November 18, 2022 Tournaments & Cash Games
The WPT World Championship has launched careers and cemented reputations and, next month, another winner will be crowned in Las Vegas. Ahead of the WPT’s flagship event, we recently took you through the list of winners from 2004 to 2013. Now it’s time to complete our round-up with the WPT World Champions from 2014 to 2021.
Few things in life run smoothly, and the WPT World Championship has taken some twists and turns over the years. Along with new ideas, unexpected lockdowns have kept things interesting, as you’ll see when you check out the WPT World Championship winners profiled below.
WPT World Championship winners: 2014 to 2021
Chino Rheem impressed in 2013, but he wasn’t able to retain his title. That paved the way for a new champion in 2014…
2014: Keven Stammen – $1,350,000
Stammen has 22 WPT cashes (at the time of writing) but none compare to his 2014 World Championship win. The American pro had a winning record online during the Moneymaker era and parlayed that into a WSOP bracelet in 2009. He followed that up with an outright victory in the WPT’s $15,400 championship event. Stammen beat Byron Kaverman heads-up to bank what still stands as his biggest-ever prize.
2015: Asher Conniff – $973,683
Conniff was the last WPT World Championship winner before the event went on a six-year hiatus. The American pro joined 238 other players in the $15,400 event and, after five days of play, he walked away with his first major title and just short of $1 million.
Enter the Tournament of Champions
A shake-up of the WPT schedule in 2016 saw the World Championship make way for the season-ending Tournament of Champions. Although it wasn’t switching like-for-like, the $15K tournament was a chance for poker’s elite to fight for a coveted WPT title.
2016: Farid Yachou -$381,600
Farid Yachou earned his spot in the Tournament of Championships by winning WPT Amsterdam in 2015. He parlayed that result into a winning run worth more than money. Sixty-four players anted up at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and, after three days of play, Yachou emerged victorious. In addition to almost $400K and a WPT trophy, Yachou won a Corvette and a Hublot King Power Unico Titanium watch. If that’s not enough, he also bagged an Aurae® Solid Gold MasterCard, a pair of gold Monster® 24K Headphones, and a custom poker table.
2017: Daniel Weinman – $381,500
The second Tournament of Champions featured 66 players, including Weinman. The pro from Atlanta earned his spot in the tournament by winning the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. Riding that wave of success, he beat Michael Mizrachi heads-up to become the Tournament of Champions champion. In addition to cash, he won an Audi S5, a Hublot watch, and an armful of special prizes.
2018: Matthew Waxman – $463,375
Waxman didn’t win his way into the 2018 WPT Tournament of Champions, but that didn’t matter. The American pro, who has over $4 million in tournament earnings, topped a field of 80 entrants at the Aria to win the WPT’s final event of 2018. Waxman received a Hublot watch, a $50K membership to JetSmarter, a custom poker table, and a Baccarat Crystal Bubble Box, as well as a trophy and over $460K.
2019: Ole Schemion – $440,395
Germany’s Schemion was one of the best players in the world back in 2019, and he proved it by winning the WPT Tournament of Champions. Seventy-six players anted up and, for a time, it looked like WPT broadcaster Tony Dunst was going to win. However, Schemion had other ideas. He trumped Dunst heads-up to add another title to his collection.
The COVID-19 Years
As successful as the Tournament of Champions was, it wasn’t bigger than a global pandemic. With most of the world locked down and live poker put on hold, the WPT went digital at the end of 2019. The organization’s partnership with Partypoker went into full effect and a series of online championships took place in 2020 and 2021.
2020: Christian Jeppsson WPT Online Championship – $923,786
Jeppsson is a well-known Swedish pro who plays online under the moniker Eisenhower1. He bolstered his already impressive résumé (which includes two WCOOP titles) by winning the inaugural WPT Online Championship. The $3,200 tournament attracted 2,130 entrants, which generated a prize pool worth more than $6 million. That allowed Jeppsson to bank almost $1 million after beating Viktor Ustimov heads-up. Even more impressive is the fact he qualified via a $320 satellite.
2020: Phillip Mighall WPT World Championship Main Event – $1,715,667
A successful Online Championship gave the WPT and Partypoker the impetus to host a second series in 2020. With COVID-19 keeping live poker on lockdown, the WPT World Championship played out online in September. Topping the bill was a $10,300 main event. Eleven-hundred-eleven entrants took their shot at glory, but only one could hit the target. That player was Mighall. The Englishman started playing $100 live events in 2010. A decade later, he won a $3,200 WPT online event before taking down the WPT World Championship for almost $2 million.
2021: Christian Rudolph WPT Online Series Main Event – $487,443
Live poker returned to parts of the world in 2021. But, with regulations changing almost every week, WPT executives decided that discretion was the better part of valor. This decision gave rise to the WPT Online Series and a $3,200 main event. Rudolph was the man who topped a field of 1,065 entrants to pick up his first WPT title a year after winning the $25,000 WSOP Online Poker Players Championship.
WPT World Championship 2022 winner …
That’s the history of the WPT World Championship, but there are many more stories left to be written, starting with this year’s event. The $10,400 tournament gets underway on December 12 at the Wynn in Las Vegas. Players from around the world, including 200+ qualifiers, are set to ante up, but only one can join the WPT World Championship winners club. Follow the action on CardsChat.com next month.
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.
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