Talk to world-class slot hoki players, and I’m sure most of them would tell you that they are the best in the world. Confidence is a pretty big part of being a great player, so I can’t blame them for holding that opinion. Most of them, however, would be wrong.
Measuring the game’s greatest isn’t easy. Should “Fossilman” Greg Raymer be considered the world’s best until he gets knocked out in next year’s WSOP? I don’t think so. After all, the poker world hardly considered Chris Moneymaker the world’s best during his 12-month reign.
If you go by career WSOP winnings, it’s Greg Raymer again, but besides his $5 million check from the Main Event, he’s won just $5345. And third place on the career money list? David Williams, who has cashed just once in the WSOP, finishing second to Raymer. Obviously that can’t be a barometer.
Phil Helmuth and Johnny Chan each have 9 WSOP bracelets and Chan sports the most recent back-to-back titles in the Main Event. But neither of these world-class players have made much noise in recent years.
Of course, with the proliferation of poker, we now have to consider the influence of the World Poker Tour and other major tournaments. Gus Hansen has certainly proven to be the most feared player on the WPT, but is he the best player in the world?
Perhaps it’s a bias of mine, but I still come back to the WSOP, and more specifically, to the big $10,000 NLHE tourney. It’s the place where everyone comes to play. In 2004, 2576 players signed up for their chance at the bracelet. In 2003, just 839 people entered, and that was considered a huge field. In 2002, there were 631.
harrington.bmpSo what is this all leading to? “Action” Dan Harrington, the world’s best poker player.
I’ll let that sink in.
I know I’m not the only one who believes this. In 2004, Harrington topped 2572 players to finish 4th. In 2003, he beat 836 players to finish 3rd. In two years in the Main Event, Harrington has watched 3408 players get up and walk away as he kept playing. Can any feat in poker match that?
Was it really harder for Johnny Chan to win back to back in 1987 and 1988? He won a total of $1.325 million for those wins (anyone know how many players he bested?). Harrington won $1.5 for his 4th place finish this year. I don’t mean to disparage Chan’s accomplishment, because no one has really come close to matching it. When you win, everyone is gunning for you.
By the way, it’s not like Harrington lacks the ability to close. He won the Main Event in 1995, the same year he won the $2500 NLHE tourney. He’s been at the top before, and now he’s poker’s biggest threat to get to the final table every year.
In today’s game, no one has accomplished as much as “Action” Dan on poker’s biggest stage, and that makes hi mteh world’s best.
For want of a poker game, for want of a casino, for want of a computer not protected by workplace firewalls with download protection, I sit at the office, stuck with nothing to do. My profession occasionally requires that I sit and wait. Tonight, as now-Tropical Storm Ivan pushes its way across the southeast, I’m stuck in a place between sit and wait.
I find myself with no real poker playing content (unless you really want to hear my buddy GRob’s bad beat tale of woe–kings full of sevens beat by quad sevens).
And since I’m lacking in a real poker story, I thought this might be a good time to catch up on some miscellany. I call it…DIDJA KNOW?
Didja know…I played at a table with BadBlood last night and pushed him off a hand. In my hand? You guessed it. The hammer.
Didja know…about a year ago, Up For Poker founder CJ and I were sweating a guy playing an Ultimate Bet SNG. We cheered in the chatbar as he took down hand after hand. He never responded. We thought he was being a little standoffish, what with being one of our best friends and all. See, we believed it to be our friend, Todd, who had recently taken over duties as our fantasy football commissioner. Why did we believe that? Because his screen name was TODDCOMMISH. It made sense. When he finally won, he escaped into the ether without a word. I asked him the next day why he never responded and he informed us that it wasn’t him. Odd, I thought. Probably even odder for the guy we were sweating. Then in recent months comes the poker blogger named ToddCommish. Coincidence? I think not.
Didja know… CJ is driving halfway across the country next week and I’m thinking about putting together an old-school home game in his honor?
That should do it for now.
You know anything?