While most of the older, more seasoned pros like Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and John Juanda have busted out of the competition, a staggering amount of young talents have emerged. Live poker tournaments are seeing an increasing number of young poker players make it deep into the game. These are the new breed of poker players that are taking over the poker tournament circuit b y storm.
With their uncanny ability to play position with perfect precision and keen sense for reading their opponent’s actions gives them an edge over some of their opponents. While there is no replacing Doyle Brunson
, these young poker pros are making a new name for themselves as the next generation of poker pros rise to the surface.
began playing poker online at the age of 15 and has a reputation of being quite aggressive at times. She believes the young players are doing so well for several reasons. Obrestad is among some of the bright new stars that have been shining at EPT London. She busted out as the last woman standing about 20 minutes ago.
“I think they have an edge just because they are so fearless,” she said. “They’re used to playing so many tournaments and they really don’t give a shit if they bust. At this stage of a tournament they’re really not scared of four-betting all in with like six-seven. If they have a read on someone they are just going to go with it. The old school players, they don’t like to stick their chips in without a hand.”
Benjamin Spindler, the third place finisher at the 2009 PokerStars
Caribbean Adventure is also among the chip leaders as Day 4 of the competition came to an end yesterday. At age 24, he has mastered the online game and believes that the super aggressive play style he learned online will work out just as well for him on the felt.
“The young players all come from the internet and have a much different approach to the game than older live players,” said Spindler. “It’s much more aggressive and it seems that it’s much better. I usually but on Day 1 or I make a deep run in a tournament, the first option happens very often, but sometimes I can build a big stack and that’s my game.”
Although the aggressive play style works for some young players, it’s not every young player’s tactic. Vivek Rajkumar, a 23 year old from Seattle who won the WPT Borgata in 2008, says there are other aspects that are just as important. Rajkumar, who plays at Full Tilt
, is among the young chip leaders in London.
“I used to play like that one or two years ago, but people are really too good now,” he said. “People know how to play back at over the top aggression, so you have to tighten up, especially if you have an aggressive image. I know as soon as I sit down, people automatically think I’m aggressive, so I come and try to play off that.”
Obrestad agrees with Rajkumar to an extent and points out that having patience in the game is almost as important as aggression. She claims to have learned this helpful tip from the more seasoned poker pros. The Betfair player realized that her very aggressive play wasn’t always working. “I was busting with stupid hands and pots I shouldn’t be involved in-stuff that’s just so unnecessary. You have so much time and the blinds go up so slowly, you can just grind it out-take it easy. I can see why there are still a lot of older live players doing so well and I use a little of their strategy as well.”
So many players already know Obrestad as a very aggressive player. So she began playing to take advantage of this image by playing a bit tighter. “It’s unbelievable how some people just don’t give me any credit at all,” she said. “To be honest, I would really like to be able to get away with more stuff but I don’t. I can’t do anything about that. My image is already there, now I just have to take advantage of it.
19 players remain in the competition with United Kingdom’s Michael Berry leading the board with just over 2 million in chips.