Las Vegas where there can be million dollar swings, the high-stakes games are simply known as “The Big Game.” Every time I see Antonius on TV he is always making calls, raises, and bluffs at the right time and generally gets his money in the middle of the table with the best hand.

2. Allen Cunningham – Although best known for finishing 4th in the Main Event in 2006, Cunningham is one of the best poker players on the circuit today. And yet his name doesn’t roll off in the same category as the Hellmuths or Chans of the world. He is only one of five individuals to have over ten million dollars in live tournament earnings and only a handful of players have more bracelets than Cunningham’s five. Like Antonius, he is a member of the FullTiltPoker team, and you could possibly play with him if you play big games online. Play wise, he is obviously solid, conservative and yet quite aggressive when he has good hands. In 2006, he was voted the best professional poker player under 35, but because he is always calm, cool, and collected, he does not get the television attention he deserves.

1. Erick Lindgren – Somewhat of a homer pick, Lindgren is my favorite poker player. He doesn’t have the number of bracelets of Cunningham and probably doesn’t have as much money as Antonius, but he is still one of the better poker players around. Lindgren has had more success on the WPT than the WSOP even though he recently won his first bracelet in mixed holdem a few months ago. Like Antonius and Cunningham, Lindgren is also a member of FullTiltPoker.com and often plays online. Lindgren sort of looks like Matt Damon from Rounders and generally plays like the Damon character, tight-aggressive. He also gets bonus points for being a big sports gambler. One of the better players around, Lindgren’s “friendly-neighbor” style has hampered him from being an international poker star.

Some that are overrated: CHRIS MONEYMAKER, Jamie Gold, Jerry Yang, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Gordon, and Jennifer Tilly

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