The WSOP has always attracted a high number of international players. This year will only see more non-US as the current dollar exchange rate is making a US poker road trip and buy-ins even more affordable. We plan to feature some of these players, country-by-country, as the WSOP enfolds.
Canada seemed to be a logical place to start; being our neighbor just north of the border. And with two Canadians representing at the WSOP's first open event final table of 2007, it seems even more fitting.
Let's start with a Canadian's Canadian; Greg Mueller. Greg Mueller developed his poker chops while he was on the road playing professional hockey in Europe. When he retired from the ice, he took on the felt. Mueller's second place in the 2007 WSOP Event #1 ($5,000 Mixed Limit Hold'em) marked the 8th time he has cashed in a WSOP event and was also his largest score.
Mueller often plays in pajama bottoms, but it looks like he dressed up this week for his TV final table. While Mueller spends a good part of the year in Vegas, he still calls Vancouver home. Mueller is affiliated with Full Tilt and bears the nick name "FBT" or Full Blown Tilt.
Our other Canadian final table finisher in Event #1 was Steven Paul-Ambrose (pictured above). In 2006, Ambrose became a millionaire by winning PokerStars' Caribbean Adventure while on break from his studies at the University of Waterloo.
The Caribbean climate obviously agrees with this member of Team PokerStars, as Ambrose finished a solid 20th in the same event this year. His fourth place finish this week in the $5K mixed event was his second WSOP poker cash; he moneyed in the 2006 $2.5K Short Handed event.
While there are many Canadians to cover (and we will), it would be hard to post our first set of Canadian profiles without mentioning one of the most widely known Canadian poker playing natives; Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu has posted over $9 million in tournament cashes.
On the jewelry front, Daniel has three WSOP bracelets; Pot Limit Hold'em (1998), S.H.O.E (2003), and Limit Hold'em (2004). In 2004, Daniel won Cardplayer Magazine's Tournament Player of the Year award and the World Series of Poker's Player of the Year award.
At the table, Negreanu is known for his affable table chat and his blog at FullContactPoker.com is as candid as they come. It is on his blog where you will learn about Daniel's obsession with video games, golf, and Fantasy Hockey (of course). You'll also get to read about the "behind the scenes" skinny relative to his appearances on High Stakes Poker. While Daniel is technically a transplant, now calling Las Vegas home, he still maintains close ties with his Toronto roots.
We'll come back and revisit more of the Canadian pros like Gavin Smith, Jim "KrazyKanuck" Worth, Isabelle "No Mercy" Mercier, and more.