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Most World Series of Poker Main Event Cashes

When the World Series of Poker Main Event nears the money bubble, dealers are instructed to stand up after each hand is finished. Only after every table has completed does the next hand begin. This cures the stalling that had previously plagued this juncture, as everyone who busts out on the same hand is considered to be tied, an exception to the two normal rules that whoever busts first gets the lower place and that if players bust out on the same hand then the smaller chip stack going in gets the lower place.

With every all-in announced and a roughly $15,000 prize at stake, it's been called the most exciting day in the WSOP Main Event, especially for fans on the rail. For the players, surviving the money bubble is the difference between losing $10,000 and making $5,000 with the possibility of much, much more.

The percentage of players who made the money bubble fluctuated greatly for many years, from a low of 2.94% in 1977, the last winner-take-all year, to a high of 25.53% in 1986 when payouts jumped from 9 to 36 players, dropping back down to 7.13% in 2002 before settling in around 10% in 2005. In 2015, the WSOP's most recent change widened payouts across-the-board to 15% of the field. All totaled through 2018, 11.41% of 105,542 Main Event entrants made the money, meaning that an average player would cash only once every nine years, or just under six times even if you played every Main Event ever.

The best pros can expect to do better than this, and Berry Johnston set the current record for Main Event cashes with his tenth in 2007. Allen Cunningham and Johnny Chan finally tied the record in 2019, a dozen years later.

Most Main Event Cashes

CashesPlayer
10Berry Johnston
10Johnny Chan
10Allen Cunningham
9Chris Bjorin
9Doyle Brunson
9Humberto Brenes
9John Esposito
8Bobby Baldwin
8Jason Lester
8Phil Hellmuth
8Aditya Agarwal
8J.C. Tran
8Roland Israelashvili

Kathy Liebert leads all women with six Main Event cashes, one ahead of Maria Ho and two ahead of Annie Duke, Jackqueline Glazier, Liv Boeree, Meikat Siu, and Melanie Weisner.

Multiple Large Main Event Cashes

Two Million Dollars

Two players have topped two million dollars twice: Antoine Saout (3rd place in 2009 for $2,479,670 and 5th in 2017 for $2,000,000) and Joe Cada (1st in 2009 for $8,546,435 and 5th in 2018 for $2,150,000).

One Million Dollars

Three other players have multiple seven-figure scores: Dan Harrington (1st in 1995 for $1,000,000 and 4th in 2004 for $1,500,000), Ben Lamb (3rd in 2011 for $4,021,183 and 9th in 2017 for $1,000,000), and Damian Salas (7th in 2017 for $1,425,000 and 1st in 2020 for $2,550,969).

Five Hundred Thousand Dollars

Two players have three $500,000 Main Event cashes: Dan Harrington (also 3rd in 2003 for $650,000) and Ben Lamb (also 14th in 2009 for $633,022).

In addition to Saout, Cada, and Salas, three others have done it twice: Carlos Mortensen, Mark Newhouse, and Michael Ruane.

One Hundred Thousand Dollars

Doyle Brunson is the only player with four six-figure Main Events cashes. He won in 1976 for $220,000 and 1977 for $340,000, was runner up in 1980 for $146,000, and finished third in 1983 for $108,000.

In addition to Harrington and Lamb, ten other players have three six-figure Main Event cashes: Benjamin Pollak, Berry Johnston, Brian Yoon, Huck Seed, Johnny Chan, Mike Matusow, Stu Ungar, T.J. Cloutier, Salas, and Saout.

Kelly Minkin is the only woman with multiple $100,000 cashes (29th for $211,821 in 2015 and 50th for $156,265 in 2018). Gaelle Baumann has three cashes over $40,000.

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