Las Vegas poker veteran collects $320,103 top prize in Event #47

Philadelphia native wins his fourth WSOP gold bracelet

Belgian waffle:  Michael Gathy, from Brussels barely misses another WSOP victory and finishes as runner up



Name:  “Johnny World” Hennigan
Birthplace:  Philadelphia, PA
Age:  46
Current Residence:   Las Vegas, NV
Profession:  Professional Poker Player (cash games and tournaments)
Number of WSOP Cashes:  29
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances:  13
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament):  4
Best Previous WSOP Finish:  1st (2002, 2004, 2014)
Total WSOP Earnings:  $4,048,347
Personal Facts:   Before playing poker for a living, Hennigan was a pool shark



Johnny Hennigan was interviewed moments after winning his fourth WSOP gold bracelet victory.  Here are his answers verbatim, which contains some unusual surprises, particularly for someone who just won another WSOP title:

Question:  Does winning big events like this ever get old?
Hennigan:  No, it never gets old.  It’s such a great thrill even to go deep in one.  Normally, you get knocked out on the first day or the second day, or whatever.  Especially with the great caliber of players these days, you don’t expect to win too often.  Twenty years ago, there were shorter fields.  And there were only a handful of great players.  Now, it’s flooded.  You might sit down next to someone you don’t even know and they are probably great.  It’s great to compete and there’s really nothing like being there at a final table.  Winning is like a load off your mind.  The worst feeling in the world is walking away from a table and you know they are still playing.

Question:  How does this win compare with the previous WSOP victories, or accomplishments elsewhere?
Hennigan:  What was really striking to me is – I didn’t play that well.  I got very lucky in this tournament.  I didn’t really have it.  But I got lucky at the right times.  I bluffed and then caught, and I made so many hands.  I normally think I played pretty well.  But not this time.  I played like sh**.

Question:  Do you think about your legacy at all, especially since you have had such staying power and so many big wins?
Hennigan:  Not really.  I try to live in the present.  I like to play good.  I am hard on myself when I don’t play well.  I always try to be honest with myself.  Because playing with guys this good, I want to be able to compete and play my best.  And I don’t mean just compete, not just to win but also to mentally match up.

Question:  You don’t play as many tournaments as you once did.  Why is that?
Hennigan:  I’ve just been playing in the cash games this summer.  But I’ve been losing.  I was out of gas in the cash games, so I came over here to kill time. Those games are so big that it’s hard to concentrate on tournaments.  So, I registered late at midnight -- which is foolish.  I gave up so many so many levels, but that’s what I did – and I’m glad I did.

Question:  Do you expect to be up there with the greats when your career is finally over?
Hennigan:  No, I don’t expect to be up around 10 or 12 or 14 (WSOP wins).  I don’t think I’m going to be catching them anytime soon.

Johnny “World” Hennigan has just won his fourth World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

The longtime professional poker player from Las Vegas won the $10,000 buy-in Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball (Limit) Championship, which was played over three days and nights and just concluded at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Hennigan collected $320,103 in prize money, making this one of the most sizable wins of his career.  Yet, it was also one of several high points in a poker career filled with many spectacular moments.  He previously won gold bracelets in 2002 (Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split), 2004 (Limit Hold’em), and perhaps his most prestigious title, a victory in the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship, in 2014.

Hennigan also won one of the final WSOP charity events held which was called “Ante-Up for Africa,” in 2008.  He donated the bulk of his $136,000 cash prize to the charity.

That said, the tough poker pro wasn’t in a charitable mood in this tournament.  The Philadelphia native won his victory by coming out on top at a final table which included numerous tough challengers.  Chris Klodnicki started off Day Three as chip leader.  Close behind was Michael Gathy, seeking what might have been his second gold bracelet victory within a week and fourth overall during his career.  Then, there was J.C. Tran, Viacheslav Zhokov, Scott Abrams, Abe Mosseri, Brant Hale, and Andrey Zhigalov.  This was a formidable lineup, indeed.

