From 2000-2009, Four of the Ten Chip Leaders Heading Into World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table Have Ended Up Winning

Published on July 26th, 2010 6:16 am EST

The King is reflecting on the past 10 World Series of Poker tournamentsOver the past 10 years, four of the ten players who have held the chip lead in the World Series of Poker main event heading into the final table have gone on to win the tournament.

The four players are:

Chris Ferguson (2000)
Chris Moneymaker (2003)
Greg Raymer (2004)
Jamie Gold (2006)

Here are the chip leaders of the WSOP main event heading into the final table over the past 10 years, along with how they ended up finishing:

2000 - Chris Ferguson, 1st place
2001 - Henry Nowakowski, 7th place
2002 - John Shipley, 7th place
2003 - Chris Moneymaker, 1st place
2004 - Greg Raymer, 1st place
2005 - Aaron Kanter, 4th place
2006 - Jamie Gold, 1st place
2007 - Philip Hilm, 9th place
2008 - Dennis Phillips, 3rd place
2009 - Darvin Moon, 2nd place


Of the 10 players on this list, Philip Hilm had the biggest blow-up, finishing in just ninth place after possessing the chip lead heading into the final table.

John Shipley deserves an honorable mention as he managed to blow his commanding chip lead and finish in 7th place in the 2002 main event. Shipley entered the final day of play with 2.033 million in chips - the next closest player had less than half of that amount. Despite his massive chip lead, Shipley ended up dusting off his chips in record time and ended up hitting the rail in 7th place.

The most commanding chip lead heading into a WSOP main event final table (from 2000-2009) was held by Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. Ferguson lorded over a stack of nearly 3 million chips heading into the 2000 main event final table, while his next closest opponent (Jim McManus) had just 554k. Despite this massive final table chip lead, and despite the fact that he entered heads up play against T.J. Cloutier with a 10-1 chip lead, Ferguson still nearly finished the tournament in second place. With their stacks nearly identical in size, Cloutier and Ferguson got all-in pre-flop with Cloutier holding A-Q and Ferguson holding A-9. A 9 spiked on the river and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson was crowned the 2000 World Series of Poker main event champion.

Over the past ten years, the shortest stack heading into the final table that managed to win the whole thing was Jerry Yang. Yang was 8th in chips heading into the final table (8.45 million), well behind the 22.07 million chips that chip leader Philip Hilm possessed.


Just a bit of information to chew on as you try to pick your fovorite for this year's final table.

I would have gone further back, but accurate information was not available pre-2000.



Filed Under: The World Series of Poker

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