Some of the Best Poker Players Who Haven’t Won a WSOP Bracelet

Some of the Best Poker Players Who Haven't Won a WSOP Bracelet

Best Players wo Bracelet

While winning a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet is one of the greatest accomplishments a poker player can achieve, many of the greatest and most successful players in the game have yet to put one on their wrists.

Since PokerNews last looked in 2021 at the greatest players who hadn’t won a WSOP bracelet, high stakes crusher Jason Koon got the monkey off of his back by winning Event #11: $25K Heads-up No-Limit Hold’em Championship for his first bracelet, while other top players like Dan Smith and Isaac Haxton have yet to win WSOP gold.

With the 2022 WSOP right around the corner, here’s a look at some of the best players who have yet to add a World Series bracelet to their long lists of accolades.

Note: This list looks at primarily poker tournament players or who are regular names in the tournament circuit. This excludes the likes of Tom Dwan and popular high stakes cash game players like Garrett Adelstein and Andy Stacks.

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Dan Smith

Dan Smith

With $38.2 million in live tournament earnings and a seventh-place spot on the Hendon Mob all-time money list, it is surprising that Dan Smith does not have a WSOP bracelet to his name. It’s additionally surprising since the high stakes pro has had victories on the PokerGO Tour, WPT and EPT, in addition to Super High Roller Bowl Online and Poker Masters Online titles.

Despite not yet having won a bracelet, Smith has an amazing $10.1 million in WSOP earnings, heavily padded by a third-place finish in Event #78: The Big One for One Drop – $1,000,000 No-Limit Hold’em at the 2018 WSOP for $4 million, as well as a runner-up finish in the 2016 $111,111 buy-in High Roller for One Drop for $3.1 million.

Smith had a few deep runs at the 2021 World Series but is still looking for his first bracelet. This summer could be the year he finds it.

Dan Smith Top Five WSOP Cashes

DateEventPlacePrize July 15, 2018Event #78: The Big One for One Drop – $1,000,000 No-Limit Hold’em3rd$4,000,000 July 8, 2016Event #67: High Roller for One Drop – $111,111 No-Limit Hold’em2nd$3,078,974 June 15, 2018Event #33: $50,000 Poker Players Championship3rd$521,782 July 6, 2016Event #62: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller (8-Handed)3rd$487,361 June 26, 2015Event #54: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship3rd$369,564

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Isaac Haxton

Isaac Haxton

Isaac Haxton is widely regarded as one of the best poker tournament players of all time, having racked up $27.7 million in live earnings across his career. Despite the millions in tournament cashes, including $3 million at the WSOP alone, Haxton has yet to win a bracelet.

Haxton came closest to doing so at the 2009 WSOP when he finished runner-up in Event #2: $40,000 40th Annual No-Limit Holdem to take home $1.2 million. Eight years later, Haxton finished third in the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship at the 2017 World Series to pocket $595,812.

Haxton’s last WSOP cashes date back to 2020 in online GGPoker events, but a bracelet could certainly be in his future if he continues to play events.

Isaac Haxton Top Five WSOP Cashes

DateEventPlacePrize May 28, 2009Event #2: $40,000 40th Annual No-Limit Holdem2nd$1,168,566 July 2, 2017Event #62: $50,000 Poker Players Championship (6-Handed)3rd$595,812 July 13, 2018Event #77: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller (Big Blind Antes)4th$518,882 June 30, 2010Event #52: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed9th$104,651 July 2, 2007Event #52: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Rebuy)7th$96,798

Alex Foxen

Alex Foxen

Alex Foxen was clearly meant for poker tournaments as he won the very first WSOP Circuit event he entered in 2012 at Harrah’s New Orleans to win $22,421 and his first ring. Despite racking up 60 WSOP cashes and a million more in WSOP earnings in the time since then, Foxen has yet to win another piece of World Series hardware.

It’s been a great year of live poker already for Foxen, who took down Event #7: $15,000 NL Hold’em at the 2022 US Poker Open to win $283,500. The next month, Foxen $515,587 after finishing runner-up in Event #31: $50,000 Super High Roller at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, where PokerNews spoke with Foxen about the victory and getting wed in the Florida Keys.

