POKER NEWS

2023 Live Poker Year in Review

It’s time for Cardplayer Lifestyle’s 2023 Live Poker Year in Review! Like last year, we will summarize the winners of the most important poker rankings and show you the records that were broken during 2023. Our “year in review” recap will provide you with all the info you need to see who were the most outstanding poker players of the year that just ended.

2023 GPI POY Rankings

The GPI “Player of the Year” ranking was in the hands of Bin Weng, who was the absolute dominator of the live circuit. During 2023 Weng achieved 55 cashes, 20 final tables, 5 second places and 6 titles, with earnings of $6.6M. His victories took place at the Borgata Casino, the Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, the Hard Rock in Seminole and the Wynn in Las Vegas where he won 3 trophies. Weng was also named the 2023 WPT Player of the Year.

2023 GPI Player of the Year Top 10

  1. Bin Weng (USA) – 5,008 points
  2. Nacho Barbero (Argentina) – 4,387
  3. Tony “Ren” Lin (China) – 4,260
  4. Isaac Haxton (USA) – 4,168
  5. Daniel Tang (Hong Kong) – 4,107
  6. Jason Koon (USA) – 4,043
  7. Chris Brewer (USA) – 4,013
  8. Stephen Chidwick (England) – 3,904
  9. Jesse Lonis (USA) – 3,823
  10. Quan Zhou (China) –  3,776

You can see the TOP 100 ranking at this link.

Bin Weng

Bin Weng / Photo: WPT.com

2023 GPI Female Player of the Year Top 10

Statistically, the most outstanding female player of the year was Kristen Foxen, who notched 21 cashes and 7 final tables, with earnings of $1.1M. She was the woman who went the furthest in the 2023 WPT World Championship Main Event, placing 33rd and winning $132K. Below we list the Top 10 of the women’s POY leaderboard:

  1. Kristen Foxen (Canada) – 2,570 points
  2. Nadya Magnus (USA) – 2,375
  3. Cherish Andrews (USA) – 2,298
  4. Hui Chen “Kitty” Kuo (Taiwan) – 2,257
  5. Victoria “Trekker” Livschitz (USA) – 2,220
  6. Angela Jordison (USA) – 2,121
  7. Maria Ho (USA) – 1,998
  8. Rania Nasreddine (USA) – 1,868
  9. Loni Harwood (USA) – 1,762
  10. Christina “Baby Shark” Gollins (USA) – 1,752
kristen foxen

Kristen Foxen during the WPT World Championship / Photo: WPT.com

2023 GPI Mid Major Player of the Year

  1. Nick Pupillo (USA) – 2,819 points
  2. Preston McEwen (USA) – 2,752
  3. William Kopp (USA) – 2,693
  4. Ankit Ahuja (India) – 2,652
  5. Blake Bohn (USA) – 2,540
  6. Hyunsup “dipper” Kim (South Korea) – 2,504
  7. Yiannis Liperis (Cyprus) – 2,501
  8. Calvin Anderson (USA) – 2,446
  9. Valeriy Pak (Uzbekistan) – 2,398
  10. Tobias Peters (Netherlands) – 2,394

2023 Hendon Mob Rankings

Poker Players Who Won the Most Money in Tournaments in 2023

The player who accumulated the greatest winnings during 2023 was Isaac “Ike” Haxton, with cashes totaling $16.9M. He totaled 37 cashes, 27 final tables and 7 titles. His biggest win came from winning Super High Roller Bowl VIII in Las Vegas for $2.7M.

