Big Winners of the Week (Nov. 15 – 21): Mateos Climbs Super High, Hellmuth Breaks Another Record, and Hard Work Pays off for McNicholas

6 min read

As the WSOP comes to a glorious conclusion, some of the game’s top pros have finally found their way onto the winner’s rostrum. And, joining Adrian Mateos, Jeremy Ausmus, and Leo Margets in this week’s list of champions is the WSOP king himself, Phil Hellmuth. Add to this a supporting cast of big winners from elsewhere in the world, including GUKPT London champ Jiaze Li, and there’s plenty to celebrate this week. So, without further ado, scroll down for our Big Winners of the Week ending Nov. 21.

Adrian Mateos
(Image: WSOP)

Adrian Mateos

Super High Roller
World Series of Poker


Mateos may have only beaten a field of 33 entrants in the $250,000 super high roller, but it was a notable victory, nonetheless. Why? Because it was his biggest win by almost $2 million. Despite being the 2012 WSOPE Main Event champion, and having EPT and Partypoker Millions titles to his name, the Spaniard’s biggest single prize prior to Saturday’s final table was $1.3 million. He surpassed that with ease on Saturday night when he beat English pro Ben Heath heads-up to win his fourth bracelet.

Jeremy Ausmus
(Image: WSOP)

Jeremy Ausmus

PLO High Roller
World Series of Poker


2012 WSOP Main Event fifth-place-finisher Ausmus won his third bracelet on Sunday and denied Phil Hellmuth his 17th in the process. Ausmus anted up in the $50K event needing a win to ensure his WSOP didn’t end in a loss. Despite winning the $1,000 COVID Relief event at the start of the series, Ausmus spent a lot on buy-ins this year, including two bullets in a $25K tournament. However, any impending financial woes were erased on Sunday night after he topped the 85-entry field, beating Daniel Negreanu and Hellmuth at the last, to win more than $1 million.

Leo Margets WSOP
(Image: WSOP)

Leo Margets

The Closer
World Series of Poker


It might have taken until the end of the Series, but Margets ensured that a woman took home an open-event bracelet in 2021. Lara Eisenberg was the first woman to win a WSOP bracelet this year when she took down the Ladies Event. But, until Margets beat a field of 1,903 entrants in the $1K Closer on Sunday, no women had won any bling in open events. The win also marked Margets’ first WSOP bracelet and her biggest score to date.

evan sandberg
(Image: Twitter/Wynn Poker Room)

Evan Sandberg

Mystery Bounty Event
Wynn Fall Classic


Sandberg came through a marathon session on Day 2 of the $1,600 bounty event to eclipse his previous biggest score by more than $100K. The Californian grinder played for almost 20 hours between Thursday and Friday before getting over the finish line. Aram Zobian made the heads-up match last for an hour, but faded in the final stretch, allowing Sandberg to top the 2,573-runner field and win $206,322 on top of the $87,000 in bounties he collected over the course of two days.

Jiaze Li
(Image: Twitter/Grosvenor)

Jiaze Li

GUKPT London Main Event
Grosvenor Victoria Casino

£50,000 ($67,200) + GUKPT Grand Final Seat

Li finally got the GUKPT monkey off his back by defeating a field of 471 entrants in the latest £1,250 ($1,680) main event. The English grinder swung into action on Thursday and made it through the masses to reach Sunday’s final table. Three of Li’s six live cashes have been in GUKPT events, but he’d never been within touching distance of a title. That changed on Sunday as he came through a tough final session, outlasting Hendon Mobster Ram Vaswani to cut a deal, win his first live title, and a seat in next week’s £2,000 (£2,700) GUKPT Grand Final.

Michael Ung
(Image: Twitter/The Venetian)

Michael Ung

The UltimateStack
Venetian DeepStacks


Ung made the most of tournament season in Las Vegas by winning the 61st event in the Venetian’s DeepStacks Series on Wednesday. Like thousands of grinders, the California-based Ung is in Sin City for the WSOP. He managed two cashes at the series, but his best runs have happened elsewhere on the Strip. Following a 12th-place finish in the Venetian’s MonsterStack event on Nov. 5, he went 11 places better in the $800 UltimateStack.

Euan mcnicholas
(Image: Twitter/Grosvenor)

Euan McNicholas

Grosvenor National Poker League

£20,000 ($26,800)

It’s always nice when a previous Big Winner rises up the ranks to win a title, but it’s even better when that player earns the right to call themselves a sponsored pro. McNicholas made the headlines in July when he cashed twice at GUKPT London, one of which was a win in the main event. That maiden title lit a fire under McNicholas. He went on to feature in our Big Winners round-up at the start of November and, last week, he won Grosvenor’s National Poker League, which awarded him a sponsorship package. Winning the season-long competition and becoming the top GUKPT player of 2021 means McNicholas will ante up in 2022 as a member of Team Grosvenor.

The Real Phil Hellmuth
(Image: Chirs Wallace)

Phil Hellmuth

7 Final Tables
World Series of Poker

Love him or hate him, it’s hard to argue against the fact that Hellmuth is the greatest WSOP player of all time. Not only did he win his record-breaking 16th bracelet — and finish second on multiple occasions this year — he set a new record by making more final tables in a single series than anyone else. The man from Wisconsin made seven final tables this year, beating the previous record of six set by An Tran in 1993. Hellmuth’s most recent near-miss came on Sunday when he finished second to Ausmus in the PLO High Roller. Although he desperately wanted to win his 17th bracelet, the $734,807 he pocketed for second place should help to soften the blow.

Daniel Smyth, Bob Pajich, and Chris Wallace all contributed to this report. Know a big winner we missed?

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