Welcome to our special issue rounding up the 2016 World Series Of Poker. You can read the whole magazine for free by clicking HERE
The WSOP is over for another year and 2016 has been a roaring success. Numbers were up, more people than ever got paid and we’ve got a cracking November Nine to look forward to. The only complaint I’ve got is a familiar one… Once again, the only way to follow the Main Event was through the WSOP’s hand updates or on Twitter. What made it worse this year was that there was real controversy on the final day. If you weren’t at the Rio, you missed out.
It all centred around UK pro William Kassouf. He’d managed to talk his way into a one-orbit penalty on Day 5 for ‘taunting’ an opponent. Kassouf said he was being victimised. On Day 7, with 17 players remaining in the Main Event, it all kicked off again. Griffin Benger is a consummate pro but Kassouf cracked him. Benger was sat with Aces and Kassouf was talking with Kings.
Eventually a clock was called on Kassouf but Benger didn’t make it to the end before snapping. He shouted that he was being subjected to verbal abuse and the atmosphere in the Rio turned sour. The American rail sided with Benger, shouting ‘USA! USA!’ (even though Benger’s Canadian) and it looked at one point as if it might get physical. It was an extraordinary moment and a massive pot, with 27 million chips in the middle. Look out for the hand when ESPN run the highlights, although we expect Kassouf to be shown as the villain of the piece.
Dave Woods, PokerPlayer Editor