After Tran was eliminated in third place, that left Hennigan to battle Gathy for the title.  Hennigan began the duel with nearly a 3 to 1 chip lead.  However, both players knew the real battle had only just begun.  The final two battled for about 90 minutes before Hennigan was finally able to subdue his very tough Belgian rival.  Unusually earnest and humble about his victory, Hennigan acknowledged that he was very fortunate at times and caught good cards.  He even admitted he didn’t play particularly well, which is quite a statement given that he joined the exalted ranks of only 41 players who have won four or more WSOP gold bracelets.

The ultimate moment of triumph came when Hennigan scooped the final pot of the tournament against Gathy who finished as the runner up.  His consolation prize amounted to $197,838.  Credit the player from Brussels, who is enjoying a remarkable WSOP with a victory already to go along with this second-place finish.

Hennigan has quietly become one of the most feared poker players in the game, in both cash games and tournaments.  Previously a pool shark who grew up in Philadelphia, Hennigan earned the nickname “Johnny World” due to his willingness to bet on just about “anything in the world.”  That’s especially true for – himself.

This exciting tourney attracted 125 entrants, which was pretty much a collection of the world’s best tournament players.  The larger-than-expected field created a prize pool totaling $1,175,000.  The top 19 finishers collected prize money.
Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:

Second Place:  Michael Gathy is enjoying a marvelous series, with one win already and now a runner up finish.  In fact, the poker pro from Brussels, Belgium now has two second-place finishes and close to $900,000 in winnings at this WSOP after collecting $197,838 in a noble effort.

Third Place:  J.C. Tran, the pride of Sacramento, CA came in third.  This marked his 54th time to make the money at the series.  The two-time gold bracelet winner who earned his biggest payout by coming in fifth in the 2013 WSOP Main Event was paid $142,547 this time around.  Tran now has about $4.7 million in career WSOP earnings.

Fourth Place:  Chris Klodnicki, from Philadelphia, PA came in fourth, which paid $102,910.  This was his highest finish in three years and 35th occasion to cash at the WSOP.  Klodnicki, runner up in the 2013 One Drop High Rollers tourney (which paid nearly $3 million) now has in excess of $6 million in WSOP-related earnings.

Fifth Place:  Viacheslav Zhukov, from Moscow, Russia, was aiming for what might have been a third career gold bracelet.  Instead, he busted out on the final day in the middle of the pack.  Still, Zhukov, who earned victories in 2011 and 2012 (both in Omaha High-Low Split), ended up collecting $74,439.  This was his 15th time to cash at the series, which put him over the $1.5 million mark in earnings.

Sixth Place:  Abe Mosseri, from Longboat Key, FL hoped to win a second gold bracelet following his memorable victory in 2009 in this same event.  Mosseri was looking strong until a few hours into the final table when he went card dead and had to settle for sixth place.  The poker pro originally from New York City picked up his 15th series cash, which was good for $53,951.

Seventh Place:  Brant Hale, from Moore, OK has now posted some impressive cashes at the summer series – five in all.  This was his deepest run, so far, which was worth $39,179 at the payout window.

Eighth Place:  Scott Abrams, from Henderson, NV     $39,179

This was the 47th official event on this year’s schedule.  This leaves 22 gold bracelet events still to be played at the 2016 WSOP.


Among the more notable names to cash were….

? -- Christopher Vitch, who was playing for his second gold bracelet victory this week.
? -- Dan Shak, the insufferable touring pro with monster-sized tournament cash winnings, but as of yet – no gold bracelet wins
? -- Daniel Negreanu, going for what would have been a seventh gold bracelet in what was his 89th career cash at the WSOP



For this event’s official final results (listing all players who finished in-the-money), please visit:

For Johnny Hennigan’s official player profile page, please visit:

For the live reporting logs for this event, please visit:

To access licensed images from this all other 2016 WSOP gold bracelet events, please visit: