2021 Yr In Evaluation: WSOP Returns, Hellmuth Ratings #16, Addamo Dominates Prime Stakes

Have a look again at a few of poker’s largest tales, winners, and surprises of 2021.

This 12 months we’re doing one thing somewhat other and breaking down our annual Poker Yr In Evaluation into 3 other portions – the Flop (January-April), Flip (Might-August), and River (September-December). We’re wrapping up 2021 by way of having a look again at a few of our largest tales, winners, and surprises that opened up in one of the vital distinctive years within the historical past of the sport.


It kind of feels just like the motion would by no means decelerate in September. All over you regarded, there used to be a big event sequence maintaining a large tournament and big-name taking it down.

The SHRB Europe Major Match wrapped up with Wiktor Malinowski earning a career-high score of $3.69 million whilst Aleksei Vandyshev scored $2.5 million by winning the GGPoker 2021 WSOP Online Main Event. PokerStars’ WCOOP got here to an in depth with Russia’s ‘CrazyLissy’ hauling in $1.5 million. Plus, Niklas Astedt won his record-tying fourth career Super MILLION$ name for an insignificant $315K and Anatoly Filatov earned a career-high cash of $1.19 million within the Tremendous MILLION$.

Within the reside area, the International Collection of Poker used to be gearing up and a vaccination mandate for all gamers to take part within the sequence ruled the headlines. The WSOP’s Ty Stewart addressed the concerns of players and announced an optional mask policy in an unique interview with PocketFives.

That wasn’t the one massive information to return out of PocketFives as the brand new PocketFives Staking Platform used to be introduced with Daniel Negreanu being the first actual participant to provide vital motion at the web page. He helped release the brand new facet of PocketFives by way of providing day by day sweats for lovers that sought after to benefit from the motion of the WSOP proper from their very own house.

READ: Daniel Negreanu Selling 2021 WSOP Action for Fans That Want To “Take The Ride”

PokerGO captured one of the vital pre-WSOP pleasure and motion with the 2021Poker Masters. Whilst there have been quite a few winners, together with Daniel Negreanu, the back-to-back victories in the final two events for Michael Addamo for a complete of $1.84 million had the poker international humming. Addamo gained the Poker Masters Pink Jacket however then, lower than per week later, he won the 2021 Super High Roller Bowl for another $3.4 million and which used to be just the start of one of the vital spectacular excessive curler warmers within the historical past of the sport.

A couple of former international #1-ranked execs have been featured as smartly. The primary used to be Shaun Deeb who mentioned his funding in antique video video games and the way now used to be the time for him to show his adolescence nostalgia into record-setting earnings.

“I really like the video games, it sucks to do away with them however I do know that the marketplace’s in point of fact sizzling and so we’re going to dump our video games and take a look at to shop for extra. We’re looking to make a benefit, however we like the video games. I take note as a child enjoying Contra and my spouse used to play Zelda so it’s been in point of fact cool to have them in our assortment.”

READ: Shaun Deeb Playing For A New High Score With Vintage Video Games

And Brazilian powerhouse Yuri Dzivielevski used to be decided to make the commute to Las Vegas to fight for bracelets and forward of his arrival spoke of what it intended to him to be ranked #1 on the planet and revel in the most productive years of his occupation.

“I by no means liked enjoying tournaments up to I do at the present time. At the present time, I simply play for efficiency, excited about making the most productive selections on each side road and dominating my stakes up to imaginable. I really like to head additional and take my combatants out in their convenience zone…as a result of I’m a aggressive particular person, that’s very thrilling. If I believe like I’m now not dominating my stake, I learn about exhausting till I will do it once more,” he stated.

READ: Yuri Dzivielevski Enjoying Success, Freedom With Nothing Left To Prove

Daniel ‘SmilleThHero’ Smiljkovic broke into On-line Poker’s Most sensible 5 en path to capturing September Player of the Month honors.


Technically, the International Collection of Poker kicked off on the very finish of September however the middle of the sequence ramped up in October. The primary week proved to have some demanding situations with lengthy traces for registration, however in the end, The Reunion introduced poker gamers again in combination and the joy of a WSOP after a 12 months away used to be in complete swing.

READ: The True Story of the Very “First” Table of the 2021 World Series of Poker.

