2017 WSOP Main Event Final Table Odds

[SS] “It’s not the November Nine anymore, but can I interest you guys in a three-way final table bet again?”, Stan the Stat asked.

[RR] “Always interested”, Stan the Stat asserted.

[LL] “Depends on the bet”, Leroy the Lion hesitated.

[SS] “We’ll let you pick first, so you have nothing to complain about.”

[LL] “Sounds good.”

[SS] “Pick one of these three groups:

  1. Scott Blumstein (1st in chips) and Damian Salas (6th).
  2. John Hesp (2nd), Bryan Piccioli (4th), and Dan Ott (5th).
  3. Benjamin Pollak (3rd), Antoine Saout (7th), Jack Sinclair (8th), and Ben Lamb (9th).”1

[LL] “I’ll take the last group. I’m partial to Lamb. Tough unless you cook it right but always tasty. Plus, how can I go wrong with two players who’ve already been to the Main Event final table?”2

[SS] “Roderick, you get the next pick.”

[RR] “I have to go with the chip leader with Salas as a bonus.”

[SS] “Okay, that leaves me with the underrated Hesp and two medium stacks. I can live with that.”

2017 Final Table Odds

Player Coral
With Vig3
Scott Blumstein 2/1 33.3% 28.2% 27.0% 1.2%
John Hesp 4/1 20.0% 16.9% 23.8% -6.9%
Benjamin Pollak 5/1 16.7% 14.1% 9.8% 4.3%
Bryan Piccioli 6/1 14.3% 12.1% 9.4% 2.7%
Dan Ott 18/1 5.3% 4.5% 7.3% -2.9%
Damian Salas 14/1 6.7% 5.6% 6.1% -0.5%
Antoine Saout 10/1 9.1% 7.7% 6.0% 1.7%
Jack Sinclair 25/1 3.8% 3.3% 5.6% -2.3%
Ben Lamb 10/1 9.1% 7.7% 5.0% 2.7%
Totals 118.2% 100.0% 100.0%


  1. Working with the True Percent column in the table, the three groups have a fairly even chance of winning: 33.83% to 33.45% to 32.72%.
  2. Saout finished third in 2009, and Lamb finished third in 2011. Amazingly, there was almost a third player, but Michael Ruane was the final table bubble boy after his fourth place finish last year.
  3. The Percent With Vig is simply the denominator of the odds divided by the sum of the numerator and denominator. The True Percent normalizes this by dividing by the total of 118.2%.
  4. ICM stands for Independent Chip Model.

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November Nine RIP

[SS] “Appropriately enough, the November Nine lasted nine years before the plug was pulled in 2017, likely as a cost-cutting move for ESPN,” Stan the Stat hypothesized, “which has run into financial trouble in recent years. TV ratings had dropped back to pre-November Nine levels.”

[LL] “Isn’t that a bit misleading?” Leroy the Lion wondered. “Ratings might have been much lower without the delay.”

[SS] “We’ll find out in a few weeks, I guess, unless ratings get an unusual boost.”

[LL] “Like from a woman, celebrity, or former champ reaching the final table?”

[SS] “Nobody from any of those groups has made it that far since Dan Harrington in 2003 and 2004.1 But almost any popular pro would significantly boost ratings. Daniel Negreanu was just two places off in 2015, which would have been huge.

Anyway, I’m not really sad to see the end of the November Nine. The biggest benefit to me was that it reduced the wait until the next WSOP, but the wait for the final table more than erased that gain. RIP November Nine (2008-2016).”

Nine November Nine Factoids

  1. Mark Newhouse was the only player to reach multiple November Nines. He finished ninth both times though, especially disappointing in 2014 when he started third in chips, the highest starting position to exit first.
  2. The chip leader held on to win only twice: Jonathan Duhamel in 2010 and Joe McKeehen in 2015. J.C. Tran suffered the biggest fall, finishing fifth.
  3. The short stack finished ninth only three times. Jeremy Ausmus managed to get all the way up to fifth in 2012.
  4. The shortest stack to win was Martin Jacobson, who came all the way back from eighth in chips in 2014.
  5. Every November Nine champion was in his twenties, from 21-year-old Joe Cada in 2009 to 27-year-old Martin Jacobson in 2015, until Qui Nguyen won at age 39 in 2016.
  6. Cada was also the youngest November Niner. Belgian Pierre Neuville was the oldest at 72 in 2015.
  7. Five of the November Nine champions were American (Joe Cada, Greg Merson, Ryan Riess, Joe McKeehen, and Qui Nguyen), while the other four hailed from Denmark (Peter Eastgate), Canada (Jonathan Duhamel), Germany (Pius Heinz), and Sweden (Martin Jacobson).
  8. It was the first career WSOP bracelet for every champ except Greg Merson, who won the $10,000 Six Handed No Limit Hold ‘Em event just two days before the Main Event started.
  9. Merson was also the only champ to capture WSOP Player of the Year honors. He needed to win to overtake Phil Hellmuth, and he did, sending the Poker Brat to an amazing third runner-up finish without a title.


  1. Two former champs and two women barely missed the final table between 2007 and 2013: Scotty Nguyen (11th in 2007), Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille (10th and 11th in 2012), and Carlos Mortensen (10th in 2013).

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Last Former Champion vs. Last Woman vs. Last Celebrity Standing in the WSOP Main Event

[LL] “So, which group do you think has the best chance of lasting the longest, the Women, the Celebrities, or the Former Main Event Champs?” Leroy the Lion queried.

