In the run-up to the 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP), PokerNews is looking back at all the past WSOP Main Event champions since 2000.
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Joe Cada: 2009 WSOP Main Event Champion ($8,547,044)
At 21 years, 11 months old at the time, Michigan’s Joe Cada beame the youngest player in history to win the WSOP Main Event when he did so in 2009, a victory good for $8,547,044. An online player, Cada was a part of the second-ever November Nine alongside some heavy hitters including Phil Ivey, Jeff Shulman, and Steve Begleiter, who was recently featured in a “Where Are They Now” here on PokerNews.
Ultimately, Cada defeated the late Darvin Moon in heads-up play to make poker history. Cada, who would serve a time as a PokerStars Ambassador, would go on to capture three more bracelets – 2014 WSOP Event #32: $10,000 NLH 6-Handed Championship for $670,041, 2018 WSOP Event #3: $3,000 NLH Shootout for $226,218, and 2018 WSOP Event #75: $1,500 NLH The Closer for $612,886. He also notched two other runner-up finishers in WSOP events.
Cada’s connection to the WSOP became even more official when earlier this year he became an ambassador for WSOP.com when it launched in his home state of Michigan.
“WSOP Michigan has been great, every day more people are transitioning over,” Cada told PokerNews. “Cash games and tournaments are constantly growing. I think WSOP offers a much better product and focuses solely on poker compared to sports & casino.”
2009 WSOP Main Event Final Table Results
|1||Joe Cada||United States||$8,547,044|
|2||Darvin Moon||United States||$5,182,927|
|4||Eric Buchman||United States||$2,502,890|
|5||Jeff Shulman||United States||$1,953,452|
|6||Steve Begleiter||United States||$1,587,160|
|7||Phil Ivey||United States||$1,404,014|
|8||Kevin Schaffel||United States||$1,300,231|
|9||James Akenhead||United Kingdom||$1,263,602|
As for Cada, he got married a little over a year ago and has become a bit of a homebody with an occasional vacation sprinkled in every now and then.
“Lately it’s been all online poker for me, and it’s been going well,” he said. “I won the circuit main, and the cash games are really good.”
Cada confirmed that he plans to travel to Vegas for the 2022 WSOP with the intention of playing all no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha events with a $10,000 or lower buy-in, plus maybe a $25K or two.
Joe Cada’s Top 5 Cashes since WSOP Main Event Win
|July 2018||$10,000||2018 WSOP Main Event||5th||$2,150,000|
|June 2014||$10,000||2014 WSOP Event #32: $10K Six Handed||1st||$670,041|
|July 2018||$1,500||2018 WSOP Event #75: The Closer||1st||$612,886|
|July 2019||$5,000||2019 WSOP Event #70: $5,000 Six Handed||2nd||$468,488|
|June 2012||$1,500||2012 WSOP Event #31: $1,500 NLH||2nd||$412,424|
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Jonathan Duhamel: 2010 WSOP Main Event Champion ($8,944,310)
Before he became a professional poker play, Jonathan Duhamel went to college to pursue a finance career. In 2010, the then 23-year-old topped a 7,319-entry field to win the WSOP Main Event for $8,944,310 becoming the first Canadian, and thus far only, Canadian to accomplish the feat.
On his way to victory, Duhamel played a hand against Matt Affleck that has become one of the most viewed in WSOP history. Affleck recounted what happened in “Hand Histories” on PokerGO:
According to the WSOP, Duhamel comes from a close-knit family. His father (Luc) is a machinist-engineer who works for a major airplane engine designer and manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney Canada. His mother (Johanne) works at a bank. He has one younger sister (Karine). When he was younger, like many Canadians, Duhamel played amateur ice hockey. His favorite team is the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.
Five years after his life-changing win, Duhamel captured two more bracelets. At the 2015 WSOP, he won the prestigious Event #58: $111,111 High Roller for ONE DROP for $3,989,985 and less than four months later won the 2015 WSOP Europe Event #10: €25,600 NLH High Roller for €554,395.
2010 WSOP Main Event Final Table Results
|2||John Racener||United States||$5,545,955|
|3||Joseph Cheong||United States||$4,130,049|
|5||Michael Mizrachi||United States||$2,332,992|
|6||John Dolan||United States||$1,772,959|
|7||Jason Senti||United States||$1,356,720|
|9||Soi Nguyen||United States||$811,823|
During the early days of the pandemic, PokerNews invited the 2010 WSOP Main Event Final Table and a few special guests including Norman Chad, Lon McEachern and even the bubble boy Brandon Steven, to be a part of a virtual reunion. Duhamel joined the likes of Matt Jarvis and Jason Senti to share memories and remember Soi Nguyen, who had unfortunately passed away.
