Chris Ferguson On Pace to Overtake Phil Hellmuth’s WSOP Cashes Record in 2019

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Whether you like it or not, Chris Ferguson is on pace to become the WSOP cashes record holder by the end of the 2019 series. Phil Hellmuth currently holds the record but due to his pace slowing in recent years, he could soon lose his lead.

Chris Ferguson WSOP
Chris Ferguson is about to break WSOP records and the poker community won’t like it. (Image: YouTube)

Ferguson, who won Player of the Year in 2017, has 120 cashes, second most all-time. Hellmuth leads the way with 133. Daniel Negreanu, a two-time POY (2004 and 2013), has 108 cashes, one more than Erik Seidel for third place.

While you might think the “Poker Brat” should easily hold onto that lead at least for a couple more years, if not longer given he plays numerous events each year, recent trends suggest otherwise.

Records are Made to Be Broken

Hellmuth recently admitted on Mike Matusow’s podcast that he wasn’t healthy last summer. He said it impacted his play and prevented him from playing a full schedule. He cashed in just seven events but did finish out the series with his 15th career bracelet in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $485,082.

But although he was admittedly unhealthy last year, his results were actually par for the course for the “Poker Brat,” based on recent history.

Year # Cashes Earnings Bracelets
2018 7 $511,815 1
2017 9 $387,850 0
2016 3 $67,098 0
2015 7 $1,026,265 1
2014 8 $231,037 0

So, if we’re projecting Hellmuth’s 2019 performance based on recent trends, we should expect about seven cashes and a 40 percent chance of winning a bracelet.

With that said, past history isn’t always an indication of future results, especially in the high variance world of tournament poker. Perhaps, Phil will play more events this year or is taking a different approach to the series. And, we should mention that there are 89 bracelet events this summer plus 10 more in Europe this year, far more than ever before, giving him more opportunities to rack up cashes.

Chris Ferguson Closing In

Chris Ferguson returned to the WSOP in 2016 after a five-year hiatus following the 2011 Full Tilt Poker Black Friday scandal. Since his return, he’s been one of the most efficient players each year. And he just might overtake Hellmuth in 2019 as the all-time cashes leader.

“Jesus” has 120 cashes, 14 behind Hellmuth. Over the past two years, he cashed 46 times, 23 each year. That’s 30 more cashes than Hellmuth over that period for an average of 15 per year. The margin of difference on the all-time chart is 14, meaning Ferguson is on pace to catch up in 2019.

Most of Ferguson’s cashes over the past two years – 38 of 46 – were for under $10,000. And his only bracelet during that period was only for €39,289 in a pot-limit Omaha/8-or-better event at WSOP Europe in 2017.

So, the 46 total cashes is a bit misleading and less impressive than it appears on the surface. But the numbers suggest he’ll soon hold the record for most WSOP cashes, possibly as early as July. And there will be many poker players, especially former Full Tilt customers, who won’t like it.

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