[SS] “Well, with only 32 former Main Event winners alive, the women have the best chance with significant numbers over the former champs (about four percent of the field or roughly ten times as many entrants) and numbers and skill over the celebrities”, Stan the Stat submitted. “I think this table shows things pretty clearly.”

Last Former Champ vs. Last Woman vs. Last Celebrity Standing in the WSOP Main Event

Year Place Last Champ Place Last Woman Place Last Celebrity
1971 1 Johnny Moss
1974 1 Johnny Moss
1977 1 Doyle Brunson
1979 5 Johnny Moss
1980 2 Doyle Brunson
1981 1 Stu Ungar
1982 4 Doyle Brunson
1983 3 Doyle Brunson
1985 7 Johnny Moss
1986 5 Bill Smith 25 Wendeen Eolis 21 Gabe Kaplan
1987 9 Jack Keller
1988 1 Johnny Chan
1989 2 Johnny Chan
1990 5 Berry Johnston
1991 29 Billy Baldwin 13 Gabe Kaplan
1992 7 Johnny Chan 21 Telly Savalas
1993 4 Mansour Matloubi 19 Marsha Waggoner
1994 16 Mansour Matloubi 10 Barbara Samuelson
1995 4 Hamid Dastmalchi 5 Barbara Enright 26 Hal Kant
1996 16 Berry Johnston 26 Lucy Rokach 24 Hal Kant
1997 1 Stu Ungar 12 Marsha Waggoner
1998 22 Jack Keller 10 Susie Isaacs
1999 6 Huck Seed 21 Hal Kant
2000 10 Annie Duke
2001 5 Phil Hellmuth
2003 3 Dan Harrington 47 Annie Duke
2004 4 Dan Harrington 98 Rose Richie
2005 25 Greg Raymer 15 Tiffany Williamson 93 Nick Cassavetes
2006 238 Joe Hachem 56 Sabyl Cohen-Landrum 196 Rick Salomon
2007 11 Scotty Nguyen 38 Maria Ho 237 Sully Erna
2008 45 Phil Hellmuth 17 Tiffany Michelle 104 Kara Scott
2009 78 Peter Eastgate 27 Leo Margets 186 Lou Diamond Phillips
2010 156 Johnny Chan 121 Breeze Zuckerman 478 Bruce Buffer
2011 514 Robert Varkonyi 29 Erika Moutinho 94 Mars Callahan
2012 353 Johnny Chan 10 Gaelle Baumann 134 Kevin Pollak
2013 10 Carlos Mortensen 31 Jackie Glazier
2014 77 Maria Ho
2015 121 Jim Bechtel 29 Kelly Minkin 286 Fatima Moreira de Melo
2016 122 Greg Raymer 102 Gaelle Baumann
20171 549 Scotty Nguyen 105 Yuan-Yuan Li


  • Only players who cashed are listed here. See the original lists to see the players who didn’t cash. E.g., the 2002 out-of-the-money winner was Phil Hellmuth, who finished somewhere between 60th and 77th place.”
  • The former champs dominated this list until 2004 (lasting the longest 23 times to 3 to 1), then the women took over convincingly (11 of the last 13). Interestingly, over the last dozen years the former champs have a very slight edge, 7 to 6, against the second to last woman standing, so the contest is closer than it might look.
  • The only celebrity to outlast his female and champ counterparts was Gabe Kaplan in 1991 (who perhaps more impressively was the sixth place bubble boy in 1980).


  1. July 17, 2017 Update: The women (Yuan-Yuan Li, 105th) outlasted the former champs (Scotty Nguyen, 549th) and celebs (Richard Seymour, Day 3) again in 2017.

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WSOP Main Event Last Former Champion Standing

[SS] “In the past decade or so,” Stan the Stat began, “the poker press has made a big deal of the Last Woman Standing at the World Series of Poker Main Event and, more recently, the Last Celebrity Standing, but before either of these, event reports would often mention the last former champion remaining in the field.

Johnny Moss (1970 and 1971) and Doyle Brunson (1976 and 1977) both won back-to-back Main Events, becoming the first two to earn the title, but Last Champ Standing didn’t really mean much until 1978 when the Main Event stopped being winner-take-all. That year, none of the five former champs cashed, but in 1979 Moss eked into the money, placing fifth to take the first real crown. Since then, at least one former Main Event champ has cashed every year except 1984, 2000, 2002, and 2014.”1

[LL] “And it’s become even more meaningful every year since Stu Ungar won his third title in 1987”, Leroy the Lion noted. “This year will mark three full decades without a repeat winner. That’s almost as long as we waited for a horse to win the Triple Crown. But with the huge fields, it’s entirely possible nobody else will ever win multiple WSOP Main Events, while the next thoroughbred Triple Crown could easily be next year.”

