In a race that actually finished tighter than the parallel 2021 WSOP Player of the Year chase, California pro and poker Twitch personality Scott Ball hung on to win the WSOP’s new No-Limits VELO Leaderboard Championship. Ball’s 2,863.11 total held up for the VELO race’s $12,500 first-place prize.
Ball’s two bracelet wins and nine total series cashes allowed him to top several other of the series’ no-limit bracelet winners. 2021 WSOP Main Event champion Koray Aldemir surged all the way to second place after scoring a late cash in one of the WSOP’s online bracelet events. That victory added to his $8 million payday for winning the Main Event. Aldemir received a $7,500 bonus for his runner-up VELO finish.
German pro Aldemir’s 2,670.11 total was 193 points behind Ball’s tally, meaning he needed one more final-table finish to overtake Ball. Aldemir’s late rush pushed him past WSOP newcomer Cole Ferraro, who in his first-ever WSOP series took a win, a runner-up showing, and seven total series cashes on his way to third in the VELO race.
Ferraro’s VELO performance was worth $5,000, and his 2,606.16 total just edged out Jason Koon for the final paying spot. Koon finished just 3.5 points behind Ferraro but claimed no VELO bonus money.
VELO funded both No-Limits and POY races
The No-Limits VELO Leaderboard tallied POY points only from open-field WSOP events that employed a no-limit structure. VELO’s sponsorship allowed the leaderboard to be created and to serve as a counterpoint to the WSOP’s long-running and highly esteemed WSOP POY chase, which was won by Josh Arieh. VELO also contributed another $25,000 to fund the 2021 WSOP POY payouts, which were without sponsorship in 2019. Because of that lack of sponsorship, they awarded no prize money — just the honor of a banner hung at the WSOP.
It’s not known whether the VELO leaderboard winner, Ball, will be honored with a similar banner at future WSOP series. Even so, such a banner would likely remain displayed only for the duration of the WSOP’s sponsorship pact with VELO. That pact was announced in late September, just before the 2021 WSOP got underway. While the deal is likely to run for multiple years, sponsorship deals of this nature are rarely permanent.
At the very least, however, Ball can forever claim to be the first winner of the VELO Leaderboard race. While that pales against the scope of his breakthrough double-bracelet series, it’s still another accolade for Ball’s growing poker resume.
The final top 10 in the No-Limits VELO Leaderboard Championship are as follows:
- Scott Ball – 2,863.11 ($12,500)
- Koray Aldemir – 2,670.11 ($7,500)
- Cole Ferraro – 2,606.61 ($5,000)
- Jason Koon – 2,603.10
- Ren Lin – 2,529.31
- Michael Addamo – 2,440.58
- Georgios Sotiropoulos – 2,415.93
- Ben Yu – 2,345.43
- Pete Chen – 2,268.54
- Romain Lewis – 2,268.39
Featured image source: WSOP.com