In a competition with such an enormous player pool, it’s often tricky to predict who will take home the biggest cash prizes and be crowned Poker World Champion. Sometimes the big hitters make the biggest waves, other times it’s the complete unknowns that sneak up out of nowhere to clinch the big wins. And that’s what makes the World Series of Poker so special – it’s anyone’s game. Today we’re running through a couple of Leaderboard prospects, so you’ll know who to watch out for when competition time rolls around…
Eyes will of course be on last years’ winner, young-gun Scott Blumstein. The New Jersey local chose to hone his game online before heading to Vegas in time for the Main Event, which he predicted to a friend, he was ‘just going to win’. It seems positive visualisation does work in some instances – the 25-year old took home an impressive $8,150,000. Could he be on to win more this year? Another serious contender is fellow youngster, Dan Ott, who was defeated by Blumstein in 2017’s final. Although Ott still walked away with a rather sizeable $4.7 million for his runner-up position, he’ll no doubt have the fire in him to take the top spot. At the end of last year’s competition, Ott stated: “I’ll be coming back next year for sure. I’ll never pass this up again. Just keep playing, and try to win next time.”
If Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson’s 2017 winning streak is anything to go by, he could be winning big in Vegas in 2018. In 2016, Ferguson made 10 WSOP cashes and in 2017 he increased this to 14. Having just been named, World Series of Poker Player of the Year, in Europe in November, Ferguson receives an automatic entry into the $10,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, and his face will be displayed on posters all around the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino with other legends of the competition. While Ferguson is hardly the most popular player on the circuit due to the Full Tilt Poker debacle, what’s clear from his comeback is that he means business. Could 2018 be the year that he moves from a high number of smaller cashes to the big bucks?
Also hitting it big in Europe in November were Spanish player, Marti Roca De Torres, who defeated 528 other players to win the Main Event, securing his first WSOP gold bracelet and the top prize of €1,115,207. De Torres secured his spot at the prestigious competition via a €220 online buy-in on 888poker.es – perfectly illustrating the beauty of the game, that newbies are just as likely to swoop in and steal victory. Others worth keeping an eye on based on their performance in the Czech Republic, include Maria Ho from the US and Niall Farrell from Glasgow in Scotland.