Below we list the 10 winningest players in 2023:

  1. Isaac Haxton (USA) – $16.9M
  2. Chris Brewer (USA) – $14.3M
  3. Jason Koon (USA) – $13.3M
  4. Dan Smith (USA) – $13M
  5. Mikita Badziakouski (Belarus) – $12.5M
  6. Daniel Weinman (USA) – $12.3M
  7. Nacho Barbero (Argentina) – $11.8M
  8. Daniel Tang (Hong Kong) – $11M
  9. Stephen Chidwick (England) – $9.8M
  10. Adrian Mateos (Spain) – $9.5M
Isaac haxton

Ike Haxton winning the Super High Roller Bowl VIII / Photo: PokerGO

Poker players with the most cashes in 2023

Like last year, Pedro Palacio was the player who scored the most cashes, achieving the incredible sum of 184 and exceeding the 154 he obtained in 2022. This is how the Top 10 players fared:

  1. Pedro Palacio (USA): 184
  2. Wu Chiayun (Taiwan): 141
  3. Dany Blackburn (USA): 126
  4. Howard Combleth (USA): 125
  5. Zakariya Mouhib (Morocco): 121
  6. Carlito Cajuste (USA): 119
  7. Charles Carella (USA): 112
  8. Jeremy Becker (USA): 103
  9. Richard Kelleher (USA): 103
  10. Lucas Tae (China): 102
Pedro Palacio

Pedro “Mr. ITM” Palacio

Poker’s Top Flag Hunters of 2023

Another of the rankings prepared by The Hendon Mob is the Flag Hunter, which takes into account the different countries where a player achieved results. The Flag Hunter 2023 was won by Manoel Ferreira Gomes from Brazil, who achieved cashes in 18 countries: Czech Republic, Portugal, United States, Scotland, Malta, Slovakia, Germany, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Spain, Cyprus, Lithuania, England, Monaco, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy and France. These were the 10 players who achieved the highest number of flags in 2023:

  1. Manoel Ferreira Gomes (Brazil) – 18
  2. Yuri Ishida (Japan) – 15
  3. Yuzhou Yin (China) – 13
  4. Steve O’Dwyer (USA) – 12
  5. Andreas Frohli (Austria) – 11
  6. Ori Hasson (Israel): 11
  7. Dominick French (Canada): 11
  8. Michel Molenaar (Netherlands): 10
  9. Fedor Holz (Germany): 10
  10. Jon Kyte (Norway): 10

2023 World Poker Tour

The WPT Main Tour staged 8 festivals during 2023 and closed with the long-awaited WPT World Championship in Las Vegas that was chock full of highlights. That festival’s Main Event broke two records: it had the largest prize pool ($40M) and the 3,835 entries made it the largest tournament in WPT history. The grand champion was Daniel Sepiol, who defeated a final table full of professionals and took home a gigantic prize of $5,2M.

Daniel Sepiol

Danny Sepiol with his father / Photo: WPT.com

This is how the Top 10 of 2023 WPT POY race turned out:

  1. Bin Weng (USA) – 2,050 points
  2. Daniel Sepiol (USA) – 1,600
  3. Istvan Briski (Hungary) – 1,425
  4. Georgios Sotiropoulos (Greece) – 1,250
  5. Scott Eskenazi (USA) – 1,175
  6. Sri Sangannagari (USA) – 1,150
  7. Richard Lee (USA) – 1,100
  8. Jared Jaffee (USA) – 1,100
  9. Frederic Normand (Canada) – 1,075
  10. Jeremy Joseph (USA) – 1,075

The WPT Prime circuit also boasted very good numbers throughout the year, with the largest stage being Liechtenstein with 1,644 entries, surpassing the 1,433 entries at WPT Prime Taiwan. The WPT Prime circuit passed through 12 countries during 2023: France, Australia, Cambodia, Netherlands, India, Slovakia, Vietnam, Italy, Taiwan, Liechtenstein, Spain and the United States.

2023 World Series of Poker

After 17 years, the record for players in the WSOP Main Event was finally broken. In the 2023 edition, 10,043 players registered and the prize pool was also a record, with $93.9M distributed in prizes among the best 1,507 participants (also a record). The big winner was Daniel Weinman, who took home poker’s biggest prize of the year: $12.1M.

