Winning the World Series of Poker is no mean feat. To get to the top, you need to overcome thousands of other players along the way, winning each of your tables for a seat in the final. While there are many amateur entrants to World Series events, the finals more often than not show off the skill and talent of the very best of the professional circuit. Since the first event in 1970, the World Series of Poker has grown to become a truly global event, bringing players from across the world to Las Vegas to compete for their chance to own the gold bracelet.
Sportsbooks & Prizes
2010 - Jonathan Duhamel
Duhamel became the first Canadian to win the gold bracelet in 2010, with his victory over John Racener enough to secure winnings of over $8.9 million. Some 26 money finishes and three bracelets overall cements Duhamel’s place as a seriously strong player and competitor.
2011 - Pius Heinz
Team Pokerstars player Pius Heinz became the first German to win the gold bracelet when he beat Czech-born Martin Staszko in 2011. His only WSOP gold bracelet to date, he has sat at the final table on two occasions so far, and looks set to challenge again in future.
2012 - Greg Merson
The 2012 WSOP Player of the Year won the gold bracelet in the same year, after overcoming Jesse Sylvia to emerge on top. Some 15 money finishes and two gold bracelets have established his credentials as one of the best poker players of his generation.
2013 - Ryan Riess
Ryan Riess did the unthinkable in 2013 when he overturned a 20-million chip shortfall to beat Jay Farber, having already eliminated four others at the table, at just 23 years old. Having only hit the final table once, Riess the Beast may still feel like he has something to prove at the World Series.
2014 - Martin Jacobson
The Swede triumphed in 2014, winning a pot in excess of $10 million in the process. Prior to his sole gold bracelet win in 2014, Jacobson’s biggest win had been a sixth-place finish at a 2013 WSOP event, delivering just over $800,000 in prize money.
2015 - Joe McKeehen
The 2015 WSOP belonged to Joe McKeehen, who arrived at the final table with the chip lead, an advantage he was never to lose en route to picking up his first gold bracelet. His win saw him scoop a $7.7-million prize fund, with total tournament winnings now in excess of $11 million.
2016 - Qui Nguyen
Cashing out for just the second time on the World Poker Tour, Qui Nguyen boosted his earnings from a paltry nine grand to well over seven figures with the $8-million WSOP final table victory. The 39-year-old Nguyen beat out such tour veterans as Cliff Josephy and Gordon Vayo in his journey to capture his first WSOP bracelet that culminated with an eight-hour heads-up match with the aforementioned Vayo.
2017 - Scott Blumstein
Competing in the Main Event for the first time, Scott Blumstein made the most of his opportunity. The 25-year-old from New Jersey bested Dan Ott in heads-up play, with a deuce on the river in what turned out to be the final hand helping him collect the $8,150,000 prize. Blumstein was the youngest player at the final table and outlasted over 7,200 entrants to secure his first gold bracelet.
WSOP Records & Achievements
Phil Hellmuth, the “Poker Brat” - 14 gold bracelets
In 1989, Phil Hellmuth won his first gold bracelet, becoming the youngest player ever to do so in the process. Fast-forward to today, and Phil stands atop the rest, with a record 14 gold bracelets to his name. Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey are currently tied for second place with 10 gold bracelets each to their name — each some way off rivaling Hellmuth’s impressive achievements.
Most WSOP Winnings:
Antonio Esfandiari, $22.2m
Three-time bracelet Sportsbook Antonio Esfandiari is the all-time highest earner in WSOP prizes, with over $22.2 million gleaned from his play in WSOP events. He sits well ahead of Dan Coleman in second place with a combined total of just over $17 million.
Most WSOP Entrants:
2017, with 120,995 entries
The World Series of Poker is continuing to grow year on year, with more players than ever before signing up to take part in the events in 2017. A record 120,995 from 111 different nations made the 2017 event one of the most competitive ever.