Poker Pros – Who Leads the Online Generation?Tweet Share
The World Series of Poker bracelet; this beautiful piece of poker jewelry is the de facto standard for excellence in the game. Players are ranked by them and their careers are defined by how many bracelets they accumulate. While this remains the case today, a new generation of player is entering the arena; although the “online generation” of poker players has not yet attained the level of WSOP bracelet success of their predecessors, they are beginning to dominate the game.
Most people point to a singular event as the start of the online generation. Chris Moneymaker’s run through the 2003 WSOP Main Event is looked upon as the changing of generations. Moneymaker earned his seat at the Main Event by qualifying online at PokerStars, making him the first winner to come from the Internet ranks. A flood of players have followed him, with Greg Raymer matching his feat in 2004, and Joe Cada, last year’s champ, doing the same.
There has been a change at the top of the poker world as well. Since Moneymaker’s groundbreaking win, poker has exploded; tournaments that drew 100 players 10 years ago will draw 1,000 today. Jennifer Harman won her first bracelet by beating a field of 29 in the $5,000 deuce-to-seven no-limit lowball event in 2000; last year, Joe Cada overcame a huge field of 6,494 runners to capture his Main Event title.
Since the arrival of the online generation, the top of the leader board for bracelet winners has grown cold. Of the top ten players on the all-time list, only Phil Ivey has added more than two bracelets his collection since 2003. In fact, only Jeffrey Lisandro (four) has more bracelets during that time than Ivey’s three.
That brings up the next question. If Phil Hellmuth (11 bracelets), Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan (10 each) lead the past generation, who is leading the “online generation?” Lisandro would seem to be a candidate, but the consensus is the player generally regarded as the best player in the world: Phil Ivey.
Ivey’s accomplishments are staggering. At 34 years of age, he has won seven WSOP bracelets (tied for sixth all-time), cashed in 36 events, final tabled 22 times, won a World Poker Tour title, and was the 2006 Bluff Magazine Player of the Year. He is also the career money winner in live events with nearly $13 million, and he has become one of the dominant online players as well.
While the legends of poker play on, Ivey has crossed over, becoming one of the dominant forces in poker’s second generation. The “Tiger Woods of Poker” continues to show his prowess as he leads the way for the online generation of poker.