Win A $1,000 Tournament Ticket To The Event Of Your Choice!

The Players

by Michael Friedman |  Published: Aug 08, 2006


FullTiltPoker's Greatest Strength lies in its group of superstar players. Led by team FullTilt, which features 11 of poker's top players, the site is represented by 43 highly skilled and highly motivated poker players.

Besides being involved in the software development for FullTiltPoker, these players continue to win title after title and bring the lion's share of the publicity to the organization.

The "Friends" of FullTilt are a group of top players who have been recognized by Tiltware as quality players who have the potential to become some of the game's elite. In other words, it's a training ground for future team members.

For players, one of the perks of being involved with FullTilt is the long-standing sponsorship deals. According to Tiltware LLC CEO Ray Bitar, FullTilt's sponsorship deals are based on a player's overall productivity. "We tout ourselves as authentic poker, and these players represent that. We like young and up-and-coming players who have longevity. We don't look for people who will be here today, gone tomorrow," Bitar said.

According to Bitar, it is much more difficult to make team FullTilt than to become a "Friend." The difference is that on team FullTilt, the players are the up-front stars, as well as the site's most handsomely paid endorsers. Currently capped at 11, the last addition to the main team was Mike Matusow.

If you're wondering how to become a member of the FullTilt family, there are several ways to go about it. FullTilt's "minor league," the Friends, is a steppingstone for future team FullTilt members. "We feel that we have a lot of team FullTilt players in the making with our Friends. Let's take John D'Agostino, for example. Here's a guy who's just loaded with talent; I think he is ready to explode. If that happens, we won't hesitate to bring him up to the front lines," Bitar said.

Another way to join the FullTilt family is to play on FullTiltPoker and do exceptionally well, or be recognized by one of the team FullTilt members. But sometimes it takes more than just being a good player to find success, especially with a collective group as talented as FullTilt's posse. "We're always on the lookout, but we like it when people approach us," Bitar stated.

FullTilt Posse
Card Player is pleased to provide readers an in-depth look at the player representatives of FullTiltPoker. With piles of bracelets and millions in tournament cashes, this roster represents one of the game's toughest lineups. spade

Phil Ivey
Not yet of age, a young man who called himself "Jerome" kept his head low at the poker tables in Atlantic City. At 21, he strolled back into the poker room on his birthday and reintroduced himself as Phil Ivey.

Back when draw and limit variations of poker were popular, Ivey believed no-limit hold'em would be the game of the future. He honed his tournament skills and the results are astounding.

At the 2000 World Series of Poker, he triumphed over Phil Hellmuth and Amarillo Slim in the $2,500 pot-limit Omaha event, winning his first bracelet at the age of 23. He captured three more in 2002 when he won the stud, the stud eight-or-better, and the H.O.R.S.E. WSOP events. In 2005, he won the $5,000 pot-limit Omaha championship, bringing to five the number of bracelets he's collected in his short career.

Even more impressive are his overall results. He has cashed in 69 tournaments, and in late 2005, he won back-to-back Monte Carlo championship events.

Ivey is known for his aggressive play and unwavering focus at the tables. He plays in the highest-stakes cash games in the world several nights a week at Bellagio in Las Vegas. He married his high-school sweetheart after his 2002 sweep at the WSOP, and is a founding member, assistant developer, and full-time representative of FullTiltPoker.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $6,052,147
WSOP All-Time Money List: 26

World Series of Poker Bracelets
May 2000, $2,500 pot-limit Omaha
April 2002, $1,500 seven-card stud
May 2002, $1,500 seven-card stud
May 2002, $2,000 H.O.R.S.E.
June 2005, $5,000 pot-limit Omaha

Clonie Gowen
This stunning mother of two always keeps players on their heels. Clonie, whose real name is Cycalona, was born during an actual cyclone. Gowen grew up in Kiowa, Oklahoma, and was a star athlete in high school. In addition to being a stellar athlete, the beautiful Gowen was also crowned Miss Teen McAlester, Oklahoma.

She learned to play while living in Dallas, and took trips to Shreveport, Louisiana, to polish her game. Her hard work paid off and led her to a top-10 finish in the World Poker Tour's Costa Rica Classic and a win on the 2003 WPT's Ladies Night show against world-class players like Jennifer Harman and Annie Duke.

