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
1972
1973
1974 1 Johnny Moss
1975
1976
1977 1 Doyle Brunson
1978
1979 5 Johnny Moss
1980 2 Doyle Brunson
1981 1 Stu Ungar
1982 4 Doyle Brunson
1983 3 Doyle Brunson
1984
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
2002
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

Notes:

  • 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).

Footnotes:

  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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