As usual this time of year, I start watching more and more poker news feed sites during the day for chip counts and status of the big name players in the ME. They're currently deep into the money starting Day 5 today, with a little more than 200 players still active (out of 6,300 starters). The remaining players I'm watching/rooting-for this year are as follows:
- Annette Obrestad. What can I say? I'm a sucker for stone-killer women players, and I still am in total and complete awe of her blind tournament win from way back when. She has a WSOP-Europe title to her name, too, so she definitely has the chops to go even deeper. She's also cute as a button. At last count, she had around T1.2M in chips, which is well above average. It's time not only for a woman to final table, but to win the big prize, too. Go Annette!
- Greg Merson. Again, what can I say? A back-to-back repeat would go down as one of the all-time great poker accomplishments ever. His personal story is also incredibly compelling, and he seems like a genuinely nice guy, too. Oh, and he's an amazingly solid poker player. His stack is a little under average at ~T635K, but last year he came back from a near chip-and-a-chair situation to win it all.
- Carlos Mortensen. I've always liked this guy's play, and he's a past ME winner as well. Stack size is currently a relatively small ~T300K, but Mortensen is so incredibly gutsy/ballsy that you can't rule him out. Do not underestimate this guy.
- Kristy Gazes. As I said, I would love to see a woman make the final table this year, and while my money/heart is on my hero Annette O., I think Gazes has the technical chops to also pull it off. Unfortunately, she's pretty short at~T290K, so she has a looong way to climb.
- Yevgeniy Timoshenko. I personally think Timoshenko is one of the best analytic-thinking tournament players ever to sit at a poker table. He also has that baby face demeanor that is so deceptive and seems to lure his victims in so effectively. Oh, and he always seems to have a smoking hot girl on his arm, too. (Maybe it's that baby face thing?) In any case, Yevgeniy has perhaps the best actual shot at making the final table because of both his skill and his stack, which currently sits north of T1.5M.
All-in for now...
PS. Passed my big certification exam yesterday, so I've got at least a couple more free hours per day to spend on stuff like this blog, my life, poker, fun stuff, etc... Feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Woooooot!