With "The Big One" for One Drop just a few hours away, let's take a look at the recent additions to the field of entrants in the now sold out tournament with 48 players having stumped up $1 million a piece to play in the highest buy in tournament the world has ever seen. For a look back at the players already registered prior to this week see our four part report here, here, here and here.
Quite simply the greatest poker player the world has ever seen. Some may still argue in favour of Chipe Reese, Doyle Brunson, Stu Unger et al but never has opinion been more on the side of Phil Ivey than right now, and with very good reason. Phil Ivey is not only the biggest high stakes online winner of all time, he also has one of the highest $ per hand earned in online poker (meaning essentially that if he'd played the number of hands of a Gus Hansen or a Tom Dwan he would have won considerably more than the $19 million he did between 2007-2011), he is also the second highest live tournament winner of all time, his $16.7m only edged out of the number one spot by Erik Seidel's $16.9m - and Seidel has a decade more live tournament experience than Ivey. Ivey is also one of the biggest (if not the biggest) live cash game winners of all time - his winnings rumoured to dwarf anything he's won online or in tournaments. With 8 WSOP bracelets he's also one of the biggest WSOP winners ever and he shows no signs of slowing down with 5 final table appearances in the 2012 series already under his belt. The respect he commands from his peers speaks volumes of his talent - fellow One Drop Entrant, WSOP bracelet winner and one of the biggest online cash game winners of all time Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond recently tweeted "My opinion, as someone who's played with most: #2-10 best in the world are close and v debatable. It's bizarre how clear a #1 Phil Ivey is". Also tweeting the praises of Ivey this past week or so we had WSOP bracelet winner and online phenom Brian Hastings, "Ivey is just insanely good to the point where it's hard to explain", multiple bracelet winner Josh Arieh chipped in with, "What is it that Ivey knows, that no other human can figure out?" and fellow One Drop entrant David "viffer" Peat simply stated, "with out a doubt, Ivey is the best". He may not be a NLHE specialist in a field packed with them but if he's not priced in as the bookies favourite then I don't know who will be.
Hellmuth secured his seat through the MGM Big One Satellite (although he didn't actually win the seat it looks like he must have done a deal with the winner and taken their place) and despite just having laid all those plaudits on Phil Ivey, Hellmuth has to be a major contender for this one. If there's one thing Hellmuth knows all about then it's winning big Hold'Em tournaments with 11 of his record setting 12 WSOP bracelets coming in Hold'Em events, including 1989's Main Event. Not only that but just a couple of years ago most commentators were ready to write the then 45 year old Hellmuth off as a dinosaur, a player who was past their prime and too full of his own ego to accept he needed to work on his game to compete in todays game. How he has proven them wrong since! Last year Hellmuth finished as runner up in three WSOP events, including an agonizing loss in the $50k Players Championship where he held a 5-1 chip lead heads up before he lost three all ins to win the event against eventual winner Brian Rast - despite being more than an 80% favourite to have converted at least one of those chances. This year he has gone one better, extending his total number of WSOP cashes record (currently at 90, 5 this year) and picking up his 12th WSOP title in the $2.5k Razz event. Just like Phil Ivey, this tournament just wouldn't have seemed right without Phil Hellmuth in it.
The third Phil in our list today, Galfond secured the final place among the 48 entrants (excluding seats reserved for satellite winners) and is a welcome addition to the field. Having nurtured his poker talent online at college Galfond is rated as one of the best PLO cash players on the planet, Galfond is also no slouch at NLHE having made his first fortune online as a superb ring game and heads up NLHE specialist. Galfond has made no secret that quite often he cannot find the enthusiam for live tournaments but his skill is not in question. He took home a WSOP bracelet in the 2008 $5k PLO event, besting a final table featuring the likes of Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth, John Juanda, David Benyamine, Daniel Negreanu and Chris Ferguson. We're pretty sure that the 27 year old US pro will have no problem mustering up the enthusiasm to play in this event that's for sure!
Having just won his second $50k Poker Players Chamionship at the WSOP for over $1.4m 31 year old Mizrachi decided that even with the $1 million investment into The Big One he was still sitting pretty for his weeks work. Mizrachi is one of the biggest money winners in live tournament history with over $14 million in cashes. His career highlights include three WSOP and 2 WPT titles and is currently the third biggest money winner in WPT history. He originally got his nickname "The Grinder" from his grinding cash game style but it can just as easily be applied to his never say die approach in tournament play. Mizrachi's brothers Eric and Robert are also regulars on the circuit with Robert also a WSOP bracelet winner with over $4 million in live tournament winnings.
32 year old English Pro DeWolfe is a former poker journalist turned player and he is one of the most successful British players of all time with over $5.3 million in live tournament winnings. DeWolfe is also one of an elite few to have captured the "Triple Crown" of Poker (having won a WSOP title, a WPT title, and an EPT title). DeWolfe first shot to prominence in 2005 after winning the WPT Grand Prix de Paris for nearly $600k. DeWolfe hasn't been seen too frequently of late on the live circuit with his last cash being back in December 2010 with a $50k win at the APPT in Sydney, Australia.
Reinkemeir is a German poker pro with close to $4 million in live tournament winnings as well as millions won playing online tournaments under the screen name "PokerNoob999" at PokerStars. Reinkemeier literally built mis multi million dollar fortune from nothing, building his bankroll from a free $50 offered from a poker site seeking new customers.
Perhaps more famous for his sex tape "One Night In Paris" featuring his nocturnal naughtiness with then girlfriend Paris Hilton than his exploits at the Poker table, Salomon nevertheless is a massive poker fan and a big home game player in LA, often for very high stakes and rife with celebrities. Salomon will be hoping his tenure at the tables tonight lasts a little longer than his short lived marriages to actress Shannon Doherty and pin up Pamela Anderson.
Voulgais classes himself as a professional poker player, and with $2 million in live tournament earnings who are we too dispute that? However, the native Canadian of Greek origin is also well known as a highly successful sports bettor, having made his living since his teenage years betting on sports events, almost exclusively NBA basketball where Voulgais now has a network of employees, a database of statistics, and predictive models that far surpass what many NBA franchises have available to them.
Stevens is a businessman and new & used car salesman with a successful dealership in Kansas. He is also a very keen recreational poker player and is certainly now slouch having placed 10th in the 2012 WSOP Main Event for over $635,000.
Find more of the latest news and articles relating to the World Series of Poker in the 2012 WSOP-section.