Foxen was notably absent at the 2021 WSOP, though we will see if that changes this year now that most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Alex Foxen Top Five WSOP Cashes

 DATEEVENTPLACEPRIZE  July 3, 2019Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event – World Championship40th$211,945  July 4, 2017Event #65: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em3rd$98,761  October 20, 2019Event #8: €25,500 Platinum High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (WSOPE)6th€95,962  July 15, Event #15: $5,300 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Freezeout4th$65,800  May 30, 2018Event #2: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty6th$63,042

Shannon Shorr

Shannon Shorr

Shannon Shorr is no stranger to success at the WSOP. The Alabama all-time money leader finished second in Event #7: $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em at the 2008 WSOP for $349,141, and finished third in Event #57: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship for $455,362 four years later.

More recently, Shorr had another close call in Event #11: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em at the 2019 WSOP, where he finished second for $273,416 after falling to Daniel Strelitz. After so many deep runs and close calls at the World Series, it would be hard to argue that Shorr isn’t due for a bracelet.

And Shorr is already off to a hot start in 2022, having taken down Event #1: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em at the US Poker Open for $213,900 in March and finishing second in $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em at the PGT Venetian High Roller Series for $64,400 earlier this month.

Multiple PokerNews staff members picked Shorr as their favorite to win a first bracelet this summer as part of PokerNews’ annual WSOP predictions, so time will tell if those predictions come true.

Shannon Shorr Top Five WSOP Cashes

 DATEEVENTPLACEPRIZE  July 3, 2012Event #57: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship3rd$455,362  June 4, 2008Event #7: $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em2nd$349,141  June 3, 2019Event #11: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em2nd$273,416  July 2, 2018Event #65: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event – World Championship39th$189,165  June 28, 2013Event #52: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed7th$129,342

Chris Brewer

Chris Brewer

A new addition to this list is Chris Brewer, a regular on the high stakes circuit who has accumulated $4.7 million in lifetime earnings since his first live cash in 2015. Brewer’s biggest WSOP cash came last year when he finished fifth in Event #60: $50,000 Poker Players Championship 6-Handed for $211,235.

Brewer has had success outside of the World Series as well, including a victory in $10,000 WPT High Roller at the 2021 WPT Online Series and a first-place finish earlier this year in Event #9: €10,000 No Limit Hold’em at EPT Prague for €155,830.

Given his success on other tours and recent performance in the Poker Player’s Championship, it seems only a matter of time before Brewer adds a first-place finish at the WSOP to his poker resume.

Chris Brewer Top Five WSOP Cashes

 DATEEVENTPLACEPRIZE  October 31, 2021Event #60: $50,000 Poker Players Championship 6-Handed5th$211,235  August 23, Event #70: $25,000 NLH Poker Players Championship46th$57,592  August 30, Event #77: $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event32nd$55,880  August 8, Event #54: $10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold’em Championship6th$49,664  September 25, Event #25: No Limit Hold’em Lucky 7’s High Roller9th$19,494

Gianluca Speranza

Gianluca Speranza

Gianluca Speranza has been within inches of earning a WSOP bracelet on multiple occasions, making him an easy addition to this list. In 2011, the Italian finished second in Event #2: €1,090 No-Limit Hold’em at WSOPE for €91,262. In 2017, he won more than seven times that, €689,246, when he finished runner up in the WSOPE Main Event, falling to Marti de Torres.

The runner-up finish in the WSOPE Main was Speranza’s best live cash until he took down a €25,000 High Roller at EPT Monte Carlo earlier this month for €853,000. We will see if Speranza can continue his run-good this summer in Las Vegas and if it will earn him a bracelet.

Gianluca Speranza Top Five WSOP Cashes

 DATEEVENTPLACEPRIZE  November 4, 2017Event #11: €10,350 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event (WSOPE)2nd€689,246  October 8, 2011Event #2: €1,090 No-Limit Hold’em (WSOPE)2nd€91,262  July 5, 2010Event #57: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event – World Championship197th$48,847  October 24, 2018Event #8: €25,500 Super Highroller Series 25K (WSOPE)20th€38,365  June 23, 2019$1,000 Online No-Limit Hold’em Double Stack (Event #55)7th$29,886

Maria Ho

Maria Ho

Iconic poker commentator and Women in Poker Hall of Famer Maria Ho is still after a first bracelet despite racking up 71 WSOP cashes (seven more from when PokerNews put out this list in 2021) and $1.8 million in WSOP earnings.