Daniel weinman

The 2023 WSOP Main Event champion, Daniel Weinman / Photo: PokerGO

During the events of the 2023 WSOP, a number of renowned poker players managed to win bracelets such as Isaac Haxton, Chad Eveslage (two bracelets), Nick Schulman, Josh Arieh (two bracelets), Ben Lamb, Shaun Deeb, Benny Glaser, Brian Rast, Faraz Jaka, Jason Mercier and legend Phil Hellmuth, who expanded his record to 17 bracelets.

In December the WSOP Circuit had its first incarnation in the Caribbean and was called WSOP Paradise. A total of 15 events were played that awarded bracelets to their champions and among the champions was the legend Erik Seidel, who won his 10th bracelet. The $10K Main Event had 3,010 entries and a guaranteed prize pool of $15M. The champion was Stanislav Zegal, who won $2M.

Ian Matakis sat at the top of the “Player of the Year” standings after achieving 21 cashes (7 were online), 2 final tables and 1 bracelet in Event #2 of the online edition (WSOP.com). For achieving this he won entry to the 2024 WSOP Main Event, a trophy and a banner with his image.

This is how the 2023 WSOP Player of the Year ranking looked:

  1. Ian Matakis (USA) – 5,203 points
  2. Shaun Deeb (USA) – 4,276
  3. Chris Brewer (USA) – 4,127
  4. Josh Arieh (USA) – 3,938
  5. Jesse Lonis (USA) – 3,865
  6. Michael Rodrigues Pires Santos (Portugal) – 3,513
  7. Chad Eveslage (USA) – 3,447
  8. Yuri Dzivielevski (Brazil) – 3,382
  9. Ben Yu (USA) – 3,128
  10. Phil Hellmuth (USA) – 3,072
Ian Matakis

Ian Matakis / Photo: Matthew Berglund

Poker’s Other Big Winners in 2023

In addition to the WPT and the WSOP, several live circuits were played during 2023 and these were the winners of their respective rankings:

  • PokerGO Tour: Isaac Haxton (USA)
  • Mid-States Poker Tour: Umut Ozturk (USA)
  • Irish Poker Tour: Paul Carr (Ireland)
  • Latin American Poker Tour: Juan Barattini (Argentina)
  • Brazilian Series of Poker: William Jose Cestari (Brazil)
  • Campeonato España de Poker: Pablo Beltran De Heredia Garcia (Spain)
  • Sixers Poker Series: Javier Rodriguez Gonzalez (Spain)
  • King Series of Poker: Peterson Machado (Brazil)
  • Circuito Argentino de Poker: Leandro Bianchini (Argentina)
  • Circuito Nacional de Poker: Pedro Pablo Gonzalez Buitrago (Spain)

What to expect from live poker in 2024?

A record-breaking 2023 proved that live tournament poker is more alive than ever. Will we have a new record in the WSOP Main Event this year? It will depend on the number of satellites that are held online and live in the months prior to the tournament. The 2024 WSOP will be played from July 28 to July 17 and the Main Event will begin on July 3 with four initial starting days.

The World Poker Tour will continue with its Main Tour and its popular Prime circuit, which already has 7 stops announced for the first months of the year in different countries. The 2024 WPT World Championship will return in December at the Wynn in Las Vegas and will surely have a big guaranteed prize pool like the last two years.

What will the competition look like in terms of big poker events being held in December? Last month, three major circuits coincided: the WSOP, the EPT and the WPT. Many players were forced to choose between them and as a result, some of the events did not reach their guaranteed pools. We will see if the organizers decide not to coincide the dates this year.

During 2024 the most important live circuits will return and players will have a wide range of festivals to choose from around the world. We wish you a great year at the tables and off them.

2024

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Santiago Garcia Mansilla
Written By.

Santiago Garcia Mansilla

Santiago is a longtime veteran of the poker industry, having written primarily about the game in Argentina since 2009. He has published hundreds of articles in Sudamerican Poker and Pokerlogia, and has provided live media coverage at the WSOP Main Event in 2015 and 2019. In addition to being a former columnist in PokerFace Magazine, […]