Every year, PokerListings releases its list of Best Bets for the upcoming World Series of Poker.

In the past we’ve picked out individuals, based on results, skill and our vast knowledge of the vagaries of the poker world.

Frankly, our predictions have been less than accurate.

That’s why this year we’re taking the shotgun approach, aiming at groups in hopes of scoring a few hits.

So let’s continue the 2011 WSOP Best Bets series with our second group: Chess players.

If there is a group of people more prepared for success at the 2011 World Series of Poker than chess players, PokerListings hasn’t found it.

Two world-class female chess players dominated the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational in Los Angeles this year en route to making the final table.

And while Almira Skripchenko and Dinara Khaziyeva didn’t win, they proved they’re poised for big things in poker.

Historically, chess players have proven the transition to poker to be a profitable one.

1995 WSOP Main Event champ and two-time finalist Dan Harrington is among those who played chess before he turned to poker, as is 2008 November Niner Ylon Schwartz.

“A lot of chess players look at poker as a great way to make money.” – Jeff Sarwer

Plus, child chess prodigy Jeff Sarwer emerged from a life on the lam in 2009 to find incredible success on the European Poker Tour.

Sarwer took his first crack at the WSOP last year and managed to cash in three events.

He says chess players, and in fact anyone with a gaming background, usually come ready to play.

“There really is (something fundamental about chess that makes chess players successful at poker) and I think that goes for all the gaming crossovers,” he told PokerListings.

More here.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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