Having appeared on numerous television shows, including Good Morning America, Gowen is no stranger to the spotlight and is a great ambassador for the game. In addition to playing in major tournaments, she is one of the original members of Team FullTilt and is a full-time representative for FullTiltPoker, and frequently gives lectures to top businesses across the United States.

Recently featured in Maxim magazine, Gowen's looks are matched only by the size of her heart. This sizzling poker vixen has campaigned relentlessly for numerous charities, and is a star ambassador for the game of poker. Not afraid of the spotlight, the humanitarian Gowen has even gone as far as to challenge Paris Hilton to a $100,000 heads-up charity match. Recently featured in Maxim magazine's WSOP insert, Gowen's looks are matched only by the size of her heart.

Mike Matusow
Some consider him one of the true entertainers in the poker world. Others consider him one of the most annoying players in the game. Mike "The Mouth" Matusow counts everyone in poker as his friend, and admits, "I talk a lot."

Matusow was born in Los Angeles, California, and began playing poker in 1986. Before that, he ran a family business and was a poker dealer in Las Vegas. He played Omaha eight-or-better in late-night games, and decided to play full time.

Brash and sometimes speaking before considering exactly what he is saying, Matusow is well-known for his verbal tirades at the tables. One thing that can be said for him, however, is that he has the game to back up his attitude.

He has made two World Series of Poker championship-event final tables - in 2001, when he took sixth, and 2005, when he took ninth. Of 27 recorded tournament cashes, he has made the final table in 21. He's gone heads up in five events and won four of them, including two World Series of Poker bracelets.

Always quick to let his tongue fly, he is a spectacle in many senses of the word. Famous for his near-complete meltdowns at the table and sometimes flawlessly focused mind, he tends to rile players even more when he wins titles.

Matusow has developed a cultlike following of fans around the world, and these fans typically tend to be as loud as "The Mouth," often breaking into soccer-like chants of Matusow's name. Wherever he goes, he leaves fans and players alike wondering exactly which Mike is going to show up for that day's tournament. One thing, however, is certain: When Matusow is on his game, he is easily one of the best players to sit at the felt.

The last addition to Team FullTilt, Matusow brings his unbridled passion for the game to the team of poker superstars, and is a perfect fit for the group.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $3,484,926 Winner of 2005 WSOP Tournament of Champions tournament

World Series of Poker Bracelets
1999, $3,500 no-limit hold'em
2002, Omaha eight-or-better

Phil Gordon
Kill Phil. It's not just a book, it's a way of life, and if you happen to be this Phil, everyone knows your name. The former host of Celebrity Poker Showdown and current Team FullTilt member, Phil Gordon is more than just a former poker player turned poker commentator.

He just happened to be a poker player who turned out to be good at commentating on poker.

One of the original Tiltboys, (a group of top Northern California players who still play in the same home game), Gordon has helped to spread the game of poker in several ways. The author of three instructional books, including Phil Gordon's Little Green Book: Lessons and Teachings in No Limit Hold'em, and an instructional poker DVD called Final Table Poker, Gordon has helped many struggling poker students with their game.

With one World Poker Tour title under his belt and several seasons behind the microphone, Gordon is set to re-enter the pandemonium that is tournament poker. Considered to be one of the more strategically gifted players, he is often analyzing all aspects of the game and is a great reader of other players at the table.

After graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Gordon joined Netsys Technologies, which later sold for close to $93 million and helped fund the start of his poker career. With $1.6 million in poker winnings of his own, he now travels the world, plays poker, and is a philanthropist who works with several charities.

In addition to teaching players away from the felt, Gordon has taken many pros to school at the tables. In 2001, he entered his first World Series of Poker championship and finished fourth. He then went on to win the 2004 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament.

Jennifer Harman
Although small in size, this female superstar of the game proves that big things come in small packages. Time and time again, Harman has gone up against the best the world has to offer, and has come out ahead. Never afraid to mix it up, she shows no fear at the tables.

Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Harman's mother taught her poker when she was 8 years old. Barely tall enough to peek over the table, she watched her father and his friends play at home. One night, he excused himself from the game and said to her, "Go ahead and play my chips." Since then, poker has been her passion.

Harman graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno. Since then, she's earned a reputation as a fierce competitor in the poker world, both on and off the tournament circuit.

After taking a one-year hiatus to prepare for and recover from a kidney transplant, Harman returned to the poker tables with fervor. She finished fourth in the Five-Diamond World Poker Classic, fifth in the inaugural Professional Poker Tour event, and second in the World Series of Poker Tournament Circuit championship event in Las Vegas. She is also the only female to hold two "open" bracelets at the World Series of Poker.

