Five British Poker Players to Watch in 2022
With a return of live poker hopefully on the cards, PokerNews wants to make sure that you are up to date on what players could be making a splash in events and tours during 2022. Over the next couple of months, we'll be taking a close look at which poker players we should be looking out for!
The United Kingdom is awash with talented poker players who win more than their fair share from online and live tournaments. With live poker hopefully returning to its former glory during 2022, these are five British poker stars to look out for during the next 12 months.
Some poker players go on a heater, hit the headlines, but then fizzle out when variance catches up with them. Jack Hardcastle is not just some poker player. The popular and talented tournament grinder has been one of the most consistent performers over the past few years.
Back in 2019, Hardcastle won the $550 WPT Opener at Dusk Till Dawn for $100,000. Four months later, he finished seventh in the $10,300 MILLIONS UK Main Event for an additional $130,000. Victory in the $3,200 WPT Montreal Main Event, hosted online at partypoker in January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, came with a bankroll-boosting $447,859.
Hardcastle was not done by any stretch of the imagination. He flew to Las Vegas and finished fourth in the WPT Venetian Main Event for $271,050 and cashed in two Aria High Rollers while in the United States adding almost $80,000 to the coffers.
More impressive results followed when Hardcastle won GUKPT Leeds for £72,200 ($98,836) and finished third in the GUKPT Grand Final for £110,300 ($146,734).
We have a sneaking suspicion that 2022 could be Hardcastle’s best year yet.
Jonathan Proudfoot does not play many live poker tournaments but why would you venture away from your computer if you were an online beast? The man from Durham now has more than $8.8 million in online poker tournament winnings.
Our friends at PocketFives have Proudfoot ranked 12th in the world right now, although he was ranked as high as fourth globally during 2018. Proudfoot, known as "proudflop" online, has worked his way up the poker hierarchy from micro-stakes right up to high rollers where is both feared and respected.
He does have a handful of live results on his poker CV, including a career-best $31,595, which he collected for a tenth place finish in a $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed event at the 2019 WSOP. If Proudfoot can tear himself away from his computer and venture into the world of live poker, expect big things from him.
Steve Wilkie is possibly one of the best poker tournament players that you have never heard of, partly because he now lives in the United States. According to The Hendon Mob database, Wilkie’s first recorded live cash was in a £220 buy-in tournament in April 2014. He also cashed in the GUKPT Goliath that year but every live cash since has been in the United States.
Wilkie won $231,980 from live poker MTTs in 2019, another $77,683 in 2020, and followed that up with $124,439 in 2021 earnings. He managed this despite frequenting the low-to-mid-stakes events.
September 2021 saw Wilkie head to the Colorado Poker Championships again. He banked $30,620 for a runner-up finish in a $3,000 High Roller, and $38,344 for a third-place finish in the $1,450 Main Event.
Trips to Las Vegas have proven fruitful if not spectacular. However, everything points towards a major score coming Wilkie’s way in 2022.
Benny Glaser is one of the best mixed game players on the planet, not only in the United Kingdom and is all but guaranteed more success in 2022.
Last year was Glaser’s best year in the live poker world, with him accumulating $986,606 in winnings. He finished second in the $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the WSOP for $341,274, ninth in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E., and third in the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Championship for another $132,685. The best was yet to come because Glaser netted his fourth WSOP bracelet when he took down the $10,000 Razz Championship.
There is no doubt in our minds that Glaser will be there or thereabouts when the bracelets are awarded at the upcoming 2022 WSOP. Watch out for him online too because he has an incredible record in the biggest events; Glaser won his sixth SCOOP title in 2021, for example.
Brandon Sheils is another British player to look out for during the next 12 months. Sheils recently broke through the $1.5 million mark in the online world, and has been knocking on the door of a large live result for a while now.
Sheils racked up 11 cashes at the 2021 WSOP while maintaining an insightful vlog where he gave hand analysis and was crystal clear about his winnings and losses. After returning home from the United States, Sheils final table bubbled the GUKPT Grand Final in London. Expect Sheils to hit the live tables with renewed vigor over the coming months.