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Ari Engel Picks Up First Career World Series of Poker Bracelet

Longtime Circuit Grinder Earns WSOP Gold And $427,399 In $2,500 NLHE Event


On a special night of firsts at the 2019 World Series of Poker that saw Britain’s Stephen Chidwick and Luke Schwartz each come away with their first career bracelet, longtime tournament circuit grinder Ari Engel pulled off the feat as well, earning WSOP gold himself just before midnight Saturday.

Engel, known for years by his online moniker ‘bodogari,’ won the $2,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event to pick up the title and a $427,399 payout. The tournament officially drew 996 entrants, creating a total prize pool of $2,241,000.

This was Engel’s second largest score ever, after winning the 2016 Aussie Millions main event for $1,120,000. He now has $6.6 million in career live tournament earnings.

Engel was born in Canada, but grew up all over the world, spending time in South Africa, Australia, Israel, New York, and Chicago before continuing his nomadic life as a poker pro. Although he has been one of the best players on the WSOP Circuit with nine rings won, the bracelet had eluded him over his 15-year career.

“Never give up,” Engel told WSOP reporters. “With us huge field no-limit players, you play these expecting to win one in a lifetime. It’s a relief to not mess it up, because usually, I mess it up.”

The final table featured top poker players, including bracelet winners Josh Arieh (9th), David Baker (5th), and Ben Keeline (4th). Other notables making a deep run in the event included Kenny Hallaert (15th), Barny Boatman (18th), Kristen Bicknell (20th), Mark Radoja (21st), Anatoly Filatov (24th), James Carroll (26th), Bryan Piccioli (28th), Brock Parker (29th), Ben Yu (33rd), and Martin Jacobson (38th).

In addition to the money, Engel also earned 1,368 Card Player Player of the Year points for his win, moving him into tenth place overall. The POY is sponsored by Global Poker.

Here is a look at the final table results.

Place Player Payout POY Points
1 Ari Engel $427,399 960
2 Pablo Melogno $264,104 800
3 Wilbern Hoffman $186,392 640
4 Ben Keeline $133,306 480
5 David Baker $96,632 400
6 James Hughes $71,010 320
7 Truyen Nguyen $52,909 240
8 Ryan Olisar $39,980 160
9 Josh Arieh $30,643 80

For more coverage from the summer series, check out the 2019 WSOP landing page, complete with a full schedule, results, news, player interviews, and event recaps.