Who are the new cash game stars challenging the household names of poker?

Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and co have all proved themselves online but who are the new stars?

Lots of players drift in and out of the high-stakes games. Some are mid-stakes players taking a shot, some are the much-beloved rich fish and some are players simply playing outside of their bankroll and gambling. These players tend to come and go, but there are some who have stuck around to rule the high-stakes roost


Ilari Sahamies is arguably the biggest character in the high-stakes games with a fondness for hilarious trash talking (often at the expense of Gus Hansen) and some serious gambling – he once flipped for over $200,000 with Phil Ivey. The 26-year-old Finn is a fast-living, hard drinking almost comical figure.

Tom Dwan is considered to be the best player online who isn’t called Phil Ivey, and has an almost mythical reputation. He plays a uniquely aggressive style of poker, playing hands and situations unlike most other high-stakes pros. He also has a seemingly unquenchable appetite for high-stakes gambling.

urindanger & trex313
The Dang brothers are two ?of the high-stakes world’s most feared characters. The duo from near Washington DC rose quickly up the ?online ranks by playing on one account with a shared bankroll under the name urindanger. Hac Dang is ?the younger of the pair at 23 and now plays as ?trex313. Di Dang is 24 and retains the urindanger name.

Phil Galfond is one of the most feared and respected high-stakes names. He has a less mathematical and more psychological approach to the game, and is known as one of the most thinking and analytical players in the game. He is a close friend of Tom Dwan and the Dang brothers.

Finnish pro Sami Kelopuro is one of the most feared heads-up no-limit specialists. He doesn’t post on forums or blog but is a favourite for railbirds as he will play anyone for any stakes.


Phil Ivey
Despite being a relative latecomer to the world of online cash games, Ivey has shown just what an incredible poker player he is by rapidly becoming one of the biggest online winners across all games.

Gus Hansen
The big games come alive whenever Gus takes a seat. He seems to be regarded as something of a fish by the fellow high-stakes players and his tables usually have a waiting list. But Hansen seems to be having the last laugh with some huge wins.

Patrick Antonius
(luigi66369, I_Knockout_U)
Antonius is without question one of the best online cash game players alive and consistently puts in the results to prove it. Very few players will take on Antonius heads-up, but Dwan, Ivey and others will.

Guy Laliberte
The quintessential action starter. The founder of the Cirque De Soleil is a billionaire with a fondness for high-stakes poker, despite being the worst player at the table on almost all occasions. If one of Guy’s many reputed aliases are to be found at a table, the other five seats will usually be occupied.

David Benyamine
(MR B 2 U SON)
The famous Frenchman has been quiet of late on the high-stakes tables, but he is known for putting in a monster volume online, playing several tables. He is another player who gets the action started.


Brit Luke Schwartz has been the biggest winner in the no-limit hold’em games of late. Just as famous for his trash talking and his rivalry with durrrr.

Jay Rosenkrantz was the biggest winner in the no-limit games during 2007, but has been relatively quiet of late.

Emil Patel is the flatmate of Krantz and another regular in the high-stakes games. Like Krantz he is a professional instructor on DeucesCracked.

Considered by many to be the best heads-up no-limit player online, Cole South is an enigmatic figure fond of snowboarding and travelling when not killing the games.

David Benefield
Initially better known as durrrr’s housemate, Benefield is one of the ?rising stars of online ?poker and a regular in the bigger games.


Another newcomer to the high-stakes limelight, although a long-term high stakes player. Haseeb Qureshi is also a member of Team CardRunners. He is one to watch in the big games.

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