Top Ten All-Time in Total Cashes in Live Tournament Poker
Alan Kessler is one of the most successful poker players of all time. He has an incredible 363 cashes in live tournament play. This includes an amazing 88 cashes in the World Series of Poker and 91 cashes on the WSOP circuit. His total career earnings are close to $4 million, with around 50% of that income coming in those WSOP events.
This page covers the WSOP successes of Kessler, along with his other notable victories and a short bio.
Alan Kessler at the World Series of Poker
Despite never crossing the finishing line as a bracelet winner at the World Series of Poker, there is little doubt that the American poker pro has achieved significant WSOP success.
Kessler is one of those players who is regularly seen at the end of tournaments, in the mix for a big prize.
In total he has enjoyed 88 cashes at the World Series of Poker. In nine of those events, he has found himself at the final table. On three of those occasions, he would finish runner up, just missing out on that coveted bracelet.
7 Card Stud Championship 2010
In 2010, he entered the $10,000 buy-in Seven Card Stud 8 or Better Championship alongside 169 other players. He made it to the heads-up stage only to fall short to Frank Kassela. Other big names at the final table included Jennifer Harman and John Juanda. That event pocketed Kessler a career high win of $276,000. That year saw him cash an incredible 9 times, the most cashes by any player in the entire series.
His other second place finishes came in 2005 at the $2,500 Omaha High-Low 8/OB Event and in 2011 at the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament.
Kessler in the Main Event and WSOP Circuit
Kessler’s best cash at the Main Event was in 2019 when he finished in 320th place and collected $38,000 for his efforts.
Alan Kessler is lucky enough to have won three WSOP rings (these are handed out to winners of the World Series of Poker Circuit events). The first of these wins came in 2007 when he won $73,000 for winning the $500 No Limit Hold’em event at Caesars Palace. In 2013 he won his second ring at the Lodge Casino, collecting $20,000 when winning the $580 No Limit Hold’em event. His biggest WSOP Circuit win came in 2014 when he won $170,000 for finishing 1st at the $1,675 $500k guaranteed event at Foxwoods.
Other Tournament Successes for Alan Kessler
Kessler’s biggest tournament win outside of the WSOP came at the 2009 Winter Bayou Poker Challenge, collecting $70,000 at the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship event. Wins of more than $50,000 came at the 2006 Poker 101 tournament No Limit Hold’em event and the 2008 Wynn Classic when he won the Omaha Hi/Lo 8/OB event. Other wins have come at the Bellagio, the LA Poker Classic on the World Poker Tour, and the 2006 UK Poker Championship.
Playing Style of Alan Kessler
Alan Kessler is viewed in the game as a ‘min-cash machine,’ meaning that he will regularly make those cashes, but is not always able to convert them into the huge prizes. This could be seen as a hole in his game by some. With perhaps too conservative an approach in his tournament play – satisfied with those regular cashes, maybe he does not risk enough of those cashes to go all the way and win a big one.
There are running jokes on social media that if ever Kessler won a WSOP event, there will be a poker apocalypse. Kessler is even in on the joke, making fun of himself. Ironically, he has been given the nickname ‘The Chainsaw.’
One thing you do have to say is that Kessler is a money-making machine, with his approach ensuring that he continues to appear in and around the GPI top 300 year on year. Other players come and go, but Kessler is always on that list.
Mini Bio: About Alan Kessler
Alan Kessler first started playing poker college and in the 1980s would spend much of his time playing slot machines in Atlantic City. Much of his early poker play was at the cash tables, but in 2001 turned his hand to playing tournament poker, with his first WSOP cash coming that year.
Alongside his poker, he is still a fan of the slots and is regularly seen on social media celebrating his biggest wins. There is a rumor that he once played penny slots for 37 hours without stopping. His biggest wins on the slots have sometimes bankrolled his entries into tournament poker events.
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- Scotty Nguyen WSOP Legend (1998 winner)
- Phil Hellmuth (16x bracelets!)
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Image credit: Wikipedia, with a little help from free picture editor Canva.