There used to be no scarcity of must-read storylines all through the WSOP in October together with Jason Koon winning his first bracelet, Shaun Deeb and Brian Rast successful their 5th, Adam Friedman completing a three-peat of the $10K Sellers Selection, Lara Eisenberg winning the Ladies Event, Anthony Zinno starting his own club, and Jeff Platt’s deep run in the $1,000 Double Stack Event.

Josh Arieh began to make some WSOP noise by way of winning his third career gold bracelet and serving to buyers flip $15 into $2K at the PocketFives Staking platform.

READ: Deep Runs By Negreanu, Arieh Serve Up Staking Success In First Half of 2021 WSOP

We shined a gentle on what it takes to win the WSOP Player of the Year, the greatness of the pro’s pro Connor Drinan, Ari Engle’s obsession with Omaha, and why men shouldn’t take it upon themselves to enter a Ladies Event.

Michael Addamo, once more, defeated Justin Bonomo heads-up to capture his third WSOP gold bracelet and another $1.1 million score formally turning his 2021 successful streak into a work of poker historical past.

READ: Michael Addamo Joins The Incredible, Improbable Decade-Long Run of High Roller Heaters

However the tale that had everybody speaking used to be Phil Hellmuth and his run to his record-extending sixteenth gold bracelet. Off to the freshest get started of a WSOP in his occupation, it seems like Hellmuth was for sure going to breakthrough. However ahead of he did, he had a breakdown, the place on the ultimate desk of the $10K Stud he uttered the now iconic words that he was going to “burn this motherf***ing place down.” He didn’t burn it down, as a substitute he returned to but some other ultimate desk ($1,500 Deuce-to-Seven) and as a substitute took it down

READ: Phil Hellmuth Captures Coveted WSOP Bracelet #16 in Deuce To Seven

“I’ve sought after a Deuce To Seven bracelet ever for the reason that 1980’s because it used to be the good bracelet to win as it’s the only event that Chip [Reese] and Doyle [Brunson] confirmed up for. All of the big-name poker gamers, Billy Baxter, the entire champions confirmed up for that,” he stated. “And I sought after that bracelet so badly.”

“And so I’ve been combating so ****ing exhausting for this bracelet for see you later within the Deuce to Seven…however yeah, it feels in point of fact just right.”

Rui ‘RuiNF’ Ferreira saved his on-line grind alive and walked away with the title of October Player of the Month.


By the point November rolled round, the International Collection of Poker used to be complete throttle with plenty of wonderful storylines enjoying out. This incorporated Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates dressed in full cartoon costume taking down the $50,000 Poker Players Championship in for his first occupation bracelet and $954,000.

READ: Negreanu, Arieh, and Glantz Help Backers Clean Up in WSOP $50K Poker Players Championship

Plus, as though he hadn’t accomplished sufficient successful in 2021, Michael Addamo scored yet another high roller victory winning the $100,000 High Roller for his fourth gold bracelet and some other $1.95M. Different winners in November incorporated Adrian Mateos, Kevin Gerhart, and Benny Glaser all grabbing a fourth WSOP bracelet, and Leo Margets taking down the Closer for her first gold bracelet.

In the course of the WSOP, we printed one in all our most well liked profiles of the 12 months when Niklas Astedt, the notoriously media-shy on-line poker legend, agreed to a brief interview and spread out about his starting within the sport and his ongoing quest to be the most productive.

READ: Niklas Astedt Is Exactly Where He Wants To Be, Battling To Be The Best

However, ahead of Margets may just make it to the Nearer, it used to be the Major Match that had other people in point of fact tuning into the WSOP with primary storylines like Doyle Brunson showing up on the featured table, Phil Hellmuth bringing his #whitemagic in the form of Gandalf the Wizard, and previous champ Chris Moneymaker climbing to the top of the chip counts, giving other people the sensation adore it used to be 2003 in all places once more.

READ: The World Series of Poker Announces Move To The Strip for 2022

Plus, one of the most sickest bad beats in Main Event history took place when quads ran into quads at the characteristic desk.

Finally, German 31-year previous excessive curler Koray Aldemir used to be the final participant status from a box of 6,550 runners to snatch the $8,000,000 first-place prize and the name of International Champion.

