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The PokerNews Top 10: Most WSOP Cashes

Phil Hellmuth

Nikolay Evdakov shattered records in 2008 when he posted ten cashes during the World Series of Poker. In 2007, it was Michael Binger who made the most in-the-money finishes with eight and Humberto Brenes took the crown in 2006, also with eight. Having a great year is one thing, but who are the players that put up consistent results at the WSOP year in and year out? We’re on the case, with a list of the ten players with the most WSOP cashes.

9-10. John Juanda, Brent Carter (45)

John Juanda made his first in-the-money finishes at the 1999 WSOP, making two limit hold’em final tables where he finished ninth and seventh. Since then, he’s cashed an additional 43 times including a remarkable 20 final tables and four bracelet wins in the 2002 $1,500 Ace-to-Five Lowball event, the 2003 $2,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo event, the 2003 $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Event, and the 2008 WSOP-Europe Main Event. Nearly a third of Juanda’s $9.4 million in career tournament earnings have come from his finishes at the World Series, good for #25 on the WSOP All-Time Money List. Juanda enjoyed a 2008 WSOP so exceptional it will be difficult for him ever to top it—six cashes, three final tables, and one Main Event bracelet.

Brent Carter practically defines the term “tournament grinder” and has been playing at the WSOP for 20 years. He cashed his first events in 1990, finishing sixth in the $1,500 Razz event and fourth in the $1,500 Omaha 8 or Better event. Out of his 45 WSOP cashes came 19 final-table finishes in nearly every discipline of poker, and two bracelet wins in the 1991 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event and the 1994 Limit Omaha event. Carter has also notched three runner-up finishes at the WSOP and took third place in the 1995 Main Event. He is closing in on $1.3 million in career WSOP earnings.

8. Chau Giang (46)

Though most would consider Chau Giang to be first and foremost a cash-game player, he is also one of the most successful tournament players in the history of the WSOP, cashing 46 times in the 18 years he’s played in the series. Giang earned his first WSOP dollars in 1992, cashing both the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud and the $2,500 Limit Hold’em events. Giang has made 16 final tables and earned three bracelets in Ace-to Five Draw (1993), Omaha 8 or Better (1998), and Pot-Limit Omaha (2004)… all while playing a far more limited schedule than many of his peers. Last summer alone, Giang cashed eight times in five different games, good for #3 on the 2008 Number of Cashes list behind only Nikolay Evdakov (10) and Neil Channing (9).

7. Humberto Brenes (52)

Everyone’s favorite Costa Rican “chark” has been playing in the WSOP since before many of today’s internet poker prodigies were even born. Humberto’s first cash came in the 1987 series, where he finished 14th in the Main Event. Six years later, he’d win both of his World Series bracelets in the same summer, taking down the $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event and the $2,500 Limit Hold’em event. Out of his 52 World Series cashes, 22 have come at the final table, including four runner-up finishes and a fourth-place finish in the 1988 Main Event. $2.08 million of Brenes’ $5.55 million in career tournament earnings have come in WSOP events, good for #50 on the WSOP All-Time Money List.

6. Erik Seidel (53)

With an octet of WSOP bracelets to his name, it’s no shock that Erik Seidel landed on this list. Seidel’s first WSOP cash was a doozy, finishing second to Johnny Chan in the 1988 Main Event, then having it immortalized on celluloid a decade later in the film Rounders. Seidel won his first bracelet in 1992, winning the $2,500 Limit Hold’em event and picked up his second the following year in the $2,500 Omaha 8 or Better event. Since then he’s earned six more in limit hold’em (1994), deuce –to-seven draw (1998, 2007), no-limit hold’em (2001, 2005),and pot-limit Omaha (2003). Even more remarkably, Seidel made it to the final table 29 out of the 53 times he’s finished in the money. Last year, Seidel made five WSOP cashes including two final tables in the $10,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud event and the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo event.

4-5. Berry Johnston, T.J. Cloutier (55)

Over the 28 years he’s played in the World Series of Poker, Berry Johnston has cashed 55 times, beginning with a third-place finish in the 1982 Main Event. Johnston won his first bracelet at year later in the $2,500 Match Play event and went on to earn his second as the 1986 Main Event champion. Since then, he’s enjoyed three more bracelet wins in the 1990 $2,500 Limit Hold’em event, the 1995 $1,500 Limit Omaha event, and the 2001 $1,500 Razz event. Johnston can also boast 29 career final tables at the WSOP, including four trips to the Main Event final table.

T.J. Cloutier made an auspicious debut at the WSOP, finishing second in the 1985 Main Event. Since then he’s picked up six bracelets, earned in limit Omaha (1987), Omaha 8 or better (1994), pot-limit hold’em (1994), pot-limit Omaha (1998), Razz (2004), and no-limit hold’em (2005). But here’s the really interesting statistic. Of the 55 times Cloutier has finished in the money at the WSOP, 38 of them were final table finishes. Translation? He made the final table an astounding 69% of the time he made the money. With over $4.3 million earned at the WSOP, Cloutier sits at #14 on the WSOP All-Time Money List.

3. Chris Ferguson (57)

Of all the players on this list, Chris Ferguson has been playing the WSOP for the least amount of years excepting John Juanda, entering his first WSOP in 1995. Ferguson earned his 57 cashes in 14 years, averaging out to a remarkable four per year. Indeed, Ferguson has cashed in every single WSOP since ’95, earning five bracelets and the 2000 Main Event title along the way. Ferguson has also made 29 final tables for another astonishing average of two per year. That would make last year’s series an “above average” year for the man they call Jesus, with six cashes and three final tables, including a runner-up finish in the $5,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo event.

2. Men Nguyen (62)

The first of Men “The Master” Nguyen’s 62 World Series cashes came in 1988, when he finished ninth in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event. He went on to make 34 final tables and win six bracelets, one in 1992 (seven-card stud), two in 1995 (limit hold’em, stud hi/lo), one in 1996 (Omaha 8 or better), and two more in 2003 (ace-to-five lowball, seven-card stud). Nguyen made the final table of the Main Event in 1996, finishing fourth, and has earned over $2.15 million of his $9 million in career tournament winnings playing in WSOP events.

1. Phil Hellmuth (69)

What more is there to say? The name Phil Hellmuth is practically synonymous with the World Series of Poker. He has more cashes, more final-table finishes (41), and more bracelets (11) than any other player in the world. He’s a shoo-in for the TV featured table in every Main Event he plays and has grown into the habit of planning elaborate entrances on the first day of the Main Event, his stunts including crashing a race car in the Rio parking lot, dressing up as General Patton, and rolling up to London’s Empire Casino in a double-decker bus accompanied by eleven models representing each of his bracelets. What’s next this year? Parachuting through the roof of the Amazon Room?

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