Stan’s Lists – Youngest and Oldest WSOP Winners


[LL] “Stan, I know you told us about the youngest and oldest players to win the World Series of Poker Main Event. What about any WSOP bracelet?” Leroy the Lion prodded.

[SS] “I don’t know how I missed that last year”, Stan the Stat apologized. “But I did some research and came up with what I think is the definitive history of the youngest bracelet winner going back to 1998:1

History of the Youngest WSOP Bracelet Winner

Player Born Date Age
Daniel Negreanu 1974/07/26 1998/04/29 23
Gavin Griffin 1981/08/28 2004/05/15 22
Eric Froehlich 1984/02/09 2005/06/05 21
Jeff Madsen 1985/06/07 2006/07/03 21
Steve Billirakis 1986/05/25 2007/06/04 21
Annette Obrestad 1988/09/18 2007/09/17 18

Notes:

  • Obrestad was one day shy of her 19th birthday when she won the first WSOP Europe Main Event. This record can’t be broken in Nevada, where the legal gambling age is 21.2
  • Billirakis was ten days past his 21st birthday, Madsen 26 days, and Froehlich 117 days.”

[RR] “So, if you count just the WSOP in the U.S., the record is Billirakis’s, and it would take some lucky timing to be a younger 21.”

[SS] “Whereas Obrestad left almost a full year of margin for someone to lower her world record.”

[LL] “But eighteen is awfully young. My car is older than that.”

[RR] “The T-shirt I’m wearing is older than that.”

[SS] “Well, you guys can look forward to trying to break the oldest record instead. But first, I’m sure you were about to ask, ‘Who’s the youngest player to N bracelets, where N currently goes up to 13?’ Two Phils currently dominate the upper end of the list, but their records don’t look very safe over the next decade:

Youngest to Win Given Number of Bracelets

# Player Born Date Age
1 Annette Obrestad 1988/09/18 2007/09/17 18
2 Jeff Madsen 1985/06/07 2006/07/14 21
3 Dominik Nitsche 1992/10/11 2014/06/10 21
4 Phil Ivey 1976/02/01 2002/05/11 26
5 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 1993/05/08 28
6 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 1997/05/06 32
7 Phil Ivey 1976/02/01 2009/06/11 33
8 Phil Ivey 1976/02/01 2010/06/22 34
9 Phil Ivey 1976/02/01 2013/04/11 37
10 Phil Ivey 1976/02/01 2014/06/27 38
11 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 2007/06/11 42
12 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 2012/06/10 47
13 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 2012/10/04 48

Notes:

  • Madsen was 37 days past his 21st birthday, while Nitsche was almost eight months past.
  • Ivey has until December 26, 2018 to break Hellmuth’s record for eleven bracelets. He missed the marks for five and six by just over half a year.
  • Nitsche has until January 20, 2019 to break Ivey’s record for four bracelets.”

[LL] “Darn, I’m too old now to break Hellmuth’s record for thirteen bracelets.”

[SS] “I think you need to worry about the first twelve first.”

Oldest Bracelet Winners

[SS] “On the other hand, if you wait long enough, you can become the oldest player to win your first bracelet. Currently, that’s Paul “Cigar” McKinney, who captured the 2007 WSOP Seniors Event at 80.”

[RR] “But who was the oldest to win an open event?”3

[SS] “That would be Johnny Moss, the Grand Old Man of Poker himself, who won the 1988 $1,500 Limit Ace to Five Draw on his 81st birthday, half a year older than McKinney was.”

[LL] “I hope I’m still playing poker when I’m 81.”

[RR] “I hope I’m still alive.”

Footnotes:

  1. The previous record holder may have been Phil Hellmuth, who was 24, a year older than Negreanu, when he won the WSOP Main Event in 1989.
  2. If the WSOP is willing though, there are other U.S. states that have a lower legal gambling age.
  3. Unfortunately, I couldn’t definitively determine who was the oldest player to win his first open WSOP bracelet. My best guess: Joe Bernstein, who was 74 when he won the $3,000 Limit Ace to 5 Draw event in 1973 (he was born in 1899, which broke my spreadsheet formula).

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2015 WSOP Schedule

[RR] “The NBA and NHL playoffs go on forever. Pretty soon they’ll be playing ice hockey in the summer!” Roderick the Rock complained.

