The 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is now more than halfways through as it will conclude on Nov 23 at the Rio in Las Vegas. We take a look at the first half of the 2021 WSOP and look at some of the top highlights and player accomplishments so far.

Phil Hellmuth Wins 16th Bracelet

Phil Hellmuth came into the 2021 WSOP as the player with the most number (15) of WSOP bracelets in the history of the tournament. Hellmuth has tried during the last few WSOPs to win his 16th bracelet but has not been able to achieve that landmark. He had a good run in the first couple of weeks at the WSOP, making the final table for a couple of events but falling short.
He ended up creating quite a controversy when he went into a 15th minute rant when he made a final table but ended up losing against Anthony Zinno in the end. Hellmuth used a lot of colourful language during his long rant and many felt that the WSOP was giving their favorite player special treatment as he should have been banned or fined based on the WSOP rules.
Hellmuth issued an apology and quickly put all that behind him. He ended up winning Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw and won his 16th WSOP bracelet.

Adam Friedman Does A 3-Peat

Adam Friedman created history when he ended up winning Event #36: $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship. This was a special win for Friedman because it was the third consecutive time that he has won this event. This win also gave Friedman his 4th WSOP bracelet and pushed his total WSOP winnings to more than $2 million.

WSOP Avoids Major Controversies

There were concerns when the WSOP announced that it was proceeding with its live poker tournament even with rising cases of COVID-19 in the country. The WSOP made it mandatory for players to be fully vaccinated in order to play at the Rio as it wanted to do its best to protect a COVID-19 outbreak at the tournament.
The WSOP has so far been successful in doing so and the live poker tournament has gone on rather seamlessly till date. While there were initially teething problems during the first couple of days with player registration and vaccination proof, the WSOP streamlined the process and things have been going well so far.

Top Poker Players MIA

Since the 2020 WSOP did not take place, poker fans were expecting to see all of the top poker players in attendance at the 2021 WSOP. However, a lot of familiar faces are missing in action as some players like Alex Foxen and his fiancé Kristen Bicknell have skipped the live poker tournament as they were not happy with the WSOP forcing mandatory vaccination.
Some of the other top poker players missing in action (MIA) include Phil Ivey, Huck Seed, Chris Moneymaker, Chris Fergusson, Vanessa Selbst, Todd Brunson and Jamie Gold.

Hellmuth and Koon Lead POY Race

Hellmuth currently sits at the top of the WSOP Player of the Year (POY) Leaderboard while GGPoker Ambassador Jason Koon currently sits at the top of the Velo No Limits Standings POY Leaderboard.
Hellmuth is in first place with 2,598.59 while Zinno who has also had a good run at many of the events Hellmuth has taken part in is in second place with 2,231.10. Koon sits in seventh place on this leaderboard with 1,660.20 points.
Koon is in first place with 1,660.20 on the Velo leaderboard while Daniel Lazrus is in second place with 1,613.05 points.

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