Today is a big day at the 2015 World Series of Poker. At 4 p.m. local time in Las Vegas, the most noble and prestigious event the poker world has to offer will kick off — the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship.
This year will be the 10th installment of the event that high-stakes poker players from across the globe deem as the most important event of the year, and the one they all want to win more than anything. With an average field size of 124 entries and an average first-place prize of just under $1.7 million over the years, the field will be small, but immensely skilled, and there will be plenty of money to be won.
All told, this event has seen $53.76 million in prize money awarded, and the largest first-place prize came in 2007 when Freddy Deeb scooped up nearly $2.3 million with his win. If the event draws 130 entries or more this year, it will eclipse the $60 million mark in total prize money awarded.
This year, two new games have been added to the mix, but this isn't the first time that this tournament has seen a format change. The event originally started as a $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament in 2006. It was played in this format up until 2010, when it was then changed to an eight-game format with the addition of no-limit hold'em, pot-limit Omaha, and 2-7 triple draw. This year, two more games have been added, with badugi and no-limit 2-7 single draw now being in play.
Along with the top prize in the event comes the "David 'Chip' Reese Memorial Trophy," (pictured) which was awarded for the first time in 2008 following the passing of David "Chip" Reese in December of 2007. To this day, Reese is regarded as the greatest high-stakes cash-game player of all time, and he proved his merit in a tournament format featuring all of the games when he won the inauguration of the event in 2006.
Former $50,000 Poker Players' Championship Winners
|Year||Winner||Prize||# of Entrants||Prize Pool|
As you can see from the table above, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi is the only player to win the event twice. With the event being held just nine previous times and how tough the field is, that's one of the greatest feats in all of poker. Mizrachi also earned his wins in the eight-game era of the event.
Seven other players besides Mizrachi have final tabled the event twice, including reigning champion John Hennigan, John Hanson, Andy Bloch, Bruno Fitoussi, Matt Glantz, David Singer, Barry Greenstein, Minh Ly, and Huck Seed. Bloch and Greenstein lead the all-time cashing list in this event with four cashes each.
While this event draws a field of top international players, Matthew Ashton remains the only non-American to win the title after winning in 2013. In 2006 and 2011, the final table of this event was comprised solely of Americans.
Last year, Melissa Burr made the money and went on to reach the official final table, taking seventh for $165,435. Burr was the first woman to cash in the event.
From his two wins, Mizrachi has earned over $3 million from this event alone, but there are plenty of others who have cashed in the event over the years. Here is a list of all the players who have ever cashed, complete with the total money each has earned from those cashes:
|Rank||Player||Cashes||Final Tables||Money Earned|
|6||David "Chip" Reese||1||1||$1,784,640|
|50||Chun Lei Zhou||1||1||$286,122|
|51||David "Bakes" Baker||1||1||$272,275|
|T-57||Robert Williamson III||1||0||$205,920|
|78||David "ODB" Baker||1||0||$142,197|