Playing regularly at the highest limits the game has to offer, Harman has an amazing insight into the psychology of the game and can switch styles at the drop of a hat. In addition to being a top-notch player, she has given the world a taste of her remarkable tactics at the table with her chapter in Doyle Brunson's book Super/System 2.

Married to up-and-coming poker star Marco Traniello, Harman is not only at the top of her game, but also at the top in the game of life.

Harman is a member of Team FullTilt and a full-time representative of FullTiltPoker.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $1,547,232
Women's All-Time Money List: 3

World Series of Poker Bracelets
$5,000 no-limit deuce-to-seven draw
$5,000 limit hold'em

Erick Lindgren
Born in Burney, California, on Aug. 8, 1976, this Leo has all of the right star signs to be one of the greatest players to grace the felt. With an unbelievable ability to read players at the table, Lindgren continues to prove why he is going to be a superstar for many years to come.

The former high-school sports star realized at a young age that he had a penchant for competitive card games and began working as a blackjack dealer before he decided on pursuing a competitive poker career.

Lindgren honed his skills online by playing multiple tournaments and cash games on several screens at the same time. His mantra is, "Play to win, not to survive," and he advocates an aggressive style, which has paid off in today's action-packed world of tournament poker.

He has cashed in 24 major tournaments and made the final table in 15 of them. He's gone heads up in six events, winning all but two. His first championship was at the 2002 Bellagio Five-Diamond World Poker Classic, and he followed that up with a win in the 2003 Poker Classic in Aruba. In 2004, he won the PartyPoker Million, and in 2005, he defeated Chris Bigler and Daniel Negreanu at the L.A. Poker Classic in the no-limit hold'em Professional Poker Tour event.

2006 is already turning out to be a strong year for this superstar, as he continues to scorch the tournament trail with a first-place finish in the $3,000 no-limit hold'em tournament at the fourth-annual Five-Star World Poker Classic, and a third-place finish at the Borgata Winter Poker Open.

The author of the book Making the Final Table, Lindgren is a member of Team FullTilt and a full-time representative of FullTiltPoker.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $3,660,833
World Poker Tour All-Time Money List: 8

World Poker Tour Titles
2004, PartyPoker Million III
2003, Poker Classic II

Erik Seidel
Although this top-flight poker player casts a long shadow because of his size, it is his tactics at the tables that really leave players feeling small. With a poker arsenal to match his gigantic intellect, Seidel is always a major threat to take down a title.

Erik Seidel was born in New York City and is one of the original group of now-famous poker professionals who began at the Mayfair Club. He was originally a tournament backgammon player and eventually got into playing the stock market. It wasn't until 1995 that he moved to Las Vegas with his family and began to play tournaments full time.

Taking his seasoned skills to the tables in his new surroundings, Seidel appears destined to go down as one of the greatest all-around players of the game. He has made a name for himself in the numerous different games poker has to offer, and is considered a viable threat to win any tournament he enters.

He has seven World Series of Poker bracelets in five different events. In 1988, he finished second in the WSOP championship event, and in 1999, he finished fourth. Of 68 recorded tournament cashes, he's made the final table in 50, gone heads up in 17, and won 10.

In addition to winning seven WSOP bracelets, he is well-known for the final hand of his WSOP battle with Johnny Chan. This hand was featured in the poker movie Rounders, and helped to cement Seidel's status as one of poker's most recognizable figures.

Seidel is a member of Team FullTilt and a full-time representative of FullTiltPoker.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $5,102,736
WSOP All-Time Money List: 10

World Series of Poker Bracelets
1992, $2,500 limit hold'em
1993, $2,500 Omaha eight-or-better
1994, $5,000 limit hold'em
1998, $5,000 deuce-to-seven draw
2001, $3,000 no-limit hold'em
2003, $1,500 pot-limit Omaha
2005, $2,000 no-limit hold'em

Chris Ferguson
Known around the world as "Jesus," this founding member of FullTilt and a leader of Team FullTilt has set the tournament world on its ear with numerous victories across the globe. This man has become an almost legendary figure in the game with his unflappable table persona and always-calculating mind.

