WSOP Picks: Best Without A Bracelet

Barry Carter picks out some names he thinks are finally due a World Series of Poker bracelet, and who could walk away with one this year.

All eyes are on the WSOP now that we are just a few weeks away from the first event. Despite the huge sums of money that will be in play this year, for many players it will all be about the holy grail that is the WSOP bracelet. I have picked out a few players yet to win one who I think have a great shot at joining that ever-growing yet still exclusive club this year.
Before people point it out, I am very aware that I have not included Tom Dwan or Patrik Antonius in this list.

Chris Moorman

Chris Moorman

Despite being one of the most prolific online tournament players of all time, the live scene has been somewhat frustrating for the UK's Chris Moorman.
Last year, he came very close to WSOP gold, coming third in one event and second in two other bracelet events, including the WSOPE main event.
He finally has the live tournament monkey off his back after winning a €2,000 side event at EPT Madrid and quickly followed it up with a second place in the high roller event at EPT Berlin last month for €145k.
Moorman has to be one of the best tournamentplayers in the world without a bracelet, and 2012 could be the year he finally captures his first major live title.

Justin Bonomo

Another player who many would assume would have a bracelet by now, Justin Bonomo came closest last year, coming runner up in the $2,500 2-7 Triple Drawevent. If form is anything to go by then Bonomo is the man to beat, having won the €100,000 EPT Grand Final Super High Roller and and taking 4th in the €25,000 High Roller a few days later for over €1.9 million combined.

Viktor Blom

Viktor "Isildur1" Blom

This time last year, the man best known as "Isildur1" who shot to the top of poker's elite in November 2009 would not have been on this list - and not just because 21-year-old Blom has until now been ineligible to play poker in the United States.
Almost strictly an online heads-up cash game player, Swedish pro Blom has since shown his tournament chops with a deep and dominating run in the 2010 WSOPE Main Event, a runner-up finish at the EPT Deauville heads-up tournament this year and of course his $1.25 million win at the $100,000 Super High Roller during the 2012 PCA.
Just last night, Blom won a $215 SCOOP event for almost $250,000 and is currently third in chips in the $530 rebuy.
If his hyper-aggressive style can be constrained somewhat during live play and he catches the right cards, don't be surprised if everyone's favourite Swede manages to snag WSOP gold this year.

Andrey Pateychuk

Andrey Pateychuk

Despite winning the Rookie of the Year award at the European Poker Awards, Andrey Pateychuk's success has flown under the radar outside of Russia. Despite being a relative newcomer to the live scene, last year he finished 15th in the WSOP Main Event before he won both WPT Prague and EPT San Remo.
He is one of only a handful of players who will be able to complete the prestigious pokertriple crown at the WSOP this year and he looks like the best pick to do just that.

Roberto Romanello

Like Pateychuk, Welsh tournament pro Romanello could completethe triple crown this summer in Vegas, having won WPT Bratislava last year and EPT Prague in 2010. He has also had a great past 12 months at the tables, having made enough final tables in EPT side events to secure him two gongs at the EPT awards this month.

Martin Jacobson

Another player who must be wondering what he needs to do to win a major title, Martin Jacobson of Sweden has an amazing record. He has made three EPT and three WPT final tables, as well as one WSOP final table. He has already made a good start to 2012, bubbling the final tableof the PCA and making several more final tables on the EPT circuit. Will he finally get to use his "one time" in Vegas this year?

Sam Trickett

Sam Trickett

Trickett is one of poker's biggest winners in recent times, with success in both large-field tournaments and high rollers. He has come close to a bracelet many times, but should he enter the $1 million One Drop event, like we all expect him to, then he surely has to be the favourite to walkaway victorious?

The Germans

Following the success of Pius Heinz last year, we expect a huge year for German players at the series this year. We have already seen three EPT titles being taken down by German players since Pius made the November Nine, as well as countless other big scores from German players.
Big success like that achieved by Heinz tends to inspire more success, and I would be shocked if we didn't see multiple German bracelets this year.
Names to watch out for include Benny " psychobenny" Spindler, Tobias " PokerNoob" Reinkemeier, Marvin Rettenmaier, and Martin " 0piggybank" Finger.
by Barry Carter

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