When you're running good and the poker gods are shining they light upon thee, it's tough to derail a confident poker player especially in any form of PLO. Josh Arieh last won a bracelet in 2005 during the height of the poker boom with a victory in a $2K PLO event. It took 16 years before Arieh returned to the winner's circle and slap a third bracelet on his wrist, but 2021 was a special year because he won two bracelets to double his career output.
Arieh secured his third-career bracelet with a victory in 2021 WSOP Event #39 $1,500 PLO. He earned a $204,766 payday after he defeated Tommy Le heads-up for the win. Two weeks later, Arieh made another final table and he went the distance in the 10K PLO8 Championship.
2021 WSOP Event #66 $10,000 PLO8 Championship attracted 208 runners and a prize pool that fell short of $2 million. Only the top 32 places paid out in Event #66. Notables who cashed included Ben Yu, Marco Johnson, Richie Allen, Scott Stinson, Niklas Astedt, Noah Bronstein, Marco Johnson, Ben Yu, Brian Hastings, Matt Vengrin, Leif Force, Felipe Ramos, Roland Israelashvili, Nick Schulman, Robert Mizrachi, and Joe Hachem.
The eight-handed PLO8 championship final table included Josh Arieh, Danny Chang, Anatolii Zyrin, Dan Colpoys, Jeff Gross, Adam Owen, Aaron Kupin, and Matt Woodward.
Anatolii Zyrin busted in third place, which set up the heavyweight bout between Arieh and Danny Change. Arieh led 7.2M to 5.3M when heads-up began. The two jousted for less than a half-hour before Arieh emerged as the winner.
Danny Chang earned a runner-up payout of $299,627 for second place. Not too shabby, eh?
Arieh banked $484,791 for the victory. He also snagged his fourth career bling and second bracelet in the last two weeks.
Arieh is most known for his deep run at the 2004 WSOP Main Event when he took third place behind Greg Raymer and David Williams. Arieh also missed out on winning the $50K Poker Players Championship when he was the runner up back in 2019.
Arieh won his first bracelet back in 1999... yes, 1999... when he shipped a $3,000 Limit Hold'em event. Ha, remember the olden days when the WSOP hosted 1) multiple limit hold'em tournaments, and 2) offered 3K price points? At the 1999 WSOP, Arieh edged out Humberto Brenes for his first bracelet. That LHE final table also included Capt Tom Franklin, Howard Lederer and John Juanda. At the 2005 WSOP, Arieh binked the $2,000 PLO event to win his second-career WSOP bracelet. He defeated Jesus Ferguson heads up for his second bling. No one expected, especially Arieh, that he'd have tow ait 16 years to win another bracelet. He made up for lost time with two bracelet victories this fall.
The PLO8 victory thrust Arieh into contention for the WSOP Player of the Year. Jake Schwartz sits atop of the super-tight WSOP POY leaderboard with 2,711.43 points. Arieh moved into second with 2,696.81 points, but there's five other players in hot pursuit of Schwartz and Arieh including Ryan Leng (2,684.04), Kevin Gerhart (2,643.28), Anthony Zinno (2,627.88), Phil Hellmuth (2,598.59), and Shaun Deeb (2,518.89). There's still a couple more events on the docket including the WSOP Main Event -- which is currently underway with flights still yet to play.
2021 WSOP Event #66 PLO8 Championship
Prize Pool: $1,939,600
Final Table Results:
1. Josh Arieh (USA) $484,791
2. Danny Chang (USA) $299,627
3. Anatolii Zyrin (Russia) $207,369
4. Dan Colpoys (USA) $146,817
5. Jeff Gross (USA) $106,391
6. Adam Owen (UK) $78,955
7. Aaron Kupin (USA) $60,040
8. Matt Woodward (USA) $46,813