Looking Back At The Illustrious History of the Poker Players Championship
Table Of Contents
The $10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event may be the tournament every budding poker player dreams of winning, but the $50,000 Poker Players Championship bracelet is the one the seasoned professionals want in their trophy cabinet.
The inaugural event was called the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship. It launched in 2006 as was the largest buy-in tournament of any World Series of Poker until the introduction of the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop in 2012.
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David "Chip" Reese won the inaugural $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. after defeating Andy Bloch heads-up. Reese won $1,716,000 that day plus his third WSOP bracelet. It would be the last bracelet Reese would win because he passed away in 2007.
Freddy Deeb emerged victoriously from the 2007 event after outlasting 147 of the world’s best mixed game players, including Bruno Fitoussi heads-up. The $2,276,832 Deeb received for his victory is still the largest prize awarded in this tournament.
The next two years saw Scotty Nguyen and David Bach triumph in the $50,00 H.O.R.S.E. Nguyen topped a field of 148 and walked away with $1,989,120, while Bach’s $1,276,802 payday came after coming out on top of a 95-strong field.
Switch To The Poker Players Championship
The WSOP changed formats in 2010 when the Poker Players Championship replaced the H.O.R.S.E. event. The game count increased from five to eight, and it was Michael Mizrachi who won the inaugural event, which saw the entire final table played as No-Limit Hold’em to appeal to television viewers.
Brian Rast defeated Phil Hellmuth heads-up in the 2011 edition, before Mizrachi won his second Poker Players Championship in 2012.
British mixed game specialist Matthew Ashton won the 2013 Poker Players Championship with John Hennigan winning in 2014 after beating Brandon Shack-Harris in the heads-up stage.
The event had two new games (badugi and no-limit 2-7 single draw) added to its rotation in 2015, but it proved unpopular with only 84 players buying in, the lowest-ever attendance at the time. Mike Gordinsky was the last man standing in 2015, a result that netted him $1,270,086.
Rast joined Mizrachi in the double-winners club when he was crowned the 2016 Poker Players Championship champion; the tournament reverted to an eight-game mix.
Elior Sion got his hands on the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy in 2017. Sion was down to only 60,000 chips at the 25,000/50,000 level but recovered to write his name into poker’s history books.
Mizrachi did the unthinkable in 2018 and won the Poker Players Championship for the third time. "The Grinder" helped himself to the $1,239,126 top prize and the fourth WSOP bracelet of his career.
The last time the Poker Players Championship took place was in 2019 because the 2020 edition fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means Phil Hui is the reigning champion after he topped a 74-player field last time out.
Previous $50,000 H.O.R.S.E./Poker Player Championship Winners
|2006||$50,000 H.O.R.S.E.||143||David "Chip" Reese||$1,716,000|
|2007||$50,000 H.O.R.S.E.||148||Freddy Deeb||$2,276,832|
|2008||$50,000 H.O.R.S.E.||148||Scotty Nguyen||$1,989,120|
|2009||$50,000 H.O.R.S.E.||95||David Bach||$1,276,802|
|2010||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||116||Michael Mizrachi||$1,559,046|
|2011||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||128||Brian Rast||$1,720,328|
|2012||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||108||Michael Mizrachi||$1,451,527|
|2013||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||132||Matthew Ashton||$1,774,089|
|2014||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||102||John Hennigan||$1,517,767|
|2015||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||84||Mike Gordinsky||$1,270,086|
|2016||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||91||Brian Rast||$1,296,097|
|2017||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||100||Elior Sion||$1,395,767|
|2018||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||87||Michael Mizrachi||$1,239,126|
|2019||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||74||Phil Hui||$1,099,311|
Who Will Win The 2021 $50,000 Poker Players Championship?
The 2021 edition of the Poker Players Championship shuffles up and deal at 3:00 p.m. local time on October 31. It is scheduled to run over five days, and PokerNews’ live reporting team will be on hand from the first cards being pitched to the champion being crowned.
Who do you think will win the event? Can Mizrachi win the tournament for the fourth time, or will Rast join Mizrachi in the triple winner’s club? Do not write of Phil Hellmuth’s chances of glory because the 16-time bracelet winner’s non-hold’em games have come on in leaps and bounds; Hellmuth finished second in 2011.