Last Former Champion Standing at the World Series of Poker Main Event

Year Player Place2 Notes
1971 Johnny Moss 1 Moss repeats as champ.
1972 Johnny Moss DNC Moss (6th place), the only former champ, gets this spot by default.
1973 Johnny Moss DNC Moss (2nd place) barely misses his third title.
1974 Johnny Moss 1 Moss wins his record third Main Event.
1975 unknown DNC Moss, Preston, and Pearson don’t cash (only winner paid).
1976 unknown DNC Moss, Preston, and Roberts don’t cash (only winner paid).
1977 Doyle Brunson 1 Brunson becomes the second repeat champ.
1978 unknown DNC No former champ cashes (5 paid for the first time).
1979 Johnny Moss 5 Moss continues to dominate the top of this list. Bobby Baldwin 8th.
1980 Doyle Brunson 2 Brunson narrowly misses becoming a three-time champ. Moss 4th.
1981 Stu Ungar 1 Ungar repeats. Baldwin 7th and Brunson 11th.
1982 Doyle Brunson 4 Brunson final tables for the fifth time. Sailor Roberts 8th.
1983 Doyle Brunson 3 Brunson final tables for the sixth time.
1984 unknown DNC No former champ cashes (9 paid).
1985 Johnny Moss 7 Moss bubbles the six-player final table.
1986 Bill Smith 5 Defending champ reaches final table. Baldwin 16th and Moss 26th.
1987 Jack Keller 9 Keller outlasts Puggy Pearson (17th), Baldwin (21st), Moss (26th), and Berry Johnston (31st).
1988 Johnny Chan 1 Chan repeats as champ. Keller 31st.
1989 Johnny Chan 2 Chan barely misses third straight title. Johnston 29th and Pearson 35th.
1990 Berry Johnston 5 Johnston makes his fourth final table. Ungar 9th.
1991 Billy Baldwin 29 Baldwin’s eighth best finish is the only time he makes this list.
1992 Johnny Chan 7 Chan reaches his fourth final table in six years, edging Keller (8th).
1993 Mansour Matloubi 4 Matloubi returns to the final table three years after winning. Brad Daugherty 9th.
1994 Mansour Matloubi 16 Matloubi becomes the fourth repeat last champ standing. Baldwin 24th.
1995 Hamid Dastmalchi 4 Dastmalchi also returns to the final table three years after winning. Johnston 21st and Keller 28th.
1996 Berry Johnston 16 Johnston barely outsurvives Dan Harrington (17th).
1997 Stu Ungar 1 Ungar wins his record-tying third Main Event. Brunson 16th and Hellmuth 21st.
1998 Jack Keller 22 Keller is the only former champ to cash.
1999 Huck Seed 6 Seed returns to the final table three years later and is the only former champ to cash.
2000 Phil Hellmuth DNC Hellmuth (64th place) misses the money by 19 places.
2001 Phil Hellmuth 5 Hellmuth returns to the final table a dozen years later. Jim Bechtel 23rd.
2002 Phil Hellmuth DNC Hellmuth (somewhere between 60th and 77th place) misses the money by at least 15 spots.
2003 Dan Harrington 3 Harrington returns to final table eight years later. Scotty Nguyen 18th.
2004 Dan Harrington 4 Harrington repeats as final tablist. Chris Ferguson 26th.
2005 Greg Raymer 25 Defending champ easily outdistances Russ Hamilton (59th).
2006 Joe Hachem 238 Defending champ hangs in long after Tom McEvoy exits in 371st.
2007 Scotty Nguyen 11 Nguyen almost reaches the final table, which is far better than Seed (73rd).
2008 Phil Hellmuth 45 Hellmuth far surpasses Chan (329th).
2009 Peter Eastgate 78 Eastgate becomes the last defending champ on this list. A record six former champs cash.
2010 Johnny Chan 156 Chan outlasts Nguyen (209th) for the crown.
2011 Robert Varkonyi 514 Varkonyi is the only former champ to cash (693 paid).
2012 Johnny Chan 353 Chan exits on the same day but long after Seed (527th place).
2013 Carlos Mortensen 10 Mortensen bubbles the final table. Merson 167th and Brunson 409th.
2014 Huck Seed DNC Seed (~740th place) doesn’t cash but is the only former champ to reach Day 4.
2015 Jim Bechtel 121 Bechtel is the best of the record-tying six cashing former champs.
2016 Greg Raymer 122 Raymer takes his second crown ahead of Chan (180th).
2017 Scotty Nguyen 549 Nguyen became the 11th multiple champ, lasting far longer than Joe Cada (948th) and Carlos Mortensen (984th).

[SS] “If you only count times when the player cashed, Johnny Chan is the all-time Last Former Champ Standing leader with five titles. If you count all finishes, Johnny Moss jumps ahead with six, including twice when it wasn’t a cash (one of which he earned just by showing up). Doyle Brunson has four titles (all cashes). Phil Hellmuth has two real titles and was the last standing but out of the money twice.”

Multiple Last Champ Standing Titles

Official Titles Player Did Not Cash Titles
5 Johnny Chan 0
4 Johnny Moss 2
4 Doyle Brunson 0
2 Stu Ungar 0
2 Phil Hellmuth 2
2 Berry Johnston 0
2 Dan Harrington 0
2 Greg Raymer 0
2 Jack Keller 0
2 Mansour Matloubi 0
2 Scotty Nguyen 0
1 Huck Seed 1


  1. 2014 was by far the worst showing for the former champs, with a then-record 30 former Main Event champs still living. There are currently 32 ex-champs still alive, so that dubious record can be broken this year.
  2. Players whose place is “DNC” (“did not cash”) aren’t officially recognized as “Last Champ Standing”.

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Books About the WSOP Main Event

[SS] “Are you one of those players that like to ‘book a win’?” Stan the Stat asked Leroy the Lion.

[LL] “Definitely not. I just want to play as much as I can. I don’t get out of the house very often, you know.”

[RR] “Figaro the Fish definitely likes to”, Roderick the Rock stated. “He’s always announcing how much he needs to win to get even for the night.”

[SS] “To me, it doesn’t matter whether I’m ahead or behind. If it’s a good table to be playing at, I’m staying.

