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A Look at the Best 10 Poker Players of 2014

THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2014-11-23, by JTringer

One of the best ways to learn about poker and be entertained at the same time is to watch the best. It's no coincidence that the same names keep popping up on final tables during major tournaments in 2014. Let's take this chance to get to know the 10 top players of the year so far according to the global player index(GPI)

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1. Dan Smith

Despite being just 25 years old, Smith has taken the poker world by storm. He truly is living the dream for many young poker players, after leaving college to turn pro. Winning the Heartland Poker Tour main event in 2008 gave him the confidence and early momentum to refine his game, which has led to an impressive 4 EPT victories (9 final tables) and a WPT bracelet as well. Dan is likely to be near the top of the leaderboards for years to come.

2. Ole Schemion

Ole Schemion is pressing hard to become the player of the year. The German player has won over $6 million in various casino events. With consistent cashes and tournament victories, he has steadily racked up points to hover near the top of the GPI. What has eluded Ole is considerable success on the major tournament circuits. While he has won over $400 thousand on the EPT, Ole has never captured a bracelet.

3. Jason Mercier

The Team PokerStars pro has had another strong year, and is one of the more recognizable names on this list for poker casuals. While he has had solid results on multiple tournament circuits, his most impressive accomplishments are the 2 bracelets he has captured at the WSOP. His second place finish at the 2014 Summer High Roller's no-limit Hold'em event gave him a substantial boost in winnings and points for this years race.

4. Scott Seiver

Seiver first made his mark by winning the $5,000 no-limit Hold'em event in the 2008 WSOP. He has had considerable success at the WSOP, with 22 in-the-money finishes during his career. While he hasn't captured any bracelets in 2014 so far, he has had a string of solid results, including a 2nd and 4th place finish in major events.

5. Davidi Kitai

The Belgian has had success wherever he has played during his career so far. On the WSOP he has captured an impressive 3 titles, but he has also captured a bracelet on both the WPT and EPT. This feat put him into elite company, as there have only been 4 other players to win a bracelet in all three major tournament circuits.

6. Olivier Busquet

After not winning any major tournaments in recent years, 2014 looks to be the year for Busquet. With multiple top 10 finishes in the first half of the year, he set himself up to make some noise during the latter half. In August he was able to capture the Super High Roller EPT bracelet in Barcelona, and then followed that up by winning the UKIPT High Roller event in October.

7. Byron Kaverman

While a bracelet has eluded Kaverman in 2014, he has had several money finishes in U.S. tournaments that has led to his ranking as a top 10 player. His best finish was 2nd place at the WPT World Championship at the Borgata in April.

8. Daniel Negreanu

If you looked at a list of the best players from 10 years ago, Negreanu is likely the only name to be on that list. He is the oldest by far of any of the top 8 players, which is a testament to the hard work Daniel has put in to adapt to this new age of poker. Where many poker pros have faded after the explosion of online poker, Negreanu has continued to excel. Victory has eluded Negreanu in 2014, or he'd be higher on this list as he normally is. However, several excellent runs into major tournaments, including a couple of 2nds and a 4th, has left him sitting strongly in the top 10.

9. Alex Bilokur

When he first burst onto the poker seen in 2010, very few had heard of Bilokur. He's known as a Russian high roller, but regularly plays WSOP events in America as well. 2014 has been a fruitful year for the Russian, as Bilokur was able to take down a WSOP pot limit event, as well as a $10,000 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament.

10. Jacob Schindler

The American had limited success in his first few years playing professionally, but really found his form in 2013. He has followed up a strong 2013 with an even better 2014, with several cashes. He came first in a Summer High Roller Series event in June, and then captured a bracelet at the $100,000 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open event to start off September.

While the year is not quite finished yet, expect to see these 10 players push to climb the rankings further. The young average age of this list ensures a high level of competition for years to come.

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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