[SS] “Actually, the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals ended on June 24, three days after summer began”, Stan the Stat corrected. “And that was only a six-game series.”

[RR] “Regardless, I’m ready for the World Series!”

[FF] “But that’s not until October!” Figaro the Fish objected.

[RR] “Not the baseball World Series, the World Series of Poker!”

[SS] “You don’t have long to wait. It starts on Wednesday.”

[RR] “That seems early. Did they add even more events?” Roderick the Rock inquired.

[SS] “No, it’s exactly the same day it started last year. But they did pack in three more events. The main addition is a couple of new low buy-in events. 2013 and 2014 both had one event under $1,000, and that was the Casino Employee-only event. This year’s schedule has that plus two open Hold ‘Em tournaments,1 one at $5652 and one at $777.”

[SS] “The high end of the buy-in scale is about the same though. The One Drop continues to alternate buy-ins so after last year’s million-dollar event, we’re back to $111,111 this time. And after last year’s explosion of $10,000 events (from 4 to 13) there’s just one more this year.”

[LL] “What’s this I heard about some strange mash-up of online and live poker???” Leroy the Lion asked.

[SS] “Well, the hybrid WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em event was supposed to start as an online tournament but finish with heads-up play at the casino in classic fashion.”

[RR] “So that’s not true anymore? They’re just going to play it all out online?”

[SS] “No, actually they expanded the live part to the entire final table but added a travel day to give the last six players plenty of time to get to the Rio.”3

[RR] “Good idea; you don’t want them rushing to the casino with no rest. The ends of poker tournaments can drag out longer than the last few minutes of a NBA game.”

[LL] “Or even a six-overtime NHL game.”

Footnotes:

  1. The number of Texas Hold ‘Em events increased by four, bouncing back to 2013’s total but still accounting for a lower percentage of the events (60.3% vs. 66.1%).
  2. The Colossus will likely break the record for most total entries in a live re-entry poker tournament. Last year’s $1,500 Millionaire Maker had 5,044 players, some of whom rebought for a total of 7,977 entries. The Colossus will allow two more re-entries per player (four total entries), and players will be more likely to rebuy as the entry fee is only 37.7% as high.
  3. Players need to be in Nevada even for the online portion.
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European Poker Tour Career Leaders

[SS] “Here are the career leaders in earnings, cashes, final tables, and titles at the end of the European Poker Tour’s eleventh complete season.

EPT Career Earnings

Rank Player Earnings
1 Bertrand Grospellier $5,794,666
2 Jason Mercier $5,792,782
3 Scott Seiver $5,681,622
4 Steve O’Dwyer $5,455,589
5 Mike McDonald $5,177,101
6 Igor Kurganov $4,881,439
7 Tobias Reinkemeier $4,406,326
8 Philipp Gruissem $4,100,541
9 Martin Finger $4,087,326
10 Olivier Busquet $4,065,442

Notes:

  • Other notable players in the top 20: Eugene Katchalov (12th: $3,874,218), Daniel Negreanu (14th: $3,703,145), Erik Seidel (17th: $3,555,153), and Daniel Colman (19th: $3,469,849).
  • The top three women are Vanessa Selbst (11th: $3,959,891), Victoria Coren Mitchell (55th: $2,062,619) and Liv Boeree (59th: $1,995,160).

EPT Career Cashes

Rank Player Cashes
1 Konstantin Puchkov 72
2 Marcin Horecki 47
3 Pierre Neuville 45
4 Jan Bendik 43
5 Roberto Romanello 40
Bertrand Grospellier
7 Mihails Morozovs 39
8 Rumen Nanev 38
9 Ole Schemion 37
10 Andrew Chen 36
Alexander Orlov

Notes:

  • Romanello and Grospellier are the only players on this list who have won an EPT title.
  • Ana Laura Marquez Esteban leads all women with 24 Cashes (tied for 72nd). Florence Allera has 22 (tied for 89th).

EPT Career Final Tables

Rank Player Final Tables
1 Konstantin Puchkov 31
2 Ole Schemion 25
3 Marcin Horecki 23
Juha Helppi
5 Jan Bendik 21
6 Mihails Morozovs 20
Mike McDonald
Alexander Orlov
Bryn Kenney
10 Anton Wigg 19
Andrew Chen
Steve O’Dwyer
Dario Alioto
Marcel Luske

Notes:

  • EPT final tables consist of eight players.
  • Despite leading in both Cashes and Final Tables, Konstantin Puchkov ranks only 164nd in Earnings ($1,173,368).
  • McDonald, Wigg, and O’Dwyer are the only players on this list who have won an EPT title.
  • Vanessa Selbst leads all women with 13 Final Tables (tied for 47th). Victoria Coren Mitchell has 10 (tied for 79th).
  • The United States has reached the final table the most times, followed by the United Kingdom and France.

