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BBZ Picks: Our biggest poker icons

BBZ Picks: Our biggest poker icons

BBZ Picks is a series of articles in which our coaches and streamers select their top pick for different categories.

Doyle Brunson. Chip Reese. Phil Ivey. Daniel Negreanu. Heck, even Phil Hellmuth.

Poker isn’t short of iconic players, the kind who inspire a new generation of players. But not all heroes were live poker veterans.

When online poker became the breeding ground for the best young talent, it brought with it a new batch of poker icons who plied their trade behind a computer screen rather than in Las Vegas casinos.

This week, we asked BBZ coaches Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond (a.k.a. BBZ) and Jonathan “apestyles” Van Fleet, as well as BBZ Twitch streamers Conor “ccOOnnOOrr” O’Driscoll and Lukas “RobinPoker” Robinson, to look back and tell us who inspired them when they first started playing poker.


“Easy, it’s Tom Dwan,” says BBZ. “He was loose, aggressive and young. It was easy to look to him as an inspiration for what was possible in poker if I really worked at it.”

The legendary and iconic Tom Dwan

BBZ also selected a Tom Dwan hand as his favourite hand of TV poker ever.

“After Dwan, my icon would be Phil Galfond,” says BBZ. “Like Dwan, Galfond was from the younger generation at the time and he was a player I could relate to. From the early stages of my career, I’ve looked more to Phil as a business inspiration. I used his training material myself back in the day and I think about everything he’s done and everything he’s now doing as I build out BBZ Poker.”

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Like BBZ, apestyles is someone who the young generation today look up to. But when he first started playing, he wasn’t sure who he should admire.

“I just read whatever I could,” he says. “I read books by Hellmuth, David Sklansky, and T.J. Cloutier.

“As far as being a fan of someone, I admired Prahlad Friedman. There was a mystique around him and he played a very aggressive post-flop style which included these big overbets. Then I admired Phil Galfond and Ben “Sauce123” Sulskey and their approach to the game.

Prahlad Friedman

“I’ve also been very lucky to have been surrounded by top players most of my career. For instance, I’ve lived with Stephen Chidwick, Steve Gross, Jason Koon, Ryan Daut, and a ton of other very strong players who taught me a lot about life and poker.”

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“Growing up like many others, I always aspired to be like Tom Dwan,” says O’Driscoll. “I loved the huge bluffs he made and the great value bets he was able to execute because of his image.”

When he started to take the game seriously, O’Driscoll’s idols changed.

“I began looking at some of the online crushers like Sulsky and apestyles. But obviously, Jordan deserves a huge mention. He’s been an idol and a mentor to me since I joined BBZ.”

BBZ at work: Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond


“The player I looked up to the most growing up was Fedor Holz,” says Robinson. “I remember seeing him bossing it as a 21-year-old in the WSOP Main Event and wishing that could be me one day. I also really admired Phil Ivey and just loved watching his highlights growing up.

Fedor Holz

“The Twitch streamer I have looked up to the most though has been Fintan Hand a.k.a. “easywithaces”. I used to watch him and Spraggy all the time when I turned 18 and just loved watching him climb up the stakes. I loved the buzz of his streams and thought that if I ever got to know him one day, we would actually be good friends as we’re very similar. I am now in a very lucky position to be close with Fintan and call him a good mate.”


BBZ & Fintan: Database Analysis

BBZ helps “easywithaces” find a leak defending his BB in this 1on1 database review.

ApestylesccOOnnOOrrJordan “BigBluffZinc” DrummondPicksRobinPoker

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