Ho was denied a bracelet at the 2011 WSOP in Event #4: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em, where she finished second for $540,020. More recently, Ho finished sixth in the 2017 WSOPE Main Event to earn €174,365, another close call for the California pro and commentator.

Ho had a number of deep runs at the most recent World Series, including a fifth-place finish in Event #32: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. for $39,423. 2022 could be the year Ho adds a bracelet to her impressive poker resume.

Maria Ho Top Five WSOP Cashes

DateEventPlacePrize June 2, 2011Event #4: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em2nd$540,020 July 6, 2007Event #55: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship38th$237,865 November 4, 2017Event #11: €10,350 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT (WSOPE)6th€174,365 June 3, 2019Event #11: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em5th$91,211 June 24, 2016Event #42: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout4th$87,487

Roland Israelashvili

Roland Israelashvili

With a record 334 WSOP cashes to his name, Roland Israelashvili sits far in front on the all-time list, ahead of Arkadiy Tsinis (237 WSOP cashes) and Ari Engel (218 cashes), the latter of whom was on this list until he won his first bracelet in 2019.

Despite having all of those cashes and an impressive eight Circuit rings, Israelashvili has yet to get a golden bracelet under his belt. The New Yorker, who is originally from the Republic of Georgia, had his closest call in Event #58: The Little One for One Drop – $1,111 No-Limit Hold’em at the 2013 WSOP, where he finished third for $295,433. The previous year, Israelashvili had finished fifth in Event #45: $50,000 Poker Players Championship for his biggest WSOP score of $317,882.

Israelashvili made a few deep runs at the 2021 WSOP and WSOPE, so expect him to be back this summer looking to finally win a bracelet.

Roland Israelashvili Top Five WSOP Cashes

 DATEEVENTPLACEPRIZE  June 24, 2012Event #45: $50,000 Poker Players Championship5th$317,882  July 3, 2013Event #58: The Little One for One Drop – $1,111 No-Limit Hold’em3rd$295,433  July 7, 2012Event #61: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event – World Championship25th$294,601  March 12, 2010Event #10: $5,150 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event (WSOP Circuit)1st$264,715  July 7, 2005Event #42: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event – World Championship37th$235,390

Niklas Astedt

Niklas Astedt

Niklas Astedt is one of the best online tournament grinders to ever touch a computer mouse, sitting atop the PocketFives all-time leaderboard with $23.6 million in earnings. “Lena900” has also had success in the live realm, accumulating just under $1.5 million in lifetime earnings.

The Swedish pro played a heavy schedule at the 2021 WSOP and had a number of deep runs, including a 7th-place finish in Event #64: $5,000 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em; Pot-Limit Omaha for $70,367, and the next day finishing 19th in Event #66: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $20,097.

The previous year, the online grinder was denied a bracelet in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event, in which he finished second for $156,905. Whether it’s earned online or in a live arena, a bracelet could certainly be in Astedt’s future.

Niklas Astedt

Niklas Astedt Top Five WSOP Cashes

 DATEEVENTPLACEPRIZE  July 6, Event #39: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em2nd$156,905  November 2, 2021Event #64: $5,000 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em; Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed)7th$70,367  June 19, 2019Event #45: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller26th$43,270  July 9, 2016Event #68: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event – World Championship182nd$42,285  November 3, 2021Event #66: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship19th$20,097

Top Poker Players Without a WSOP Bracelet Breakdown

 PLAYER NAMECOUNTRYCAREER EARNINGSCAREER WINSALL-TIME MONEY RANKWSOP EARNINGSWSOP CASHES  Dan SmithUnited States$38,231,025257th$10,123,95850  Isaac HaxtonUnited States$27,670,939718th$2,996,04032  Alex FoxenUnited States$21,720,1491729th$1,025,50761  Shannon ShorrUnited States$10,114,9421282nd$2,578,944146  Chris BrewerUnited States$4,738,8898303rd$485,20227  Gianluca SperanzaItaly$4,500,4198446th$1,230,58634  Maria HoUnited States$4,246,4048359th$1,796,86971  Roland IsraelashviliUnited States$3,927,01325383rd$3,244,724334  Niklas AstedtSweden$1,463,42951,433rd$397,87721  COMBINED TOTALS $147,894,334142 $24,591,299795

Live poker statistics and poker’s all-time money list rankings courtesy of The Hendon Mob.

Author: Justin Graves