How WSOP Main Event Final Tablists Have Subsequently Fared, Part 1

Chris Moneymaker's 2003 WSOP win helped poker to explode with its airing on ESPN, but he's struggled to find much success at the WSOP in recent years.

Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 WSOP win helped poker to explode with its airing on ESPN, but he’s struggled to find much success at the WSOP in recent years.

Up until one week ago at the 2014 World Series of Poker, Main Event champions were victims of a so-called “curse”. No Main Event winner who earned their title after Carlos Mortensen was able to win a bracelet after taking down the biggest tournament in all of poker. Joe Cada was the one to break through, taking home another of poker’s esteemed titles in the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em Championship. It got us thinking – how do Main Event champions – or better yet everyone who makes that most prestigious final nine – fare after their once-in-a-lifetime run?

In the first of a three-part series, BLUFF breaks down the numbers that the top nine players in each of the first three WSOP Main Events of the “Moneymaker Era” have put up in the last decade.

2003

Player Career Earnings Career WSOP Earnings WSOP Earnings Since Final Table Overall Earnings Since Final Table Total Bracelets Bracelets Since Final Table
Chris Moneymaker $3,485,597 $2,532,041 $32,041 $985,597 1 0
Sammy Farha $2,884,603 $2,586,105 $1,092,965 $1,387,754 3 2
Dan Harrington $6,051,757 $3,531,705 $1,555,847 $4,071,381 2 0
Jason Lester $2,247,403 $1,865,157 $1,296,957 $1,683,453 1 1
Tomer Benvenisti $362,922 $335,380 $15,380 $42,922 0 0
Amir Vahedi $2,555,255 $671,216 $106,266 $1,662,978 1 0
Young Pak $281,014 $258,184 $24,365 $47,195 0 0
David Grey $1,352,402 $917,159 $450,495 $870,835 2 1
David Singer $4,285,810 $1,625,358 $1,392,863 $4,058,435 1 1

– In retrospect, the 2003 Main Event final table was a talented one indeed. Seven of the nine members of this final table own a WSOP bracelet, and four managed to win a bracelet after making this tremendous run.

Dan Harrington is first in career tournament earnings, thanks in large part to back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables in 2003 and 2004. Second, in what may be surprising considering the 2003 prize payouts and other names on this list, is ninth place finisher David Singer. Singer has over $4 million in live tournament earnings since mid-2003.

Chris Moneymaker has had success away from the WSOP since his historic win, but for whatever reason he’s failed to recapture the magic since the series was moved to the Rio. He has the third-fewest WSOP earnings of these nine players, ahead of only Young Pak and Tomer Benvenisti.

Sammy Farha missed out on this bracelet, but he’s won two in the decade that’s followed – the most of anyone in this group.

2004

Player Career Earnings Career WSOP Earnings WSOP Earnings Since Final Table Overall Earnings Since Final Table Total Bracelets Bracelets Since Final Table
Greg Raymer $7,353,681 $6,585,490 $1,580,145 $2,272,686 1 0
David Williams $8,425,306 $4,373,971 $873,881 $4,049,334 1 1
Josh Arieh $6,085,106 $4,304,045 $1,498,677 $3,219,101 2 1
Dan Harrington $6,051,757 $3,531,705 $55,847 $2,495,607 2 0
Glenn Hughes $1,159,208 $1,159,208 $14,938 $14,938 0 0
Al Krux $1,322,658 $1,178,820 $29,933 $161,499 1 0
Matt Dean $836,124 $689,135 $14,135 $161,124 0 0
Mattias Andersson $623,667 $575,000 $0 $48,667 0 0
Mike McClain $1,136,755 $564,591 $81,512 $653,676 0 0

– 2004 featured another accomplished group, with five bracelet-winners in the bunch. After failing to beat Greg Raymer for the title, both David Williams and Josh Arieh have subsequently won WSOP bracelets. Those are the only two bracelets won by these nine players since Raymer’s victory.

– The top four finishers make it a very top-heavy list indeed. Raymer, Williams, Arieh and Harrington each have at least $6 million in career earnings, and at least $2.2 million since making this final table.

– Mattias Andersson marks a first for this set of final tables – he has no WSOP results since making the Main Event final table in 2004. The $575,000 he earned for finishing eighth is his only WSOP result, and also makes up the bulk of his live career tournament earnings.

– After making back-to-back Main Event final tables in 2003 and 2004, Harrington also won the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event for $1.6 million, eclipsing either of those two scores. He only has one tournament cash since 2010, and it came in the $1,000 Turbo No Limit Hold’em event at the 2014 WSOP.

2005

Player Career Earnings Career WSOP Earnings WSOP Earnings Since Final Table Overall Earnings Since Final Table Total Bracelets Bracelets Since Final Table
Joe Hachem $11,613,513 $8,033,821 $532,857 $4,063,520 1 0
Steve Dannenmann $4,735,818 $4,347,221 $96,843 $400,793 0 0
Tex Barch $2,992,497 $2,876,455 $372,455  $478,630 1 1
Aaron Kanter $2,402,095 $2,322,194 $322,194 $394,095 0 0
Andy Black $3,666,642 $2,283,677 $470,297 $1,850,962 0 0
Scott Lazar $1,541,776 $1,507,893 $5,793 $15,243 0 0
Daniel Bergsdorf $1,325,000 $1,300,000 $0 $25,000 0 0
Brad Kondracki $1,177,695 $1,150,000 $0 $14,309 0 0
Mike Matusow $8,481,479 $3,580,911 $1,629,889 $4,809,348 4 2

– The 2005 WSOP Main Event final table is an eclectic group indeed. Three of the nine players have at least $1.8 million in tournament earnings since making the final table, and both Joe Hachem and Mike Matusow have over $4 million.

– Other than the one that Hachem got for winning the Main Event, only Matusow and Tex Barch have bracelets. Barch earned his in 2010, while Matusow’s added a pair of WSOP victories to the two WSOP bracelets he had going into the 2005 final table.

– Both Brad Kondracki and Daniel Bergsdorf have put up a goose egg at the WSOP since making the 2005 Main Event final table. Bergsdorf doesn’t have a live recorded cash since November of 2007, while Kondracki hasn’t had a live result since November 2006. Kondracki has transitioned into a full time career at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrrich & Rosati after getting his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007.

– Hachem and Matusow have each outearned the other seven players combined over the last nine years, with some room to spare.

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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