Ted Forrest
2005 Jason Kirk  

Ted Forrest - Source

In the last year or two, Ted Forrest has become a fixture at televised poker tournament final tables. His knowledge of the game is thorough, his demeanor at the table is calm and confident, and those who watch him will almost never see him rattled by any of his opponents. In almost 20 years of as a low-limit prop player, a dealer, a high-stakes cash game player, and a tournament champion, Forrest has seen just about everything poker can throw at him. He's also known as a true gambler outside of the poker tables, willing to take on almost any bet for the right price. This poker superstar is without a doubt one-of-a-kind.

Forrest has become known for playing a style that often goes against conventional wisdom; when the standard play is to call he will raise, and vice versa. Not many players can get away with playing this way, but Forrest has a deep knowledge of the game honed through tens of thousands of hours playing, watching, and studying simulations of the game. This dedication allows him to play any hand at any time, and is one of the main reasons he is widely recognized as one of the top all-around players in the world. He has put in more time with the game than most people are ever willing to give, and it has paid off over the years in a reputation as one of the world's best.

At today's high -stakes cash games Forrest is one of the most feared players in the world, but he started off at the opposite end of the poker world. Almost 20 years ago he took a job as a prop player at Palace Station casino in Las Vegas and lost the bulk of his bankroll during his first day playing in small seven-card stud games. He managed to win all of it back in a short time playing low-limit hold'em and stud, and eventually took a job as a dealer like many other top players have done. It was here that he developed his uncanny knack for reading his opponents, studying the players at his table carefully during every hand and becoming a better player himself by paying close attention to how others played.

A look at Forrest's tournament resume reveals just how strong a player he truly is. The most obvious standard of his excellence is his total of 5 World Series of Poker gold bracelets. He won three of those bracelets in 1993 alone, setting a record that has been tied by Phil Hellmuth (also in 1993) and Phil Ivey (in 2002). A closer look reveals that his bracelets came in 5 different games: Seven Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, and No-Limit Hold'em. Few players can claim mastery of so many different forms of poker - it's no surprise that he was named the Best All-Around Player at the 1992 LA Poker Classic. He currently ranks 46th on the all-time money list for the WSOP and 25th all-time on the WPT money list. It's no wonder nobody in a tournament wants to be caught at his table - he's as deadly a tournament player as exists today.

Besides standard poker games, Forrest is known for his penchant for other forms of gambling. He's well known for being a big fan of the craps tables, and he's rumored to once have lost upwards of $1 million in a single night betting on the dice. He's also reportedly a big fan of prop bets. One of the most famous was a $10,000 bet that he could drink 10 beers in 30 minutes. In another memorable bet, he won $7,000 running a marathon on the hottest day of the year in Las Vegas. Forrest even won $1.5 million from Barry Greenstein once in a month-long game of Chinese Poker. Stories about his exploits gambling with others abound.

Forrest has really hit his stride as of late, making the final table at 7 major tournaments in 2005 and finishing 9th in the National Heads-Up Poker Championship on NBC. As the poker boom continues, we'll most likely be seeing a lot more of Ted Forrest at the final tables of the world's biggest tournaments.

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