WSOP 2021: Who are the Defending Champions of the Championship Events

October 05, 2021
Matthew Pitt

2021 WSOP

$10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Frankie O’Dell
$10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event – Hossein Ensan
$10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Robert Campbell
$10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship – John Hennigan
$10,000 Razz Championship – Scott Seiver
$10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Nick Schulman
$10,000 No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship – Anuj Agarwal
$10,000 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship – Jim Bechtel
$10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship – Juha Helppi
$10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship – Luke Schwartz
$10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold’em Championship – Sean Swingruber
$10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship – Greg Mueller
$10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship – Adam Friedman

The $10,000 buy-in events at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) are considered Championship Events. These big buy-in tournaments attract the very best poker players in the world, which leads to the tournaments being considered more prestigious. Winning a WSOP Championship Event is no mean feat; you do not take one down through luck alone.

The first $10,000 Championship Event of the 2021 WSOP got underway yesterday with Event #9: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship attracting 126 players. With that tournament about to shuffle up and deal, PokerNews takes a look back at the reigning Championship Event champions, and where better to start than with the 2019 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo.

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$10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Frankie O’Dell

Frankie O'DellFrankie O’Dell

Frankie O’Dell came out on top of a 183-strong field in 2019 to win his third WSOP bracelet. It was also his third bracelet in an Omaha Hi-Lo event, with him having won a $1,500 buy-in vent in 2003 and a $2,000 buy-in event in 2007.

O’Dell defeated Owais Ahmed heads-up to secure the $443,641 top prize after contending with the likes of Robert Mizrachi, Robert Campbell, David Benyamine, and Shaun Deed at the final table.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Frankie O’Dell
United States
$443,641

2
Owais Ahmed
United States
$274,192

3
Robert Mizrachi
United States
$194,850

4
Nick Guagenti
United States
$140,522

5
Robert Campbell
Australia
$102,868

6
Jake Schwartz
United States
$76,456

7
David Benyamine
France
$57,709

8
Edmond Vartughian
United States
$44,245

9
Shaun Deeb
United States
$34,467

$10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event – Hossein Ensan

Hossein EnsanHossein Ensan

Of course, the biggest Championship Event of any WSOP is the Main Event. Last year’s Main Event was an online/live hybrid, but 2019 saw 8,569 players exchange $10,000 at the cage of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and create a monster-sized $80,548,600 prize pool.

Germany’s Hossein Ensan got his hands on the lion’s share of the pot, namely $10 million, after defeating Italian high-stakes guru Dario Sammartino heads-up; Sammartino collected $6 million for his runner-up finish.

The Main Event, however, was perhaps best remembered for Garry Gates’ impressive fourth-place finish. Gates has been part of the poker media for many years and had the entire community in his corner. Gates’ run ended in fourth, a finish worth $3 million.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Hossein Ensan
Germany
$10,000,000

2
Daario Sammartino
Italy
$6,000,000

3
Alexander Livingston
Canada
$4,000,000

4
Garry Gates
United States
$3,000,000

5
Kevin Maahs
United States
$2,200,000

6
Zhen Cai
United States
$1,850,000

7
Nick Marchington
United Kingdom
$1,525,000

8
Timothy Su
United States
$1,250,000

9
Milos Skrbic
Serbia
$1,000,000

$50,000 Poker Players Championship – Phil

Phil Hui

Hui

While the Main Event is the WSOP Championship Event for the people, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship is most certainly the event for the pros. It commands a buy-in of $50,000, which 74 players paid in 2019.

Main Event runner-up Dario Sammartino went deep but busted in ninths, with Phil Ivey and David Oppenheim crashing out in eighth and seventh place respectively. It was Phillip Hui who was the last man standing, and he got his hands on his second bracelet and 1,099,311 in cash, by far his largest-ever score.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Phil Hui
United States
$1,099,311

2
Josh Arieh
United States
$679,426

3
John Esposito
United States
$466,407

4
Bryce Yockey
United States
$325,989

5
Shaun Deeb
United States
$232,058

6
Daniel Cates
United States
$168,305

$10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Robert Campbell

Robert CampbellRobert Campbell

Australian Robert Campbell won the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo event, which helped him become the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year. Campbell overcame 150 opponents, including Mike Matusow at the final table, to win $385,763.

