The 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) officially begins today, May 30, and will run until July 18, with 95 gold bracelets being awarded at Horseshoe / Paris on the Las Vegas Strip.
The PokerGO Tour (PGT) will have 27 PGT-qualifying events at the WSOP, including marquee events of the $250,000 Super High Roller, $50,000 Poker Players Championship, and the $10,000 Main Event.
PGT players will all be looking to add PGT points to the current standings to put them into position to make a run at the top 40 on the PGT leaderboard. Players that finish in the top 40 at seasons-end will qualify for the $1,000,000 freeroll PGT Championship that begins on December 4 from inside the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino.
This is the question that everyone has been asking since Daniel Negreanu won his fifth and sixth WSOP bracelets in 2013 to be crowned WSOP Player of the Year. For the second time.
It has been an extreme lull for Negreanu in adding to his trophy cabinet at the WSOP, but he has had a plethora of close calls that include four 2nd-place finishes and six 3rd-place finishes. However, this WILL be the year for Negreanu to win his seventh WSOP bracelet to join Billy Baxter and Men “The Master” Nguyen as the only seven-time WSOP bracelet winners.
But HOW will Negreanu win his seventh WSOP bracelet? With a sheer volume play, his buy-ins will surge to approximately $2 million! Negreanu sold a WSOP package on PokerStake, offering up 25% of himself with no markup. Although every open event is on his radar, Negreanu’s schedule is heavily weighted to the high rollers tournaments and championship events, according to his tweet on April 15 that detailed his planned WSOP playing schedule.
The lure of the high roller tournaments and championship events to Negreanu are smaller fields than in the lower buy-in events. The $250,000 Super High Roller in 2022 attracted 56 entrants, while the $100,000 High Roller Bounty attracted 46 entrants. When it came to mixed games, the Poker Players Championship reached 112 players, while two of the smallest championship events were the Seven Card Stud Championship and Limit Hold’em Championship, which attracted 95 and 92 entrants, respectively.
These tournaments will give Negreanu his best chance to win his seventh WSOP bracelet, and when combined with his start to 2023 that includes 13 PGT cashes but no victories, he will be looking to convert at least one WSOP cash into a long-awaited victory.
Although Spaniard Lautaro Guerra has results dating back many years, he essentially broke out during the PGT PLO Series by winning three events for over $1 million in prize money and was crowned the series champion.
Guerra will be back in Las Vegas for the 2023 WSOP and is expected to be a wrecking ball when it comes to the three PGT-qualifying Pot-Limit Omaha events. Guerra will likely be playing every Pot-Limit Omaha tournament at the WSOP and is known to dabble in No-Limit Hold’em events.
On the back of his form shown at the PGT PLO Series, and also that he currently sits second overall on the PGT leaderboard, it is expected that Guerra will put on a strong showing at the 2023 WSOP. Outside of that, three $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments are part of the 2023 ARIA High Roller Series.
Jeremy Ausmus was launched into the poker limelight in 2012 on the back of nine WSOP cashes, including a fifth-place finish in the WSOP Main Event for over $2.1 million in prize money. Ausmus would win his first WSOP bracelet the following year in Europe when he won the €1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha for €70,324.
Nearly eight years later, Ausmus would ride a rush that saw him win two WSOP bracelets in back-to-back years. In 2021, Ausmus won Event #3: $1,000 COVID-19 Relieve Charity Event and Event #84: $50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller, while in 2022, he won Event #23: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold’em and Event #7: $365 No-Limit Hold’em in the Fall’s WSOP Online series.
With Ausmus winning two bracelets in consecutive years, he joins an elusive list that included just three players prior to him. Doyle Brunson (1976, 1977), Gary Berland (1978, 1979), and Layne Flack (2002, 2003) were the only players to have achieved this feat, and now Ausmus sits on equal footing for WSOP achievements.
Considering this, it would be hard to bet against Ausmus not winning a WSOP bracelet in 2023. If Ausmus can win his sixth WSOP bracelet this Summer, he will join a group of six-time winners: Daniel Negreanu, Brian Hastings, Jeff Lisandro, John Hennigan, and Ted Forrest.
You can’t mention the PGT without first discussing the current leader on the PGT leaderboard, Cary Katz. With one victory and ten cashes, Katz leaped over Guerra at the U.S. Poker Open with two cashes and has declared that he is winning a WSOP bracelet this year. Katz previously has two runner-up finishes at the WSOP from ten final tables and will be dialed in and focused on winning his first piece of WSOP gold.
Having dominated the PGT with event and series wins, Sean Winter has fallen short on the WSOP stage. In 2022, Winter had two final tables and reached the final quarterfinals in the Heads-Up Championship, while his best result was a runner-up finish in the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the 2018 WSOP for $1,020,253. Winter is not just at the top of the PGT list for players not to have won a bracelet but the list of ALL poker players yet to win a WSOP bracelet.
The final player the PGT is watching is Chris Brewer, who is having an outstanding year. On the PGT in 2022, Brewer has cashed five times, but his results outside of the USA put him in the group of the most in-form high-roller player in the world. Just five months into 2022, Brewer surpassed his biggest year as a poker player when he won $3,070,091 in 2021. Brewer started the year with two wins at EPT Paris for more than €1.31 million before cashing three times at Triton Vietnam and three times at Triton Cyprus, including his first-ever Triton victory in the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event. With his ability to play No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and mixed games, Brewer has an incredible chance to capitalize on his blazing start to 2022 by winning his first WSOP bracelet.
With so many PGT-qualifying events held throughout the Summer, new names and faces are likely to rise up the PGT leaderboard and into the top 10.
The 2023 WSOP Main Event winner will surge to the top of the PGT leaderboard with approximately 2,000 PGT points, while the winner of the Poker Players Championship will be flirting with the top 5.
Most of the mixed-game championships will have anywhere from 300 to 500 PGT points awaiting the winner, while the big No-Limit Hold’em high-roller events could thrust someone to sit among the PGT leaderboard leaders.
Throughout the 2023 WSOP, PGT.com will provide updates and results on all PGT-qualifying events. So stay tuned here as we regularly chart changes on the PGT leaderboard before the attention is turned onto the second half of the season that kicks off in September with the Poker Masters.