In fact, I’m more interested in books about wins than booking wins. I tried to make a list of poker books written by WSOP Main Event champions, but there weren’t many,1 so I expanded the list to all books about the World Series of Poker. There are probably more than you’d guess but well short of one per year. Most of the gaps in the coverage are recent, since several books cover every Main Event from the beginning to the mid-2000s.

Books That Cover the World Series of Poker Main Event

Main Event Year Author’s Finish2 Author Book Year Notes
1970-2004 N/A Jonathan Grotenstein & Storms Reback All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker 2005 Significant history of the World Series of Poker through 2004
1970-2006 N/A James McManus Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker 2009 Excellent history of poker (not just Hold ‘Em), with later chapters on the World Series of Poker (mentions Eastgate [2008] but not Yang [2007])
1970-2006 N/A Mark Rogers 52 Greatest Moments World Series of Poker 2006 Stories cover various WSOP Main Events, including “Vera and a Dull Knife” (1972), “Bonetti’s Blunder” (1993), “Fast and Furious Final” (1996), and Moneymaker (2003)
1970-2008 1st (1983) Tom McEvoy (with Dana Smith & Ralph Wheeler) Championship Table: At the World Series of Poker 2009 Basic facts about each WSOP Main Event from 1970 to 2008, including the players at each final table
1972 1st Amarillo Slim Preston (with Greg Dinkin) Amarillo Slim in a World of Fat People 2003 Autobiography includes the 1972 WSOP Main Event as does his Play Poker to Win.
1976-1977 1st/1st Doyle Brunson My 50 Most Memorable Hands 2007 includes at least one hand from 1976 and one from 1977 WSOP Main Event
1978 N/A Mike Caro Bobby Baldwin’s Winning Poker Secrets 1979 Good stories, including Baldwin in the 1978 WSOP Main Event
1978-2001 1st (1983, McEvoy) / 2nd (1985 & 2000, Cloutier) Tom McEvoy & T.J. Cloutier Championship Hold’em Tournament Hands 2003 Advice on playing Limit and No-Limit Hold ‘Em, especially preflop, plus an excellent collection of important WSOP Main Event hands
1980-1981, 1997 N/A Nolan Dalla & Mike Sexton One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey “The Kid” Ungar, The World’s Greatest Poker Player 2005 Authorized biography of Stu Ungar, three-time Main Event champion
1981 N/A Al Alvarez The Biggest Game in Town 1983 The story of the 1981 World Series of Poker Main Event; final paragraph summarizes 1982 very briefly
1984 2nd Byron Wolford (with Dana Smith) Cowboys, Gamblers and Hustlers: The True Adventures of a Rodeo Champion and Poker Legend 2002 Stories from the early days of rodeo and poker plus coverage of the 1984 Main Event
1987-2005 N/A Steve Rosenbloom Best Hand I Ever Played 2005 Biographies of 52 poker pros with their favorite hands, nine of which occurred during the WSOP Main Event
1988-1989 did not cash Anthony Holden Big Deal: One Year as a Professional Poker Player 1990 Writer and amateur player spends a year playing poker, including the 1988 and 1989 WSOP Main Events
1989 1st Phil Hellmuth Poker Brat: Phil Hellmuth’s Autobiography 2017 Autobiography, including the 1989 WSOP Main Event
1994 did not cash Al Alvarez Bets, Bluffs, and Bad Beats 2001 Some poker history and the author’s 1994 WSOP (three events, including the Main Event)
2000 5th James McManus Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion’s World Series of Poker 2003 Sent by Harper’s Magazine to write about the 2000 WSOP, McManus ends up playing and playing well!
2001, 2004-2005 5th/DNC/9th Mike Matusow (with Amy Calistri & Tim Lavalli) Check-Raising the Devil 2009 Includes stories from 2001 (6th), 2004, and 2005 (9th) WSOP Main Events
2003 1st Chris Moneymaker (with Daniel Paisner) Moneymaker: How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker 2005 The amateur who sparked the poker boom by winning his Main Event entry online
2004 did not cash Richard Sparks Diary of a Mad Poker Player: A Journey to the World Series of Poker 2005 Writer attempts to qualify online for the 2004 WSOP Main Event
2005 1st Joe Hachem (with Peter Ralph) Pass the Sugar 2009 Autobiography, including the 2005 WSOP Main Event
2005 did not cash Peter Alson Take Me to the River: A Wayward and Perilous Journey to the World Series of Poker 2007 Writer plays in several events, cashing three times; also summarizes the final 2004 hand between Raymer and David Williams
2005 did not cash Pat Walsh How to Win the World Series of Poker (or Not) 2006 Fairly weak poker-playing author writes about 2006 WSOP Main Event experience
2005-2006 did not cash Anthony Holden Bigger Deal: A Year Inside the Poker Boom 2007 Another year of poker, including the 2005 and 2006 WSOP Main Events
2007 1st Jerry Yang (w/ Mark Tabb) All In 2011 Autobiography including the 2007 WSOP Main Event
2007 N/A Des Wilson Ghosts at the Table: Riverboat Gamblers, Texas Rounders, Roadside Hucksters, and the Living Legends Who Made Poker What It Is Today 2008 Selective history of poker from its roots to the WSOP (including a chapter on the 2007 WSOP and an attempt to track down 1979 champ Hal Fowler)
2010 1st Jonathan Duhamel (with translator Christina Palassio) Final Table: A Winning Poker Approach from a WSOP Champion 2012 Poker strategy book with some Main Event stories
2011 1st Pius Heinz Pius Heinz: My Hands on the Way to the Poker World Champion 2012 Actually titled “Pius Heinz: Meine Hände auf dem Weg zum Poker Weltmeister”, as it’s in German
2011 did not cash Colson Whitehead The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death 2014 Writer gets staked by Grantland to play in the 2011 WSOP Main Event
2016 1st Qui Nguyen From Vietnam to Vegas!: How I Won the World Series of Poker Main Event 2017 Autobiography culminates with the 2016 WSOP Main Event