Born April 11, 1963, in Los Angeles, California, Ferguson made a career of education. He spent almost 20 years at the University of California, Los Angeles, focusing primarily on artificial intelligence, and was president of the UCLA Ballroom Dancing Club. An undergraduate for five years, he spent another 13 as a graduate student. At 36, he was encouraged to leave.

Raised in a household by parents who both earned doctorate degrees in mathematics, Ferguson applied his deductive and analytical abilities to poker at an early age. In high school, he played with friends on the weekends in nickel-and-dime games. In college, Ferguson played regularly on the IRC - a resource for poker players before modern-day online poker rooms. In 1994, he went "live," and took his game to the tournament tables in California.

He made a gigantic splash in the poker world with his 2000 victory in the World Series of Poker championship event, where he collected $1.5 million in prize money. He is well-known for his card tricks, and has gone on to win several bracelets. In 2002, he returned to the world of online poker and organized a team for FullTiltPoker. He continues to play an integral role in the site's design.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $5,415,335
WSOP All-Time Money List: 11

World Series of Poker Bracelets
May 2000, $10,000 world championship no-limit Texas hold'em
May 2000, $2,500 seven-card stud
April 2001, $1,500 Omaha eight-or-better
April 2003, $2,000 Omaha eight-or-better
April 2003, $2,000 half limit hold'em - half seven-card stud

Andy Bloch
This guy could have been a lawyer, but he chose the game of poker instead. Bloch, who began by playing small weekly tournaments, quickly jumped to the big leagues of poker by entering the World Series of Poker.

By 2002, his game vaulted him to multiple WSOP final tables and two World Poker Tour final tables. He took first place at Foxwoods in seven-card stud in 2002, and won the 2005 $10,000 Ultimate Poker Challenge tournament. He also won a 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament Circuit event at the Rio in Las Vegas.

He holds two degrees in electrical engineering from MIT, and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School. Bloch, a man of his principles, has recently boycotted playing in WPT events because of what he considers improper licensing of a player's character by the WPT.

A former member of the MIT blackjack team, Bloch gave himself a start in gambling by learning from these seasoned casino veterans. Quickly realizing that there was more to beating the house than just counting cards, he began playing poker and soon found out that he had a serious knack for getting the right cards at the most important times.

Bloch is one of the original members of Team FullTilt and a full-time representative of FullTiltPoker.

John Juanda
Born in Indonesia, Juanda moved to the United States in 1990 and started taking classes at Oklahoma State University. He eventually went on to receive his MBA from Seattle University. Fortunately for this meditating master of the poker arts, his book smarts are balanced by his dazzling intellect, making him one of the most difficult players to get a read on.

Although he was drawn to medicine, he showed a true talent for poker. He's had a successful career in the industry, both as a player and full-time representative of Team FullTilt. One of the founding members of FullTiltPoker, Juanda has always taken an interest in the overall development of the game of poker and continues to provide his input to the programming team at FullTilt.

Juanda's enigmatic tournament career began in 1996 and shows no signs of slowing. He was the 2002 Tournament Champion of the Year and was the 2001 and 2002 runner-up for Card Player's Player of the Year. In 2002, he also won the World Poker Open championship event. In 2004, he made 15 final tables and triumphed in the inaugural Professional Poker Tour (PPT) event.

Along his higher path to poker perfection, he has captured three World Series of Poker bracelets. In 2005, he cashed in six WSOP events and took first place in the Speed Poker Million Dollar Challenge in Australia. However, it was his performance in the 2005 Monte Carlo Millions that truly defines his tenacious game. He won the Monte Carlo Millions consolation tournament, finished sixth in the Monte Carlo Millions main event, and finished his impressive run by finishing second in the FullTiltPoker.Net
Invitational Live
from Monte Carlo.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $6,385,636
All-Time Money List: 45

World Series of Poker Bracelets
May 2002, $1,500 triple-draw lowball ace-to-five
May 2003, $2,500 seven-card stud eight-or-better
May 2003, $2,500 pot-limit Omaha

Howard Lederer
The Zen master of poker and the head of Team FullTilt is more than just a poker player on so many levels. His keen insight into the game and remarkable pursuit of truth on the poker battlefield has garnered him two World Series of Poker bracelets in Omaha eight-or-better and deuce-to-seven draw events. Lederer also won two World Poker Tour titles at the 2002 World Poker Finals and the 2003 PartyPoker Million tournaments.

