Top 7 World Series of Poker Winners

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Poker Professionals. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The World Series of Poker is the ultimate competition that brings together the crème de la crème of the world’s poker players in a gruelling showdown.

Winning the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the ultimate prize in any poker pro’s list of accolades, with the winners elevated to the game’s hall of fame. Starting in 1972, WSOP has grown to become the biggest and most sought-after competition of its kind on the planet.

The tournament’s main event features a US$10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold ’em tournament. The winner is awarded a coveted WSOP bracelet, millions of dollars in prize money, and the World Champion of Poker title for a year. 

Here are some of the most formidable players that have managed to snatch this prestigious title over the years:

1. Qui Nguyen

Born in Vietnam in 1977, Nguyen emigrated to the US at 24. Initially, he settled in California, where he worked in a nail salon, before relocating to Las Vegas in 2007. Nguyen didn’t begin playing poker until 2003 and started with Hold ’em small-limit games.

When he arrived in Las Vegas, he began taking part in no-limit games and had several wins in smaller buy-in tournaments. Nguyen ended up snatching the WSOP 2016 title and scooped up a prize of more than US$8 million. Ultimately, Nguyen has made millions across his career, with the bulk coming from winning the WSOP main event.

2. Scott Blumstein

Born in 1992, Scott Blumstein comes from New Jersey and has won a whopping US$8,150,000 at the WSOP 2017. Having graduated college with an accounting degree, Blumstein decided to become a professional poker player. Before his victorious WSOP Main Event, Blumstein’s most significant win had been just under $200,000 at the Borgata Summer Poker Open in July 2016.

3. Jonathan Duhamel

Born in 1987 in Quebec City, Jonathan Duhamel won the WSOP 2010 main event and was awarded three WSOP bracelets throughout his career. Duhamel was the first Canadian to win the Main Event bracelet, donating CA$100,000 of his prize money to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.

4. Martin Jacobson

Martin Jacobson was born in Sweden in 1987, although he now lives in London. Jacobson won the WSOP 2014, pocketing US$10,000,000. Originally trained as a chef, Jacobson’s first win was in 2008, when he reached the third spot at the Hungarian European Poker Tour. Before winning the WSOP, his most significant tournament cash win was a sixth-place finish at the Big One for One Drop High Roller in 2013.

5. Joe McKeehen

Joe McKeehen was born in Pennsylvania in 1991 and was WSOP 2015 main event winner. Having graduated with a degree in mathematics, he won the Risk World Championship in 2010. McKeehen’s first poker title came in 2012 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, followed in 2013 at the WSOP’s Circuit Event in New Jersey. After winning the WSOP 2015 bracelet, he was awarded a second one for the $10,000 Limit Hold ’em World Championship in 2017.

6. Greg Merson

Greg Merson was born in 1987 in the US. Merson won the WSOP Main Event 2012 and a WSOP Bracelet in the US$10,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold ’em World Championship. It’s clear why Merson was awarded the accolade of WSOP Player of the Year that same year. Merson is also the first player ever to win the WSOP Main Event after winning a gold bracelet earlier in the same championship.

7. Peter Eastgate

Born in 1985, Peter Eastgate hails from Denmark. Eastgate won the Main Event at World Series of Poker 2008. Eastgate was only 22 when he won the WSOP Main Event and was, at that time, the youngest person ever to win this accolade. Eastgate was first introduced to poker by his classmates while studying economics at Aarhus University.

He qualified to participate in the WSOP 2008 Main Event through the Ladbrokes Poker site as part of their team. After the final table, which spanned two days, Eastgate took first place and a prize fund of over US$9 million. Eastgate was only 22 when he won the WSOP Main Event.