Newcomers Score Big Poker Wins in 2009Tweet Share
2009 was a big year at both the tables and online for young and upcoming poker stars. The year saw an unusual number of bright new stars making names for themselves, whether they were winning WSoP events, cleaning up at high-stakes online games or just creating a buzz with daring and successful play. With all of this and more, 2009 proved to be a banner year for the rookies in poker.
In February, Cornel Cimpan stepped out of the world of small buy-in tournaments and into the big time when he won the first of his two World Poker Tour titles in 2009. By conquering a final table that included Chris Ferguson and Chris Karagulleyan, Cimpan walked away from the event with $1.68 million, a sum he would add to in November by winning the Foxwoods World Poker Finals. With more than $2.8 million for the year and two WPT titles to his name, Cimpan made his mark on the game in a big way.
Crossing over from the WPT to the online world, Yevgeniy Timoshenko also made a lasting impression on the game of poker. The Russian-born Timoshenko started his impressive year with a victorious performance at the WPT World Championship in April, earning $2.15 million. Crossing over to online poker, he was no less lethal, winning $1.7 million in the PokerStars WCOOP Main Event and another $75,000 the following day in the Full Tilt Poker $1K Monday tournament. Only 21 years old, Timoshenko announced his presence as a force in poker with over $4 million in winnings for the year.
Joining this group is another baby-faced champion, 21 year-old Joe Cada. Cada has a long history playing poker, but exploded onto the high-stakes scene by winning the World Series of Poker’s Main Event in November. Pocketing a cool $8.5 million for his impressive win, Cada transformed himself from an ordinary online poker professional to the stratosphere of the poker world.
Finally, an unknown Swedish player going by the screen name “Isildur1″ became the talk of the high-stakes online tables by winning, and losing, millions from some of the games most storied pros. Stalking some of the finest players in the game, Isildur1 primarily prowled the Omaha tables, never shying away from challenges or million dollar pots. Near the end of the year, this phenom captivated the imagination of players worldwide with his aggressive play and million-dollar victories and defeats.
Along with other remarkable players online and in the casinos, poker has witnessed an amazing number of new stars. These new stars helped to change the face of the game and helped it reach new heights of popularity. In addition to Cimpan, Timoshenko, Cada and the mysterious Isildur1, other poker neophytes such as Ville Wahlbeck and Daniel Kelly added to the list of newcomers who made names for themselves on this year’s poker scene.