WPT World Championships

[RR] “So what kind of World Poker Tour lists do you have?” Roderick the Rock asked Stan the Stat.

[SS] “Well, since the WPT World Championship was just last week, let’s start with that”, Stan replied. “Congratulations to Keven Stammen for joining the list of champions. In 2009, he had captured the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em at the World Series of Poker for over half a million dollars, but this was by far the biggest win of the Buckeye’s eight-year tournament career.”

[LL] “Do you know why Ohio residents are called Buckeyes?” Leroy the Lion interjected.

[SS] “It’s a local tree, right?”

[LL] “Yes, the Ohio buckeye tree, which is related to a variety of horse chestnut trees. The Ohio buckeye is smaller, so I guess it resembles a deer’s eye more than a horse’s. But while horse chestnuts are edible, buckeyes are poisonous!”1

[RR] “Especially to University of Michigan fans…”

WPT World Championship Winners2

Season Winner Prize Entrants Cashed Runner-Up
1 Alan Goehring $1,011,886 111 28 Kirill Gerasimov
2 Martin De Knijff $2,728,356 343 50 Hasan Habib
3 Tuan Le $2,856,150 453 100 Paul Maxfield
4 Joe Bartholdi $3,760,165 605 100 Davidson Matthew
5 Carlos Mortensen $3,970,415 639 100 Kirk Morrison
6 David Chiu $3,389,140 545 100 Gus Hansen
7 Yevgeniy Timoshenko $2,143,655 338 50 Ran Azor
8 David Williams $1,530,537 195 18 Eric Baldwin
9 Scott Seiver $1,618,344 220 27 Farzad Bonyadi
10 Marvin Rettenmaier $1,196,858 152 18 Philippe Ktorza
11 David Rheem $1,150,297 146 15 Erick Lindgren
12 Keven Stammen $1,350,000 328 36 Byron Kaverman
13 Asher Conniff $973,683 239 27 Alexander Lakhov

[SS] “Some interesting factoids from the event:”

  • Only two players have reached more than one WPT World Championship final table (last six players); Hasin Habib finished 2nd in Season II and 3rd in Season III, while Phil Ivey finished 3rd in Season I and 6th in Season III. Justin Young and Scotty Nguyen came very close, both finishing 6th (Season IX and Season VI) and 8th (Season VII and Season VIII).3
  • Carlos Mortensen is the only player who has won both the World Series of Poker Main Event (2001) and the WPT World Championship (2007). Alan Goehring and David Williams both just missed; each won the WPT World Championship (2003 and 2010, respectively) and finished second at the WSOP Main Event (1999 and 2004). David Rheem final tabled the 2008 WSOP Main Event (7th place) then won the 2013 WPT World Championship. Doyle Brunson won the WSOP Main Event in 1976 and 1977 and placed 4th in the first WPT World Championship in 2003. Scotty Nguyen won the WSOP Main Event in 1998 and was the first to bust from the 2009 WPT World Championship final table.
  • Nine players have cashed four times: David Grey (III, IV, VI, VIII), David Williams (III, IV, VIII [1st], IX [14th]), Jeff Shulman (I, II, III, VI [all in top 20 except II]), Jennifer Harman (II, III, IV, VII [11th]), Jimmy Tran (I [12th], III, V [10th], VII), Justin Young (V, VII [8th], IX [6th], XII [15th]), Matthew Hyman (VI, VII, IX, XI [4th]), Phil Hellmuth (I, IV, V [18th], VIII [7th]), and Ross Boatman (II, IV, V, VII [all in Top 20 except V]).
  • Fifteen other players have cashed three times: Billy Baxter (IV, VI, VIII [5th]), Bob Stupak (III, V, VI), Daniel Negreanu (II, VI, XI [7th]), David Kim (II, IV, VI), Doyle Brunson (I [4th], IV, IX), Farzad Bonyadi (VII, IX [2nd], X), Johan Storakers (III, IV, V), Kenny Tran (IV, VI [10th], IX), Martin De Knijff (I [15th], II [1st], VI), Mikael Thuritz (IV, V, VI), Phil Ivey (I [3rd], III [6th], VII), Shawn Buchanan (IV, V, VIII [3rd]), Surinder Sunar (I, III, IV), Thomas Wahlroos (IV, V [7th], VI), and Tom McCormick (VI, IX [18th], X [14th]).4
  • Four of those players cashed in three consecutive years: Shulman (I-III), Harman (II-IV), Thuritz (IV-VI), and Wahlroos (IV-VI).

