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Top-10 most well-known pros never to win a WSOP bracelet

27 September 2010

Golf fans are familiar with the moniker "Best player to never win a major." For years Phil Mickelson held that dubious distinction, until he finally broke through and won the 2004 Masters.

A select number of poker players have held the distinction of "Best player to never win a World Series of Poker bracelet." Michael Mizrachi, Gavin Smith, Phil Laak and Gus Hansen were on that list. And those four players will never have to hear their name associated with that moniker again, as all won gold bracelets in 2010.

So with Mizrachi, Smith, Laak and Hansen off that list, who are the most-well known players to never win a WSOP gold bracelet? Casino City came up with our top 10:

10. Marcel Luske
The "Flying Dutchman" was a constant fixture on ESPN during the early years of the network's broadcast of the Main Event. Known for wearing suits and sunglasses upside-down, Luske finished 14th in the Main Event in 2003 and just missed out on the final table in 2004, finishing in 10th place. Luske has been named "Player of the Year" at the European Poker Awards twice, and he has 20 cashes at the WSOP, including six final tables. The closest he has come to the elusive bracelet is a second place finish in 2006 at the $5,000 Seven Card Stud World Championship.

9. Michael Binger
Binger is most known for finishing third in the 2006 Main Event, earning a cool $4.12 million in the process. Binger cashed eight times at the 2007 WSOP, which tied him for second most all-time with Phil Hellmuth and Humberto Brenes. He has cashed 23 times in the WSOP since 2006.

8. Vanessa Rousso
In terms of tournament results, Rousso doesn't come close to most of the other players on this list. She has never reached a WSOP or WPT final table. The Team PokerStars Pro has finished in second place in the National Heads-Up Championship in 2009 and won an EPT High-Roller event that year as well. She is, however, the only person on this list who appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition (albeit a part of a paid advertisement) and also the only person to appear in TV commercials for Go Daddy.

7. Phil Gordon
Gordon was a popular TV commentator on Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown," which ran for seven seasons. Gordon is also famous for his charitable efforts, as he was a driving force for the WSOP's "Bad Beat for Cancer," where players pledge to donate one percent of their tournament winnings to cancer research. Gordon has won a WPT title and finished fourth in the 2001 Main Event. He also won this year's "Ante up for Africa" charity tournament at the WSOP. However, you don't get a bracelet for that tournament, and despite numerous final tables, Gordon is still looking to get that monkey off his back.

6. Chad Brown
Mr. Vanessa Rousso has cashed 30 times in the WSOP. He has final tabled eight times. He has finished in second place three times. He was Bluff Magazine's 2006 Player of the Year. He is also a popular TV commentator. Only Tony Cousineau and Tom McCormick have cashed more often without winning a bracelet, and neither of them is close to Brown's $1.15 million in WSOP earnings.

5. Tony G
The brash Lithuanian appeared on Casino City's "Top-10 overexposed poker pros list" two weeks ago (along with Gordon and Rousso). His abrasive conduct at the tables has made him a YouTube legend, and thus many casual fans of the game will recognize him. However, he has only cashed 16 times at the WSOP, with three final tables.

4. Andy Bloch
Bloch has come agonizingly close to winning a WSOP bracelet. He finished second to Chip Reese in the inaugural $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event in 2006. Two years later he once again finished second in a major buy-in event, as he lost to Nenad Medic in the $10,000 World Championship Pot-Limit Hold'em tournament. Bloch, a member of team Full Tilt, has made seven WSOP final tables.

3. Patrik Antonius
Those who have been watching this year's WSOP Main Event coverage on ESPN will recognize Antonius simply because of Norman Chad's constant fawning. The former model from Finland is a high-stakes online player at Full Tilt Poker, and was the first player to face Tom "durrrr" Dwan in his "Million Dollar Challenge." Antonius also won the biggest pot in online poker history last November when he took $1,356,946 off of "Isildur1." His online success hasn't translated into the WSOP just yet. He finished third in a Pot-Limit Omaha event in 2007 and seventh in the same Pot-Limit Hold'em event Andy Bloch finished runner-up.

2. Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier
One of poker's top young players, Grospellier has accomplished more as a 29-year-old than most top pros accomplish in a lifetime. He has won a WPT title and was named the "WPT Player of the Year" in season seven. He has won two EPT titles and is one of only three players to win both an EPT and WPT title (the other two are Gavin Griffin and Roland De Wolfe). Grospellier also owns two World Championship of Online Poker bracelets on PokerStars. He has cashed 11 times in the WSOP but has only reached one final table.

1. Tom "durrrr" Dwan
At 24-years-old, Dwan is the youngest player on this list. So it might seem unfair for him to be number one. But in terms of well-known poker pros, "durrrr" is up there with Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth. He is a mainstay at the high-limit tables on Full Tilt, and is a frequent competitor on NBC's "Poker After Dark" and GSN's "High Stakes Poker." He attracted a crowd at this year's Main Event, as the rail was often two or three deep when watching him play on Day 1. And his lucrative bracelet bets always ensure the spotlight is on him. Dwan almost won those bracelet bets this year as he made a deep run in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event. He ultimately finished second, and top pros around the world breathed a huge sigh of relief. As long as he stays motivated to play in WSOP events, don't expect "durrrr" to stay on this list very long.
Top-10 most well-known pros never to win a WSOP bracelet is republished from