Once a regular at all major events, Duhamel has been quiet on the poker front for several years. His last cash came in November 2019 at the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party when he finished 20th in the $10,300 High Roller for $20,000. After notching four seven-figure years between 2010-15, Duhamel amassed just $67,656 in 2016, $227,024 in 2017, and $134,629 in 2018 before seemingly stepping away from poker.
Jonathan Duhamel’s Top 5 Cashes since WSOP Main Event Win
|June 2015||$111,111||2015 WSOP Event #58: One Drop High Roller||1st||$3,989,985|
|January 2012||$25,500||PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller||2nd||$634,550|
|October 2015||€25,600||2015 WSOP Europe High Roller||1st||$628,915|
|January 2012||$100,000||PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller||4th||$313,600|
|January 2011||€10,300||European Poker Tour Deauville High Roller||1st||$272,209|
Pius Heinz: 2011 WSOP Main Event Champion ($8,715,638)
In 2011, Germany’s Pius Heinz topped a 6,865-player field to win the WSOP Main Event for $8,715,368 after a six-hour heads-up battle against Martin Staszko. Heinz, who was playing in his first-ever WSOP, became the first German to win the Main Event, though Hossein Ensan and Koray Aldemir would follow in his footsteps a decade later. He also became just the seventh German player in WSOP history to win a gold bracelet.
“They are going to be very excited,” Heinz said at the time regarding how his fellow Germans might view the win. “I think this does a lot for poker back in Germany. It is very big already there, especially with people my age. But I really can’t imagine what’s happening right now. I am just so happy to come here and win. It’s really a dream for me.”
That year’s November Nine was an international affair with seven different nations represented, and by finishing in third place, Ben Lamb was able to win the title of 2011 WSOP Player of the Year.
Heinz, who was a 22-year-old poker pro at the time, began the final table seventh in chips but as the field played from nine down to three he managed to pull out to a monster chip lead. For the first time ever, all of the action was aired via a live stream (in addition to the usual ESPN edited episode broadcast).
The year after his victory, Heinz, who became a Team PokerStars Pro, cashed for $141,022, but he had just $8,739 in tournament cashes in 2013 and 2014 combined.
2011 WSOP Main Event Final Table Results
|2||Martin Staszko||Czech Republic||$5,433,086|
|3||Ben Lamb||United States||$4,021,138|
|4||Matt Giannetti||United States||$3,012,700|
|5||Phil Collins||United States||$2,269,599|
|9||Sam Holden||United Kingdom||$782,115|
Back in 2014, PokerNews chatted with Heinz in one of our “Where Are They Now” pieces.
“Not doing all that much, just enjoying life pretty much. I’ve never been like a huge traveler, so that kind of makes poker not so appealing for me,” Heinz said at the time during EPT Austria. “I live in Vienna, so I didn’t have to do all the traveling. I could sleep in my own bed, take a 15-minute ride to the venue, so obviously I was gonna play that. I played Sanremo because I have a girlfriend now, who plays poker as well, and she had to play this event, so I just joined her.”
He added: “Poker has basically turned back to a hobby for me I guess. I was kind of a professional before I won the Main, and I was a professional for a year and a half after I won the Main. Now I just play whenever I feel like it and when I enjoy it, when I don’t, I just don’t play. That’s perfect for me. I feel happy again, don’t feel any pressure, and just play it when I enjoy it. That’s basically how I want to continue doing it. For me, I just try to do what makes me the most comfortable and happy. I know I’m not the best friend of the media, but I’m alright with that.”
In 2016, Heinz briefly resurfaced when he topped a modest 22-entry field to win the Eureka Poker Tour €5,300 Super High Roller at King's Casino in Rozvadov for $48,721.
"Yes, I don't play much anymore," Heinz told officials after that win. "I arrived for the cash game, but I'm taking it easy now."
In 2017 and 2018, Heinz had no cashes, while in 2019 he had $42,798 off a pair of cashes, with $40,836 of that being for a runner-up finished in the WPTDeepStacks Germany €3,000 High Roller 8-Max.
PokerNews reached out to Heinz but failed to receive a response.
Pius Heinz’s Top 5 Cashes since WSOP Main Event Win
|October 2012||€10,000||GCOP II Rozvadov High Roller||3rd||$78,011|
|March 2016||€5,200||Eureka Poker Tour Rozvadov €5,200 High Roller||1st||$48,721|
|January 2012||$5,250||PokerStars Caribbean Adventure NLH 8-Max||5th||$45,980|
|July 2019||€3,000||WPTDeepStacks Germany Event #14: High Roller||2nd||$40,836|
|August 2011||€1,050||European Poker Tour Barcelona Turbo Bounty||1st||$25,140|
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.
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