Five poker players who would dominate as the Runner

Terrance Reid
Posted on: November 28, 2022 11:05 PST

The Runner is out there right now, traversing his way somewhere, trying to avoid capture. Find the Runner, and find yourself with a $30,000 Platinum Pass and a trip to the Bahamas for your troubles. If no one wins? Well, the Platinum Pass is the Runner's to keep.

Those high stakes got me asking myself some questions. What poker player would dominate as the Runner? Who would American bounty hunters have no chance of finding until the Runner was in the Bahamas laughing their way to the money?

Here's what I came up with.

#5 - Garrett Adelstein

Los Angeles-based Garrett Adelstein has made headlines plenty of times in recent history. Ask yourself, though, amid one of the largest cheating investigations that centered around a hand Adelstein played on Hustler Casino Live, how often did you see Adelstein? Maybe he was, oh say, in hiding? He seems to have no problem getting out of the public eye when he wants to, even when everyone wants to hear from him. That's not the only reason for his top-five spot, though. Adelstein's killer instinct has been on display off the poker felt. He starred in season 28 of the reality competition "Survivor: Cagayan." Granted, he didn't do too well in that display and was eliminated early on. Still, part of the reason his island mates voted him off was because of his cunning and his being seen as a threat to the other players. I wouldn't want to have to track him down in a manhunt.

#4 - Tom Dwan

Tom Dwan has been around the block. Since the days of High Stakes Poker, he's found a way to navigate difficult lineups and often come out on top. He's squirrely, aggressive, and fearless. Let's be real: back then against Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, and others, he was almost playing a different game, and that's what drew him into the spotlight. He was often one step ahead of his opponents, on another level, and not afraid to pull the trigger, all excellent qualities in a potential Runner. Also, at various points over the last decade, he's been reported "missing," or "in hiding." Now, we won't get into the reasons for those reports and rumors here, but it's clear when Dwan wants to disappear, he can slink into the shadows with ease.

#3 - Christoph Vogelsang

christoph vogelsang poker partypoker (Image source: PokerGO) Drew Amato

I mean, look at him. Who's finding this guy? Anyone this comfortable spending time in a makeshift shell has no problem hiding for a few weeks.

#2 - Liv Boeree

Liv Boeree at the 2021 WSOP (Image source: PokerGO) Antonio Abrego

In a game like Runner Runner where intelligence, wit, and possibly even charm will be key, I wouldn't bet against Liv Boeree. The woman holds a First Class Honours Degree in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of Manchester. She played lead guitar in the heavy metal band "Dissonance." She won Female Player of the Year for three years straight at the European Poker Awards. Boeree even appeared on Lex Fridman's podcast in August of this year to discuss game theory and existential risk, among other things, which sounds right up the Runner's alley. With her diverse skills and experience, her big-brain energy, and her cosmic charm, she'd be a daunting force to be reckoned with in a weeks-long country-wide hideout.

#1 - Stephen Chidwick

Breaking news: Stephen Chidwick is still a high-stakes beast Image souce: Flickr/World Poker Tour Joe Giron/World Poker Tour

The man. The legend. The stare. Does anyone's table presence scream "International Man of Mystery" more than Stephen Chidwick's does? For all I know, he could be a spy, a double agent with a license to kill. Take a look at his Wikipedia. We know almost nothing about his background. He appeared as if from thin English air, he could likely disappear just as easily. One stare from him, and I'd be spilling all my secrets, something that's served him very well at the poker table. Even if I knew he was the Runner, I might not go after him for fear of what might happen to me. His table presence, his fear-inspiring stare, and his mysterious lack of a backstory make him my number one spot on this extremely scientific list.