The modern poker world is a landscape full of relative unknowns. The lack of immediate endorsement opportunities and incentive to remain anonymous leads some of the most talented players in the world to fly under the radar. To try and shed some light on those players, below is a look at five of the most successful online poker players you’ve probably never heard of. All tournament earnings are from PocketFives.com and cash game winnings are courtesy of HighStakesDB.com.
This Canadian player dominated the micro-stakes circuit in 2017. ‘BLaaZeKuSH’ won the leaderboard for most money earned playing MTTs on 888poker with a $22 buy-in or below. With $98,724 in cashes, 88 wins, and 1,296 cashes ‘BLaaZeKuSH’ proved there is a living to be made beating the smallest of margins.
Those rankings are good for first, first, and second in the respective categories for 2017. Entering 2018, ‘BLaaZeKush’ is only a few thousand away from hitting $1 million in online MTT earnings.
Already in 2018, ‘BLaaZeKuSH’ has eight wins on the micro grind and we’ll see if they decide to move up in stakes before long.
The #1 ranked player in the poker hotbed of Argentina is also ranked in the top 50 worldwide, according to PocketFives. ‘kofi89’ won Tournament Number One Billion on PokerStars in November 2014 for $329,587 and followed that up with a Sunday Million victory in March of last year.
‘kofi89’ is master of all PokerStars trademark tournaments with victories in the Sunday Grand, Big $162, and Hot $109 on their resume.
Still awaiting a major COOP breakout, ‘kofi89’ is awaiting their first final table performance in the premier events on PokerStars.
The lone American on this list is a strong player in both the live and online realm. Hoffman is the current #1 player in Nevada and a superior on the World Series of Poker Circuit. Thunder Valley and Lake Tahoe witnessed Hoffman’s strong play as he final tabled both WSOPC final tables.
At the January 2018 Thunder Valley series, Hoffman made another live final table. Hoffman keeps to WSOP.com when home in Nevada.
Hoffman almost made the virtual final table of the WSOP $3,333 Online High Roller last summer. Combined, Hoffman’s live and online earnings add up to over $1.5 million.
Another individualized #1 player is Russia’s ‘veeea.’ Vezhenkov is a former PocketFives worldwide #1 and currently ranks 13th. In one of the rarest occurrences in online poker, he is a two-time Sunday Million winner.
Vezhenkov won his first Sunday Million in 2015 and then the second in July 2017. Add in a SCOOP and WCOOP win, and the Russian is a formidable name in the poker community despite not making many appearances on the live tournament scene.
In only six months, ‘RaúlGonzalez’ went from a marginal winner in the highest stakes cash games in the world to one of the top earners. ‘RaúlGonzalez’ was down more than $800,000 at one point in 2017 by playing in the highest stakes Pot Limit Omaha games PokerStars had to offer. As is the case with those games, ‘RaúlGonzalez’ hit an upswing and between June and the end of December, ran his graph to a seven-figure bounceback.
The toughest opponents are welcomed by ‘RaúlGonzalez,’ who battles with Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom and Ben ‘Sauce123’ Sulsky on a regular basis. ‘RaúlGonzalez’ closed 2017 with a $521,189 profit in December alone. Already in 2018, they are back on track and adding more winning sessions to their overall portfolio.