The Best Poker Players Without a Bracelet

A profile picture of five poker players. From left to right they are: Dan Smith, Mikita Badziakouski, Jason Koon, Steve O'Dwyer and Sam Trickett

Hundreds of poker players have won World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets over the years, but some of the world’s elite are still without a bracelet. The coveted gold bracelet continues to elude some of poker’s greats. Some of them play a busy WSOP schedule yet are still without a bracelet. Others have come close, sometimes on several occasions, although they’ve never collect poker’s gold medal.

Here are some of the best poker players who are without a bracelet going into 2020.

Dan Smith: $36.7 Million In Winnings But Still Without a Bracelet

Dan Smith

Dan Smith is the biggest winner on our list who still finds themselves without a bracelet. It’s staggering to think someone with $36,742,719 in live MTT winnings hasn’t bagged some poker jewelry.

Smith has 21 victories in the live arena and has come close to winning a bracelet numerous times. A second-place in the $111,111 High Roller at the 2016 WSOP is the closest Smith has come to losing the “best player without a bracelet” tag. He also has six third-place finishes in WSOP events.

It’s a matter of when not if Smith will win a bracelet during his career.

Mikita Badziakouski: Probably the Best Player Without a Bracelet You’ve Not Heard Of!

Mikita Badziakouski

Mikita Badziakouski is arguably the best poker you’ve never heard of who is without a bracelet. He’s not bothered about that tag, being relatively anonymous suits the Belarusian. Badziakouski is a beast of a poker player, one with almost $28.5 million in live poker tournament winnings.

The Belarusian prefers playing in Europe and Asia but does occasionally frequent the United States. None of his five WSOP cashes, which weigh in at $3,713,342, stem from playing in the U.S. however. Those five cashes are two second-place, a third, and two fourth-place finishes! Badziakouski is currently without a bracelet, that fact won’t remain true for long.

Jason Koon: 15 Live Titles But He’s Still Without a Bracelet

Jason Koon is still without a bracelet but for how long

Jason Koon has cashed 42 times in WSOP events but finds himself without a bracelet. Koon hails from West Virginia and his $31,101,728 in earnings make him the state’s biggest winner. Only $1,789,462 of Koon’s massive winnings total comes from his play at the WSOP.

Koon finished second in the $3,000 NLHE/PLO Heads-Up event in 2012, the closest he’s come to winning a bracelet. Eight more WSOP final table appearances highlight Koon’s supreme abilities.

It remains to be seen how many more WSOP cashes Koon helps himself to because he specializes in Super High Roller events. Here’s hoping he drops down limits so we don’t see Koon without a bracelet for too much longer.

Steve O’Dwyer: Will He Ever Win a Bracelet?

Steve O'Dwyer tends to skip the WSOP hence him being without a bracelet win

Steve O’Dwyer is another top player who’s still waiting for their maiden bracelet win and that’s likely to remain the case. O’Dwyer has almost $30.5 million in live winnings, but only $711,592 from WSOP events. He’s only cashed twice in the past five years both in Las Vegas and Europe.

It isn’t a lack of ability that’s the reason behind O’Dwyer’s lack of a bracelet. It’s O’Dwyer’s forward-thinking and business acumen. O’Dwyer prefers to stay home and grind online poker tournaments during the WSOP and WSOP Europe. Why? Because he figures the best online poker players are grinding live events during this time, making his games softer!

Sam Trickett: Three WSOP Second-Place Finishes

Sam Trickett

Sam Trickett has more than $21.7 million in live MTT cashes but still hasn’t won a bracelet. Seventeen WSOP cashes, including three runner-up finishes, are on Trickett’s record. Those cashes add up to $11,772,085, the bulk of which coming from the Big One For One Drop in 2012. Trickett netted $10,112,001 that day.

The popular Brit prefers high stakes cash games to tournaments, although he still plays the latter. As recent at the 2019 WSOP Europe festival, Trickett finished second in a €25,500 High Roller. Australia’s Kahle Burns was the latest player to deny Trickett a bracelet.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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