If you follow high-stakes online poker you’re no doubt familiar with Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, Patrik Antonius and Phil Ivey.
You may even know that Ivey’s new account on Full Tilt is “Polarizing” or that Antonius has returned to his old "FinddaGrind" alias.
Over the last couple years, however, the next wave of online poker players has encroached upon the high-stakes scene.
It can be hard for even the most devoted online poker fan to keep track of the new handles so here’s a quick guide to the latest movers and shakers from the last year.
Some of these players are still unidentified so feel free to share your thoughts about who the accounts belong to in the comments below.
All profit numbers are from highstakesdb.com:
Real Name: Niklas Heinecker
Online profit this year: $3.8 million
Biggest live tournament score: $4.4 million
Current residence: Hamburg, Germany
Bio: What a year for Niklas Heinecker. Not only is he one of the biggest online winners but he also took down this year’s inaugural GuangDong Asia Millions for $4.4 million.
Heinecker has actually been around poker for years but 2013 has really proved to be his breakout.
He travels the international circuit with fellow Germans Igor Kurganov, Tobias Reinkemeier, Fabian Quoss and Phillip Gruissem.
Real Name: Kyle Hendon
Online profit this year: $3.1 million mid-2013 (opted out of tracking)
Biggest tournament score: n/a
Current residence: Mexico
Bio: Despite having played since the mid-2000s, Kyle “Cottonseed1” Hendon has always been well under the radar.
2013 may be the year that all changes for Hendon as he’s absolutely crushing the high-stakes games with $3.1 million in profit on Full Tilt Poker.
Hendon has been particularly dangerous in the big $2k/$4k FLO8 games that have been running.
Interestingly Hendon is one of the few players who has opted out of having his long-term results displayed so his exact profit is unknown.
Real Name: Ben Tollerene
Online profit this year: $2.7 million
Biggest tournament score: $99,493
Current residence: Canada
Bio: Ben Tollerene is actually pretty well-known in the high-stakes world but has elevated his game in recent years to become one of the premier players.
Tollerene actually had a down 2012 but has bounced back in a huge way in 2013.
His battles with Isildur1 this year have been legendary, although he’s gotten the worst of it for the most part. He’s currently living in Vancouver with fellow high-stakes pro Jason Koon.
Real Name: Alexander Kostritsyn
Online profit this year: Unknown
Biggest tournament score: $1.4 million
Current residence: Moscow, Russia
Bio: Alexander Kostritsyn is one of the best Russian players and he certainly proved that when he won the 2008 Aussie Millions for $1.4 million.
Even then he was known more as a cash-game player and he’s dominated the last couple years online.
Kostritsyn is a very well-rounded player that can play most of the games. Kostritsyn also opted out of having his long-term results tracked.
Real Name: Alex Millar
Online profit this year: $2.1 million
Biggest live tournament score: $24,725
Current residence: England
Bio: Alex Millar has always flown under the radar for some reason despite the fact he’s been owning the high-stakes HUNL games on PokerStars for years.
Millar became a little more recognizable when he took on Isildur1 in the SuperStar Showdown on PokerStars a couple of years ago.
Regardless of his notoriety, Millar is universally considered one of the best HUNL players in the world and has been crushing this year. He's also a recent addition to Team PokerStars Online.
Real Name: Doug Polk
Online profit this year: $948,213
Biggest tournament score: $21,295
Current residence: Unknown
Bio: The heir apparent to the Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em crown, Douglas “WCGRider” Polk threw down the gauntlet earlier this month when he rated the top 10 best HUNL players in the world. He ranked himself #1 so he certainly doesn’t lack confidence.
Polk even ran a mini-durrrr Challenge against Ben "Sauce1234" Sulsky and won handily. Unfortunately for Polk, Isildur1 (who he didn’t even rank in his top 10) has torched him several times so he may have to re-do his list.
Interestingly Polk's online handle comes from when he used to compete in the World Cyber Games.
Real Name: Unknown
Online profit this year: -$3.7 million
Biggest live tournament score: Unknown
Current residence: Macau
Bio: Online poker player MalACEsia is known for a slightly different reason than the rest of the players on this list.
The account has lost millions this year and seems to be one of the bigger marks.
The account is rumored to belong to one of the renowned Malaysian businessmen who have been a fixture on the high-stakes circuit over the last few years.