It was Campbell’s second bracelet of the series having won the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw event a fortnight earlier.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Robert Campbell
Australia
$385,763

2
Yueqi Zhu
United States
$238,420

3
Mike Wattel
United States
$164,647

4
Mike Matusow
United States
$116,255

5
Ryan Hughes
United States
$83,971

6
Qinghai Pan
United States
$62,079

7
Andrey Zhigalov
Russia
$46,999

$10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship – John Hennigan

John HenniganJohn Hennigan

John “World” Hennigan has an almost supernatural ability to win big buy-in events. He is the reigning $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship champion after he took it down in 2019 for $245,451. Hennigan defeated Daniel Negreanu heads-up in that tournament as he won his sixth WSOP bracelet.

Three of Hennigan’s other bracelets have come in Championship events. He won the $50,000 Poker Players Championship (2014), the $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (2016), and the $10,000 H.OR.S.E (2018). Do not bet against Hennigan winning another $10,000+ event in 2021.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
John Hennigan
United States
$245,451

2
Daniel Negreanu
Canada
$151,700

3
David “ODB” Baker
United States
$104,416

4
Michael Semenov
Russia
$73,810

5
David Singer
United States
$53,621

6
Chris Tryba
United States
$40,066

7
Frank Kassela
United States
$30,817

8
Frankie O’Dell
United States
$30,817

$10,000 Razz Championship – Scott Seiver

Scott SeiverScott Seiver

Scott Seiver has two WSOP Championship event titles to his name. Seiver won the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship in 2018 and followed that up with the $10,000 Razz bracelet in 2019.

Seiver came out on top of a tough final table in the $10,000 Razz in 2019, a table that housed such luminaries as David Bach, Andre Akkari, Daniel Negreanu, and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Scott Seiver
United States
$301,421

2
Andrey Zhigalov
Russia
$186,293

3
Chris Ferguson
United States
$131,194

4
Daniel Zack
United States
$94,305

5
Daniel Negreanu
Canada
$69,223

6
Andrew Akkari
Brazil
$51,911

7
David Bach
United States
$39,788

$10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Nick Schulman

Nick SchulmanNick Schulman

The 2019 edition of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event attracted 193 players, including Nick Schulman. It was Schulman who accumulated all the chips in play and who scooped the $463,670 top prize.

Schulman found himself three-handed against former WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem and Brian Hastings. Neither posed a threat as Schulman came out on top to win his third bracelet; his other two both came in the$10,000 NL 2-7 Lowball Championship events.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Nick Schulman
United States
$463,670

2
Brian Hastings
United States
$286,570

3
Joe Hachem
Australia
$201,041

4
Denis Strebkov
Russia
$143,700

5
Christopher Vitch
United States
$104,688

6
Corey Hochman
United States
$77,763

7
Michael McKenna
United States
$58,918

8
Bryce Yockey
United States
$45,551

$10,000 No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship – Anuj Agarwal

Anuj AgarwalAnuj Agarwal

Anuj Agarwal had cashed a couple of times in WSOP events before 2019 but those results, with all due respect, were not anything to write home about. That changed when Agarwal bought into the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship 6-Handed event alongside 271 others. Three days after parting company with a five-figure buy-in Agarwal beat Australia’s Kahle Burns heads-up to become a WSOP champion.

The victory came with $630,747 and, of course, a coveted WSOP bracelet.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Anuj Agarwal
United States
$630,747

2
Kahle Burns
Australia
$389,832

3
Gal Yifrach
United States
$257,533

4
Leonard Maue
Germany
$174,252

5
Dong Chen
China
$120,828

6
Ben Heath
United Kingdom
$85,915

$10,000 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship – Jim Bechtel

Jim BechtelJim Bechtel

Jim Bechtel finished fourth in the 2006 $50,000 HO.R.S.E. event for $549,120 and then we hardly saw him until the 2019 WSOP. Bechtel appeared in the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Championship where he muscled his way through the 91-strong field to emerge victoriously to secure the $253,817 top prize.

