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Most Overrated People in Poker

THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2013-05-19, by Ozone

There are so many great poker players out there you've never heard of. As such, it stands to reason that many of the poker players you have heard of are pretty overrated. Here are just a few of the most overrated people in poker:

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey is the biggest primadonna in poker and by far its most overrated player. To be clear, Phil Ivey is damn good at poker. Even the most knowledgeable poker players on the planet would probably be wise to steer clear of playing Ivey. But part of what makes Ivey so successful is his image of being really good at poker. Indeed, just the very fact that Ivey's opponents think he's so good is attributable for a good chunk of his success over the years. Ivey just has a way of getting people to lose their minds when playing against him. One wonders how much success Ivey would have had over the years if he were just some average looking white guy. He certainly wouldn't be nearly as marketable; the "Tiger Woods of Poker" is nearly absent a personality.

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Tom Dwan

Speaking of people with no personalities, Tom Dwan is to online poker what Phil Ivey is to live and televised poker. He's damn good, but probably not as good as everyone thinks and lucky to be marketed nearly as much as he is. Dwan went on Fox Business after Black Friday and couldn't have come off as more of a damp cloth. At a time when online poker really could have used a fresh-faced ambassador, Dwan gave the world his insufferable "durrrr" stare that has unfortunately been mimicked by an entire generation of wannabes. Dwan's Twitter predictions in the wake of Black Friday also indicate he suffers from the very common poker player problem of thinking that knowing a lot about the game of poker means you know a lot about the business of poker and the world in general.

Stu Ungar

For a guy who was little more than a degen lagtard with a serious coke problem, this guy sure does get a lot of mileage for having been something special. Books and even movies have been made about Ungar as if his story is worth beyond a cautionary tale on the pitfalls of degenerate gambling and drug use. To his credit, he devised a hyper-aggressive style of play way before it became cool in a time when it worked incredibly well in a game full of nits. It's a shame Ungar couldn't have harnessed his talents towards not being a complete screw-up at life.

Every Female Poker Pro

Sorry ladies, but the very fact that you're a woman in a man's game puts you at a serious disadvantage when it comes to being rated fairly. Most female players spotting a sponsorship patch next to their cleavage at live tournaments around the world are little more than average poker players gifted with the Y sex chromosome at birth. Even truly sick female pros, such as Vanessa Selbst, can't escape the designation of being overrated. It's just an immutable fact: if you're a female and you play poker professionally you are overrated.

Every WSOP Main Event Champion Ever

Winning one poker tournament is not evidence that you are good at poker. This is a lesson that unfortunately (or fortunately?) most viewers of televised poker have not figured out. As a result, most WSOP Main Event Champions are pretty overrated. Sure, it no doubt takes some talent to survive through a field that large. But more than that it takes a ridiculous amount of luck. Jonathan Duhamel is perhaps the only champion in recent memory to have since justified any image he might have gained as a top player as a consequence of winning the Main Event.

The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.


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