World Series of Poker Main Event List of Winners and Memorable Events

Date Published

Authored by

Paul De Freitas

Poker Winners

The World Series of Poker Main Event holds one of the top spots in world gaming competitions. Let’s travel back in time and look at the famous WSOP Main Event Champions over the years.

The WSOP bracelet is one of the most sought-after tokens in the world of poker. It holds significant value in the eyes of a professional player. Since its first inception in the ‘70s, some of the most talented poker players have been able to get their hands on the prestigious prize.

This list of people will go down in history as the best poker players in the world. Excited to know who they are? Let’s look at who sits at the top of the poker world.

Main Event Championship Milestones

The World Series of Poker Main Event Championship. is a prominent gaming competition, and it is one of the most hyped events in the media. Considered the biggest stage of them all, these people didn’t shy away from the limelight and illuminated the table with their stunning poker strategy. Because of that, they achieved tremendous success in the game.

During the ‘70s, Johnny Moss held the most incredible hand in the world of poker, which helped him get three Main Event titles in 1970, 1971, and 1974. Stu Ungar managed to tie the record of three Main Event Championships in 1980, 1981, and 1997. During his journey for his third golden bracelet, he made history and cemented his legacy as the best poker player of all time. He did that after eliminating a field of 215, which is an impressive feat.

Aside from the legendary Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar, only two other poker players managed to sneak the WSOP Main Event title more than once. Doyle Brunson did it twice during his back-to-back run in 1976 and 1977. Johnny Chan is the other one on the list, with two in 1987 and 1998. Throughout the history of the WSOP Main Event, only this elite circle of four players managed to score multiple wins throughout the competition.

However, regarding the overall number of WSOP bracelets, Phil Hellmuth currently holds the record of the most bracelets with 16. Although he has multiple bracelets, he only won his World Series of Poker title after topping the competition in 1989. That gave him a payout of $750,000.

In 2003, Chris Moneymaker completed the field of 839, making him a total pot winning of $2.5 million, one of the biggest.

However that all changed in 2006 when Jamie Gold entered the stage and rocked the poker world with his impressive $12 million prize money.

When talking about eight-figure WSOP Main Event prize money, only two other poker players achieved this remarkable figure aside from Gold. The first one is Martin Jacobson in 2014 with his $10,000,000 prize and Hossein Ensan in 2019.

In 2008, the World Series of Poker Main Event saw their youngest champion in Peter Eastgate, 22 at that time. However, Joe Cada quickly grabbed that spot a year later after winning the competition at 21.

List of WSOP Main Event Winners from 1970 to the 1979

Winners from 1970 to the 1979

As the first-ever winner of the WSOP Main Event, Johnny Moss made history. He cemented his legacy as one of the top poker players of his era with his impressive poker feats. He’s also one of the few people who managed to win a back-to-back title.

Doyle Brunson also managed to get into that exclusive list after winning his back-to-back title in 1976 and 1977 WSOP Main Event earning him the nickname “Texas Dolly.” A few years later, Brunson released a book called Super/System, which became a staple guide for pro poker players.

1980 to 1990 WSOP Main Event Winners

1980 to 1990 WSOP Main Event Winners

Stu Ungar opened up the decade strong with impressive back-to-back titles in 1980 and 1981. Thanks to this achievement, he’s widely considered the best poker player of all time. In 1983, Tom McEvoy became the first poker player to win a $10,000 buy-in event seat. This paved the way for the popularity of the WSOP Main Event in the coming years.

Johnny Chan became the last player yet to get the back-to-back win in WSOP history.

1991 to 2002 WSOP Main Event Winners

1991 to 2002 WSOP Main Event Winners

The ‘90s playing field became one of the hottest events of the decade thanks to the impressive seven-digit prize money on the table. Because of this, the WSOP Main Event became a global event. Brad Daugherty led the seven-digit club of the ‘90s. While Stu Ungar bagged his third win in his WSOP career.

2003 to 2010 WSOP Main Event Winners

2003 to 2010 WSOP Main Event Winners

The 2000s staged a dramatic event in WSOP history. The number of participants started snowballing, which means a bigger price pool for the winner. Jamie Gold grabbed $12 million in 2006, which is the biggest single payout win in the competitive poker world.

2011 to 2021 WSOP Main Event Winners

2011 to 2021 WSOP Winners

Martin Jacobson and Hossein Ensan are two out of the three WSOP winners who managed to get eight-digit prize winnings in 2014 and 2019 respectively.

The Main Event of the World Series of Poker is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. Players from all around come to compete for a chance at glory and a share of the massive prize pool. Over the years, there have been some memorable moments and champions at the WSOP Main Event. Who will be next year’s champion? Only time will tell.

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