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Top-10 poker players to follow on Twitter

13 January 2014

By Dan Podheiser

Since joining Casino City this past August, one of my jobs has been to write a weekly " Poker Player Tweets of the Week " column.

I've spent a lot of time on Twitter following poker players and their daily musings. Some of it is highly entertaining. Other times, the players are just as mundane as the rest of us. After all, they're just people; people who often gamble for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But some players are certainly more entertaining on Twitter than others. They go beyond tweeting their hand histories and chip counts at tournaments. These players are often interactive with their fans, funny and simply have interesting things to say.

And with that, here are the top-10 poker players to follow on Twitter:

10. Erik "@Erik_Seidel" Seidel

Erik Seidel may be the most under-the-radar heavy hitter in the poker world. For a guy who has won eight World Series of Poker bracelets, Seidel falls behind several of his less-accomplished peers in the notoriety department.

But Seidel is a silent genius, both on and off the table. His insights on Twitter, whether they have to do with poker, art or pop culture, are always well-reasoned and thoughtful. He also has a sneaky dry sense of humor, which I love.

And though Seidel isn't exactly a frequent Twitter user, his selectivity only makes his tweets that much more powerful.

9. Haralabos "@haralabob" Voulgaris

Haralabos Voulgaris is one of the most successful pro basketball handicappers in the world and has made millions of dollars betting on the NBA. And when the money got too good to ignore during the poker boom, he taught himself the game and began crushing that, as well.

Voulgaris doesn't play poker a lot, but he still qualifies for this list. And because I love the NBA and gambling, I am naturally drawn to Voulgaris' insights into the game.

Grantland's Bill Simmons has called Voulgaris the "smartest NBA fan on Twitter," and it's true. Voulgaris watches dozens of hours of game tape each week and relays some of the trends he finds on his Twitter account. He has a lot of interesting things to say about basketball, and if you're a fan of the game, I highly recommend giving Voulgaris a follow.

8. Shane "@ShaneSchleger" Schleger

Shane Schleger has made a few appearances in my "Poker Player Tweets of the Week" columns for being, quite simply, a funny guy. He's personable, witty and has good comedic timing; at least for the Internet (I can't say I've ever met him personally).

Oh, and of course there's this gem:




7. Nate "@fivethirtyeight" Silver

Nate Silver used to make a living grinding online, but he doesn't play a lot of poker these days. He sort of has his hands full with, you know, being the smartest person on the planet.

Silver is the man behind FiveThirtyEight, a politics blog that recently left the New York Times and joined ESPN. Silver is assembling a crew of fellow geniuses to begin turning "538" into a Grantland-esque site for data-driven sports and political analysis. And frankly, I can't wait.

When Silver says anything -- anything -- it's worth listening to. Especially when he gives career advice:


6. Matt "@msalsberg" Salsberg

Like Schleger, Matt Salsberg is one of the funniest guys on the live tournament circuit. And though he tweets a lot, he rarely lowers the entertainment bar he's set for himself.

Salsberg, I believe, deserves credit for coming up with the term "shower," as a verb, to describe a player being knocked out of a tournament. "He showered the Main Event," means a player was knocked out and then "hit the showers," so to speak.

It's brilliant, and it has stood the test of time in the poker Twitter world so far.

5. Joe "@Stapes" Stapleton

Joe Stapleton is a poker broadcaster, but there's no way he wouldn't make this list. "Stapes" might just be the funniest person in the poker world, and he shows it on Twitter.

Here are some examples:








4. Vanessa "@VanessaSelbst" Selbst

A lot of what Vanessa Selbst tweets are hand histories and chip stack updates, which would totally contradict my earlier point about how those things are boring. But when one of the sickest tournament players tweets hand histories, they really are worth paying attention to.

Selbst always seems to be a level or two ahead of her peers in tournament poker theory. She's not afraid to bluff a massive stack in a questionable spot, even when conventional wisdom would make you shake your head at the thought of it. But then when Selbst explains her thought process, it all makes sense -- even though you could have never thought like her in the first place.

Selbst is worth a follow. You'll become a better poker player, I guarantee it.

3. Daniel "@RealKidPoker" Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu is pretty popular these days. The recently-named "Poker Player of the Decade" by the Global Poker Index has had a ton of success throughout his career.

Negreanu is also one of the most personable big-name players in the world, and he is not shy to interact on Twitter, either. He's a great ambassador to the game and he's not afraid to voice his opinion on any issue.

If you're a poker fan or care about the industry, you have to follow Negreanu. He's at the top of the game right now.

2. Justin "@stealthmunk" Schwartz

Meanwhile, meet Negreanu's arch nemesis on Twitter, Justin Schwartz. "Stealthmunk" often likes to troll Negreanu for what he considers his unsustainable amount of success in tournaments and poker in general. And it's all pretty funny.

Love him or hate him, Schwartz is entertaining on Twitter. And like Negreanu, he is not afraid to be transparent or show his true colors. Just read Schwartz' AMA on Reddit: he doesn't hold back.

1. Gavin "@olegsmith" Smith

Gavin Smith comes across on Twitter exactly how he comes across in real life: drunk and a bit buffoonish. But make no mistake about it; behind that sloppy exterior is one of the most brilliant minds in the game. And behind that is more alcohol.

I'm not sure Gavin Smith has ever spoken a complete sentence in perfect English, much less tweeted one. But he is smart and witty, if you can decipher what he's trying to say.

Follow Smith for the entertainment value alone. It's worth it.

 
Dan Podheiser
Podheiser is a graduate of Emerson College and has worked as the sports editor of The (Torrington, CT) Register Citizen and as an intern for NESN.com. Immediately prior to joining Casino City, Podheiser served one year as an Americorps*VISTA, writing grant proposals for a local non-profit.

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