After 54 days of exciting events, the 52nd annual WSOP has come to a close. Eighty-eight bracelets were awarded at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and eleven on the WSOP online platform. After the tournament, many players and spectators opted for some relaxation and rest. Others, on the other hand, received bonuses at tropic slots and GambleGuys and started their intense training at the online casino. So here’s a look at some of the festival’s highlights, top scores, series numbers and player achievements.
The hotly contested WSOP Player of the Year race came down to the final day with three players in contention. In the end, Josh Arieh retained the lead and was the new winner. He scored 4,194.59 points for his 11 wins in the series. Arieh was awarded $15,000 for his achievements.
Starting the series, Arieh had two bracelets under his belt, the first of which he won in 1999 and the second in 2005. After a fifteen-year gold drought, he finally won his third and fourth bracelets this year. He also featured in five other final tables, equalling Phil Hellmuth, who had seven final tables each. After Hellmuth and Ben Yu failed to score the necessary points to overtake Aryeh, the WSOP released the official announcement of his victory.
Speaking of Hellmuth, the Poker Brat finished 2nd in the POY race with 3,720.01 points. Midway through the series Hellmuth was the leader with five final tables, including a win in the No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw variant, which he has hunted for his entire career. That earned him his 16th career bracelet. In the final half of the games, his lead disappeared as he was overtaken by several players, including Aryeh, and slipped to 14th place. With only 11 tournaments remaining, Hellmuth climbed back up to the second place, making it to the sixth final table, and nearly won the POY title, but was defeated by a 2nd place finish in Event #84. Hellmuth was awarded $7,500 for his fantastic performance.
Finishing third in the race with 3,531.03 points was Daniel Negreanu, whose late-game spurt soared from 16th place. Negreanu had only two final tables until the final days of the series, where he finished eighth before taking two third-place finishes in the high rollers and finishing the series strong.
This year’s series introduced a No Limits Velo leaderboard dedicated solely to no-limit hold’em player performances. Two-time winner Scott Ball took first place with 2,863.11 points to win the title and $15,000 first prize. Ball won Event #25: $5,000 6-hand NL Hold’em and Event #68 and has also competed in six other NLH tournaments.
Second place went to Koray Aldemir with 2,670.11 points. Aldemir participated in the Main Event and competed in nine other NLH events for a prize of US$7,500. The most envied player in the series was none other than German pro-Koray Aldemir, who made poker history by winning the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship Main Event for 6,650 players. It was Aldemir’s first win at the WSOP. Along with the champion’s gold bracelet, he won a massive career payout of $8,000,000. In addition to the champion, eight other bottom-ranked players also received seven-figure sums.
The third was rookie Cole Ferraro with 2,606.61 points. Ferraro finished second in Event #26 before winning his first bracelet in Event #61. He has also competed in five other NLH tournaments.
Australian pro-Michael Addamo, regarded by many as the best no-limit hold’em player to date, was the only player to win two high roller events in the series. First, he won Event #38 for his third career bracelet and US$1,132,968 and then, to complete the series, he won Event #87 for US$1,958,569 and his fourth career bracelet. Addamo earned a total of US$3,091,537.
Although there are far fewer women in poker than men, they are still very strong contenders. Several women stood out in this year’s series. First on the list is Spain’s Leo Margetts, who was the only woman to win an open-entry tournament. Margetts beat 1,903 entrants in Event #83 to win the big prize of US$ 376,850 and her first career bracelet.
Another woman who made a lot of noise was mixed tournament player Carol Fuchs, who made it to the final two tables – 4th in Event #36 and 6th in Event #69.
The third woman on the list is Lara Eisenberg, who beat a field of 644 entrants in Event #22. And finally, Joanne “JJ” Liu, who has played in 11 tournaments.
In 2021, the WSOP tournament returned full force. The tournament featured all the usual events, including the much-anticipated $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship. The tournament was held at the Rio Convention Center and attracted a huge crowd of not only players but also spectators. As a result, the best of the best were decided.