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John ‘World’ Hennigan has won one of the WSOP’s most prestigious events, the $50k Poker Players Championship, for just over $1.5m. The Poker Players Championship, a gruelling event that comprises of eight different poker variants, is generally viewed as one of the toughest tests of all-round poker skill on the WSOP calendar. Hennigan, who for years has been a world-class mixed games cash player, has a tremendous record in the event, finishing third in 2013 and also cashing in 2012. This victory takes his lifetime tournament winnings to $6.26m.
This year’s Poker Players Championship attracted 102 players, including all the biggest names in the game such as Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu. However, the final table was lacking in star power with few of those superstars troubling the cashier. It was female pro Melissa Burr who created the most headlines on the final, as she became the first woman to ever cash in this event since it’s inception in 2006. Burr eventually finished 7th for $165k. Hennigan eventually beat out American Brandon Shack-Harris heads-up to collect his third WSOP bracelet.
The $50k event was originally a H.O.R.S.E. tournament when it was conceived in 2006 as a way to gather all the world’s best pros into a single non-Hold’em event. That first year was a major success, with Doyle Brunson, Andy Bloch, Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius all making the final table one of the most stacked in WSOP history. Fittingly, cash game supremo Chip Reese won the inaugural tournament, finally getting the mainstream plaudits many felt his career deserved. Sadly, it was to be an epitath to Reese’s glittering career, as he passed away at the age of 56 in late 2007.
Despite the event changing to an 8-game mix format in 2010 the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy is awarded to each winner as a way of remembering the late Reese. John Hennigan can now add his name to an illustrious list of winners that includes Freddy Deeb, Scotty Nguyen, Michael Mizrachi, Brian Rast and Britain’s Matthew Ashton.
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