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WSOP Players to Watch: The Great Bracelet Race

Every poker player making their way to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker this summer has one dream in mind: win a bracelet. Getting one – just one – is a special accomplishment and most players will remind you of it at every opportunity. But as the BLUFF 2015 WSOP Countdown continues we take a look at a special group of players that have already enjoyed the thrill of winning a bracelet multiple times and now hope to add more to their collection in what we’re calling The Great Bracelet Race.

BLUFF will be following these players closely throughout the 2015 WSOP with updates, interviews and stat-tracking.

Phil Hellmuth


Career Earnings: $15,188,350
WSOP Earnings: $12,512,800
WSOP Cashes: 108
WSOP Bracelets: 13

His name has been alone atop the all-time WSOP bracelet leaderboard for quite some time, and Phil Hellmuth has been hell bent on adding to that total every chance he gets.

The biggest misconception about Hellmuth is that he’s not as adept at non-Hold’em games. In fact, 39 of his 108 cashes have come in other games. Sure, 12 of his 13 bracelets are in Hold’em (the other is in Razz) but he’s cashed eight times in Pot Limit Omaha tournaments, eight times in Omaha Hi-Lo tournaments and four times in No Limit Deuce to Seven.

Bracelet wins isn’t the only WSOP record he holds. He’s cashed in 108 WSOP events – which is 20 ahead of the next closest competitor, Erik Seidel – and he also has the record for most final tables with 52. He also has a remarkable 10 runner-up finishes.

Phil Ivey


Career Earnings: $21,445,918
WSOP Earnings: $6,165,620
WSOP Cashes: 56
WSOP Bracelets: 10

Last summer Phil Ivey became the fourth player to break into double digits when he won his 10th WSOP bracelet in the $1,500 Eight-Game Mix event. The only question that remains is just how many can he can win before all is said and done.

Ivey’s 10 bracelets came in nine different disciplines (he has two Pot Limit Omaha wins), but he’s never managed to win a Hold’em bracelet and he’s actually only ever been heads-up once in a Hold’em event – losing the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event to Andy Frankenberger in 2012.

Ivey has stated he thinks he can win 30 bracelets in his career. Given that he excels at every game, it’s certainly possible, but to do so he’ll need to avoid the distraction of the lucrative cash games that always pop up during the Series.

Daniel Negreanu


Career Earnings: $28,449,713
WSOP Earnings: $14,641,365
WSOP Cashes: 78
WSOP Bracelets: 6

Sure, Daniel Negreanu has the lowest number of bracelets on this list (6) but betting against him getting to 10 soon would probably be a mistake. Five of his six bracelets are in a Hold’em variation (he won a S.H.O.E. event in 2003) but he’s cashed 34 times in other games, including six in Omaha Hi-Lo and another six in Seven Card Stud.

While Hellmuth and Ivey both may play a full schedule, bouncing from event to event, Negreanu plays a limited schedule focused on the bigger buy-in events against smaller, but tougher, fields. Negreanu claims this schedule helps keep him rested and focused and gives him the best chance to win.

One interesting stat about Negreanu: he’s sub-.500 when he gets heads-up for a bracelet. He has six wins, but seven runner-up finishes.

Erik Seidel


Career Earnings: $22,982,282
WSOP Earnings: $4,973,063
WSOP Cashes: 88
WSOP Bracelets: 8

It’s been eight years since Erik Seidel last captured a WSOP bracelet, but he’s still one of the best players in the world. In April Seidel won $2.25 million and added another impressive title to his seemingly endless list of achievements when he won the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller in Monaco.

He’s second on the all-time WSOP cashes list with 88 and has cashed in nearly every variation on the WSOP schedule since he began playing in 1988. An astonishing 38 of those cashes came at final tables, including just three runner-up finishes.

Thanks to his dominance of high roller events Seidel, who was elected to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2010, has won more money ($13,786,305) since being inducted than he had in the previous 22 years of his career.

Vanessa Selbst


Career Earnings: $10,618,362
WSOP Earnings: $2,102,766
WSOP Cashes: 20
WSOP Bracelets: 3

Vanessa Selbst is the only woman to have won three bracelets in open events in the 45 year history of the World Series of Poker. She won her first in 2008 and added the next two in 2012 and 2014.

Recognized as a world class No Limit Hold’em player, particularly heads-up, Selbst is more than capable of playing most of the games on the WSOP schedule, as shown by her wins in a Pot Limit Omaha (2008) tournament and the 10-Game Mix (2012).

Ask even the most casual poker fan to name the best female poker player in the world and they’ll probably give you Selbst’s name, but the reality is that as she adds more bracelets to her total and separates herself from the rest of that pack, her name has to inevitably come up in the best player – regardless of gender – discussion.

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Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at

Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.


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