  1. Seven WSOP Main Event champions have written books that at least partially covered their victory: Amarillo Slim Preston, Doyle Brunson, Tom McEvoy, Phil Hellmuth (coming soon), Chris Moneymaker, Jonathan Duhamel, and Qui Nguyen.
  2. “N/A” (not applicable) means the author didn’t play in the Main Event.

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WSOP Circuit National Championship

[SS] “In 2011, the WSOP Circuit introduced the Circuit National Championship”, Stan the Stat continued. “Despite only having been held six times, it’s already had four different names and four different venues but finally seems to have settled down as the Global Casino Championship at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina.1

WSOP Circuit National Championship Winners

Year Winner Prize Players Cashed Runner-Up
2011 Sam Barnhart $300,000 100 10 James Anderson
2012 Ryan Eriquezzo $416,051 157 18 Nikolas Stone
2013 Jonathan Hilton $355,599 127 16 Max Steinberg
2014 Dominik Nitsche $352,800 126 15 Athanasios Polychronopoulos
2015 Loni Harwood $341,599 122 15 Alexandru Masek
2016 Said El-Yousfi $343,256 126 19 Yasin Ahmady


  • Besides Harwood, two other women have reached the final table. La Sengphet finished fourth in 2011, and Amanda Musumeci finished eighth in 2012.
  • Other notable players to reach a final table include Daniel Negreanu (6th in 2015) and Huy Nguyen, who finished 3rd in 2012 after bubbling the 2011 final table. Nobody has reached multiple final tables.
  • After Americans won the first three National Championships, two of the last three winners have been foreigners (Nitsche hails from Germany, and El-Yousfi is a Moroccan living in Switzerland2).
  • Attendance figures are fairly constant as 100 players earn free entries during the season, while, since 2012, the top 100 players on the Circuit who haven’t already qualified are allowed to buy in to the event for $10,000.
  • The number of players paid increased in 2016 as part of the WSOP’s new policy of paying 15% of its fields instead of 10%.

WSOP Circuit National Championship Final Hands

Year Winner Hand Value Runner-Up Hand Value Board
2011 Sam Barnhart K♠Q♣ Two Pairs
Kings and 7s
James Anderson A♦T♦ Pair of 7s K♣J♥7♦6♣7♥
2012 Ryan Eriquezzo K♠J♥ Straight, King-high Nikolas Stone Q♥J♦ Pair of Queens 4♣Q♣T♣5♦9♣
2013 Jonathan Hilton K♠T♠ Two Pairs,
Kings and Tens
Max Steinberg 9♦7♠ Pair of Aces K♥T♣8♦A♦A♥3
2014 Dominik Nitsche A♥8♣ Pair of 8s Athanasios Polychronopoulos A♦T♣ Ace-high K♦8♠2♦7♣4♠
2015 Loni Harwood 3♥3♣ Three 3s Alexandru Masek A♣7♥ Pair of 7s 8♣7♣3♦5♣6♠
2016 Said El-Yousfi A♠8♦ Two Pairs,
9s and 7s,
Yasin Ahmady K♠Q♥ Two Pairs,
9s and 7s,


  • All of the chips went into the middle before the flop every year except 2013 (turn) and 2016 (flop).


  1. The event was called the National Championship from 2011 to 2015 and has been the Global Casino Championship since 2016.

    Caesars Palace hosted the first event in 2011, the Rio in 2012 (as part of the usual WSOP in Las Vegas), Harrah’s New Orleans in 2013 (the first bracelet awarded in the U.S. that wasn’t in Las Vegas), Bally’s in Atlantic City in 2014, and Harrah’s Cherokee since 2015.

  2. The Hendon Mob Database considers El-Yousfi as being from France, so he probably lived there for a while too.
  3. The suit of the final Ace in 2013 is unknown and irrelevant but was probably the Ace of Hearts since it was reported as the second Ace of Diamonds.

Related Links:

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WSOP Circuit

[SS] “What’s up, Doc?” Stan the Stat asked by way of greeting.

[LL] “What a maroon!” Leroy the Lion answered. “I’m not a doctor; I only play one on TV. He don’t know me very well, do he?”

[SS] “So, I take it you like that wascawwy wabbit, Bugs Bunny?”

[LL] “Of course, you realize this means war!”

[SS] “I was just thinking of the Knighty Knight Bugs episode.”

[LL] “You don’t say…”

[SS] “Some of the knights included Sir Osis of Liver and Sir Loin of Beef.”

[LL] “What about Sir Round of Sound and Sir Cumference of the Round Table?”

[RR] “Or Sir Cadian of Rhythm and Sir Valance of Camera?” Roderick the Rock contributed.

[FF] “Or Sir Fsup of Dude and Sir Vand of Volley?” Figaro the Fish added.

[SS] “I’m fairly certain none of them were there. Nor was Sir Cut of the World Series of Poker.”

[LL] “Ah, I was wondering what you were circling round to. You’re not usually much for circumlocution.”

