Top 5 Amazing WSOP Feats

15 July 2009, Created By: Daniel Skolovy
Top 5 Amazing WSOP Feats
The WSOP Main Event plays down to a final nine tonight and should Phil Ivey find himself a seat, his performance this summer with two bracelets and an ME final table will stand as one of the greatest WSOPs ever.

To say an Ivey final-table appearance is a forgone conclusion, though, is a bit much.

Ivey may be the best player in the world, but he still has to claw through at least 12 or 13 more players as of press time for that "November Nine" spot.

And as we all know, anything can happen in tournament poker.

Though his WSOP has been a massive success regardless, it still can't compete (just yet) with these other top 5 World Series of Poker feats over the years.

Stu Ungar "Back to Back" 1980 and 1981

Arguably the greatest player to have ever lived, Stu Ungar won the Main Event in 1980, defeating Doyle Brunson heads-up. He made it back-to-back in '81, successfully defending his title vs. Perry Green.

Stuey was the youngest player ever to win the Main Event. He would go on to add another Main Event bracelet in 1997 to become the only player ever to win the Main Event three times.

Unfortunately, Stuey will be remembered as a "What could have been" story.

He had an innate skill at the poker tables. He always knew where he was in a hand and pounced on weakness whenever he saw it. He played LAG poker before it was cool to play LAG poker.

And he did it well. However, it was his weakness away from the tables that will always leave people wondering what might have been. Stuey was found dead of a drug overdose in 1998 in a seedy Vegas motel room with less than $800 to his name.

A sad end to one of the greatest players ever to play the game. But nobody will ever be able to take his three world titles away.


Ivan Demidov "Two Main Event Final Tables, One Year" 2008

In 2008, Demidov took to Vegas and the WSOP. In the Main Event, he rode a sick wave of cards all the way to the final table.

As a member of the original "November Nine," Ivan found himself with a three-month break until the table would reconvene and play out.

Rather than sit idly by, Demidov elected to hit up the World Series of Poker Europe. And then went on to make the final table of that Main Event as well.

In Europe, Demidov bested 360 players to finish a very respectable third, netting £334,850 for his troubles.

When the "November Nine" reconvened, Demidov ran over the final table and eventually found himself heads-up for the bracelet vs. Peter Eastgate.

Demidov ended up losing the heads-up slobberknocker to Eastgate in a 242-hand brawl.

He still took home $5,790,024 for that second-place finish and will always have the distinction of final-tabling both WSOP Main Events in the same year.


Dan Harrington "Runner Runner Main Event Final Tables" 2003 and 2004

"Action" Dan Harrington, ironically self-nicknamed for his extremely tight play, made the final table in both 2003 (839 players) and in 2004 (2,576 players). He went on to finish third in 2003 and fourth in 2004.

It may not sound quite as impressive as back-to-back titles, but you have to remember that when Ungar did it there was under 75 players each year. When Chan did it, there was under 180.

When Action Dan final-tabled in back-to-back years, he outlasted 3,409 players combined - 20 times more than Ungar and 10 times more than Johnny Chan.

Which Leads us to our next one ...


Johnny Chan "1st, 1st, 2nd" 1987,1988 and 1989

Perhaps the sickest string of Main Event cashes ever, Johnny Chan won it all in '87 and '88 and came within a sniff of winning in '89 (he lost heads-up to Phil Hellmuth).

Nobody will ever come close to this feat. Ever. The fields are just too big.

But it doesn't need to be repeated. For three years, Chan owned the Main Event. For that feat alone he secured his place in poker history.

Now add on his 10 bracelets and you get a pretty good idea of the imprint Chan has made.


Jeffery Lisandro "Three Bracelets, One Year, One Game" 2009

In the 2009 Series, Lisandro solidified his name as one the greatest Stud players of all time, winning three bracelets in three different disciplines of Stud.

The first bracelet came in the run-of-the-mill Seven-Card Stud, where he shipped the bracelet and $124,959. Next, only a week later, Lisandro won the Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo Championship and $431,656.

Last but not least, Lisandro won the Razz (bizarro Stud) event for $188,370.

Lisandro joins the ranks of Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth and Ted Forrest in the three-bracelets-in-a-single-year category - some pretty prestigious company.

However, the sheer dominance at one single game makes Lisandro's 2009 performance stand out.

There are plenty of others that could have made the list (hit us up in the comments), and each year there will be new feats made.

Will Ivey find a spot on the list for next year with a final table performance (or better)?

Keep it locked to our Live Tournaments page because tonight they play down to the "November Nine."


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