Born in Concord, New Hampshire, the young chess star attended college at Columbia University. While playing chess in the Big Apple, Lederer stumbled upon the Mayfair Club, where a now-legendary group of New York players battled on a daily basis. For two years, he played poker relentlessly - 70 to 80 hours a week - and went home broke nine out of 10 nights. This is where Lederer began developing a game that continues to this day to give opposing players fits.

He moved to Las Vegas in 1993 and concentrated on cash games until 2002. While he enjoys all forms of poker, his favorite is big buy-in no-limit hold'em tournaments. He's made the money in 29 World Series of Poker tournaments, and has reached 19 WSOP final tables.

Known for his cool demeanor at the table, the brother of poker pro Annie Duke has earned his nickname of "The Professor" with his vast knowledge of the various poker games and his calculating approach to the game.

He is one of the founding members of FullTiltPoker and is a player on Team FullTilt. He is also a spokesman and moderator for several poker television programs, including FullTilt's Learn With the Pros.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $2,882,770

World Series of Poker Bracelets
May 2000, $5,000 Omaha eight-or-betterz
May 2001, $5,000 deuce-to-seven

World Poker Tour Titles
2003, PartyPoker Million II
2002, World Poker Finals

Layne Flack
One of the game's more colorful characters, Layne Flack, lives as fast as he plays. Nicknamed "Back-to-Back" Flack after consecutive World Series of Poker bracelet wins, Flack continues to bring his A-game to the tables, leaving opponents wondering what hit them.

Born in Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1969, Flack was introduced to poker while working at a casino. It wasn't long before this action junkie was playing with every free moment he could find. It wasn't long before he realized he could do far better at the poker tables than he could at any of his previous working gigs.

After learning some of the tricks of the poker trade from legend Johnny Chan, Flack took his hyperaggressive style and began applying it to the card warfare found in the Las Vegas poker community. Soon after seeing Huckleberry Seed have major success on the tournament circuit, Flack decided to turn his attention toward developing his tournament play.

He has a great track record at the tables. Making the money in 39 major tournaments, with final-table appearances at all but eight of them, Flack has made it a habit of taking down tournament dollars. His biggest success has come at the World Series of Poker, where he has earned five bracelets.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $3,371,719

World Series of Poker Bracelets:
1999, $3,000 pot-limit hold'em
2002, $2,000 no-limit hold'em
2002, $1,500 no-limit hold'em
2003, $2,500 Omaha eight-or-better
2003, $1,500 limit hold'em shootout

World Poker Tour Titles
2003 WPT Pro-Celebrity Invitational

Huck Seed
This quiet poker pro took the poker world by storm with his World Series of Poker main-event victory in 1996. Although soft-spoken, Seed lets his aggressive nature take hold and lead him to victory. At 27, he already had won the WSOP main-event title and a pot-limit Omaha bracelet. It wasn't long before he began playing at the highest limits poker had to offer.

As time moved on, he decided to reinvest himself into his tournament game, and he has seen dramatic results, winning two more WSOP bracelets in 2000 and 2003. With four bracelets and millions in tournament winnings, it's hard for Seed to sneak up on players these days, but don't be fooled, he still has some tricks left up his sleeve. This gentle giant keeps to himself while at the tables, but still makes certain to announce his presence with authority by running over the competition.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $3,097,615

World Series of Poker Bracelets:
1994, $2,500 pot-limit Omaha
1996, $10,000 WSOP championship event
2000, $1,500 razz
2003, $5,000 razz

David Oppenheim
Oppenheim is a regular cash-game player who's carving his way into the tournament circuit. He began playing poker professionally during his second year of college. By the time he was 20, he was playing games at the $300-$600 limit. Today he is a regular player in the biggest cash games in the world. Like many high-stakes cash-game players, he only recently began playing the tournament circuit. He finished third in the $5,000 no-limit hold'em championship at the 2003 Borgata Poker Open.

Farzad Bonyadi
Born in Tehran, Iran, "Freddy" learned poker at an early age from his grandfather. Bonyadi came to the United States in 1982, and after arriving in California, he quickly found a comfortable working environment at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles.

Starting as a prop player and working his way up to being the executive host of the highest limits that Commerce had to offer, Bonyadi's knowledge of the game grew, and it wasn't long before he was a regular in the biggest games in L.A., battling the likes of Johnny Chan, Freddy Deeb, and Howard Lederer.

