Pro Websites, Part III
After his 2nd place finish in the 2004 WSOP Main Event, David Williams wasted little time getting a personal vanity site on the Internet. Now twenty-six, Williams has enjoyed consistent success in the tournament poker world. This year he finally captured his first WSOP bracelet in a $1,500 7-Card Stud event. His website claims he is "wicked smart" and had Princeton welcoming him with "open arms" after his SAT score of 1550. Williams opted to attend Southern Methodist University instead.
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The strongest part of David's website is his blog. Although infrequently updated, most of his blog posts are lengthy and entertaining. David has harnessed his charm and good looks into a pretty cushy lifestyle. Some of his blogs mention the "elite" company he was surrounded with on a recent flight in Larry Flynt's private jet. One characteristic found in David's blogs that seems to be a dying feature in most other poker blogs is his analysis of interesting hands that he's recently played. For those serious about improving at poker, David's blog gives a nice glimpse into the mindset of a young successful pro.
His website really only has two worthwhile features: the educational and entertainment value of his blog, and the entertainment value of his less-than-modest biography. Aside from that, expect to find an outdated site that doesn't do much to keep visitors lingering around.
Aussie Joe Hachem, winner of the 2005 WSOP Main Event, has a pretty standard website which appears to be produced by his sponsor, PokerStars. Hachem has earned the respect of the poker community with the class and dignity he has demonstrated since his big win. At the 2006 WSOP Main Event, Hachem made a strong run at repeating his title with a 238th place finish in a field of 8,773. Hachem had previously proven that his 2005 win was no fluke. He had final table finishes of 2nd and 4th in various events at the 2006 WSOP.
However, don't expect to find much in the "WSOP" section of Hachem's site. The entire page is devoted to pimping out PokerStars as the best place to qualify for the Main Event. Those looking for the illusion that Hachem had an active hand in building this website should seek out the "Bio" section. It is here where Hachem shares a brief story of his life that led up to him becoming a poker world champion.
Some regard John "The Razor" Phan as the best player never to have won a WSOP bracelet. The thirty-one year-old Vietnamese-born poker pro might not have a WSOP bracelet, but he does have one pretty flashy website. Visitors can indulge themselves and download John Phan wallpapers. For the true die-hard "Razor" fans, a close-up image of John's diamond-studded Buddha necklace is available in three wallpaper sizes.
Phan is recognized on the pro tour as one who plays up to three times more events than most regular pros do. In 2005 he was able to rack up enough Cardplayer Player of the Year points to finish second behind Men "The Master" Nguyen. His website tells us that he takes three to four trips per year back to his home country of Vietnam to do charity work and help those less fortunate. In case anyone finds this hard to believe, check the "Journal" section of his website. Here visitors can find some sobering pictures of Phan helping pass out rice to needy locals.
There is a good amount of content on "The Razor's" website. At the very least, you'll find some nice pictures Liz Lieu, a gorgeous female poker player and close friend of Phan's.
Jennifer "Jennicide" Leigh
Those active in the online poker scene have probably been aware of Jennifer Leigh for a couple of years. Known best by her online handle "Jennicide", Leigh has made a large splash in the online world as a result of her good looks and killer poker skills. She is new to the live tournament world and only has one career WSOP money finish. In September of this year, she finished 4th in a field of 5,699 in the PokerStars Sunday Million which earned her $44,000.
The strongest part of Leigh's website is the photo gallery where visitors can see shots of her with various faces in the poker world. She also features a nice personal timeline as well as downloadable wallpapers for the true fans. This is one of the nicer pro websites out there.
Phil Ivey, respected by many as the world's best poker player, is noted for not being a fan of the spotlight. Some players build themselves flashy personal vanity websites. Ivey's website is produced by Full Tilt Poker, of which he is a founding team member. That in mind, philivey.com is essentially used as a feeder into Full Tilt Poker.
While Ivey's website lacks much content, it does have a nice biography section that details his rise to the top of the poker world. Visitors looking to be frustrated can turn to the "Gallery" section that never loads, or the "News" section that hasn't been updated in nearly a year. Some might be startled that a man regarded as the best poker player in the world doesn't have a finely tuned self-worship website. However, this lackluster website fits Ivey's reputation for being too busy taking money off of people to care about writing a blog.