On Sunday golfer Jordan Spieth became the second 21-year-old golfer to win the Masters Tournament in Augusta. Spieth’s performance tied him with Tiger Woods as the only 21-year-old winners and tied Woods’ course record 18-under par. Spieth’s performance included a course-record 28 birdies and he became just the fifth player to lead the event wire-to-wire.
Spieth, who won’t turn 22 until July, earned $1.8 million in prize money for his Masters win. For poker players winning a World Series of Poker title before their 22nd birthday has produced five millionaires and helped create a generation of stars. The way the poker boom developed with online poker, the mid-2000s brought us bracelet winners younger than ever. And one of them still isn’t old enough to play in Las Vegas.
Joe Cada – 2009 WSOP Main Event Champion – $8,546,435
Joe Cada was 21-years old entering the November Nine in 2009. The year prior Peter Eastgate was 22 years-old when he won his title, unseating Phil Hellmuth as the youngest Main Event winner in history. Cada defeated a tough final table (Phil Ivey & Jeff Shulman) and is still the youngest to win the Main Event
Cada earned another $1.76 million since his big win, earned a Team PokerStars Pro deal and added a second bracelet in 2014.
Gavin Griffin – 2004 WSOP Pot Limit Hold’em – $270,420
Gavin Griffin was the first player win a bracelet at 21-years old and broke Allen Cunningham’s three year old record that he set in 2001 when he was 24 years and 40 days.
Griffin picked up 15 more WSOP cashes and made two more final tables – a seventh place in an ’07 Pot Limit Hold’em event and a runner-up finish in ’12 in a Omaha HiLo event.
Eric Froehlich – 2005 WSOP Limit Hold’em – $361,910
A year later Eric Froehlich unseated Griffin as the youngest to win a bracelet. He took down a $1,500 Limit Hold’em event for $361,910 beating out 1,049 entrants; Griffin’s event only had 316.
Froehlich won a second bracelet the following year in a Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys for nearly $300,000. Froehlich has a total of 31 WSOP cashes and added two more final tables since his second bracelet.
Jeff Madsen – 2006 WSOP No Limit Hold’em & Six-handed No Limit Hold’em – $1,304,329 (combined)
Jeff Madsen was 21-years old when he blew away all expectations for a newly legal player winning two bracelets in 2006. His wins were bookended by two other third place finishes and earned him WSOP Player of the Year honors.
Madsen picked up a third bracelet in 2013 in a Pot Limit Omaha event. He’s made eight WSOP final tables in 38 total cashes.
Steve Billirakis – 2007 WSOP Mixed Hold’em Limit/No Limit – $536,287
For the fourth straight year the record for youngest bracelet winner fell again. That year Steve Billirakis arrived for the first event of the WSOP at 21 years and nine days old and three days later he was the youngest bracelet winner in history. He defeated Greg Mueller heads-up at a table which featured Steve Paul-Ambrose, Kirk Morrison and Jon Turner.
To date Billirakis has earned $2.4 million and picked up a second bracelet at WSOP Europe in a 2011 Pot Limit Omaha event.
Dan Kelly – 2010 WSOP Six-handed No Limit Hold’em – $1,315.518
Dan Kelly already had a fearsome online reputation as “DJK123″ when first arrived in Las Vegas. He had three deep runs in large-field events before beating a tournament of all-stars in the $25,000 Six-handed No Limit Hold’em event.
The final three tables held WSOP POY winners, future Hall of Famers and former Main Event champions with Frank Kassela, Jason Somerville, Eugene Katchalov, Sam Trickett and Daniel Negreanu.
Annette Obrestad – 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event – $2,031,713
Annette Obrestad rose to fame in 2007 as the youngest player to ever win a bracelet. She won the inaugural WSOP Europe Main Event at only 18-years old. She was well-known among the online community as “Annette15″ and famously won an online tournament without ever looking at her hole cards.
Obrestad made her Las Vegas debut in 2010 and has ten total WSOP cashes. Obrestad has found massive success away from the WSOP with impressive European Poker Tour, Aussie Millions and Wynn Poker Classic finishes. She finished in the top 100 in the 2013 WSOP Main Event.
Adrian Mateos Diaz – 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event – $1,368,663
Adrian Mateos Diaz was 19 years old when he won the WSOP Europe Main Event bracelet for $1.3 million. In fact, Diaz won’t be able to play in the 2015 WSOP until his birthday on July 1st when there are seven events remaining on the schedule.
Diaz has only one WSOP cash but has nearly 40 cashes from European events.
Latest posts by Paul Oresteen (see all)
- Blake Bohn is Short Stacked in the Main Event but Long on Experience - July 14, 2015
- New Jersey Online Player Thomas Cannuli Deep in WSOP Main Event - July 13, 2015
- Andrew Moreno Believes He’s Headed for the November Nine - July 13, 2015
- Steve Gross Staying in the Moment Despite Playing for Millions - July 13, 2015
- Former National Champ Jonathan Hilton Inching Toward November Nine - July 12, 2015