[SS] “The WSOP Circuit launched in 2005, with events throughout the U.S. leading up to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, whose start was pushed back from May to July.

Each stop on the tour is a includes many small-buyin events whose buyins are under $1,0001 leading up to a more expensive Main Event. Some stops also have a High Roller event with an even bigger buyin.”

[SS] “In the early years, lots of big-name pros played the Circuit as poker tournaments weren’t as numerous then. Some huge names still pepper the career earnings list, including Chris Ferguson at #1, Men Nguyen at #5, and Daniel Negreanu at #6.

WSOP Circuit Career Earnings Leaders

Rank Player Earnings
1 Chris Ferguson $1,359,143
2 Maurice Hawkins $1,259,947
3 Doug Lee $847,367
4 Peter Feldman $830,028
5 Men Nguyen $827,951
6 Daniel Negreanu $819,172
7 Gregg Merkow $807,186
8 John Spadavecchia $791,796
9 Joe Kuether $791,368
10 Walter Chambers $789,603

Everyone who wins a tournament, including any of the small buyin, ladies, and seniors events, gets a Circuit Ring. Over 200 rings are now awarded each year, but with hundreds of entrants in every event, nobody has managed to win more than Maurice Hawkin’s 10 rings.

WSOP Circuit Career Rings Leaders

Rank Player Rings
1 Maurice Hawkins 10
2 Valentin Vornicu 9
Alexandru Masek
4 Ari Engel 8
Robert Hankins
Chris Reslock
7 Cory Waaland 7
Joshua Reichard
9 John Holley 6
Kyle Cartwright

The total number of Circuit events has already exceeded the number of WSOP events despite the latter’s 35-year head start. So it’s not completely surprising that career Circuit cashes leader Douglas Carli has passed Phil Hellmuth’s WSOP mark of 119.

WSOP Circuit Career Cashes Leaders

Rank Player Cashes
1 Douglas Carli 128
2 Charles Moore 90
3 John Holley 66
4 Jason Mayfield 64
5 Christopher Conrad 62
6 Rex Clinkscales 60
7 Neil Scott 59
8 Robert Hankins 58
Paul Sokoloff
10 Michael Sanders 56


  • Only Maurice Hawkins (#2 earnings and #1 rings), Robert Hankins (#4 rings and #3 cashes), and John Holley (#9 rings and #8 cashes) appear on multiple of the above lists.
  • Although there are now international Circuit events, Americans dominate the lists, not surprisingly. Only Canadians Doug Lee, Daniel Negreanu, and Paul Sokoloff prevented a sweep.
  • Lots of players have won both a WSOP bracelet and a WSOP Circuit ring, but only nine have won more than one of each: Men Nguyen (7 bracelets and 4 rings), Chris Ferguson (5 and 3), Allen Cunningham (5 and 2), Max Pescatori (4 and 2), John Cernuto (3 and 2), Loni Harwood (2 and 3), Dan Heimiller (2 and 2), Brent Carter (2 and 2), and Frankie O’Dell (2 and 2).
  • La Sengphet, Loni Harwood, and Nancy Brinbaum are the female rings leaders with three. Nine women have two: Daphne Turner, Donna Delfin, Felicia Johnico, Jane Sheldon, Janet Fitzgerald, Nadezhda ‘Nadya’ Magnus, Patricia Till, Sylva Simordova, and Veronica Heath.

The Circuit has not only survived for thirteen years, growing from 5 stops the first year to 26 next year, it’s surpassed all of the WSOP’s expectations.”


  1. Most events have a $365 buyin.
  2. The Main Event usually has a $1,675 buyin.

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Daniel Negreanu’s Triple Bracelet Bet

[SS] “I love Daniel Negreanu as much as anyone, but has he lost his mind?” Stan the Stat wondered.

[LL] “I take it you’re referring to his bet that he’d win three WSOP bracelets this summer?” Leroy the Lion suggested.

[SS] “Yes. What was he thinking???”

[RR] “I think he has so much money that it doesn’t mean anything to him anymore”, Roderick the Rock contributed.

[LL] “I agree. It’s purely a self-motivational ploy.”

[SS] “Still, he could have gotten so, so, so much better odds and still found plenty of takers.”

[LL] “Prop bets are supposed to be rigged in favor of the person offering the bet. Negreanu gave even money on what, a 10,000-to-1 longshot?”

[SS] “That’s what Vanessa Selbst said last year about Dzmitry Urbanovich’s chances of pulling off the feat. She got 200-to-1 on him and 180-to-1 on Jason Mercier, who actually came very close, winning two bracelets and final tabling two other events.”

[RR] “So, something around 100-to-1 might be around Negreanu’s real chance. Even money is ridiculous.”

[LL] “I don’t know how much action Negreanu took on the bet before he took it off the table,1 but I think it’ll work out fine for him. He just needs to cover his bets from increased winnings. He could still have gotten better odds, but that’s largely irrelevant when there’s such a slim chance of his succeeding.”

