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The Last Five WSOP Player of the Year Winners
Every poker player dreams of winning the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. The tournament comes with a life-changing payout – $8 million this year – and kudos aplenty from the poker community. However, the game’s top pros all want to become the WSOP Player of the Year.
The WSOP Player of the Year has been a thing since 2004. Players earn leaderboard points based on the WSOP event’s buy-in, and the players’ finishing position. Daniel Negreanu won the first WSOP Player of the year award. His six cashes, five final tables, and one bracelet pipped Ted Forrest to the post.
Phil Hellmuth is one man who has not won the WSOP Player of the Year title. However, he finished second four times, including this time around. Here are the last five winners of the prestigious title.
Josh Arieh – 2021 WSOP Player of the Year
Josh Arieh of Atlanta, Georgia, is the 2021 WSOP Player of the Year. Arieh cashed 11 times, reached five final tables, and won a brace of bracelets. His earnings for the series tip the scales at $1,194,061.
Arieh won his third career bracelet in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event, which came with $204,766. He secured his fourth WSOP bracelet a fortnight later, taking down the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tournament for an additional $484,791.
Phil Hellmuth finished second to Arieh in this year’s WSOP Player of the Year race. Hellmuth enjoyed an incredible series himself. He racked up nine cashes, seven final tables, and won his 16th WSOP bracelet.
Robert Campbell – 2019 WSOP Player of the Year
Australia’s Robert Campbell was the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year, but almost was not. Campbell thought Daniel Negreanu had pipped him to the post, but an eagle-eyed poker fan noticed an erroneous result involving Negreanu, resulting in the WSOP awarding the title to Campbell.
Campbell cashed 13 times for $750,844. Five of those cashes were at the final table, with two of those resulting in bracelet wins. The Aussie won the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw for $144,027, and the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo for $385,763.
Shaun Deeb – 2018’s Popular Winner
Shaun Deeb of Troy, New York, won the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year after a run of incredible results. Deeb won $2,545,623 from 20 in-the-money finishes, four final tables, and two bracelets.
Deed had nine cashes to his name by the time he won the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller for $1,402,683. You may recall Deeb won the very same tournament in 2021. Several more cashes followed before Deeb took down the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed event for another $814,179.
Deeb cashes 15 times at the 2021 WSOP but still did not finish in the POY top three.
Chris Ferguson – 2017’s Black Mark Against the Reward
Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the unpopular winner of the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year award. The man who many consider instrumental in the collapse of the online poker site Full Tilt Poker, cashed 23 times, made three final tables, and won a bracelet.
The bracelet Ferguson won, the €1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo in Europe, was the sixth of his career. Ferguson did not play a single event, including online, at the 2021 WSOP.
Jason Mercier – 2016’s Top WSOP Player
The now-retired Jason Mercier won the 2016 WSOP POY award. The Florida native won his fourth and fifth bracelets, navigated his way to four final tables, and cashed 11 times for $960,424.
His first bracelet of the 2016 series was in the $10,000 2-7 No-Limit Draw Lowball Championship for $273,335. Number two came in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship and weighed in at $422,874.
Mercier has come out of retirement a couple of times, but was not seen in 2020 nor 2021. Is he staying on the sidelines permanently?