Nothing in poker grabs the attention of fans or media more than a huge tournament win.
Of course, tournaments aren’t all there is to poker, but the enormous prizes and the drama of a final table turn tournaments into events in a way even the biggest cash games can’t match.
2014 was a year filled with exciting tournament poker moments and the following are just a few of our favorites.
Daniel Colman Wins One Drop
The second ever Big One for One Drop drew a slightly smaller field (42 as compared to 48 in 2012), but it still generated a huge buzz in the poker world.
After all, how many times do you get to play in or watch a tournament with a $1 million buy-in?
And with over $4.6 million being raised for charity, the tournament was easily one of the most charitable events in poker history.
As the final table was reached, big names like Scott Seiver, Tobias Reinkemeier and Daniel Negreanu were still in contention. But it would be the then virtually unknown Daniel Colman who would defeat Negeranu in heads-up play to take the $15.3 million first prize.
Colman’s demeanor after the tournament was as much a story as his win: he celebrated very little and did only the minimum required in terms of talking to the media. This would prove to be only one of several big wins for Colman in 2014 (more on that later).
Jacobson Captures WSOP Main Event Crown
The World Series of Poker Main Event is always the crown jewel on the poker calendar. This year’s Main Event featured a $10 million guarantee for the winner, which was enough to attract 6,683 players to take part in the game’s signature event.
By the time the final table was reached, there were several interesting storylines in play: Mark Newhouse had incredibly made the final table for the second straight year (perhaps even more incredibly, he would proceed to go out in 9th yet again), and a foosball champion, Billy Pappas, was among the November Nine.
But the top honors would ultimately go to Swedish pro Martin Jacobson, who was considered by most to be the most accomplished player at the table. Though he started with a small stack, Jacobson played masterfully throughout the final table, ultimately beating Felix Stephensen in heads-up play to capture the most prestigious title in poker.
Huge Overlay at the Seminole Hard Rock
Sometimes, tournaments don’t attract enough players to meet their guarantees, and casinos are forced to put up some of their own cash to give out the prizes they’ve promised. That creates an overlay: essentially, free money for the players who did turn out to fight over.
Overlays may not be rare, but players at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open were treated to a once in a lifetime windfall of added money. The $5,300 buy-in tournament had a $10 million guarantee, but only drew 1,499 entries, enough to leave an unbelievable $2.5 million overlay for the tournament.
The biggest beneficiary? Once again, it was Daniel Colman, who took down the tournament and the $1,446,710 that went to first place.
Coren Sets New EPT Title Record…at Two
It’s hard to believe, but for the first 97 events on the European Poker Tour, nobody had ever won a second main event title. That’s right: 97 tournaments, 97 winners. But that all changed at EPT Sanremo in April, when Victoria Coren Mitchell took down her second EPT title. Coren had previously won a title in September 2006 in London.