Fast-forward to 2006. Bonyadi has taken his love of the game and made an already stellar career out of cashing in the biggest tournaments in the world. He has won three World Series of Poker bracelets.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $2,201,300

World Series of Poker Bracelets
April 1998, $2,000 limit hold'em
April 2004, $1,000 deuce-to-seven draw
April 2005, $2,500 no-limit hold'em

Steve Zolotow
"Zee," or "Bald Eagle," as he is affectionately known, has been a top professional gambler since the mid-1960s, with his focus finally turning toward poker in the mid-1990s. Taking his results-oriented approach to the game, Zolotow has cashed more than 30 times at the World Series of Poker and has earned his spot in poker history by claiming two WSOP bracelets.

One of the "Mayfair Boys," he was a regular in the New York games that featured Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel, and "Action" Dan Harrington. After working on his game with these top players, Zolotow took his ventures around the world, winning tournaments in the U.S., Australia, and France.

World Series of Poker Bracelets
May 1995, $5,000 Chinese poker
May 2001, $3,000 pot-limit hold'em

Gavin Smith
The 2006 World Poker Tour Player of the Year is a great story of how persistence pays off. After working his way up the poker ranks, Smith had a monstrous 2005 and established himself as one of the game's premier tournament specialists.

Gavin "Birdguts" Smith was born on Sept. 4, 1968, in Guelph, Ontario, and has been playing poker for more than 16 years. His father taught him cribbage and rummy, but Smith advanced to poker by playing mixed games with his co-workers.

Although getting into the game late at age 26, he fell in love with poker and quickly decided that the game was going to be his meal ticket. After earning a name for himself with small tournament wins at Foxwoods in 1999 and 2000, he continued to develop his game and grind out a living.

Smith's hard work eventually paid off when he collected more than $1.1 million at the 2005 Mirage Poker Showdown World Poker Tour event. He would go on to make two more WPT final tables in late 2005 and January of 2006. He continued his winning ways with a second-place finish in May's World Series of Poker Tournament Circuit event at Harrah's in New Orleans.

This Canadian always leaves his mark while at the tables. His crazy-aggressive tactics on the felt keep opposing players guessing on how Smith is going to beat them next.

Poker Stats
World Poker Tour Titles
2005, Mirage Poker Showdown
2006, World Poker Tour Player of the Year

Allen Cunningham
Born in Riverside, California, in 1977, Cunningham hit the public cardrooms and casinos at age 21 and quickly found that he had the mettle to compete with the game's top players. In his early 20s, he began playing high-limit cash games and developed his game to the extent that he was soon winning best all-around player awards on the tournament circuit.

Although his unassuming style is contrary to his aggressive nature of play, somehow he makes it work to his advantage. One bad bluff around this guy and his opponents become fish food.

With statistics like 89 recorded tournament cashes, 71 final-table appearances, going heads up in 23 of his final-table appearances and taking down 15 of them, and four World Series of Poker bracelets and more than $4.5 million in tournament earnings, Cunningham has very little to do to prove his formidable presence at the tables.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $4,569,297

World Series of Poker Bracelets

May 2001, $5,000 seven-card stud
May 2002, $5,000 deuce-to-seven no-limit draw
June 2005, $1,500 no-limit hold'em
July 2006, $1,000 no-limit hold'em

Carlos Mortensen
Born in Ambato, Ecuador, and known throughout the world as "The Matador," Mortensen is always a threat in a tournament. He began playing poker at a private club in Spain, but after crushing the local competition, he opted to test his potential in America. Barely knowing any English when he first arrived in the U.S., Mortensen grinded it out for a few years before he entered poker's history books by winning the World Series of Poker championship event and $1.5 million in 2001.

Since then, this two-time WSOP bracelet winner has staked his claim as one of the game's most aggressive and elite players.

After winning the WSOP main event in 2001, Mortensen continued to turn the poker world upside down by taking another bracelet in the $5,000 limit hold'em event in 2003 and making more than 20 major-tournament final tables. In addition to winning WSOP gold, Mortensen is a World Poker Tour champion, winning the Doyle Brunson North American No-Limit Hold'em Poker Championship in 2004 and another cool million.

So far at the 2006 World Series of Poker, he has lived up to his Matador moniker by making two final tables, in the $1,500 and $2,000 no-limit hold'em events.

Poker Stats
Career Tournament Earnings: $4,033,884

World Series of Poker Bracelets

2001, $10,000 championship event
2003, $5,000 limit hold'em