Poker talent grows across the United States within players who hone their craft online. How an online player might perform live during the summer is anyone’s guess. American PocketFivers did well last summer, headlined by Scott ‘Sblum2711’ Blumstein‘s win in the World Series of Poker Main Event. Blumstein’s run came as a surprise to many and he likely would not have been on a “top-5” list for a similar preview at this time last year.
The five players below are all qualified in their own right. Repeating Blumstein’s performance might be a lofty goal but expect to see all of these American PocketFivers on a few Day 3 leaderboards this summer.
A dominator on the non-regulated sites, Imsirovic crushes live poker as well. Imsirovic topped a tough field in April at the Borgata Spring Poker Open Main Event to win his major event along with $246,066. At only 23-years-old, Imsirovic is already playing $25,000 High Rollers on a consistent basis including the U.S. Poker Open and the recent Bellagio High Roller.
A Sunday Million win this March plays a large role in Imsirovic’s standing as the #1 American PocketFiver.
Imsirovic awaits his breakout score on poker’s biggest stage and is expected to play most of the major No Limit events both at the Rio and around The Strip.
It almost feels like cheating to put Gagliano on a ‘player to watch’ list but his consistent online success makes him tough to ignore. Gagliano topped the New Jersey Online Rankings for most of 2018 and won an NJSCOOP title in May.
On the live side, Gagliano only has two cashes in 2018. Recent summers in Las Vegas suggest Gagliano is due to turn that trend around. In 2016, Gagliano won his first career bracelet in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event. The next year, he followed up that performance with a $1,500 NLHE final table and a third-place finish in the $3,000 Six-Max.
A loaded summer schedule for Gagliano makes him a favorite to notch at least one memorable run this year.
Hoffman stands as one of the most elite players in the history of Nevada online. A browse through the WSOP Nevada lobby on Sundays equals the familiar sight of Hoffman’s simple and striking screenname.
The Reno resident is making a name for himself in the mid-major events on the West Coast. Hoffman locked up a seat in the WSOP Circuit Global Championship thanks in large part to assertive performances in two Circuit Main Events.
November’s Lake Tahoe Main Event equaled fourth-place for Hoffman and he preceded that run with a fifth-place ribbon at Thunder Valley in September.
Hoffman’s best finish last summer was 12th in the $3,333 Online High Roller. He also owns a WSOP $1,500 NLHE final table dating back to 2013.
The feared name of ‘Coles93’ on PokerStarsNJ is over the $1.1 million mark in career online tournament earnings. Coleman is slowly building a live portfolio for himself with a cash in the 2017 WSOP Main Event as the highlight so far.
$80,600 is where Coleman’s live winnings stand thanks to cashes in the Borgata Winter and Spring Poker Open Main Events along with March’s Parx 1500.
Coleman’s schedule this summer is undetermined but he is the most likely of the New Jersey grinders to strike big thanks to the experience of 156 online wins.
Kou ‘ktyven’ Vang
Consistent is the best way to describe Vang. The Minnesota native has over $1.3 million in earnings with a high score of $78,421. Vang’s location prevents him from playing regulated online poker but he is up to #5 in the United States.
The Venetian hosted a win for Vang last summer in the $1,100 Bounty event worth $68,300. Vang awaits his first six-figure score and is a favorite to play the majority of what is available at any property this summer.