EPT Career Titles

Victoria Coren Mitchell is the only player with two EPT titles, having taken down the EPT London Main Event on September 24, 2006 and the EPT Sanremo Main Event on April 20, 2014.

Notes:

  • Sandra Naujoks (2009 EPT German Open) and Liv Boeree (2010 EPT Sanremo) are the only other women to win an EPT main event.
  • The United States and United Kingdom are currently tied with 16 winners each, three ahead of Germany.”

[LL] “Epic Poker Tables, Stan!” Leroy the Lion admired.

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European Poker Tour Grand Final


[SS] “The EPT Grand Final1 has always had a 10,000-euro buy-in, but its rake has slowly crept up from 0 to 300 to 600 euros”, Stan the Stat continued. “The tournament originally ended the EPT season in March, but that has been in late April or early May since 2009.

European Poker Tour Grand Final Champions

Year Winner Prize Players Cashed Runner Up
2005 Rob Hollink $845,190 211 27 Brandon Schaefer
2006 Jeff Williams $1,084,037 298 27 Arshad Hussain
2007 Gavin Griffin $2,434,060 706 64 Marc Karam
2008 Glen Chorny $3,196,354 842 64 Denes Kalo
2009 Pieter De-Korver $3,024,167 935 88 Matt Woodward
2010 Nicolas Chouity $2,263,166 848 128 Josef Klinger
2011 Ivan Freitez-Rosales $2,226,345 686 104 Torsten Brinkmann
2012 Mohsin Charania $1,782,343 665 96 Lucille Cailly
2013 Steve O’Dwyer $1,604,972 531 80 Andrew Pantling
2014 Antonio Buonanno $1,715,526 650 95 Jack Salter
2015 Adrian Mateos2 $1,211,836 564 79 Muhyedine Fares

Notes:

  • Three Americans have won the EPT Grand Final — Williams, Griffin, and Charania — but you could also include O’Dwyer, who moved to Ireland after the major online poker sites shut down in the U.S. on Black Friday. No other country has won more than twice; Hollink and De-Korver both hail from the Netherlands.
  • 2007 runner-up Marc Karam is the only player who has reached the final table multiple times, finishing 4th the year before. Ben Grundy almost matched him, finishing 7th in 2005 and bubbling (9th) the following year.3
  • 2012 runner-up Frenchwoman Lucille Cailly is the only female to make the final table.
  • The 2008 event featured the largest first prize in EPT history ($3,196,354), but the following year had the most players (935).
  • After paying fewer than 10% of the players from 2006 to 2009, including a low of 7.6% in 2008, the EPT has rewarded about 15% of the field since 2010.

European Poker Tour Grand Final Final Hands

Year Winner Hand Value Runner Up Hand Value Board
2005 Rob Hollink J♠8♠ Two Pairs,
Jacks and 8s
Brandon Schaefer K♦7♠ Pair of Kings K♣9♦5♥8♣J♣
2006 Jeff Williams A♦T♣ Pair of 7s,
Ace Ten-kicker
Arshad Hussain A♥8♦ Pair of 7s,
Ace 9-kicker
5♥9♥7♠7♦3♣
2007 Gavin Griffin K♦5♣ Two Pairs,
Kings and 3s
Marc Karam 7♠4♠ Two Pairs,
4s and 3s
4♦3♣2♠3♥K♥
2008 Glen Chorny A♥5♥ Two Pairs,
Aces and 6s
Denes Kalo K♥Q♦ Two Pairs,
Queens and 6s
A♠Q♠6♠6♣T♦
2009 Pieter De-Korver 9♠6♠ Pair of 6s,
Queen Ten 9-kicker
Matt Woodward 6♦4♥ Pair of 6s,
Queen Ten 7-kicker
5♥T♥6♥Q♠7♠
2010 Nicolas Chouity A♦A♣ Pair of Aces Josef Klinger 8♦8♣ Pair of 8s K♦T♠9♥4♠Q♣
2011 Ivan Freitez-Rosales T♦9♦ Pair of 9s Torsten Brinkmann A♥K♦ Ace-high 9♠2♠5♥6♦8♣
2012 Mohsin Charania Q♠Q♥ Two Pairs,
Queens and 2s
Lucille Cailly A♦K♣ Pair of 2s 9♣3♥2♣7♠2♥
2013 Steve O’Dwyer T♣8♥ Four 8s Andrew Pantling K♠5♠ Flush,
King-high
J♠8♠8♦4♠8♣
2014 Antonio Buonanno A♠4♥ Ace-high Jack Salter K♦7♦ King-high J♥9♠2♥Q♦3♠
2015 Adrian Mateos2 A♥8♠ Two Pairs,
Queens and 8s
Muhyedine Fares A♠6♠ Pair of Queens 9♥8♥2♦Q♠Q♣