[SS] “The WPT World Championship ends the WPT season. Here are the hands that ended each of the championships.”

WPT World Championship Final Hands

Season Winner Hand Value Runner-Up Hand Value Board
1 Alan Goehring 8♥5♦ Full house,
8s over 5s
Kirill Gerasimov 8♦6♠ Straight,
2 Martin De Knijff T♠T♦ Pair of Tens Hasan Habib A♣5♣ Pair of 5s 4♥5♥2♣Q♦7♠
3 Tuan Le K♦J♦ Pair of Jacks Paul Maxfield K♠5♦ King-high J♥T♥3♠Q♥7♥
4 Joe Bartholdi 9♦5♥ Two Pairs,
Aces over 9s
Davidson Matthew T♥4♥ Pair of Aces A♥9♣8♥2♦A♦
5 Carlos Mortensen K♥J♥ Two Pairs,
Jacks over 3s
Kirk Morrison A♠4♦ Two Pairs,
4s over 3s
6 David Chiu A♠9♠ Three Aces Gus Hansen T♠8♥ Two Pairs,
Aces over Tens
7 Yevgeniy Timoshenko A♠3♣ Straight,
Ran Azor Q♣T♦ Two Pairs,
Queens over Tens
8 David Williams 2♦2♣ Three 2s Eric Baldwin A♥5♥ Pair of Aces A♦7♣6♠2♥4♣
9 Scott Seiver J♠9♦ Straight,
Farzad Bonyadi Q♠T♥ Two Pairs,
Queens over Tens
10 Marvin Rettenmaier K♠K♣ Two Pairs,
Aces over Kings
Philippe Ktorza J♥J♦ Two Pairs,
Aces over Jacks
11 David Rheem K♦9♣ Ace-high,
King kicker
Erick Lindgren Q♦9♦ Ace-high,
Queen kicker
12 Keven Stammen A♣8♠ Pair of Aces Byron Kaverman 4♠4♦ Pair of 4s Q♥9♣6♣3♥A♥
13 Asher Conniff A♠Q♥ Ace-high Alexander Lakhov T♥6♥ King-high 7♥5♦2♠4♠K♠

[SS] “Some final hand notes:”

  • The money has gone all-in before the flop every year except Seasons I and IV (flop), VI (turn), and IX (river).
  • 2014 marked the fifth time in the twelve years that the champion has rivered the winning hand, all with eight or fewer outs; Season I: Goehring filled his boat (3 outs), VI: Chiu hit a third Ace (8 outs, as he also could have hit a higher two-pair), VII: Timoshenko hit an inside straight (3 outs), IX: Seiver hit an open-ended straight (8 outs), and XII: Stammen rivered a higher pair (6 outs).
  • The best winning hand and the best losing hand were both in the first season, when Goehring’s boat overcame Gerasimov’s straight.
  • The worst winning hand was Rheem’s Ace-high in Season XI, when he outkicked Lindgren’s Ace-high, which was the second worst losing hand behind only Maxfield’s King-high in Season III.4
  • A flush has never appeared in the final hand (despite four hearts on the board in Season III).


  1. See this eHow article about the difference between buckeyes and horse chestnuts.
  2. In 2014, the event moved from Las Vegas’s Bellagio to Atlantic City’s Borgata, and the buyin was reduced from $25,000 to $15,000. That’s why the number of entries more than doubled while the payouts barely increased. Also known as the 2014 Borgata Spring Poker Open, the event promised five million dollars in payouts guaranteed, but Poker News reported only $4,852,400 while listing 36 prizes totaling $4,892,254. Where did the other hundred-plus thousand dollars go?

    The event was known as the WPT Championship for the first eight seasons.

    April 30, 2015 update: Asher Conniff won the Season XIII WPT World Championship.

  3. Two players joined this list in 2015. Carlos Mortensen added a 4th place finish to his Season V victory, while Tony Dunst joined Hasan Habib as the only back-to-back final tablists, finishing 6th this year and 3rd last year.
  4. Alexander Lakhov’s King-high, Ten kicker in 2015 is now the worst losing hand as Maxfield had a Queen kicker in 2005.
  5. Carlos Mortensen added his third WPT World Championship cash in 2015.

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