One of the deadliest combinations you will stumble across in the poker world is when a talented player is riding on the crest of a wave of positive variance. When the world’s elite players go on a so-called heater, there is little anyone can do except sit back and watch them rake in pot after pot and add a few zeros to the end of their bank balances.
Dozens of high-profile players have enjoyed the experience of seemingly being able to do nothing wrong at the poker tables and it is something that will continue to happen as long as poker is played. There is no doubt that some of of these hot-running spells have been missed in this article, but here are some of my favorite live poker heaters from the modern game.
Dan Colman: $22,389,481 won during 2014
As someone who used to enjoy playing heads up sit & go tournament online, I was already aware of the name Dan Colman because, playing as “mrge33n13,” he was a regular crusher at the highest stakes in one-on-one games. After several cashes in major live tournaments, Colman burst onto the live poker scene in 2014 when he swept the floor with opponents in the majority of events that he entered.
A 27th-place finish in a $25,500 High Roller event at the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventurebagged Colman $59,300. While impressive, it was not exactly a result to write home about.
The same can’t be said of Colman’s next cash, which was an outright victory in the €100,000 Super High Roller at the European Poker Tour Grand Final that bagged him a massive €1,539,300.
Colman, who calls Massachusetts home, reached the final table of a €10,300 buy in turbo event while in Monte Carlo before jetting off to Las Vegas for the 2014 World Series of Poker where he finished third in a $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up event for $111,942 before securing a life-changing $15,306,668 by winning the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop.
The heater continued throughout 2014 with Colman helping himself to four scores of $800,000 or more, including two results worth more than a million dollars.
Although the number of tournaments Colman entered in 2015 was less than his golden year, he still managed to win $1,854,121 in 2015, $1,301,756 in 2016 and has already won $1,923,946 in the first few months of 2017.
Fedor Holz: $16,484,153 won during 2016
The poker media are running out of superlatives to describe Germany’s Fedor Holz. Already an accomplished and feared online poker tournament player who had won a World Championship Of Online Poker Main Event, and a player who had won several six-figures scores in live events during 2015, Holz made the live circuit his own during 2016.
After winning the $100,000 WPT Alpha8 event in Las Vegas for $1,589,219 in December 2015, Holz started 2016 as he left off and triumphed in a $200,000 Triton Super High Roller Series in the Philippines for $3,463,500.
A couple of cashes at the PCA were followed up by a six-figure score at the Aussie Millions, before all hell broke loose in Las Vegas and around Europe
Erik Seidel: $6,530,154 won during 2011
Seidel won more than $6.5 million in 2011 before banking more than $2.1 million in 2013, $1.53 million in 2014 and more than $5 million in both 2015 and 2016, nothing short of remarkable. Seidel believes he’s the first player to have two different years of winning at least $5 million in the history of tournament poker.
Steve O’Dwyer: $4,879,828 won during 2015
Steve O’Dwyer enjoyed a superb run of fortune from November 2014 to January 2016 that saw his already glowing reputation bolstered significantly. O’Dwyer ended 2014 by winning a HK$500,000 Super High Roller for HK$14,050,000 ($1,811,638) and started 2016 with two scores of $950,000 each, one weighing in at $745,000 and another at $180,000.
PokerNews can’t talk about heaters without doffing our caps to the likes of Sam Trickett and Mustapha Kanit. Trickett banked almost $4.6 million during 2011, an additional $11.1 million (thanks to a runner-up finish in the Big One for One Drop) in 2012 and a further $2.4 million in 2013. Italy’s mustachioed Mustapha Kanit won $1.5 million in 2014, $2.3 million in 2015, $2.87 million in 2016 and is already past $1 million in 2017.
Which is your most memorable poker heater? Let us know in the comments below.
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