[SS] “His odds may be a bit better than you estimate though. If he’s truly motivated, he can play about 70 of the 74 events. He’d need just over a four percent chance of winning each event to have a good shot at winning three bracelets, which has been done six times:

WSOP Triple Bracelet Winners

Year Player Events
1973 Puggy Pearson $4,000 Seven-Card Stud; $1,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em; $10,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em Main Event
1993 Phil Hellmuth $2,500 No-Limit Hold ‘Em; $1,500 No-Limit Hold ‘Em; $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em
1993 Ted Forrest $5,000 Seven-Card Stud; $1,500 Razz; $1,500 Limit Omaha 8 or Better
2002 Phil Ivey $1,500 Seven-Card Stud; $2,500 Seven-Card Stud 8 or Better; $2,000 S.H.O.E.
2009 Jeff Lisandro $1,500 Seven-Card Stud; $2,500 Razz; $10K Seven-Card Stud 8 or Better
2014 George Danzer $10,000 Razz; $10,000 Seven-Card Stud 8 or Better; $5,000 8-Game Mix (WSOP Europe)


  • For the purposes of Negreanu’s bet, Danzer’s triple wouldn’t count, as his third bracelet was at WSOP Europe, not during the summer in Las Vegas.
  • A player has won at least two bracelets in a year 64 times (56 times in Las Vegas alone). Phil Hellmuth is the only player to do it three times (notably, once in each of three decades: 1993, 2003, and 2012). Gary Berland, Doyle Brunson, Chris Ferguson, Layne Flack, Ted Forrest, Phil Ivey, Men Nguyen, and Tom Schneider each did it twice (Berland, Brunson, and Flack all in back-to-back years).
  • Nani Dollison is the only woman to win two bracelets in a year, although one of her two titles in 2001 wasn’t an open event ($1,000 Ladies Limit Hold ‘Em & Seven Card Stud).
  • Erik Seidel has the most bracelets (8) without ever getting two in a year. Jay Heimowitz is second (6).
  • Negreanu’s own best year was 2013 when he won two bracelets, but neither was in Las Vegas.”


  1. Ben Lamb was the initial bettor. Chance Kornuth joined in on the action immediately, but the window was closed just three hours later after an unknown number of other takers.

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2017 WSOP Schedule

[SS] “I knew the World Series of Poker would go over 70 events this year,” Stan the Stat mentioned, “but I didn’t think it’d jump all the way to 74. That’s the largest increase since nine events were added in 2007.”

[LL] “It’s great to know that the poker economy is doing well”, Leroy the Lion remarked.

[SS] “Yes, although some of the new events are low buyin tournaments, so they’re also catering to poker players with smaller bankrolls. Because of that, it’s not surprising that No-Limit Hold ‘Em, the most popular game for casual players, accounts for most of the increase.1 Two of new events are online, so that’s an interesting trend.”

[LL] “I’ll bet the WSOP hopes those events do well; so much less overhead for them! If we could only get the laws changed, imagine how huge the WSOP could be if you could play from anywhere in the world instead of having to be in Nevada.”

[RR] “With 3D holograms of the players, so you could still read their body language!” Roderick the Rock suggested.

[SS] “Still many years off, unfortunately. The WSOP actually had great success at the other end of the social spectrum last year as well with the new team event. They’ve added a second one this year with a $10,000 buyin.”

[RR] “I wonder if that will attract mostly pro teams.”

[LL] “I would guess so. Lots of amateurs play in the $10,000 Main Event, but a good chunk of them satellite in. Since I don’t see this event having satellites, even $2,500 a head is going to deter most casual players.”

[SS] “The WSOP has those players covered, too. The new $333-buyin WSOP.com Online and $365-buyin Giant No-Limit Hold ‘Em events are the cheapest one-person open events in the history of the WSOP,2. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new record for field size.”3

[SS] “Oh, and one last piece of news… after an appropriate nine years, the November Nine is history. This year will have just a two day break after the Main Event final table is set, so the champion will be determined in July again.”

[LL] “Probably another result of ESPN’s cutbacks. I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision was mostly financially-related.”

[SS] “Undoubtedly. ESPN also sold coverage rights to Poker Central. This is great if you like to watch the WSOP almost live on a thirty-minute delay.”

WSOP Event Comparison: 2017 vs. 2016

By Game Type:

Game Type 2016 2017 Change
Hold ‘Em 38 42 +5
Lowball4 8 6 -1
Omaha 11 11 0
Stud 4 4 0
Mixed Games4 9 10 +1

By Limit Type:

Limit Type 2016 2017 Change
Limit 16 17 +1
Pot Limit 10 11 +1
No Limit 37 40 +3
Mixed Limit 6 6 0

By Buyin:

Buyin 2016 2017 Change
$333 0 1 +1
$365 0 1 +1
$565 3 3 0
$888 1 1 0
$1,000 11 11 0
$1,111 1 0 -1
$1,500 23 24 +1
$2,000 1 0 -1
$2,500 3 4 +1
$2,620 0 1 +1
$3,000 7 6 -1
$3,333 0 1 +1
$5,000 3 3 0
$10,000 13 15 +2
$25,000 1 1 0
$50,000 1 1 0
$111,000 1 1 0


  1. The total amount needed to play every event increased from $410,805 to $428,694, but the average buyin dropped from $5,954 to $5,793.
  2. The previous low for a single-person open event was $500, done many times. The 1977 Women’s Championship ($100) and the 1978 Women’s Championship ($200) remain the lowest buyin events ever.
  3. The largest event was the 2015 $565 Colossus, which attracted 22,374 players. See the top ten Biggest WSOP Fields.
  4. For this chart, Lowball events include Lowball, Deuce-to-Seven Draw/Triple Draw/Mixed Triple Draw, and Razz.

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{ June 9, 2017 correction: There are 42 Hold ‘Em events and 8 Lowball events, not 43 and 7. }

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Female World Series of Poker Bracelet Winners

[DD] “I’ve got a bet for you guys”, Deb the Duchess offered.

