Top 10 Stories of 2013: #9, Canada Crushes at the WSOP

Posted at 18:43 2013-12-24 by Martin Harris

As the calendar reaches its end, the staff here at PokerNews has sifted through the most interesting and compelling occurrences in the poker world to bring you our Top 10 Stories of the Year. Our list was compiled through voting by each member of our staff, and we’ll spend the next days counting down what we believe to be the biggest stories of the year. After debuting the No. 10 story on Monday, we're moving on to No. 9. Coming in at this spot this year is the amazing World Series of Poker had by the country of Canada.

"O Canada!" That was the song played over and again this summer in the Brasilia Room at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas at WSOP bracelet ceremonies, as players from Canada collected an incredible 10 bracelets over the course of the month-and-a-half long series. Add in the performances of Toronto native Daniel Negreanu all year in Australia, Vegas, and France to earn the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year plus numerous other deep runs by Canadians in bracelet events, and it is hard to deny the Canadians' WSOP success a spot in the year's top 10 stories.

Every summer at the WSOP, the first few weeks find observers scanning event results for patterns, hoping to discover some handy way of completing a phrase beginning "Year of" that handily sums up the WSOP in headline form. In a PokerNews Podcast during June, our own Rich Ryan poked fun at the formula by declaring 2013 the "Year of the Player of the Year" after several former WSOP POY winners — Negreanu, Tom Schneider, Jeff Madsen, and Erick Lindgren — had earned gold.

But by then (about the midway point of the WSOP), it had already become clear that the most conspicuous pattern of success had been achieved by Canadian players. Within the first dozen events, four had already been won by players from Canada, with three more Canadians earning titles before the halfway point of the Series had been reached.

By the time Kristen Bicknell of Ontario won the Ladies Event as June came to a close, a new standard had been established for WSOP bracelets won by countries other than the U.S. The 10 claimed by players from Canada represented a huge jump from the three the country had picked up in 2012, and the total also far exceeded Canada's own previous record of six bracelets won in 2010.

As usual, the U.S. fielded the most players (by far) at the WSOP this summer with 57,040 of the 79,471 total entrants being American (71.8%) while Canada was a distant second with 4,118 (5.2%). Not surprisingly, the U.S. won the most bracelets at the 2013 WSOP with 41, almost two-thirds of the total awarded and a little less than the country's percentage of entries. Meanwhile Canada's 10 bracelets represented a little over 16.1% of those awarded, more than three times the percentage of its entries.

Here's a list of the Canadians who won bracelets at this year's WSOP:

Canadian Bracelet Winners at the 2013 World Series of Poker

Player Hometown Event Prize Money
Charles Sylvestre Montreal, QC Event #3: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry $491,360
Benny Chen Charlottetown, PEI Event #6: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold'em $1,198,780
Michael Malm Coquilam, ON Event #8: $2,500 Eight-Game Mix $255,104
Levi Berger Ottawa, ON Event #11: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max $473,019
Mark Radoja Guelph, ON Event #16: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em $336,190
Calen McNeil Victoria, BC Event #20: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8-or-Better $277,274
Jason Duval St-Georges Est, QC Event #28: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em $521,202
Justin Oliver Toronto, ON Event #38: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Four-Handed $309,071
Daniel Idema Vancouver, BC Event #39: $1,500 7-Card Stud Split 8-or-Better $184,590
Kristen Bicknell St. Catharines, ON Event #51: $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em $173,922

It is worth noting that while Black Friday saw a number of U.S.-based players relocate to Canada and elsewhere in order to pursue online poker careers, such a path doesn't really describe any of the Canadians who won bracelets in Las Vegas this summer. Of them only Ottawa-native Levi Berger who lives in Los Angeles and has dual citizenship might be partly claimed by the U.S.

Negreanu, of course, picked up a couple of WSOP bracelets himself in 2013 on his way to earning his second career WSOP POY title after earning the honor once before in 2004. In April, Negreanu won the first-ever A$10,000 buy-in WSOP Asia Pacific Main Event, topping a field of 405 to earn a first prize of A$1,038,825. Then in October, he bested a field of 80 in the €25,600 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em event at the World Series of Poker Europe, earning €725,000 for that effort and thus bringing the overall total of Canadian bracelets won in 2013 to 12.

In addition to winning so many WSOP events this year, Canada had a number of near-misses, too, including the sixth-place finish of Quebec's Marc-Etienne McLaughlin in the WSOP Main Event in November, one of many tourneys at all three WSOP stops that saw Canadians making final tables:

Canadians Who Made Final Tables at the 2013 WSOP APAC, 2013 WSOP, and 2013 WSOPE

Player Place Event
Timothy Adams 5th WSOPE Event #8: €25,600 High Roller No-Limit Hold'em
Jason Bigelow 2nd WSOP Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Jaspal Brar 3rd WSOP Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em
Jonathan Cohen 7th WSOP Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Jonathan Duhamel 4th WSOP APAC Event #1: A$1,100 No-Limit Hold'em Accumulator
" 8th WSOP Event #55: $50,000 The Poker Players Championship
Jean-Nicolas Fortin 9th WSOP Event #12: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em
Tony Gill 6th WSOP Event #39: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better
Max Greenwood 7th WSOPE Event #5: €2,200 No-Limit Hold'em
Daniel Idema 7th WSOP Event #18: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Cindy Kerslake 9th WSOP Event #51: $10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em
Mark Klecan 8th WSOP Event #15: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
Taras Kripps 4th WSOP Event #49: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Mike Leah 7th WSOP APAC Event #2: A$1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha
" 3rd WSOP Event #13: $5,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better
" 5th WSOP Event #39: $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better
Joseph Leung 4th WSOP Event #41: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Handed
Jason Mann 3rd WSOPE Event #3: €5,300 Mixed-Max No-Limit Hold'em
Marc-Etienne McLaughlin 6th WSOP Event #62: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event
Mark Mierkains 2nd WSOP Event #10: $1,500 Limit Hold’em
Greg Mueller 3rd WSOP Event #8: $2,500 Eight-Game Mix
" 3rd WSOP Event #29: $5,000 H.O.R.S.E.
" 8th WSOP Event $37: $5,000 Limit Hold’em
Daniel Negreanu 4th WSOP APAC A$2,200 Event #3: Mixed Event
" 2nd WSOP Event #59: $2,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball
Gavin Smith 7th WSOP Event #13: $5,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better
John Thompson 9th WSOP Event #30: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Henry Tran 5th WSOP Event #58: $1,111 The Little One for One Drop No-Limit Hold’em
Noah Villancourt 8th WSOP Event #34: $1,000 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em
Mike Watson 6th WSOP Event #36: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout
" 6th WSOPE Event #5: €2,200 No-Limit Hold'em
Winfred Yu 3rd WSOP APAC A$10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event

Well done, Canada! Of course after a year like that, in 2014 everyone will be standing on guard for thee!

PokerNews Top 10 Stories of 2013:

Stay tuned for more of the Top 10 Stories of the Year right here on PokerNews.

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