Poker is truly a global game, so throughout the 2008 WSOP we'll be highlighting some of the top players from various countries around the world to keep an eye out for this year.
Since this writer's from Canada, that's exactly where I'll start. This list doesn't represent the best players per se, just the players I feel are the biggest threat in this year's Main Event.
5. Matt Kay (pictured). Known as "Ch0ppy" online, Kay won both the PokerStars Sunday Million and a PokerStars Second Chance tourney in 2007.
In the live poker world Kay has four cashes - three in EPT events, and the fourth being first place in the 2007 Ultimate Bet Aruba Classic, Event 3.
4. Shawn Buchanan. Shawn Buchanan has cleared over $1 million in winnings from live poker tournaments, including winning the 2007 WPT Mandalay Bay Poker Championship.
He has 17 cashes in live tournaments and is a very successful online player, in both tournaments and cash games. He's a feared and respected player, with good reason.
3. Glen Chorny. Glen Chorny makes this list with ease. He is on a 2008 heater with five money finishes so far this year, including winning the EPT Grand Final main event and a 13th-place finish at the EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
In total, this year he has won over $3.3 million, and has put himself into the 8th slot in the 2008 PokerListings.com Player of the Year standings.
2. Sorel Mizzi. Betfair Poker proMizzi, aka "Imper1um" and "Zangbezan24," is an online tourney legend. In the last couple of years he has taken his online success into the live tournament forum with impressive results.
Ten money finishes worth just over $600,000, and a deep run at last year's Main Event with the chip lead for a good part of it, is just the tip of the iceberg we feel. And as is the case in a large percentage of Main Event busts, his luck simply ran cold and he was forced out with around 200 players left.
The combination of online tournament expertise and live tournament success makes him a major threat in deep-field tournaments such as the WSOP Main Event.
1. Daniel Negreanu. I'm sure it's no surprise that Negreanu made the top of my list. With over $9.7 million in tournament winnings and three WSOP bracelets, it's a no-brainer to put him into the top slot.
I'm sure I don't need to say much more about Kid Poker, since all of you should be rather familiar with the man.
Michael "Timex" McDonald. Six cashes in major events worth over $1.5 million, including winning the 2008 EPT German Open Main Event and a first in the PokerPro No-Limit Aussie Millions event, have put him into the fifth slot in the 2008 PokerListings.com Player of the Year standings.
He also cashed in two other Aussie Millions events, including a second place in Event 1.
Unfortunately, the kid is under the legal U.S. gambling age and is thus unable to compete in any WSOP events. Watch out for him at the 2011 WSOP, though (he'll have to wait till then to be eligible).
To follow all of the top Canadians as the Series progresses, check out our live 2008 WSOP coverage.
More Poker Top 5 Lists:
- Top 5 Non-Hold'em Events at the WSOP
- Top 5 to Watch at 2008 WSOP
- Top 5 Likely Outcomes of Postponing the Main Event Final Table
- Top 5 Likely Hellmuth Stunts at This Year's WSOP