Stan’s Lists – WSOP Main Event Repeat Champions

[SS] “This is one of my rare lists that I don’t expect to ever need to update”, Stan the Stat told Roderick the Rock. “Four players have captured the WSOP Main Event more than once, and all of them won in consecutive years.”

[SS] “Johnny Moss was the first, winning the event by vote in 1970 then capturing the championship at the table the next year. Three years later, he added a third title.”

[SS] “Doyle Brunson was the second, winning in 1976 and 1977.”

[SS] “Stu Ungar was the third, winning in 1980 and 1981, then adding a third sixteen years later!”

[SS] “Johnny Chan was the last, winning in 1987 and 1988. He was just two hands away from winning his third in a row in 1989 but never overcame Phil Hellmuth’s heads-up chip lead.”

[SS] “It’s incredibly unlikely we’ll have another multiple winner as long as there are over six thousand entrants each year (as there have since 2006).”

[RR] “Tiger Woods can be a favorite to win a golf tournament against a hundred other players, but Phil Ivey and any nine other pros you want to pick would be a huge underdog against the field of a World Series of Poker Main Event”, Rod finally chimed in.

[SS] “If you offered someone even money on any hundred pros they want, you’d still have the better end of the deal.”

[SS] “Besides those four repeat champions, only four other players have even finished first or second twice: Puggy Pearson, Crandall Addington, T.J. Cloutier, and Dewey Tomko.”

1st 2nd Player Years (field size in parentheses)
3 1 Johnny Moss 1st 1970 (7), 1st 1971 (6), 1st 1974 (16); 2nd 1973 (13)1
3 0 Stu Ungar 1st 1980 (73), 1st 1981 (75), 1st 1997 (312)
2 1 Doyle Brunson 1st 1976 (22), 1st 1977 (34); 2nd 1980 (73)
Johnny Chan 1st 1987 (152), 1st 1988 (167); 2nd 1989 (178)
1 2 Puggy Pearson 1st 1973 (13); 2nd 1971 (6)1, 2nd 1972 (6)1
0 2 Crandall Addington 2nd 1974 (16)1, 2nd 1978 (42)
T.J. Cloutier 2nd 1985 (140), 2nd 2000 (512)
Dewey Tomko 2nd 1982 (104), 2nd 2001 (613)

[RR] “Cloutier’s and Tomko’s accomplishments haven’t gone unnoticed, but they seem even more impressive now!”

Footnotes:

  1. Did not cash, as it was winner-take-all in those years.
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