WSOP High Profile - Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler

Allen Kessler
Allen Kessler

By any objective standard, 2010 has been the year of the Chainsaw, as Allen Kessler has turned into a cashing machine at the WSOP.

Kessler has been one of the biggest breakout stars of the 2010 WSOP, cashing eight times in seven different games for a total of $373,733.

If you look around the online poker forums it seems like Kessler is everyone's favorite player to needle, with a reputation as one of the tightest players in the game.

Kessler says he doesn't worry about his detractors, and instead uses that image to his advantage.

"I was playing aggressively in the Pot-Limit Eight-or-Better Omaha events and people would just fold, because they're always afraid that I have the absolute nuts," Kessler said.

According to legend it was Gavin Smith that gave Kessler the "Chainsaw" nickname, though Kessler says it may have been someone other than Birdguts that actually originated the name.

Kessler's been known on the poker circuit for more than a decade, and he's known as a player that will hold out for a minimum cash when on the money bubble.

He used that strategy in his most recent cash finish in $1.5k No-Limit Hold'em, holding out for 191st place and a $3,089 cash.

Kessler's brand of play has earned him a reputation as a nit, but "Chainsaw" defends his style unapologetically.

"In that situation I have to fold with any hand, because even if I double up I don't have a decent stack," Kessler said.

Chainsaw is already well known amongst his poker peers, but with a breakout 2010 WSOP, Kessler's star is rising.

His biggest result came in the $10k Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship, when he finished second to Frank Kassela and cashed for $276,485.

"I know all the games and I've been concentrating just on the 5 p.m. events," Kessler said.

"I've been basically focusing on the smaller-field mixed events. That's my specialty."

Kessler told that an unlucky beat prevented him from a ninth cash Thursday night, and that he's keeping an eye on his spot in the Player of the Year race.

The 2010 WSOP continues through July 17. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas tune in to PokerListings' Live Updates and News.

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