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WSOP underway with some famous names chalking up wins

By Sean Chaffin


Las Vegas is the center of the poker world throughout the summer with the World Series of Poker running May 30-July 18, with 95 tournaments at the Horseshoe and Paris casinos. With the bracelet chasing now underway, players from around the world have made their way to Sin City in hopes of grabbing their own glory.

As the action played out in May and June, a few big names were already making some waves in the series. That has included three former WSOP players of the year, a well-regarded pro and commentator, one player who has already bagged two bracelets in both the high and low buy-in versions of the same tournament, and several other interesting players. Here’s a look at some of those who have taken the winner’s circle in the series’ first half.


Chad Eveslage – Dealer’s Choice Domination

Winning two bracelets in one series is difficult enough, but Eveslage has a real knack for the Dealer’s Choice events and cashed in on both of them. He won the $1,500 version first for $131,879 and then chalked up another victory in the $10,000 version just a few days later for $311,428. Eveslage now has three bracelets after winning the $25,000 High Roller last year for $1.4 million.

If that weren’t enough, Eveslage finished 2022 as the World Poker Tour Player of the Year after winning two titles. He now has a shot at the WSOP player of the year title as well if he can keep this big run going. A big fan not just of the mixed game play in the Dealer’s Choice events, Eveslage also enjoys the vibes at the table.

“The mixed atmosphere is much, much more laid back,” he told after the first win. “We were joking around heads up.”


Ben Lamb – Once Again Finding Gold

After reaching the final table in the Main Event and winning a bracelet in 2011, Lamb earned WSOP player of the year honors. After numerous close calls since then, including a runner-up finish and a third place in 2022, Lamb added bracelet No. 2 this year. He took down the $10,000 Omaha Hi- Lo Championship for $492,795. The native Oklahoman now has more than $9 million in WSOP winnings as well as numerous other wins and big finishes in other events.



Isaac Haxton – The Massive Year Continues

This high-stakes grinder found another huge win again at the WSOP, cashing in on the $25,000 High Roller for a $1.7 million payday. Haxton was already coming off win and runner-up finishes at the European Poker Tour Monte Carlo in May for a total of more than $560,000. He also won two high-roller events at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas in February for more than $2.6 million, and alsob won an event in the U.S. Poker Open. Despite having almost $35 million in live tournament winnings, this was the first bracelet win of his career.

“I’ve finished second and third many times for my biggest cashes, so it’s nice to finally win,” he said. “A 300-player field for a $25K [tournament]? Yeah I guess it’s got to be up there with one of my biggest accomplishments.”


Josh Arieh – Back in Business

After a banner series in 2021 that saw Arieah earn WSOP player of the year honors with two wins, Arieh was back to his winning ways. He took down the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship for $316,226, and now has five WSOP bracelets and almost $11 million in live tournament winnings. This also marked the second Limit Hold’em bracelet of his career. The first was also his first WSOP cash in 1999, for $202,800. While he didn’t find a win last year, Arieh had some nice results as well, including two third-place finishes for $1.3 million.



Nick Schulman – Winning On and Off the Mic

When not taking down major tournaments, Nick Schulman can be found in the broadcast booth for PokerGO as one of the best commentators in the game. He brings a quick wit and deep analysis to a broadcast, and that well-honed analysis certainly seems to carry over to the table as well. He scored a win in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud for $110,800. This marked the fourth bracelet of his career, tying him with players like Joe Cada, Adrian Mateos, Scott Seiver, Ben Yu, Anthony Zinno, Huck Seed, Michael Addamo, Mike Matusow and other greats.




Shaun Deeb – Battle Tested for Sixth Win

Yet another former WSOP player of the year running well this year, Deeb scored the win in a $1,500 Eight Game Mix event for $198,854. This marked the sixth bracelet of his career, tying him with players like Daniel Negreanu, Chris Ferguson, T.J. Cloutier, Brian Hastings, Layne Flack, Michael Mizrachi and others. The win came after Deeb won the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Turning Stone Casino in March for $275,916. He now has more than$12 million in live tournament winnings. The latest bracelet win came after Deeb joked with Josh Arieh just a few days earlier that he’d win bracelet No. 6 before him or retire. He didn’t have to wait long.

“Battling with your friends is so much fun,” he said. “The camaraderie—Josh and I are family men the rest of the year. So we come out here, we have fun, we bullshit, we see each other, we’re talking trash all the time in our group chat. When he won five, it definitely lit a fire.”


Chris Brewer – Mega Payout for Bracelet No. 1

A quarter-million dollar buy-in is an event most people would never think of entering, but Chris Brewer was one of the 69 players willing to pony up that kind of cash for the $250,000 Super High Roller. That field produced an enormous prize pool of $17.2 million. When the dust settled, Brewer grabbed his first bracelet and herculean payout of $5.3 million.

“This win meant a lot to me, I was surprised how much,” Brewer noted on Twitter after the win. “I am still processing it all. At the end of the day most of the result is variance and me getting good cards, but I would be lying to say that I was not proud of my execution yesterday.”

Brewer should also be proud of the run he’s had throughout 2023. His record includes a win and runner-up finish in the Triton Poker Super High Roller Cyprus series in May for a total of more than $500,000. At the European Poker Tour Paris series in February, Brewer also grabbed two wins in €50,000 and €25,000 buy-in high roller events for $1.4 million.


David “ODB” Baker – On a Razz Roll

Razz offers players a chance to show their lowball prowess and Baker proved to be up for the task. This is the third bracelet for this high-stakes regular who has a WPT title as well. Razz has been a particularly nice game for Baker, who now has finishes of first, second, third and fifth in this format at the WSOP. In the latest win, he came back from a short stack at the final table for the victory. In a career dating back to 2004, Baker now has almost $7 million in live tournament winnings.




Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer and senior writer for Casino Player and Strictly Slots magazines. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions or email him at for story assignments.

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