"I just play more than them" – Ari Engel wins record-breaking 16th WSOP Circuit ring

Ari Engel at the 2023 World Series of Poker
Dave Woods
Posted on: October 11, 2023 04:13 PDT

He barely looks old enough, but Ari Engel’s record-breaking 16th WSOP Circuit ring means he's won the equivalent of one per year since he broke his duck in Atlantic City back in 2007. 

A youthful-looking 40-year-old, his WSOPC travels have taken him across the USA, picking up rings across three decades in places as iconic as Las Vegas, Palm Beach, and Foxwoods. His 16th ring came this week in Chicago at one of his favourite stops, Hammond Horseshoe, the scene of two previous victories.

Although WSOP gold bracelets are the glittery baubles most-counted by fans of the game, rings are the badges of the true grinders – players who do battle day-in, day-out on the biggest tournament circuit in the world.

Go back less than two years, and Engel could be seen sitting on 10 rings, several behind Maurice Hawkins, but his post-pandemic assault on the WSOPC has been relentless, this year especially so, with four wins.

And the games don’t appear to change his winning chances, with victories in PLO, 6-max and 8-max no-limit hold’em, H.O.R.S.E. and his latest, a limit Omaha 8-or-better scoop.

Player with a pure heart

People don't just love Engel because he's a prolific winner. He has a heart of gold, as evidenced in his post-win interview with us.

Talking to PokerOrg, Engel said, "Obviously, it’s nice to win, but my heart’s kind of in Jerusalem right now. So you know it’s bittersweet. But I’ve been playing a lot of these tournaments and it’s definitely good, better to win than lose. 

"I’m definitely not a top mixed game player, but ... I do okay in the low buy-in stuff. Maurice [Hawkins], Josh [Reichard], Dan Lowery all have a much better ratio when it comes to the number of tournaments they’ve played and rings.

"I just play a lot more than them. Their records are really good, and they’re all really good players."

Engel might be modest but his numbers speak for themselves.

  • $8,391,741 in lifetime earnings
  • 10th on Canada’s all-time list
  • 2 WSOP bracelets
  • $1,120,110 – Engel's seven-figure takedown of the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event

Norman Chad did a great round-up of his numbers, too.

Engel's Twitter announcement for breaking the WSOPC ring record? A minimalistic, “Won the 400 Omaha hi lo circuit tournament in Hammond Indiana for ring 16,” with the hashtag #myheartisinjerusalem.

Engel is getting it all. Quietly.

All-time WSOP Circuit rings

Place Player Prize
1 Ari Engel 16
2 Maurice Hawkins 15
3 Josh Reichard 14
4 Daniel Lowery 14
5 Valentin Vornicu 13
6 Jeffrey Trudeau Jr. 10
7 Robert Hankins 10
8 Martin Ryan 10
9 David Larson 10
10 Michael Lech 9