The 5 Most Memorable Moments in Poker in 2016
Today we take a look back and present our 5 most memorable poker moments of 2016.
Note that some of these moments aren't necessarily "positive," but instead are the most memorable.
Which were the most memorable to you? Let us know in the comments.
Mike Sexton Wins First World Poker Tour Title
Mike Sexton has been the voice of the World Poker Tour since its inception. He had previously appeared at two final tables but fallen short both times.
When he made the final table of the WPT Montreal Main Event, poker fans around the world hoped the 69-year-old could pull off the victory.
Sexton managed to make it heads-up but his chip stack dwindled and he continued to wait and was forced to finally shove with a meagre J-10 versus the A-8 of Benny Chen.
Luckily, Sexton was able to outdraw Chen and this started a run that made it clear to those in attendance that Sexton was destined to win. After taking the chip lead Chen found K-J and shoved on Sexton. Sexton woke up with pocket queens and made the call.
A queen on the flop proved enough to give Sexton the title and his first career World Poker Tour title. Bingo, Bongo, Bango and the voice of the World Poker Tour is now a WPT champion.
Jason Mercier Marries Natasha Barbour
While the majority of the poker community will remember the 2016 WSOP for Jason Mercier's attempt to win three bracelets, one of the most memorable moments came during the final table of the $5,000 NL Event.
Girlfriend Natasha Barbour made the final table and eventually finished 3rd. The disappointment quickly turned to jubilation as Mercier came up on stage and immediately proposed to her.
She naturally said yes and the pair were married in November.
Chris Ferguson Returns to the 2016 World Series of Poker
When Howard Lederer issued his "apology" via Daniel Negreanu just before the 2016 WSOP, we expected him to show up for a few events. What nobody expected was that Chris Ferguson would join him.
Starting with the $10k Stud Championship, Ferguson returned and managed to put together a run of 10 cashes including a 5th-place finish in the $10k NL Hold'em Six-Max.
Had Ferguson issued some type of apology prior or even during the WSOP, many fans would have accepted his return. Rather, he chose to evade questions and this drew the ire of the entire poker world.
Ferguson's return may have been a successful one but it clearly wasn't a welcomed one.
Fedor Holz Wins Three Aria High Rollers and WSOP Bracelet
Fedor Holz won over $16 million in live events in 2016, the second largest single-year total in history.
The most impressive part of his run came during the summer or "WSOP Season." Holz put together a run that started with a runner-up finish in the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl and continued with five final-table appearances in Aria High Roller events.
Holz won three of those final-table appearances and finished 3rd and 2nd in the other two. To cap off his summer Holz won his first career bracelet by taking down the $111,111 One Drop High Roller for $4.98 million.
Following the bracelet win Holz said he was effectively retiring from the game. He then went out and won a combined $2.5 million between live and online poker events.
Qui Nguyen Wins WSOP Main Event After Brutal Heads-Up Match
Qui Nguyen is poker's newest World Champion after taking down the 2016 WSOP Main Event for $8 million. While his win is epic, it may be remembered more for the brutal play of Gordon Vayo during heads-up.
Vayo played an ultra-tight style during the heads-up match that was some of the most brutal poker to watch ever. Every time he was all-in and won, poker fans around the nation wanted to throw their televisions out the window.
Finally, his luck ran out and Nguyen became a world champion. We assume that if he could do it again Vayo would play things differently. At least we hope so because nobody wants to go through that again.