READ: Koray Aldemir Wins 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event for $8,000,000

However because the sequence sped to an in depth, there used to be another award that had but to be passed out. Josh Arieh had earned the second one gold bracelet of the sequence and was in a prime position to take home the award. Even supposing Arieh were introduced because the winner, at the ultimate day of the sequence there used to be some drama as as to if his crowning because the POY would cling. However finally, Arieh pale the last-minute miscalculation and used to be declared the 2021 WSOP Participant of the Yr.

Prior to it used to be in all places, we talked with Arieh to get his ideas on his WSOP run and the way he mentally continued in 2021.

READ: Q&A With Josh Arieh: Enjoying Life, Seeing Success At The WSOP

Via the top of the WSOP, Eli Elezra was announced as the 60th member of the Poker Hall of Fame. As Elezra used to be giving his acceptance speech referred to as for the PHOF to make bigger inductions to permit further worthy applicants into the Corridor.

READ: The Time Is (Still) Now For Change In The Poker Hall of Fame

Finally, the WSOP grew to become out to be an amazing luck regardless of its demanding situations however it used to be additionally a success for those who rode with Negreanu in his series-long staking package.

Whilst the point of interest of the poker international used to be at the WSOP, on-line poker used to be nonetheless offering quite a few drama together with Bruno Volkmann finally dethroning Yuri Dzivielevski as the #1-ranked player in the world.


The everyday lull that takes position after the International Collection of Poker must wait till the vacations this 12 months as gamers used the general weeks of the 12 months to pursue one ultimate ranking.

There have been quite a few alternatives in the market to choose between. The International Poker Excursion ruled the month as Gediminas Uselis took down the Seminole Rock ’N’ Roll Main Event for more than $778,000 simply forward of the WPT’s go back to Las Vegas for the Bellagio’s 5 Diamond Major Match.

The WPT introduced that, after 19 years, they’d be switching to having their Seasons fit the calendar 12 months that means that the WPT Five Diamond Main Event would be the last of Season XIX. That intended that Taylor Black, the winner of the Five Diamond Main Event for $1.24 million will be the ultimate WPT Champions Membership of the present season.

However ahead of the Major Match came about, the Bellagio ran a gradual flow of excessive rollers which allowed Justin Bonomo, who had been on quite a run in 2021, to take back the top spot on the Hendon Mob’s All-Time Money List. Then again, Bryn Kenney who held the number 1 spot for the previous 28 months remained extremely shut signaling a imaginable two-way race for the foreseeable between the 2 high-stakes powerhouses.

David Mock, who isn’t a high-stakes reg of any type, made up our minds to take his shot in one of the most Bellagio excessive rollers, scoring an immediate hit and a $100K ranking, shining a gentle on part of the poker dream.

READ: David Mock Shoots His Shot, Spikes $100K Score In Bellagio Five Diamond High Roller

Any other call within the combine all through the 5 Diamond used to be four-time WPT Major Excursion champ Darren Elias who spread out concerning the force he places on himself to be the most productive.

READ: For Darren Elias The Motivation and Pressure To Execute Is All Self Imposed

At the digital felts, Brazil’s Pedro Garagnani took over the top of the Online Poker Rankings for the primary time in his occupation, and he additionally made the general desk of PokerStars EPT On-line Major Match. Then again, it used to be ‘WhatIfGod’ who pulled off the amazing feat winning back-to-back in EPT Online Main Events (there are best two in historical past.)

George Holmes, the 2021 WSOP Major Match runner-up, proved to be one of the vital common personalities to emerge from this 12 months’s sequence. A month after he scored $4 million for his run, he used to be nonetheless looking to make sense of the entire adventure. He talked with us about returning to fact, the exciting ultimate hand, and what’s subsequent for the “House Sport Hero” in one in all our most well liked articles of the 12 months.

READ: George Holmes Is Still Making Sense of His Surreal WSOP Experience

And in the end, the poker international celebrated the lifetime of Henry Orenstein, the Poker Hall of Famer and inventor of the hole card cam, who passed away at age 98.

“This one guy is the rationale poker is as massive as it’s,” Jon Miller, former Head of NBC Sports activities “The rationale poker is a multibillion-dollar trade is as a result of this one guy.”

Author: Bradley Watson