Notes:

  • The chips went all-in preflop every year except 2005 (river), 2007 (flop), 2009 (flop), and 2013 (turn).
  • The eventual winner got his money in good every time except 2007 (45%), 2011 (40%), and 2013 (23%, hitting a 10-outer on the river). In 2009, De-Korver was ahead on the flop, but Woodward actually had a better chance of winning (44% to 32% with a 24% chance of a push) because of his nine flush outs.”

Footnotes:

  1. The season-ending EPT championship was officially called the European Poker Tour Grand Final from 2004 to 2011 but has been referred to as the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final since 2012.
  2. Adrian Mateos took down the 2015 title just hours after this article was posted.
  3. Johnny Lodden joined Karam with a third place finish in 2014 and a fourth in 2015.

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European Poker Tour History

[RR] “Welcome back, Stan”, Roderick the Rock greeted.

[SS] “Thanks, sorry I couldn’t make the last couple tournaments”, Stan the Stat responded. “Always super busy during tax season.”

[FF] “At least you make money on it! Everyone pays taxes”, Figaro the Fish lamented.

[LL] “Especially Professional Technologists”, Leroy the Lion lamented.

[RR] “Even Poor Teachers.”

[SS] “Eminent Physics Theoreticians.”

[FF] “Emergency Parachute Testers.”

[LL] “Elephant Prosthesis Trainers.”

[SS] “In poker, what do you guys think of when I say ‘EPT’?” Stan the Stat segued.

[RR] “The Eastern Poker Tour,1 of course. Some of our regulars play there, especially Elias the Eagle, who’s usually among the league leaders.”

[SS] “What if someone from outside of New England said ‘EPT’ though?”

[LL] “You must be referring to the European Poker Tour then.”

[SS] “Yes, that’s the one. The European Poker Tour debuted in Barcelona over a decade ago in September 2004 as poker was reaching its peak of popularity just 16 months after Chris Moneymaker had won the World Series of Poker Main Event. Founder John Duthie was a television director who also happened to be pretty good at poker. In November 2000, he took down the debut Poker Million I2 shootout for a cool million pounds ($1,426,330).

With the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour then almost entirely based in the U.S., Duthie wanted to create a poker tour for Europe3 with lower buy-ins4 for a regular television series that he would produce. He signed on casinos all across Europe to provide card rooms, PokerStars to sponsor the tournaments, and multi-country Eurosport and the U.K.’s Channel 5 and Challenge TV to broadcast the events.”

[RR] “And the EPT is still around, so it worked out pretty well?”

[SS] “Mostly. The EPT began with seven tour stops in 2004-05, and like the WSOP and WPT, grew as poker did, nearly doubling to 13 stops for three seasons from 2009-10 to 2011-12 before shrinking back to seven events in 2014-15. Similarly, the season-ending Grand Final’s field grew from 211 players in 2005 to 935 in 2009 then dropped back down to 531 in 2013 before recovering some since.

Barcelona and London have hosted events every season, while Monte Carlo has only missed one year and Deauville two. Prague and Paradise Island (Bahamas) have been regular tour stops since Season 4. The EPT season usually kicks off in Barcelona5 and ends in Monte Carlo,6 where Season 11 is currently wrapping up. The EPT Grand Final begins tomorrow.”

