Poker fanatics are wrapping up the year of 2013 by reflecting back on the year’s greatest headlines. Some fans rank the popularity of the World Series of Poker main events, including the Asia-Pacific event that launched for the first time ever in April.
But the staying popularity of poker tournaments would not be popular without the success of its players, particularly outside the US where the WSOP originated. The year 2013 was defined by the success of Canadian poker players, and fans around the world recognize that 2013 poker will forever be immortalized as the ‘Year of Canada.’
Canada’s success began at the WSOP Asia-Pacific event, where Toronto-born Daniel Negreanu became the first ever winner of the WSOP Asia-Pacific gold bracelet for the tournament’s main event. Negreanu would also win Canada’s 12th WSOP gold bracelet in Europe, which allowed him to capture his second WSOP Player of the Year award following a similar accomplishment in 2004.
There were 10 other amateur and professional Canadian poker players who also won WSOP gold bracelets over the course of the season. These victories also included cash prizes that together, accumulated over $6.5 million in total winnings for Canadian-born players.
Canadians were the second-highest number of players entered into the WSOP this season at 4,118, second only to the US where player entrants dominated the total roster at approximately 57,000. However, the number of gold bracelets won by Canadians more than tripled the percentage of Canadian entrants. Using this calculation, Canadians were the most successful players in the WSOP.
A Canadian also made it to the WSOP Main Event final table in Las Vegas in November. Marc-Etienne McLaughlin was championed by his country, but ultimately fell before the final pot, earning sixth place at the table.
The Canadian success was unprecedented, and will set the standard for poker in 2014. Regardless of what happens next year, few will deny that 2013 was undoubtedly the Year of Canada.