Spotlight on High Stakes Online Cash Game Players
This week, we're going to put the spotlight on some of online poker's most successful high stakes cash game players from the past year or two that aren't exactly household names in the poker world (yet). Many of these players can be found crushing their competition in the high stakes games at Full Tilt Poker.
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One of the biggest inspirations to low stakes players is the story of Cole South. After starting out playing low stakes games in 2005, South has built a multi-million dollar bankroll by grinding up through the limits. Now he is one of the most feared players in the high stakes online cash game arena thanks to his hyper loose-aggressive brand of play. South, who is also known by his online screenname 'cts687', is barely just 21 years old. With a huge fortune at such a young age, you can bet you'll see a lot more of South wherever the largest cash games are being played in the future.
After finishing 2nd in the 2007 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $861,000, Isaac Haxton has made himself a force to be reckoned with in high stakes online cash games. Playing under the screennames 'philivey2694' and 'luvtheWNBA', Haxton has shown the poker world that he is not just a one trick pony by being a consistent winner at no-limit cash games at stakes as high as $500/$1000. His time in the poker world has been so profitable that it prompted him to drop out of Brown University. Haxton, who actually skipped fifth grade on account of his intelligence, has also maintained a strong tournament record since his PCA score. In last year's $40,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em event at the WSOP, he finished runner-up to Vitaly Lunkin for over $1.1 million.
Playing on Full Tilt under the screenname 'theASHMAN103', Ashton Griffin had a 2009 that was topped only by Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey and Brian Hastings. To be precise, he won $3.6 million last year alone playing high stakes online cash games. Griffin hasn't always been crushing high stakes games though. Just two years ago, he decided against returning to school and instead took a shot at a professional poker playing career with his $8,000 bankroll. Things went well for a while; Griffin built a bankroll barely fit for a couple of buy-ins at the high stakes online action. In 2008, Griffin saw the majority of this bankroll evaporate after taking a shot in the high stakes games at Full Tilt. Many thought it would be the last anyone would see of Griffin in the high stakes action. A year later, he was back thanks in large part to winning the $25,000 buy-in heads-up championship at Full Tilt for $551,000. This time, he got things right. Today, Griffin is one of the toughest players around and is known for mixing up his play and having the courage to put large chunks of his bankroll on the line when he feels he's got the best of it.
Perhaps better known as 'trex313', Hac Dang has tamed high stakes online cash games as one of the most consistent winners over the past two years. He is well liked by his peers and is regarded for never letting ego or tilt affect his play. When Hac Dang sits down against you, you had better be careful because he thinks he can beat you and he's usually right. He was the 5th most winning online player in 2008 and 6th in 2009. In the 2009 WSOP Main Event, Dang got pocket Queens all-in against Phil Ivey's pocket Jacks. Ivey flopped a Jack to send Dang to the rail in 98th place and in doing so told him, "nice playing with you." Dang responded, "oh we've played before." Apparently, Ivey didn't realize the young Asian man at the table was none other than 'trex313' with whom he had battled against in countless high stakes online sessions!
Hac's brother Di is also one of the top high stakes cash game players better known as 'Urindanger'.
Emil 'whitelime' Patel was featured on the poker reality TV show '2 Months, 2 Million'. Soft-spoken relative to his friends, Patel is considered one of the brightest poker minds in the high stakes arena. At 21, Patel dropped out of New York University to focus on poker. Now 25, he has little reason to regret that decision. Patel has amassed a huge bankroll and is noted for being able to play "smaller" stakes (like $5/$10 and $10/$20 no-limit) with as much focus as he would play $500/$1000. With good bankroll and money management being the foundation of his game, 'whitelime' is a huge favorite to stand the test of time compared to others more prone to "taking shots" and going broke.