PokerPlayer Top 5: Online wizards turned live superstars

With so many young hotshots ripping up the online felt, we often don’t hear much about them until they enter the live poker arena.

These online poker phenoms are tempted by the riches on offer for success in the biggest live tournaments around the world. But very few make the profitable transition from online wizard to genuine live superstar. Here’s our top five…

5. Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan

Dwan has won (and lost) millions of dollars since he was first spotted at the higher limits on Full Tilt Poker back in 2007. He’s issued challenges, played heads-up with some of the best players in the world and generally created havoc at the very top of the game!

While his live tournament results aren’t truly amazing, he’s still cashed for over $2m and came agonisingly close to winning a WSOP bracelet in 2010.

Durrrr is perhaps best known for running some obscene bluffs on High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark and Full Tilt Poker’s Million Dollar Cash Game, where he won the largest pot ($1.1m) in televised poker history…

4. Chris ‘Moorman1’ Moorman

Probably the greatest online tournament grinder of all time, Moorman has recently made the leap to live superstar. After a couple of near misses at the Aussie Millions and WSOPE main event, Moorman finally delivered a major title at the WPT LA Poker Classic last month netting a tidy seven-figure sum.

‘Moorman1’ may have been the first player to ever achieve $10m in online tournament winnings, but we’re pretty sure he’s not the first player to make a poorly timed five-bet shove like the one below. Sorry Chris, we couldn’t resist. Plus, Dan Smith’s reaction to the flop is hilarious…

3. Phil ‘OMGClayAiken’ Galfond

With over $9m in online cash game winnings, it’s no wonder that Phil Galfond was the only player Tom Dwan refused to play in his Million Dollar Challenge!

Galfond has a WSOP bracelet to his name for the 2008 $5k PLO and also finished runner-up in last year’s $25k six-max for $744,841. Due to his success in online cash games he appeared in several seasons of High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, where he made this glorious call with Ace-high…

2. Patrik ‘FinddaGrind’ Antonius

Another player with huge success in both poker arenas. Antonius crushed the Euro sites before becoming widely known on Full Tilt Poker as ‘FinddaGrind’. Racking up the millions netted him a sponsorship deal and a regular seat on the biggest live cash games in the world.

2005 was Antonius’ breakthrough year in live tournaments. He took down EPT Baden before scooping $1m by finishing second in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. His unreadable expression has also been a permanent fixture on High Stakes Poker, where he played out this entertaining pot with Sammy Farha

1. Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald

Mike McDonald ventured into the live poker scene on his 18th birthday having already made a name for himself online under the alias “Timex”. And what a present he received, a glorious two-outer gift wrapped by Jamie Gold himself!

Luckily for Timex, he went on to win EPT Dortmund just a couple of months later for €933,600 and almost became the first two-time EPT champion, after his second at this year’s PCA main event. He has now cashed for over $10m in live tournaments, but more importantly perfected the icey Mike McDonald patented stare down!

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