In this Series
- 1 WSOP 2021 Schedule: 88 WSOP Bracelet Events, Sept. 30 - Nov. 23
- 2 WSOP 2021: Best Events to Play on a Budget
- 3 WSOP 2021 Main Event Satellites From $80 Hit GGPoker
- 4 WSOP 2021: Former Champ Chris Moneymaker Set to Miss This Year's WSOP
- 5 WSOP 2021: COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Players, Update on Staff
- 6 WSOP 2021: Best Hotels in Las Vegas
- 7 WSOP 2021: Try These 5 Hidden Gem Las Vegas Restaurants
- 8 WSOP 2021: Read Phil Ivey's Top WSOP Tips
- 9 WSOP 2021: 8 Things Poker Players Should Definitely Bring to the WSOP - and 2 You Shouldn't!
- 10 How to Enter the WSOP 2021 Freezeout Events
- 11 Is It Worth Playing Cash Games During the WSOP?
- 12 What Game Should You Pick in Dealer’s Choice?
- 13 What We've Learned from the First Week of the 2021 WSOP
- 14 Hands That Helped GGPoker Ambassador Jason Koon Win 1st WSOP Gold Bracelet
- 15 GGPoker Successfully Brings Online Flip & Go Concept to Live 2021 WSOP
- 16 Jason Koon, Connor Drinan Lead 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Race
- 17 Anthony Zinno in Exclusive One-Player Club Following Fourth WSOP Title
- 18 Looking Back At The Illustrious History of the Poker Players Championship
- 19 Phil Hellmuth Blows Up AGAIN; Rails Against WSOP POY Rules
- 20 Poker Fan Loses Job, Twitch Streamer Gifts Him WSOP Main Event Package
- 21 WSOP 2021: Are the Fields Tougher or Softer than Recent Years?
- 22 Doyle Brunson Treats Crowd to Surprise WSOP Return on Halloween
- 23 Spooktastic: Best & Worst Halloween Costumes from the 2021 WSOP
- 24 Phil Ivey NFT Launch Party a True 'What Happens in Vegas' Night
- 25 Poker Community Buys Man Facing Terminal Cancer into WSOP Main Event
- 26 Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 27 WSOP Temporarily Goes on Lockdown Over Suspect's "Suspicious Item"
- 28 Did Phil Hellmuth's Sex Ban Lead to 1989 WSOP Main Event Glory?
- 29 Doyle Brunson Arrives; Defending Champ Salas Busts Before 1st Break of 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 30 Aces Cracked Leaves Kevin Campbell as the 2021 WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 31 Quads Vs. Quads Sends Chang Liu Home Near WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 32 The Muck: Mike "The Mouth" Matusow Wants to End Max Late Reg
- 33 Doyle Brunson Proves He Still Has it Despite WSOP Main Event Exit
- 34 Phil "Gandalf" Hellmuth Makes Grand Entrance in 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 35 Chris Moneymaker Makes Late Decision to Play WSOP Main Event
- 36 Who is GGPoker Ambassador and YouTube Vlogger 'Greg Goes All In?'
- 37 The Muck: Poker Twitter Debates Potential Angle-Shooting in WSOP Main Event
- 38 Nick Rigby Plays the 2-3 "Dirty Diaper" in 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 39 Is Josh Arieh Running Away with WSOP Player of the Year?
- 40 'Wedding Crashers' & 'Old School' Star Vince Vaughn to Join WSOP's Move to Strip in 2022
- 41 Eli Elezra Selected as 2021 Poker Hall of Fame Inductee
- 42 Master of Ceremonies Vince Vaughn Suffers Bad Beat in His First WSOP Tournament
- 43 Players Implement Covid Contract During WSOP $250K Super High Roller
- 44 How Much Money Did Players at the WSOP Main Event Final Table Really Make?
- 45 Phil Hellmuth Breaks WSOP Single Series Final Table Record
- 46 Daniel Negreanu's Most Mind-Boggling WSOP Stat at the Rio
- 47 Josh Arieh a Surprising 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Winner