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Leaderboard: Best Without A Bracelet (Earnings)

by Erik Fast |  Published: Dec 27, 2023


Rank Player Nation Earnings
1 Steve O’Dwyer US/Ireland $40,676,172
2 Cary Katz United States $39,777,849
3 Christoph Vogelsang Germany $32,303,595
4 Sean Winter United States $28,022,673
5 Seth Davies United States $22,947,208
6 Rainer Kempe Germany $22,151,940
7 Aaron Zang China $21,896,250
8 Sam Trickett England $21,808,828
9 Michael Watson Canada $21,748,531
10 Ali Imsirovic US/Bosnia $19,233,526

The first-ever World Series of Poker Paradise series kicked off in December at the Atlantis Bahamas Resort & Casino, with another 15 gold bracelets to be awarded. (Check out the results in a future issue.) With Isaac Haxton’s victory last summer in the $25,000 high roller event at the series, every single player inside the top 10 on poker’s all-time money list now has a bracelet to their name.

That leaves 12th-ranked Steve O’Dwyer as the highest-earning tournament player in the world without a win at the WSOP. The 41-year-old poker pro based out of Ireland now has nearly $40.7 million in lifetime earnings, with more than $6.6 million of that tally being recorded so far in 2023. O’Dywer has not been a frequent competitor in bracelet events, with just four WSOP cashes since the start of 2013, opting to skip the summer series entirely every year. The nearest he’s come to a WSOP title was a fifth-place showing in the 2015 WSOP Europe €550 ‘Oktoberfest‘ event.

Cary Katz sits in second place on this leaderboard with just shy of $39.8 million in career earnings. Unlike O’Dwyer, Katz is a staple at high-stakes WSOP tournaments. He has cashed for nearly $7.4 million in bracelet events across 63 in-the-money finishes, including three painfully-close runner-up showings. The most recent of those saw him place second in a $100,000 high roller this summer that was won by Jans Arends. The PokerGO founder banked $1.6 million for his efforts that time around, but not the gold.

Germany’s Christoph Vogelsang is the third and final player on this dreaded list with more than $30 million in lifetime earnings. The Sassenberg resident has accumulated more than $32.3 million, with a solid $9.2 million of that coming from his 20 scores in WSOP events. Vogelsang has made seven official WSOP final tables, with two third-place showings and a runner-up finish to Dan Smith in last year’s $25,000 heads-up championship event.

There are just six more players inside the top 40 on the money list without a bracelet, including Sean Winter (25th), Seth Davies (33rd), Rainer Kempe (36th), Aaron Zang (37th), Sam Trickett (38th), and Michael Watson (39th). ♠