The range of things that can and do happen at a poker table is so multi-layered that ranking them on a limited scale such as "best" and "worst" is a fool's errand.
So that's exactly what we did. Enjoy (and share your thoughts in the comments)!
10. Battle of Malta Smashes Records, Nominated for Event of the Year
Just in its second year of existence, we went into the 2013 Battle of Malta with some solid hopes to further an event truly geared toward the casual, low-stakes poker player.
Things went smashingly. A phenomenal 888 players, a €440,000 prize pool (crushing the €200k guarantee) and an €80k first-place prize (won by German Louis Cartarious).
The amazing turnout, in fact, put t it in the record books as the biggest poker tournament ever held in Malta. As the icing on the cake, the 2013 BOM was nominated in the Best European Event of the Year category for the GPI European Poker Awards.
Featuring Kara Scott, Dan "Jungleman12" Cates, Naoya Kihara, Pierre Neuville, Luca Moschitta, Sam Holden, Johannes Strassmann, The Dudesons and more it hit the perfect sweet spot between poker holiday and major tour event.
Big plans are brewing for 2014 as we speak; find out more and pre-register for 2014 here.
9. Phil Ivey Wins Ninth Bracelet
Minor rumblings about field size and bracelet watering-down aside, Phil Ivey officially won his ninth career WSOP bracelet at the inaugural WSOP Asia-Pacific this year to put him just four bracelets behind Phil Hellmuth again.
As the official WSOP APAC live reporting partners we were fortunate enough to be tableside for the whole thing and, if you haven't had the opportunity to witness a Phil Ivey bracelet win live, we can't oversell it.
The buzz in the room was palpable from the moment the greatest poker player alive took his seat and to see the satisfaction in his face when he finished things off was one of those things you don't forget.
We can tell you Ivey definitely didn't care how many people were in the field. And runner-up Brandon Wong definitely enjoyed the experience too. Complete recap of the event here.
8. JC Tran Makes WSOP Main Event November Nine
We can't remember rooting for a player more than we did for JC Tran at this year's November Nine.
A long-time pro and one of the most genuine players in the game it was thrilling to see Tran put a punctuation mark on his career after an extended downswing over the last couple of years. Coming at a time when he's expanding his young family it was even better.
The way it finished wasn't ideal but the seven-figure score definitely went into the right bank account.
7. Moorman Hits $10m in Career Online Earnings
Is it really possible someone has cashed for $10 million in real, government-endorsed legal tender playing tournament poker on their computer?
It is. And it was done for the first time ever in 2013 when online MMT legend Chris Moorman crossed the $10m mark in September.
A multiple online Triple Crown winner and former #1 ranked online player in the world, Moorman has been a flag bearer for the UK poker scene for a while so if it was going to be anyone, it's no surprise it was him.
But it also marks a pretty important milestone in the arc of online poker itself. If someone's made $10m doing it, it can't not be legit right?
6. Loni Harwood Crushes the WSOP
This might even deserve to be ranked higher but given some truly exceptional moments for the course of poker history this year it gets slotted sixth.
The ranking should in no way diminish the absolute crushing Harwood put on the World Series of Poker this summer. A ridiculous $875k in cashes. An open-field bracelet. Two final tables. Five cashes.
Those are Vanessa Selbst numbers. And a clear sign the level of gender equality in poker may be ready to reach new heights in 2014.
Following in the footsteps of her poker-pro Dad, Harwood made a very solid case that the true secret to poker success lies in the genes, not gender.
More Best and Worst Moments in Poker in 2013
- The 20 Best Moments in Poker in 2013: 20-16
- The 20 Best Moments in Poker in 2013: 15-11
- The 20 Best Moments in Poker in 2013: 10-6