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WSOP Main Event Money Bubble Boys

In the early days of the WSOP Main Event, only the winner got paid, so the money bubble boy was actually the runner-up: Jack Straus (1971),1 Puggy Pearson (1972), Johnny Moss (1973), Crandell Addington (1974), Bob Hooks (1975), Jesse Alto (1976), and Gary Berland (1977). The top five places got paid the next three years, leaving Ken Smith (1978), Sam Petrillo (1979), and Gabe Kaplan (1980) on the outside looking in.

From 1981 to 2003, only some of the bubble boys are known: Sam Moon (10th in 1981), Crandell Addington (10th in 1983), Jack Keller (28th in 1995), Chris Ferguson (28th in 1997), and Mike Magee (28th in 1998). The rest have been lost to history.

WSOP Main Event Bubble Boys Since 2004

YearBubble BoyMin CashNotes
2004Dewey Tomko,
Dave Combs
$10,000Dewey Tomko and Dave Combs busted on the same hand in 225th/226th place, but instead of splitting $10,000, they each got $10,000 from Harrah's.
2005Carl Ygborn$12,500The 25-year-old Swede flopped a pair of Tens with an Ace kicker, but Corey Cheresnick had flopped a straight. Harrah's gave him free entry the next year, and he finished 628th for $19,050.
2006Hoa Manh Nguyen$10,616The Californian won the Milwaukee's Best Light Bubble Playoff for a year's supply of beer and free entry the next year, where he won $285,678 for 34th place.2
2007John Sigan$20,320His pocket Queens lost to Vandy Krouch's 6♠5♠, which hit an inside straight on the turn. Entered into the Milwaukee's Best Light Bubble Playoff for a seat into next year's Main Event but lost.
2008Steve Chung$21,230The Hong Kong native couldn't catch his opponent's pocket Kings with his Eights, but he turned his free entry into 569th place and $23,196.
2009Kia Hamadani$21,365Had blinded down to a single ante before losing with 4♣3♥ to Reed Hansel's 9♦2♦; turned his free entry into 459th place and $31,647.
2010Tim McDonald$19,263His Q♠Q♣ lost to Ismail Erkenov's A♥2♥ after a A♣A♠2♦ flop despite a river Q♥ that gave him a smaller boat. Didn't cash in 2011.
2011Reza Kashani$19,359Busted by Joseph Cheong when his K♠J♠ couldn't catch up with Cheong's Q♠Q♦ after a K♥Q♣9♣ flop. Didn't cash in 2012.
2012David Kelley,
Desmond Portano,
Steve Rosen,
Dane Lomas
$19,227The four players split $19,227 ($4,806.75 each) for 666-669th and were supposed to have a 4-player single-table tournament to get the free buyin, but Kelley bought the other three players out (he didn't cash).
2013Farzad Bonyadi$19,106The three-time bracelet winner busted with A♠J♣ when his pair of Jacks lost to Nick Schwarmann's A♣Q♥ for a straight on a J♦5♠3♠T♠K♥ board. He converted his free entry into 238th place and $38,634.
2014Zhen Cai,
Kori Hunter,
John Dwyer
$18,406The three players all exited on the same hand and split $18,406 ($6,135.33 each); Kai drew the K♦ to beat Hunter's 6♦ and Dwyer's 6♥ to win the $10,000 buyin to the 2015 Main Event.
2015Roy Daoud$15,000Daoud, who had lost an all-in blind battle with 5h5c against 7h5d when the board hit two pairs (K♣9♠4♣K♠9♣), won a draw over Jonas Lauck (J♦ to 7♠), who busted on the same hand. Turyansky's board was 7♥6♣5♥8♦J♦.
2016Adam Furgatch$15,000On the last hand before hand-for-hand was about to start, Furgatch moved in for his last 6,000 chips with Queen-Nine and lost to George Zisimopoulos's Ace-Seven.
2017Roger Campbell,
Quan Zhou
$15,000Campbell failed to catch up against a flopped flush, while Zhou bluffed off a big stack running into kings full. Zhou won a flip to win the 2018 buyin.
2018Matthew Hopkins$15,000Hopkins was eliminated when he jammed for 49,000 with A♣5♥, and Bryce McVay called with A♦Q♠. The WSOP gave him a seat into the 2019 Main Event.
2019Jonas Lauck$15,000Ryan Pochedly had officially been declared the bubble boy, but a dealer error had caused a miscount. It wasn't until the next day that the error was corrected. Lauck had lost a drawing for the Bubble Boy prize in 2015.
2020Adrian "ParTee" Buckley (U.S.)
& Zhiao He (International)
$14,890 (U.S.)
& $15,277 (International)
Adrian Buckley flopped a full house only to watch his pocket Queens turn into a losing kicker when the turn made quads on the board. Zhiao He was inactive when he blinded out.
2021Kevin Campbell$15,000Chris Alafogiannis raised with A♣9♣, Campbell three-bet shoved for just under 12 big blinds with his red Aces and was called. The board's T♣9♥8♦7♣9♠ gave Alafogiannis trip Nines to send Campbell to the rail.
2022Robert Lipkin, Ognjen Sekularac, and Tom McCormick$15,000All three actually cashed for $5,000 each as they were eliminated on the same hand two off the money bubble. Lipkin won the flip for the 2023 Main Event entry.