Winners of the World Series of Poker

The glorious history of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) dates back to 1970. What began as a gathering of passionate poker players at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas has grown into the world’s largest poker event. Every year thousands of players flock to Las Vegas to take part in the WSOP. However, you can enjoy playing poker on your smartphone or tablet easily and from the comfort of your own home in casinos without a trusted GamStop at

The 2003 WSOP & the Moneymaker Effect on Non GamStop Casinos’ Players


A man named Chris Moneymaker started a veritable poker boom around the turn of the millennium. He embodies the “American Dream” in the poker world. The World Series of Poker was actually a series of tournaments that pitted the crème de la crème of the poker community against one another. Little information was released from this close-knit community until Moneymaker hit the newspaper pages with his spectacular Main Event win at the 2003 WSOP.

Back then, Moneymaker used the first opportunity to qualify for participation in the WSOP via online tournaments. The then 28-year-old amateur, who had only been playing for a short time, invested only 39 USD in a satellite tournament. After winning this qualifier, he was eligible to enter another satellite. Moneymaker managed to finish in the top three and secured a seat in the 2003 WSOP Main Event.

He competed against 838 players. USD 2.5 million awaited the winner in the prize pool. In fact, the amateur Moneymaker managed to prevail against the top-class professional players. In the end he was able to take home the bracelet and the prize money. From there he began his long career as a poker brand ambassador, still with PokerStars until the end of 2020, now with Americas Cardroom.

The success of Moneymaker fascinated many people. The chance of a bracelet seemed within reach for the amateur and occasional player. There has been a real run on the online poker platforms.

People who had never played poker before signed up to the virtual platforms. However, the so-called “moneymaker effect” was not only limited to the United States, but also to Europe.

2017: Scott Blumstein – United States

  • Prize money: $8,150,000
  • Participants: 7,221
  • Total Prize Pool: $67,877,400

The American Scott Blumstein was born in New Jersey in March 1992 and initially studied accounting at Temple University. He has been seriously involved in poker since 2012. His first big success was winning the Borgata Summer Poker Open in Atlantic City, which brought him $200,000.

His biggest achievement was winning the 2017 WSOP Main Event. Blumstein beat 7,221 players to take home $8.15 million in prize money, the gold bracelet, and the title of World Champion. In total, Blumstein earned $8,595,159.

2018: John Cynn – United States

  • Prize money: $8.8 million
  • Participants: 7,874
  • Total Prize Pool: $74,015,600

John Cynn was born in Illinois in December 1984 and started playing poker in high school. He studied economics and management at Indiana University Bloomington and then worked as an IT consultant in California.

In 2012, he cashed at the WSOP for the first time. In 2016, he competed in the Main Event and placed 11th for $650,000. At the 2018 WSOP Main Event, Cynn bested a field of 7,874 players, the second largest in WSOP history at the time, to earn $8.8 million in prize money, the gold bracelet, and the accompanying title of World Champion.

2019: Hossein Ensan – Germany

  • Prize money : $10 million
  • Participants : 8,569
  • Total Prize Pool: $80,548,600

Hossein Ensan was born in Iran in 1964 and emigrated to Germany in 1990. Since 2002 he has been seriously involved in the game of poker. He is often a guest at the Hohensyburg casino. But he also has some successes on the European Poker Tour.

In 2019 he brought the title of poker world champion to Germany for the second time. He defeated 8,569 opponents and received $10 million in prize money and the gold bracelet. With live cashes totaling USD 13,060,465, he is the most successful poker player in Germany.

WSOP 2020 as a hybrid event

In the Corona year 2020, the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas was canceled. However, poker players didn’t have to give up the annual tournament series because it was moved to the Internet.

The proceedings of the WSOP 2020. 705 US players competed on the platform, while 674 international players competed for their place at the final table on GGPoker. The US players final table was played live at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The “Final Nine” from the international arena met in the King’s Casino in Rozvadov.

The winners of the final table were the American Joseph Hebert and the Argentinian Damian Salas. On January 3, 2024, Hebert and Salas met heads-up in Las Vegas. After 173 hands, the Argentine won the WSOP 2020.

2020: Damian Salas – Argentina

  • Prize money : $2.5 million
  • Participants : 1,379
  • Total Prize Pool: $13,238,400

Damian Salas is the first Argentine to win the WSOP Main Event title. Salas was born in Chascomús in 1975 and lives in Buenos Aires. He studied business law and then worked as a lawyer.

In 2007 he discovered online poker. He has earned over $9 million over the course of his career on GGPoker, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker. Since 2009, Salas has also been a frequent guest at prestigious live tournaments.

Participating in the 2020 hybrid WSOP and then winning it was the highlight of his career. On GGpoker he first defeated 674 opponents and then secured his ticket to Las Vegas at King’s Casino in Rozvadov to meet the winner of the US players. After a spectacular heads-up duel against the American Joseph Hebert, Salas received the gold bracelet and prize money of USD 2.5 million.