What Canadians Might Win a Bracelet This Summer?

What Canadians Might Win a Bracelet This Summer? 0001

In part 1 we looked at the wide variety of mixed game tournaments available in Las Vegas. Here we’ll focus on the mixed game scene at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and what Canadians have the best shot at bringing home some hardware from the 50th anniversary of poker’s greatest series.

Going for All The Moneys in $25k Fantasy

Daniel Negreanu

If ever there was a year someone took the ‘stars and scrubs’ strategy to the extreme in their $25k fantasy draft, it’s this year with Kid Poker.

Really though, $293/$300 for DNegs and 7 $1 guys? If there was a year to try it, here it is.

Negreanu has announced that not only will he be playing his usual full slate of $10k mixed game championship events, he’ll be firing every event under the Rio Convention Center roof and maybe pushing for more events while he’s there. If they were handing out POY points for the Daily Deepstack tourneys, I have no doubt he’d be firing those as well!

He wants a 3rd WSOP POY badly. And to ensure his shot at it, he’ll run the gauntlet from the Big 50 to the $100k High Roller with every $1,500 mixed tourney in there too.

Endurance and stamina over a month and a half of tournaments are the only things that could potentially prevent him from a mixed bracelet or two on his way to POY honours, but he’s been ‘getting sexy’ as he calls it, training and eating well to prepare for the grind. I mean, for that and his upcoming nuptials to Amanda Leatherman of course. 😉

Between the wedding and the WSOP, don’t bet against Daniel having his best summer ever.

Mike Leah

Canada’s other mixed game superstar is an unquestioned threat to take home a bracelet every summer.

Last year alone, Leah final tabled the $10k Razz, $10k PLO8 and $50k PPC. And he just missed final tables in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice (10th) and $2,500 Triple Draw Mix (9th).

His WSOP game will be sharp, coming off an expected full SCOOP schedule, (and likely some extra time for study with the early playoff elimination of his beloved Maple Leafs – sorry man).

One factor that could impact his schedule (for a very good reason) is that he’s also expecting great things off the felt this summer. Leah and girlfriend Christine are expecting a baby boy. Congrats!

Like 4th street in Stud 8 with A234 suited

Mike Watson

Under ‘comment’ on his WSOP profile page, it says “I am a mad dog”. Damn right.

Besides crushing High Rollers around the world, "SirWatts" is one helluva mixed game player.

Over the past 5 years, he’s made deep runs in at least one $10k championship event each year, including a stretch of 13th, 12th, 2nd, and 11th in the NL 2-7 single draw championship between 2014-2017!

This, along with a 4th in the 2017 2-7 Triple Draw $10k, and a 12th in last year’s Stud 8 Championship make him about as much a favourite to lock up a big cash in a $10k mixed event as you could ask for.

2019 could be the year he reaches the top and claims his elusive 1st bracelet.

Jonathan Duhamel

The 2010 Main Event and 2015 One Drop champ, Duhamel may be best known for those titles, but besides that, he’s also a very accomplished mixed games player.

He has a pair of deep runs in the $50k PPC, finishing 8th in 2013, then following that up with a 13th place run in 2014.

His mixed game success has gone international as well, as he final tabled the 2014 WSOP APAC 8 game (3rd) and the 2015 WSOP Europe 8 game (4th).

Duhamel could be due for a 4th career bracelet, and you have to know he’d love it to be in a mixed game.

Greg Mueller

The man known as FBT owns a pair of WSOP bracelets and can claim over $2.4m from 41 career cashes, but he’s also a mixed game ninja ready to collect a 3rd piece of jewelry (and his first in mix).

Mueller bubbled the final table of the prestigious $50k Poker Players Championship last summer, finishing 7th for over $144,000. As impressive as that was, in 2012 and 2013, Mueller made back to back final tables, grabbing a 2nd and 3rd in the $2,500 8 game mix (along with a 3rd in the 2013 $5,000 HORSE).

Mueller will be a force in any mixed tourney he enters this summer, from the $1,500s right to another potential deep run in the $50k PPC.

Shawn Buchanan

Buchanan’s nearly 7 million bucks in career tournament earnings do primarily come from a plethora of No Limit Hold ‘Em titles and final tables, but the Vancouver product is more than capable of mixing it up with the best of them.

Most recently, Buchanan finished 10th in the 2017 $10k Dealer’s Choice Championship, and in 2015 he narrowly missed the final table of the $50k PPC, placing 8th.

His best mixed game run at the Rio came in 2011 when he finished runner up to Fabrice Soulier in the $10k HORSE Championship for over $376,000.

These guys can cook!

Calen McNeil / Alex Livingston

McNeil’s Big Wheel Burgers in Victoria, BC and Livingston’s North of Brooklyn pizzerias in Toronto may be these guys primary focus most of the year, but when WSOP time comes, their focus switches from running restaurants to running it up!

Big Wheel McNeil won a $1,500 O8 bracelet in 2013, and nearly went back to back the following year before being ousted in 4th. Most recently he cashed 4 times in PLO or PLO mix events last summer.

Since his breakout run in the 2013 Main event where he placed 13th for over $450,000, Livingston has multiple deep runs in $1,500-$3k buy in mixed tourneys, including a 4th place finish in the 2016 $1,500 Stud 8 event.

Now if only they could cater to the Poker Kitchen too.

From the Virtual Felt to Vegas

Chris Kruk

Primarily an online beast with over $2m in online tournament winnings, Kruk has quietly built a decent little WSOP mixed resume, highlighted by last year’s 8th place finish in the $10k 2-7 Triple Draw Championship. Half of his 8 career WSOP cashes have come in mixed variants, and he’ll be looking to add to that total this summer.

Parker Talbot

Ok, this might be a stretch, but Tonkaaaa (I think that’s the right amount of ‘a’s), already has a huge following thanks to his highly entertaining Twitch streams, not to mention his multitude of massive online tournament scores totalling over $4.6m, along with almost $700,000 in live earnings.

But I’ve put him on our ones to watch list for one simple reason…the man has a 25th place result in last year’s $1,500 Razz event; and if Tonka can spice up a Razz tourney with his big personality, I’m darn well watching!

Best of luck to this crew and all Canadians venturing into the mixed game streets at this year’s WSOP. I and the rest of the team at PokerNews Canada will be looking for a summer full of big scores!

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