[RR] “Sure…”, Roderick the Rock encouraged.

[DD] “I’ll give you even money on whether or not a woman wins a World Series of Poker bracelet in an open event this summer. I’ll back the women, of course.”

[RR] “Sounds reasonable. What do you think, Stan?”

[SS] “I’d be remiss if I didn’t inform you that at least one female has won a bracelet every year since 2012,” Stan the Stat explained. “Before that, if I’m not misremembering, the Misses, Mrses.,1 and Mses. missed three straight years. The 2000s have had exactly 17 female winners in 17 years. That’s a bit misleading as five years had multiple female winners, but that still makes them 12 for 17. Deb’s offering us miserable odds, especially given the continual increase in events.”

[DD] “I doubt you’ve misspoken. I’ll give you 2-to-1.”

[SS] “I must dismiss that offer, too. Make it 3-to-1.”

[DD] “I have misgivings about going that high, but if you multiply my payout by the number of bracelets women win, I’ll give you 3-to-1.

[SS] “… Okay, unless I’ve miscalculated, I don’t think it’s a mistake to take that bet. How about you, Rod?”

[RR] “I can’t miss out on those kinds of odds… I’m not optimistic, but I’m in.”

[SS] “Now we just need Vanessa Selbst to mysteriously disappear, since she’s the one who took care of business three of the last six times a woman won! If we could convince her to join Phil Ivey in the cash games for the next couple of months, it might be mission accomplished.”

Women Who Have Won WSOP Open Events

# Year Player Event Prize Entrants
1 1982 Vera Richmond $1,000 Limit Ace to Five Draw $38,500 77
2 1996 Barbara Enright $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha $180,000 180
3 1997 Linda Johnson $1,500 Seven-Card Razz $96,000 160
4 1997 Maria Stern $1,500 Seven-Card Stud $140,708 257
5 2000 Jerri Thomas $1,500 Seven-Card Stud $135,825 245
6 2000 Jennifer Harman $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw $146,250 30
7 2001 Nani Dollison $2,000 Limit Hold ‘Em $441,440 615
8 2002 Jennifer Harman $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em $212,440 113
9 2004 Cyndy Violette $2,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Split $135,900 224
10 2004 Kathy Liebert $1,500 Limit Hold ‘Em Shootout $110,180 240
11 2004 Annie Duke $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Split $137,860 234
12 2007 Katja Thater $1,500 Seven Card Razz $132,653 341
13 2007 Annette Obrestad £10,000 World Championship No Limit Hold ‘Em $2,013,733 362
14 2008 Vanessa Selbst $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha $227,933 759
15 2012 Vanessa Selbst $2,500 10-Game – Six Handed $244,259 421
16 2013 Dana Castaneda $1,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em $454,207 2,883
17 2013 Loni Harwood $1,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em $609,017 2,541
18 2014 Vanessa Selbst $25,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em – Mixed Max $871,148 131
19 2015 Carol Fuchs $1,500 Dealers Choice Six Handed $127,735 357
20 2016 Kristen Bicknell $1,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em $290,768 2,158
21 2016 Safiya Umerova $1,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em Shootout $264,046 1,050
22 2017 Liv Boeree $10,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em Championship $136,982 102


  • Vanessa Selbst, who won the highest buyin event ($25,000), and Jennifer Harman (two bracelets) are the only multiple winners.
  • Annette Obrestad won the largest prize by far, a cool £1,000,000 (worth over two million U.S. dollars at the time) in the only win outside the U.S.
  • Dana Casteneda (2,883 players), Loni Harwood (2,541), and Kristen Bicknell (2,158) defeated the largest fields.
  • In Barbara Enright’s victory, Lucy Rokach finished third.
  • In Jennifer Harman’s second victory, Mimi Tran finished third.
  • Not counting Ladies and Mixed Doubles events where a woman was guaranteed to win, three women have captured other non-open bracelets:
    • Sandy Stupak – 1984 Employee Event2 ($14,000)
    • Clare Miller – 2006 $1,000 Seniors Championship ($247,814)
    • Allyn Jaffrey Shulman – 2012 $1,000 Seniors Championship ($603,713)
  • Women have finished second seventeen times and third eight times in open WSOP events.3 Six other women have exactly three “medal” finishes, matching Selbst.

    Women With Multiple WSOP Open Event Top Three Finishes

    Player 1st 2nd 3rd Top 3
    Vanessa Selbst 3 0 0 3
    Jennifer Harman 2 1 0 3
    Annie Duke 1 2 0 3
    Cyndy Violette 1 1 1 3
    Kathy Liebert 1 1 1 3
    Mimi Tran 0 2 1 3
    Marsha Waggoner 0 1 2 3

{ June 2, 2017 Update: Liv Boeree won the $10,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold ‘Em Championship with Igor Kurganov to split $273,964 and win the bet for Deb. }

{ July 20, 2017 Update: added WSOP Europe and WSOP Asia Pacific finishes. }


  1. The actual plural of “Mrs.” is “Mmes.”, short for “mesdames”.
  2. The Hendon Mob Database doesn’t recognize the 1984 Employee event as an official WSOP tournament.
  3. The numbers are too small to be very meaningful, but it’s noteworthy that women have finished first 22 times, second 17 times, and third only 8 times. Winning 22 out of 47 times (46.8%) they’ve reached the final three and 22 out of 39 times (56.4%) they’ve reached heads-up are both extremely good rates. { May 22, 2017 Update: was missing one 2nd and one 3rd place finish. }

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