By: Paul Hewson
Who's the best Canadian poker player in the world? You're probably thinking Daniel Negreanu; if not, maybe Mike “Timex” McDonald, or Jonathan Duhamel. But those gentlemen rank seventh, eighth, and ninth respectively on the current Global Poker Index (GPI). Not that it's easy to sort out who's the best in poker once you get to a certain level. And the GPI is all about tournaments. Playing the “Big Game” at the Aria will not earn you any points.
It's still good to know which Canadians have been bossing the tournament tables. Here are the Top Five Canucks on the GPI at press time:
1. Mike Leah
The Toronto native and hard-core Maple Leafs fan is No. 43 overall on the GPI, but he's coming off mixed results at the World Series of Poker: 10 cashes, zero final tables. Leah should feel a bit better after winning his fourth career WSOP circuit ring, taking down a Pot Limit Omaha event two weeks ago at Harrah's Cherokee.
2. Sam Greenwood
Greenwood didn't have much success at the WSOP, either, cashing in three times for a total of just over $20,000. This has still been a great 2016 campaign for Sam, yet another of Toronto's finest – he won a UKIPT event in February, and earned a pair of six-figure paydays playing high-roller events in Australia and Monte Carlo.
3. Samuel Chartier
Montreal is always well-represented on the Canadian poker scene. Chartier placed as high as No. 16 on the GPI back in 2012. Like Greenwood, he only cashed in three times at this year's WSOP, but he nearly made the final table at the $2,000 No Limit Hold'em event, crashing out in 10th place.
4. Ari Engel
Engel's tournament stock has been on the rise for a few years now, but he's probably more known for his online play, where he was once ranked the best in the world. Born in Toronto, Engel ended up moving all over the world throughout his childhood, so the tournament scene is right up his alley. Six WSOP cashes this summer will help further his career.
5. Mike Watson
“Sir Watts” might be the best thing to come out of Newfoundland since Natasha Henstridge. You may have seen Watson representing The Rock when he won the 2016 PCA Main Event at Paradise Island. He added eight cashes at this year's WSOP, including a second-place finish at the $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship – one of two bracelets won by Jason Mercier. Sir Watts will get you next time.