Who is the Best Heads-Up Poker Player in the World?

Posted at 17:35 2013-06-09 by Pamela Maldonado

Event #16: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em of the 2013 World Series of Poker kicked off in the Amazon Room on Friday evening. The 162-player field was jam-packed with some of the world’s best players, including defending champion Brian Hastings, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and Sam Trickett who is making his 2013 WSOP debut in this event.

With so many outstanding heads-up players in the tournament, we thought it would be fun to ask participants to name three players they wouldn't want to play heads-up against. Among the 16 players we asked were Trickett, Negreanu, Hastings, Nick Schulman, Michael Mizrachi and Antonio Esfandiari. Here is a look at the results:

Phil Ivey11
Phil Galfond6
Ben "Sauce123" Sulksy3
Isaac Haxton3
Dan "Jungleman" Cates2
Tom Marchese2
Ben Tollerene1
Tom Dwan1
Olivier Busquet1
Jake Cody1
Jonathan Jaffe1
Viktor Blom1
Brian Hastings1
Phil Hellmuth1
Shaun Deeb1
Yevgeniy Timoshenko1
Davidi Kitai1
Andrew Lichtenberger1
Daniel Negreanu1
Max Steinberg1

As expected, the highest vote-getter was Ivey. When we asked players why Ivey was such a tough draw, the majority response was simply, “Because he’s the best.”

Fair enough.

The one full comment on Ivey came from bracelet winner Kevin Stammen who said, "If I were to play him heads-up, I would just take away all the skill and shove every hand."

Phil Galfond finished second in the poll, and Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky and Isaac Haxton tied for third. Haxton did not participate in today's event because he is traveling to Las Vegas from Macau.

Benjamin Pollak on his top three: “Daniel Negreanu would be one because he is so confident as a player. He’s having a really good year, and he just doesn’t seem like he can play bad. Phil Ivey is an obvious one, and my good friend Davidi Kitai because, first of all, he’s a great player. We discuss a lot of hands together, and I think he would be difficult to play because we know each other’s game so well.”

We'll have up-to-the-minute coverage of the $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em until its conclusion, so be sure to follow the PokerNews Live Reporting page for updates!

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