2012 WSOP Ones To Watch – Saskatchewan
Over the past few years, the prairies have started putting some top players on the map that makes up our poker landscape, with Saskatchewan being the first of the 3 provinces to bring home WSOP bracelet number 1 back in 2011. We have a few solid guesses as to who might add to the province’s tallies over 2012…
Saskatoon players are surely not to be outdone by Regina’s celebrations last year, having a few ringers of their own to keep an eye on:
Robin Bergren has already run very deep in the $10,000 No Limit Championship twice, with 36th and 144th place finishes totaling more than $340,000. He’s also cashed a $5,000 NLH Short handed at the WSOP and every time we see his name on results lists for Canadian events, it’s a final table finish. Robin has shown to be a solid Pot Limit Omaha player as well and so far in 2012 had a 2nd place finish at the Station Poker Classic in Regina and won the PLO Event at the Alberta Championships in Edmonton.
Bergren has nearly $450,000 in live cashes on his official poker resume so far, look for him to try to double that over this years WSOP.
Many can agree and the history of many competitive sports or events have shown there is little as motivating as playing or training with (and sometimes trying to outdo) a sibling. That little extra drive might just be what it takes to see one. Or both of these brothers snagging some WSOP gold:
Since watching him chop up the final table of the $2,000 of the Canadian Poker Open Championships back 2010, we’ve seen Michael Smith make six-figure over a half dozen final tables here in Canada; Edmonton, Regina, Calgary and Vancouver cash cages have all paid the man his money, with Michael most recently raking in 3 cashes at the Western Canadian Poker Classic totaling more than the first prize money in several of the events. He looks to still be chasing his first big title though and it sounds like he really has his eye on the shiny bracelet of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Older brother Ryan Smith also has been cleaning up across the Prairies, though Regina seems to have become somewhat of his personal ATM; he finished 2nd in both the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em and the $650 KO Station Poker Classic 2012 events. He’s already beaten Michael to the punch with having a major Canadian tournament title; Ryan won the $500 at the 2010 Harvest Poker Classic in 2010. Comparably though, his 7 final table finishes on the Canadian circuit also total in the six-figures and he plans to take a little of that scratch to up his chances at World Series of Poker success by hitting the 2012 side events.
Repeat For Tyler Bonkowski?
Proficient in both Fixed and No Limit Hold’em, the 888poker sponsored pro went the distance in 2011 to score his first bracelet (and the first for Canada over the 2011 WSOP) in the $3000 Fixed Limit Hold’em. We talked to him about that hard fought win and some key hands while the experience was still fresh in his mind, and shortly after Bonkowski continued his heater with a very deep run in the $10,000 No Limit Championship. Over his career, Bonkowski has certainly been around the poker block, playing events as far away as Ireland to Australia and only getting better, so we really like his chances of getting number two.