As 2021 comes to a close we have seen the usual unexpected successes throughout the year, and also a few failures that nobody saw coming. Here are the biggest poker shooting stars and winners as well as the biggest poker losers of 2021.
Biggest Poker Winners and Losers 2021
So, who were the heroes and zeros during 2021? Let’s take a look at a few cases that stood out over the whole year.
#1 Poker Shooting Star – Michael Addamo – $9.4 Million Live Tournament Winnings
The biggest winner of the year has to be Michael Addamo. The Aussie not only won more money than the WSOP Main Event winner, but he also did it almost exclusively from scores playing against the world’s best.
Let’s put this into perspective: Between May 16 to September 12 Addamo racked up about $217,000 from major online events, mostly WSOP Online.
Then from September 17 to November 21 the tournament star went on a rampage of the like we’ve never seen before, racking up $9,418,837 from only eight events.
Out of these eight tournaments Addamo scored six victories with a runner-up and third place. He also doubled his WSOP gold bracelet tally to four.
An amazing year for a guy who was already an elite player and who more than doubled his live tournament winnings record to almost $18 million.
#2 Poker Shooting Star – Phil Galfond – Still Untouchable at Heads-Up PLO
When Phil Galfond announced he was willing to take on anybody in the world at heads-up PLO, many in the poker community thought he’d lost his mind.
Once thought of as the best PLO player in the world, his career looked to have moved more towards business, particularly his Run It Once poker site.
In a modern poker world obsessed with GTO solvers, just how could he expect to compete?
Well, as it turned out, with pure hard work and brilliance.
VeniVidi1993 was the first opponent, and he battered Galfond left and right leaving the American more than €900,000 down playing €100/€200 PLO.
This ended up being the catalyst for a reassessment of what changes were needed to beat a guy who was at the top of the PLO tree today.
An incredible turn around saw Galfond take the lead after almost four months of trailing his opponent, and less than a week before the match would end with Galfond winning by only €1,671.58.
Victories against Actionfreak and Chance Kornuth followed leaving everyone wondering who can beat Phil Galfond.
#1 Loser – Mike Postle – Stones Casino Cheating Scandal
There is little else to be said about the cheating accusations laid at the feet of Mike Postle.
Allegations of receiving his opponent’s holecards to his phone during play tainted the poker world in a way not seen for a long time.
Nobody was able to prove any misdeeds in a court of law due to the nature of how the law is written, but Postle’s life looks to have been pulled apart nonetheless.
A $300 million law suit left him without a lawyer prepared to take his case forward and he is now facing financial ruin following a claim for legal costs and damages by Veronica Brill and Todd Witteles.
#2 Loser – Landon Tice – Outmanoeuvred by Bill Perkins
Landon Tice started the year with all the talent and the poker world seemingly his oyster. The young American was seen as one of the great talents coming up in the poker world and he was looking to make his mark.
Sadly for Tice, he got himself swept up in the current trend of high-stakes heads-up battles and thought this would really put him on the map, and then it all went wrong.
Seeing Bill Perkins as a player he could easily beat, he agreed to conditions that were heavily against him. A 9bb/100 head start translated to $720,000 over the 20,000-hand match of $200-$400, and it just proved too much.
After only 4,907 hands Landon Tice only led by a paltry $63,720 and his backers were getting nervous and looking for a cut-price way out. It also turned out they players had a $200,000 side bet on the table too.
This whole show turned out to be a major embarrassment for Landon Tice who will surely think more before he jumps into such challenges, especially with other people’s money.
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