The annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas has had at least one player win two or more bracelets every summer since the turn of the century. As of Thursday, there still wasn’t one at the 2018 annual poker festival.
There were more than a dozen events remaining as of Thursday. The WSOP had a record 78 bracelet events on the schedule this summer. That’s up from 16 events in 1999. Poker’s biggest stage has grown gradually over the years, but the poker boom of the mid-2000s created even greater interest in bracelet tournaments.
There were nearly 110,000 entries through the first 65 events this summer, according to the WSOP. The WSOP said it is “on pace” to best last year’s record of 120,995 entries.
“The numbers continue to grow,” WSOP spokesman Seth Palansky told Card Player Magazine. “More entries, more prize [money], more events. So on one hand it gets statistically harder to accomplish [winning two bracelets] because of the sheer variance, but at the same time, there’s never been more chances to do it.”
Among the final events are the $10,000 Big Blind Antes Shorthanded Championship, the $50,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller and the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One For One Drop. Those three events will have relatively small field sizes, which will give quite a few of poker’s elite a reasonable chance at their second bracelet of the summer.
The player who arguably has been the closest to winning two this summer is poker great and current Hall of Fame finalist John Hennigan. “Johnny World” won the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event last month, and has eight top-20 finishes in bracelet events. Five of those were final tables. He finished runner-up in the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship. Several other players have been close, including Scott Bohlman (1st and 2nd), Elio Fox (1st and 2nd), Shaun Deeb (1st and 3rd) and Julien Martini (1st and 3rd).
Palansky said there’s still plenty of time for a double winner this summer, but he added that he isn’t sure yet how he would interpret the streak being snapped.
“Not sure what to make of it ending this year if it does,” he said. “It’s been one long and impressive streak, one I’m certain will start up again in short order if it indeed does end this year.”
Here’s a look at the double bracelet winners since 2000 (does not include WSOP Europetournaments, which first began in 2007):
2017: Nipun Java, David Bach
2016: Ian Johns, Jason Mercier, Benny Glaser
2015: Max Pescatori, Brian Hastings
2014: George Danzer
2013: Tom Schneider
2012: Greg Merson
2011: Brian Rast
2010: Frank Kassela
2009: Jeff Lisandro (3), Brock Parker, Greg Mueller, Phil Ivey
2008: John Phan
2007: Tom Schneider
2006: Bill Chen, Jeff Madsen
2005: Mark Seif
2004: Ted Forrest, Scott Fischman
2003: Chris Ferguson, Men Nguyen, Phil Hellmuth, John Juanda, Johnny Chan, Layne Flack
2002: Phil Ivey (3), Layne Flack
2001: Scotty Nguyen, Nani Dollison
2000: Chris Ferguson
1999: No player won two bracelets