WSOP 2021: Five WSOP Regulars Looking to Break Bracelet Droughts
World Series of Poker bracelets aren’t easy to win. Even with the number of bracelet events at an all-time high for the 2021 series, many of poker’s biggest names will go away without a WSOP victory this fall.
For many in the poker community, the WSOP bracelet still stands as the game’s ultimate accomplishment. The following list of WSOP regulars don’t “need” to win a bracelet to justify their places in poker lore, but all five of these players are at least seven years removed from their last bracelet win.
Any discussion about bracelet droughts among WSOP regulars has to include poker’s most recognizable personality. Daniel Negreanu’s Hall of Fame poker resume includes $43.7 million in career earnings, with six WSOP bracelet wins contributing to that total.
Negreanu’s last WSOP win came in the 2013 WSOP Europe 25,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller. That marked one of two bracelet wins for Negreanu that year, en route to winning the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year award.
The 2013 WSOP Europe triumph stood as his last tournament win of any kind until July 2021, when Negreanu took down PokerGO Cup Event #7: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em. Negreanu added another win at Poker Masters Event #5: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em in September.
Negreanu defines the term “WSOP regular,” as a ubiquitous presence at the series over the course of the past two decades. He’s posted five second-place finishes at the WSOP since 2013.
Bracelet No. 7 might be a matter of “when” and not “if” for Negreanu, and that “when” could come at the 2021 series.
It’s been quite a few years since Phil Ivey qualified as a “regular” at the WSOP. The high-stakes legend has stated that he’s planning on getting back to the WSOP grind in 2021, and that could spell the end of a seven-year bracelet drought.
The Phil Ivey WSOP resume includes 66 cashes and ten bracelet wins. The ten bracelets put Ivey in a three-way tie for second-most all-time, along with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan.
Ivey earned his tenth and most recent bracelet in 2014, at the $1,500 8-Game Mix. A master of all poker formats, Ivey has won all of his career WSOP bracelets outside of No-Limit Hold’em.
While it’s been seven years since Ivey has appeared in a WSOP winner’s photo, he’s certainly still capable of major wins and big scores on the tournament scene. Ivey’s recent wins include the $25,000 WPT Heads-Up Championship in June, and the $25,000 No-Limit Short Deck Hold’em event at the Super High Roller Bowl Europe in August.
Ivey appears primed to add bracelet No. 11 to his career accomplishments at some point if he does indeed follow through on his intentions to play more WSOP events.
Australia’s Jeff Lisandro stands as a WSOP legend. One of the most accomplished Seven Card Stud players in series history, Lisandro owns six WSOP bracelets.
Four of those wins have come in either Stud or Razz, including a trio of bracelet victories in 2009. Lisandro won the WSOP Player of the Year at that series, cementing his name in series lore.
The last bracelet win for Lisandro came at the WSOP Asia-Pacific in 2014, in the A$1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha event.
Lisandro cashed 11 times in the 2019 WSOP and came up one spot short of career bracelet No. 7 at the 2018 $1,500 Seven Card Stud event. While travel restrictions might prevent Lisandro from playing the 2021 WSOP, he’s a good bet to add another Stud championship to the collection in future years.
Much like Daniel Negreanu, Allen Kessler seems to never miss a day at the WSOP each year. The man known as “Chainsaw” in the poker community ranks No. 18 in all-time cashes at the series, with 80 money finishes and more than $1.3 million in earnings.
A WSOP bracelet has eluded Kessler, who notched his first career cash at the series in 2001. Kessler plays just about every game available at the series, allowing himself the maximum number of chances to finally score a WSOP win.
The “Chainsaw” holds four runner-up finishes at the WSOP. All four of those second-place showings came in events outside of No-Limit Hold’em.
Kessler took second in $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo (2005), $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 (2010), $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em (2011), and €2,200 Pot-Limit Omaha (WSOP Europe 2017). He also finishes fourth at the $5,000 Seven Card Stud event in 2006, and fifth in the $1,500 8-Game Mix in 2019.
He’s proved capable of coming ever so close to a bracelet, but will Kessler ever clinch a WSOP title?
Four-time bracelet winner Mike Matusow last took down a WSOP tournament in 2013. “The Mouth” owns WSOP victories in No-Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo Split, No-Limit 2-7 Draw, and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo.
The “Markup Police” don’t think Matusow is worth an investment at 1.3-1.5 markup, which he’s asking for on YouStake across various 2021 WSOP events.
If that package of available tournaments offers any indication, Matusow intends on playing plenty of $10,000 Championship events this year. You can currently get a piece of Matusow’s $10k buy-ins for Omaha Hi-Lo, Limit Hold’em, Dealer’s Choice, H.O.R.S.E., PLO, and other variants.
Will one of those events end up with Matusow proving his detractors wrong?