- »Greg Mueller Wins Third Gold Bracelet At 2019 WSOP
Greg Mueller Wins Third Gold Bracelet At 2019 WSOP
When the 50th Annual World Series of Poker began at the end of May, scores of Canadians poker players packed their bags to head to the Rio Casino in Las Vegas to participate. One of those players was Greg Mueller, who has now picked up a third career bracelet at the 2019 WSOP.
Pride of Canada
Whether for a few tournaments or the entire seven-week series, Canadian poker players want to put their skills at the poker gaming tables to the test in an attempt to bring home the gold.
Former professional hockey player Mueller still plays hockey on a regular basis. However, there is something about his time as a poker pro that he can’t leave behind either. And a series like the WSOP calls to him.
Mueller is probably now glad that he heeded the call. He won the HORSE Championship last week for more than $425K. He also collected his third career WSOP gold bracelet.
Champ of the Championship
Greg Mueller arrived in Vegas at the start of the WSOP and played a few tournaments, cashing in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice (Event 10) and the $1,500 NLHE Shootout (Event 17). Then he played the $10K buy-in HORSE Championship, a four-day event that mixed Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, and Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo.
At the end of Day 1, Mueller sat in 12th place of the 83 players remaining in the field. He then moved up to fourth place at the end of Day 2 with 20 players left. He was in that same position going into the final day.
With some big stacks and talented opponents ahead of him, Mueller used his mental and physical health to guide him through the action. In addition, the ups and downs of the day forced him to rely on friends for support. These included longtime pro Shawn Buchanan, who reminding him to “stay tough” and “don’t be defeated.”
Mueller survived an all-in against Dario Sammartino to stay alive. He subsequently climbed to the middle of the pack during three-handed play. Soon after, Mueller took the lead and eventually ousted Sammartino in third place. Finally, Mueller busted Daniel Ospina in second place to claim the title and bracelet.
Greg Mueller Waited a While for a Third
It had been a decade since Greg Mueller won his first two WSOP gold bracelets. He did that in 2009 when he won the Limit Hold’em Championship and a Limit Hold’em Shootout.
At that time, Mueller was playing very regularly and had a Full Tilt Poker sponsorship at the time. But after Full Tilt went under in 2011, taking many poker players and their account balances with it, Mueller seemed to sour on the game a bit. He travelled to Vegas to play the WSOP nearly every summer. However, the rest of his life was devoted to hockey and personal health.
In his post-game interview, Mueller remembered the swagger and confidence from 10 years prior, stating that he “couldn’t wait to walk to the Rio and play another event.”
But things have changed. He admitted that poker tournaments are more of a grind than they used to be, sitting for long hours at the tables. Even so, he decided he wanted to win again.
“I put a lot of effort into not so much studying the game,” Mueller said, “but into my own physical and mental state. I got really fit and was able to endure the hours and do the right things.”
And Mueller did it. He won his third piece of WSOP gold. “It feels amazing,” he admitted.
Canadians Crushing WSOP
Crushing may not be the right word, though. After all, Americans have been dominating the 2019 WSOP by overwhelming numbers. But Canada is on its heels.
At the series in Vegas, the US has so far claimed more than $52 million in earnings. Meanwhile, Canada is in second place with $3,438,558, ahead of the UK by about $500K.
Canada is also second to the US in the number of player cashes. The US shows 9,189 players who cashed in events through about 35 events. Canada is next with 523 cashes, and far ahead of the UK with its 284 cashes.
For individual earnings, Ben Heath of the UK is in top position with close to $1.5 million. He’s followed by the winner of the Millionaire Maker (US player John Gorsuch) and Big 50 (US-based Femi Fashakin). But Mueller is on the list in 15th place. Furthermore, he’s the highest-earning Canadian of the series thus far.
By cashes, Canadian Daniel Negreanu holds a third-place position with six cashes, alongside 15 other players, but as the only Canadian.
Canadian Kristen Bicknell ranks sixth overall for women’s 2019 WSOP earnings thus far. She also has three cashes so far at the series for more than $40K.
As the 2019 WSOP pushes on, Canadians can watch players like Mueller, Negreanu, and Bicknell as they try to bring more WSOP glory back to Canada this summer.