A look back at Vegas champions and their chances at WSOP Main Event success


With the World Series of Poker taking center stage in Las Vegas and around the world, there’s a lot of action unfolding in Vegas and the spotlight continues to shine brightly on the Rio, the site of all WSOP events.

The Main Event doesn’t get underway until July 5th, but a slew of poker players have descended on Vegas since May 27th to play in various events.

As we gear up toward the Main Event, you’ll hear a lot of chatter online and off about whether past champions will make a deep run again this year. The truth? They probably won’t. Gone are the days when the Main Event saw just a few dozen players or even a few hundred players vie for the top prize. Today’s Main Event sees thousands of players compete for the coveted gold bracelet.

Today, we’re going to take a look back at previous Main Event winners to see how they’ve done on the poker circuit since their big victory at the Rio.

2014 -> Martin Jacobson

innermartin23062015Conquered: A field of 6,683
Won: $10 million

Martin Jacobson followed his $10 million victory with over $225,000 in poker tournament winnings spread out over multiple events in 2014 and 2015. He has yet to cash in a World Series of Poker tournament, but as the World Series of Poker’s most recent Main Event winner, all eyes will definitely be on the Swedish poker player as he takes a seat in this year’s Main Event.

2013 -> Ryan Riess

innerreiss23062015Conquered: A field of 6,352
Won: $8,359,531

Nothing compares to the feeling Ryan Riess had when he won the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event for $8,361,570. But it is possible that Riess experiences that adrenaline rush once again. He’s cashed in a number of tournaments since that victory, including six separate events in 2014 and a first place win this year at the SHR Poker Showdown. He’s also cashed in a $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the 2015 WSOP for $16,523 just a few days ago, so things could just be getting started.

2012 -> Greg Merson

innermerson23062015Conquered: A field of 6,683
Won: $10 million

After winning the WSOP Main Event in 2012, Greg Merson enjoyed a slew of successes at the World Series of Poker in subsequent years. While he didn’t win the Main Event in 2013, he did manage to cash and finish in 167th place for $42,990. He also did well in a pair of WSOP events in 2014. And so far this year, he’s done extremely well at the 2015 World Series of Poker, including a 4th place finish in a $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event that saw him collect $152,126. He also cashed in 3 more events at the WSOP this year, so he’s definitely one to watch in the Main Event.

2011 -> Pius Heinz

innerprius23062015Conquered: A field of 6,865
Won: $8,715,638

Since capturing that coveted gold bracelet in 2011, Pius Heinz has only cashed in six poker tournaments. He has failed to cash in any poker tournament in 2015, and 2014 and 2013 only saw him cash in one event each year. Will 2015 be the year he bounces back? We’ll be watching to find out.

2010 -> Jonathan Duhamel

innerduhamel23062015Conquered: A field of 7,319
Won: $8,944,310

In 2010, Jonathan Duhamel became the first Canadian to win the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. And is quick string of success proves he’s anything but a one-hit wonder. In early 2011, Duhamel finished first for $272,209 in the EPT Deauville High Roller tournament. And that same year saw him rack up a number of final table finishes. IN 2012, he kicked off the year with a 4th place finish in the Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller 8 max tournament for a $313,600 payday, and in the same Caribbean series he placed first in the No Limit Hold’em 8 Max event for $239,830. Since then, he’s recorded millions in winnings. To date, Duhamel has over $12 million in tournament winnings to his name. We’ll be watching to see if his success continues in Vegas next month.

Thinking about playing in this year’s Main Event? Unfortunately, we don’t offer any online poker qualifiers. We’re not an online poker site. But you’re more than welcome to play video poker here at Slots of Vegas. And who knows? Maybe you’ll win enough cash to buy directly into this year’s big tournament.

Rose Pratt

Rose Pratt is an experienced blogger specialized on everything and anything related to the entertainment industry. If you want to check the latest celebrity news or find an honest review about Las Vegas hottest spots, she is the one.


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