Eyes on the Prize: Exploring the Fresh Talent Shaping WSOP’s Future

Arguably the biggest poker event of the year, the WSOP is the beating heart of poker. The tournament brings together some of the biggest names in the game to battle it out over many exciting live and online events. These players also shape significantly how poker is being conceived and played both within and outside the WSOP. And as is the case with most competitive games, the WSOP roster is always changing. The legends remain but every year fresh talent is added to the infinitely-impressive lineup to make a rich tapestry of poker history and innovation. Below, we review some of the freshest names in the competition over recent years and their impact on poker.

Justin Bonomo

Bonomo has $61,254,204 in live poker winnings to his name. The young star gas been dominating the poker scene since June 2018 when he won the Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship and $185,965 at the WSOP. The following year, Bonomo won $5 million at the Super High Roller Bowl and, days later, a second WSOP bracelet. His instinct and intellect for the game is considered transcendental and his strategy remains one of the most impressive in WSOP. Since 2016, his style of play has seen him go up against notable poker players and win 18 major tournaments. You can brush up on your own strategy here https://www.tightpoker.com/how-to-play-poker/ or learn to play if you are new to poker.

Dan Smith

Smith was a chess protégé who joined the University of Maryland on a chess scholarship. The sharp-minded New Jersey native learned to play poker at 16 and dropped out at 18 to pursue it full time. Since then – 2007 – Kenney has established one of the most impressive winning records in poker history. He won the $101, 960 Heartland Poker Tour title in 2008 and an EPT event in Barcelona in 2012 for $1.2 million. Away from the tables, Smith founded the Double Up Drive charity.

Liv Boeree

Boeree is the only female poker player to win major events in the European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour. The poker star has won over $3.5 million in tournaments and won a WSOP bracelet in 2017. Outside of poker, Boeree is a trailblazing Astrophysicist, TV show host, and charity founder. She is the brains behind ‘Raising for Effective Giving’ which has so far raised $6 million for selected causes.

Annie Duke

Annie Duke is often referred to as the “Duchess of Poker.” Her WSOP record is impressive but she has also made a name for herself on the cash game circuit, competing at the highest levels. Among other achievements, Duke won the WSOP Tournament of Champions in 2004, earning a WSOP bracelet. She also cinched the National Heads-Up poker championship title in 2010. Like other players on this list, Duke founded a charity known as ‘Ante Up for Africa’ that raises money for several charities working with poor nations in Africa. The poker star is also the co-creator of the Global Poker Index and co-founder of the ‘Epic Poker League.

Wrapping Up

The history of the WSOP is in so many ways the history of poker. Since the first event in 1972, the tournament has pumped out revolutionary talent that have helped raise the profile of poker to world class status. In the coming years, protégés like Smith, Bonomo, and Boeree will continue to dominate the field, borrowing the torch from past legends like Phil Helmuth and Phil Ivey before they can pass it to the new generation of poker players.