Top Ten Canadian Players Money List, Part Two: Surprises At Six Through Ten


As we continue with our look at the Top Ten Canadian Money Earners of 2011, there are some surprises in store in the six through ten positions. In some cases, it was that one big score that came home after some excellent play and, in others, it was a demonstration of consistency that the player has shown. Either way, these players all have had an excellent year and should be formidable figures in the 2012 tournament poker world.

#10 – Khoa Nguyen, $611,963

Khoa Nguyen

For Khoa, 2011 was the realization of dreams during this year’s World Series of Poker. After earning his first ever cash last year at the WSOP, Khoa was able to triple that number during the 2011 schedule. A couple of small cashes led up to what is the dream for every poker player.

The WSOP Championship Event would prove to be Khoa’s greatest achievement in the infancy of his tournament poker career. He was the final Canadian standing in the tournament, driving to the final day of play in July. Although he would come up short of the “November Nine,” Khoa still finished in eleventh place for an outstanding $607,882 payday (all money figures are in American dollars).

Add in another cash at this year’s British Columbia Poker Championships (BCPC), and Khoa has the funding to strike hard on the tournament poker circuit in 2012. The WSOP score also catapulted him over his 2010 earnings by a whopping $594,000.

#9 – Sorel Mizzi, $633,616


Sorel Mizzi

For “Imper1um,” it may have been a so-so year, but the 2011 tournament poker year for Sorel is one that many players would enjoy having to deal with!

Sorel kicked off 2011 by driving to the final table of the Aussie Millions Main Event, dropping out in ninth place. He laid low until the start of the WSOP, where Sorel seemed like he was making Day Twos on a routine basis. Although he didn’t make any final tables at the 2011 WSOP, he did cash five times, including a 95th place finish in the Championship Event.

Mizzi’s biggest score, however, came at the Aviation Club in Paris, France. There for the Rendezvous a Paris’ World Poker Tour event, Sorel hopped into the €15,000 “High Roller” event and ended up vanquishing the 36 player field for the title. The €234,495 first place prize was his biggest score of the 2011 tournament season.

The down side of 2011 for Sorel? He earned over $1.2 million less this year than he did in 2010. However, he can lay claim to a streak of five years where he has cashed in tournament poker for at least six figures. Not many people can make such a claim!

#8 – Kirk Caldwell, $668,276

Kirk Caldwell

Perhaps one of the surprises on the Top Ten list, Kirk’s performance at one of the $1500 No Limit events at the WSOP this year was enough to catapult him into the Top Ten. When he defeated Corbin White in June to lay claim to one of Canada’s WSOP bracelet victories, Kirk also “broke his duck” in the tournament poker world, as it was his first ever tournament poker victory.

Here is the major question for Kirk, however. Is he happy with his “one shot” performance and will quietly drift back into the shadows of the tournament poker world or will he attempt to make a career out of an admittedly difficult path? 2012 will have the answer to that question and, to be honest, only Kirk knows right now what his decision will be.


#7 – Simon Charette, $669,000

Simon Charette at the 2011 WSOP
Simon Charette

One of the great up and coming young Canadian poker professionals, Simon Charette has a 2011 track record that is the envy of many. Here’s the huge number to think of, first off; Simon cashed an astounding twelve times in 2011 and in virtually every corner of the globe.

His year started off respectably enough, with two cashes at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $92K in cash. Simon then jumped on a plane for Australia, where he would add another $90K in two different tournaments. When this summer rolled around, Simon proved to be one of the Canadian stars of this year’s WSOP schedule with his outstanding play.

Cashing in six events, Simon was on the verge of taking down a WSOP bracelet in one of the $1500 No Limit tournaments, but was denied that victory by Athanasios Polychronopoulos. The second place payday, however, was quite sweet; the $404,235 earned for that second place finish was the largest cash of Simon’s young career.

2011 also marks the second year in a row that Simon has made six figures off the tournament poker circuit. He made over $373,000 more in 2011 than in 2010 and you would have to figure that Simon is one of those players that are on the cusp of a major tournament championship.

#6 – Matt Jarvis, $849,481

Matt Jarvis

Another player who continued to ride his success from the 2010 “November Nine” was Matt Jarvis. Along with Jonathan Duhamel, Matt carried the Canadian banner into last year’s WSOP Championship Event final table and, although he didn’t win, still has proven in 2011 that he has the chops to play the game.

Matt seemed to embrace the role of an ambassador for the game by playing in smaller events in both Connecticut and Canada, but he was able to accomplish something that escaped him in 2010. In June during the WSOP, Matt was able to secure his own WSOP bracelet when he defeated Justin Filtz (and Canadian Wes Pantling) to take down the $5000 Six Handed No Limit championship. For the victory, Matt picked up one of the larger paydays of the 2010 WSOP, $808,538.

Although he has earned around $400K less in 2011 than 2010, I believe that Matt himself would tell anyone that picking up the WSOP bracelet was one of his proudest achievements in the game! If he continues to promote the game, as well as play outstanding poker, Matt could be a part of the Canadian poker force for years to come.

Five down, five to go. In the final part of this look at the Top Ten Canadian Money Winners of 2011, the final five will be revealed…and there is a little bit of a surprise as to who is at the top, especially after his travails this summer!

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Earl Burton is a veteran journalist in the poker industry, having covered the game since 2004. He has played the game much longer, however, starting out playing in family games at a very early age. He has covered tournaments across the United States, including the World Poker Tour, the World Series of Poker and various charitable events. Earl’s background includes writing for some of the top poker news sites in the industry as well as other poker media outlets that include Poker Player Newspaper and Canadian Poker Player Magazine. Earl keeps an unblinking eye on the poker world, offering coverage of news from the industry, tournament action, player interviews, strategy and his opinions on the game. Whenever possible, Earl will also step to the tables to demonstrate that there’s more than just writing talent behind his poker game!


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