{ To be continued… }

Footnotes:

  1. The Eastern Poker Tour runs weekly Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments at dozens of locations in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The tour manages pub events, charity events, and a points ladder used for qualifying for monthly, seasonal, and annual championship tournaments.
  2. The Poker Million event took a three-year break then ran annually from 2003 to 2010.
  3. Only the Bahamas event (the EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in Paradise Island, which began in 2008) isn’t in Europe.
  4. EPT buy-ins were initially about half of the World Poker Tour’s, but field sizes grew so large that the entry fees were raised in Season 4.
  5. The exceptions were Season 6, which started in Kiev and Seasons 7 and 8, which started in Tallinn.
  6. The only exception was Season 7, which ended in Madrid.

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Jacob on Jeopardy

[RR] “Do you guys remember the Forrest bounce?” Roderick the Rock inquired.

[FF] “Was that when Ted Forrest lost fifty pounds in two months to win a two million dollar bet with Mike Matusow, then gained most of the weight back?” Figaro the Fish answered by way of a question.

[LL] “No, Rod must be referring to Chuck Forrest of Jeopardy! fame.”

[RR] “That’s right. Last year, we got to see a poker version of the show. This year we got to see a poker pro1 on the real show. Alex Jacob’s impressive Jeopardy! run ended on Monday.”

[FF] “I’ve never heard of him.”

[SS] “Jacob won the 2006 U.S Poker Championship2 and has amassed over $2.6 million in career tournament earnings.

[FF] “Not too shabby.”

[RR] “Like Arthur Chu3 did last year on the show, Jacob used the Forrest bounce, randomly jumping around the board to hunt for Daily Doubles and throw off his opponents. He also went all-in most of the time when he hit a Daily Double, as the chance of answering correctly is roughly two in three.”4

[LL] “Just the kind of strategy you’d expect from a successful poker player.”

[RR] “He ended up winning $151,802 and six games, finally getting dethroned when he missed a Final Jeopardy answer about Instagram.5 Expect him back on the show for the 15-player Tournament of Champions in November.”

Footnotes:

  1. Technically, a former poker pro. Jacobs still plays poker occasionally, cashing in a tournament as recently as September 2014, but the last time he won over $10,000 was in 2010, and the last time he broke $100,000 was in 2009.
  2. Jacob survived a field of 261 players to win $878,500.
  3. Chu tweeted that he was an “amateur wannabe poker player” as he congratulated Jacob.
  4. The success rate on Daily Doubles usually runs between 65% and 70%, but a good player can do much better. During his record streak, Ken Jennings got 83% of them correct (see his Slate article on Arthur Chu).
  5. The stumper was, “This social media company launched in October 2010; in 2012, with about a dozen employees and no revenue, it sold for $1 billion”. Jacobs guessed Twitter instead of Instagram. Twitter launched in July 2006 and went public in November 2013.

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Miscellaneous Posts

Although every Hold ‘Em at Home article is about Texas Hold ‘Em in some way, variety has always been a goal of the blog. Some posts, however, have been a little more varied than the rest:

{ Note: the four trivia game shows of the fictitious Poker Game Show Network probably belong on this list but were already featured on Television Posts. }

Footnotes:

  1. Honorable mention goes to the related One Outer, One Outer (based on a real hand that I was guilty of dealing).
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Instructional Posts

Two of my main goals for developing the THETA Poker Pro iOS app were to help other people improve their Texas Hold ‘Em skills and to improve my own abilities.

When I started the Hold ‘Em at Home blog, I had the same two goals in mind. Although I delve a lot into poker history and less serious topics, I’ve also tried to put together a series of instructional articles that would help a player go from absolute beginner to strong amateur. Some of these posts may only help you look better at the table, but even those are useful if you want to project confidence…

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Other Major Series Posts

The Hold ‘Em at Home blog has also covered several other current major poker series that culminate in an major Main Event contested in No Limit Hold ‘Em.

World Poker Tour

Aussie Millions

Irish Open

{ Note: The European Poker Tour will be featured next month. }

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World Series of Poker Posts

Not every event played at the World Series of Poker is Texas Hold ‘Em, but over half1 of them still are, including the Main Event, the most revered tournament in poker.

Thus, it’s not surprising that the Hold ‘Em at Home blog talks about the WSOP a lot. Many of us dream of playing in the Main Event or even one of the smaller buy-in tournaments some day… These articles are sorted by original post date but hopefully most have been updated as needed:

Footnotes:

  1. From 2013 to 2015, the percentage of Hold ‘Em events dropped from 66.1% to 56.9% then bounced back up to 60.3%.
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