Bechtel had to contend with Galen Hall, Paul Volpe, Jean-Robert Bellande, Prahlad Friedman, and Darren Elias at the final table, but still managed to get the job done.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Jim Bechtel
United States
$253,817

2
Vince Musso
United States
$156,872

3
Darren Elias
United States
$109,738

4
Prahlad Friedman
United States
$78,157

5
Jean-Robert Bellande
United States
$56,693

6
Pedro Bromfman
United States
$41,897

7
Paul Volpe
United States
$31,556

8
Galen Hall
United States
$24,232

$10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship – Juha Helppi

Juha HelppiJuha Helppi

Finland’s Juha Helppi came close to winning a WSOP Championship event in 2015 but fell in fifth place in the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller. Helppi isn’t known for his fixed limit prowess, but you would never have known because he won the 2019 $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship.

Helppi went on to win another championship event in 2020. The Finn triumphed in the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship online at GGPoker for an additional $290,286.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Juha Helppi
Finland
$306,622

2
Mike Lancaster
Canada
$189,505

3
Tam Hang
United States
$133,718

4
Anthony Marsico
United States
$96,272

5
Kevin Song
United States
$70,750

6
Josh Arieh
United States
$53,095

7
Kyle Ray
United States
$40,709

8
Qinghai Pan
United States
$31,902

9
Robert Como
United States
$25,566

$10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship – Luke Schwartz

Luke SchwartzLuke Schwartz

The United Kingdom’s Luke Schwartz is known for his table trash talk more than he is his poker ability, and he likes it that way because his brash attitude masks a talented poker player.

Schwartz finished fourth in the 2012 edition of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. He made amends for not winning that particular tournament by taking down the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship in 2019.

This was Schwartz’s first bracelet win. He had to defeat George Wolff heads-up to get his hands on it, but it was never in doubt in Schwartz’s mind.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Luke Schwartz
United Kingdom
$273,336

2
George Wolff
United States
$168,936

3
Johannes BeckerGermany
$116,236
 

4
Mark Gregorich
United States
$81,635

5
Yueqi Zhu
United States
$58,547

6
Calvin Anderson
United States
$42,898

$10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold’em Championship – Sean Swingruber

Sean SwingruberSean Swingruber

Sean Swingruber had never cashed in a live WSOP event before he headed to Las Vegas in 2019. Swingruber is usually found playing low-to-mid-stakes tournaments, so it was a surprise to see him buy into the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up event. He went on to defeat Ben Yu in the final round, and walked away with $186,356 and a piece of poker’s most sought after jewelry.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Sean Swingruber
United States
$186,356

2
Ben Yu
United States
$115,174

3
Lance Garcia
United States
$73,333

4
Keith Lehr
United States
$73,333

$10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship – Greg Mueller

Greg MuellerGreg Mueller

Canada’s Greg Mueller won two WSOP bracelets in 2009, including the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship. He waited another decade before banking his third bracelet, but it was worth the wait.

Mueller showcased his mixed game skills in the 2019 $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship, and bulldozed his way to victory, leaving the likes pf Phil Galfond, Scott Clements, Dario Sammartino, and runner-up Daniel Ospina in his wake.

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Greg Mueller
Canada
$425,347

2
Daniel Ospina
Colombia
$262,882

3
Dario Sammartino
Italy
$184,854

4
Scott Clements
United States
$132,288

5
Craig Chait
United States
$93,678

6
Michael Semenov
Russia
$71,505

7
Matthew Gonzales
United States
$54,043

8
Phil Galfond
United States
$41,625

$10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship – Adam Friedman

Champion Adam FriedmanAdam Friedman

Ohio’s Adam Friedman has a trio of WSOP bracelets to his name, two coming from Championship events. Friedman won the $10,000 Dealers Choice in 2018 and followed that up with a victory in the same event in 2019!

There is a $10,000 Dealer’s Choice on October 18, 2021. Friedman couldn’t go back-to-back-to-back, could he?

Place
Player
Country
Prize

1
Adam Friedman
United States
$312,417

2
Shaun Deeb
United States
$193,090

3
Matt Glantz
United States
$139,126

4
David Moskowitz
United States
$100,440

5
Michael McKenna
United States
$72,653

6
Nick Schulman
United States
$52,656

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