The BLUFF 2015 WSOP Countdown continues with a look at players who are on the verge of breaking through and winning their first bracelet. While the “Best Player without a Bracelet” list changes year by year, BLUFF has considered a number of factors – including recent performance and how the 2015 schedule could work in a specific player’s favor – to figure out who might be the most likely to get themselves off that list at the 2015 WSOP.
Career Earnings: $4,082,291
WSOP Cashes: 21
WSOP Final Tables: 4
Arguably the greatest online tournament player of all time, Chris Moorman is no slouch in the live poker world either. He’s won a World Poker Tour title (LA Poker Classic – 2013) and has over $4 million in lifetime live tournament earnings.
He’s come close to grabbing a WSOP bracelet a couple of times in his career. In 2011 he finished runner-up to Joe Ebanks in the $10,000 Six Max NLHE event, and then posted an identical finish in the WSOP Europe Main Event, falling just short to Elio Fox.
If 2015 is going to be the year he finally gets the gold, he’s going to need to forgot all about a 2014 WSOP that saw him cash just once in that seven week stretch.
Career Earnings: $1,936,445
WSOP Cashes: 19
WSOP Final Tables: 0
Ari Engel is a true road warrior, standing as one of only three players with at least seven WSOP Circuit rings as he travels the country non-stop. Engel cashed 27 times in 2014 alone, with three of those cashes coming at the WSOP.
The closest he’s ever come to making a WSOP final table came in 2011, when he finished 10th in a $1,500 Shootout event. While a majority of his cashes are in No Limit Hold’em he’s also had success playing Pot Limit Omaha and HORSE.
One thing that works against Engel is the sheer volume of events that he plays. While most players on this list will be quite content chasing bracelets at the Rio this summer, he’ll play the event that offers him the highest ROI – and if that means playing elsewhere, he’ll do it.
Career Earnings: $4,988,468
WSOP Cashes: 31
WSOP Final Tables: 5
At just 28 years of age, David Peters has already cashed 125 times in his poker career – and he’s done so in events with buy-ins ranging from as low as $175 and as high as $35,000.
At the 2014 he posted eight cashes, but never finished better than 12th; in 2013, however, he had nine cashes at the WSOP, including two final tables.
One thing to keep in mind about Peters as he chases the first bracelet of his career – all of his cashes have come in No Limit Hold’em. With 33 NLHE events on the 2015 WSOP schedule, Peters will have plenty of opportunities to win some jewelry.
Career Earnings: $7,714,291
WSOP Cashes: 27
WSOP Final Tables: 6
A poll of poker players asking who the best player without a bracelet is would most likely include heavy consideration for Chris Klodnicki. That respect would most likely come from his mixed game prowess, where he’s earned 10 of his 27 WSOP cashes to date.
Klodnicki’s finished as the runner-up in a bracelet event three times in his career. In 2008 he was defeated heads-up by Barry Greenstein for the $1,500 Razz bracelet, 2012 saw Klodnicki lose out to Michael Mizrachi for the $50,000 Players Championship, and then in 2013 Tony Gregg beat him in the $111,111 One Drop High Roller.
While he’s never had his winner’s photo taken at the WSOP he’s been a model of consistency. He’s recorded at least three cashes at the WSOP each summer since 2008 with a high of six in 2011.
Career Earnings: $1,379,175
WSOP Cashes: 22
WSOP Final Tables: 3
Another player that excels at games other than No Limit Hold’em is Brett Richey, who has 13 WSOP cashes in variations other than NLHE – including two in the $50,000 Players Championship alone.
He’s twice come close to winning a bracelet. In 2009 he was runner-up to Roland De Wolfe in a $3,000 PLO Hi-Lo event, and then in 2012 he finished second behind Austin Scott in a $3,000 PLO event. He’s also managed to cash in the Main Event the past two years running, posting a 55th place finish in 2013 and a 323rd place finish in 2014.
If he’s going to win a bracelet this summer he’s going to need to shake off some apparent ring rust. He hasn’t cashed in a single event since his Main Event run wrapped up last July.
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