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!
Johan “YoH ViraL” Guilbert
2021 was truly a breakthrough year for popular vlogger Johan “Yoh ViraL” Guilbert and recorded a host of six-figure cashes and a couple of live tournament victories to boot.
His first event triumph came in the summer at the Super High Roller Bowl Europe, where he won SHRB Europe Event #2: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em for a cool $506,250. Guilbert then capped off the year with a second win, which took place at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond Poker Classic where he added a further $175,000 to his all-time earnings following a high-roller win.
# Victoire du dernier Highroller WPT Five Diamond à 25k$ pour 175 000$ Il y avait très peu de participants du coup… https://t.co/4Lc0gIX8Nn
In fact, eight of his top ten best cashes came in 2021 alone and what is even more impressive that his first recorded cash of the year came in May. From that point, Guilbert won $2,843,592 from live tournaments which also included his best ever cash of $892,811 which was thanks to his second-place finish in the 2021 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event.
You can follow Guilbert’s poker journey and relive his WSOPE Main Event run on his 151K subscriber strong YouTube channel. His presence on the platform earned himself a nomination at the 2022 Global Poker Awards for the Fans Choice: Poker Personality category, while his results throughout the year also got him a spot on the GPI Breakout Player shortlist.
Another player who had a year to remember and will be hoping his run good transfers to 2022 is Julien Martini. The poker all-rounder added two more WSOP bracelets to his collection following the 2021 WSOPE, where he reigned supreme in Event #8: €2,500 Short Deck and Event #12: €2,000 8-Game.
His performance at King’s Resort, Rozvadov saw him become the most-decorated French player in WSOP history, moving ahead of the likes of poker veterans Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and Roger Hairabedian.
While Sonny Franco didn’t quite hit the highs of Guilbert and Martini, 2021 is still a year Franco can look back fondly on. Across both the WSOP and WSOPE he obtained 13 cashes netting him a total of $229,541. A big chunk of that came from WSOPE Event #13: €10,000 NLH 6-Max, where he fell to fellow compatriot Romain Le Dantec for $145,012.
This past year was his best to date with a final sum of $697,435 won from poker tournaments as per The Hendon Mob. With a solid fall/autumn and winter behind him, the world could be Franco’s oyster in 2022.
There aren’t many superlatives to describe just how good of a year Arthur Conan had in in 2021, which saw him add $1,486,058 to his bankroll. He secured his maiden WSOP gold bracelet, notched a pair of wins on the World Poker Tour and similarly to Guilbert, recorded seven of his top ten cashes all in the space of around 8 months.
His first WPT win occurred in April where he achieved his best ever payday, winning the $50,000 Super High Roller at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $733,320.
Four months later he won a further $466,167 after he was the last player standing in WSOP Online Event #15: $10,000 Heads Up Championship. He would overcome high stakes crusher Adrian Mateos in the semi-final before besting Latvia’s Aleksejs Ponakovs for the first-place spoils.
Conan then sealed his second WPT title of the year in December, walking away $227,500 richer after taking down a $25K high roller event at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic.
Another French player who added their name into the WSOP history books in 2021 was Romain Lewis. With two second-place finishes and two third-place finishes at the series in 2018, Lewis finally went the distance and came out on top in Event #76: $10K Super Turbo Bounty for a $463,885 grand prize.
That victory was extra sweet for Frenchman as he outlasted some of the best players in the world like Stephen Chidwick, Dario Sammartino and Rainer Kempe, who all made the final table.