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WSOP Player of the Year

The World Series of Poker has officially named a Player of the Year since 2004, but similar awards were bestowed on Johnny Moss in 1970 (when he was voted the "best all-around player"1 of the cash games that were played) and Johnny Hale and Chip Reese in 1980 and 1981 when they were named "Best All-Around Player".2

With the number of events in the mid-thirties, the WSOP decided to use a formula based on how high they finished in tournaments. That lasted only a year. In fact, the WSOP Player of the Year formula has changed quite often through the years:

WSOP POY Formula Changes

The point totals themselves thus can't be compared between years, although the relative margins of victory can be.

WSOP Player of the Year

YearWinnerPointsRunner-UpPointsMargin
2004Daniel Negreanu0Ted Forrest00%
2005Allen Cunningham1,007,115Mark Seif799,95025.9%
2006Jeff Madsen1,467,852Phil Hellmuth1,190,00223.3%
2007Tom Schneider255Jeff Lisandro22513.3%
2008Erick Lindgren245Barry Greenstein2354.3%
2009Jeff Lisandro355Ville Wahlbeck32010.9%
2010Frank Kassela290Michael Mizrachi24020.8%
2011Ben Lamb909.05Phil Hellmuth755.2520.4%
2012Greg Merson981.13Phil Hellmuth889.3310.3%
2013Daniel Negreanu890.22Matthew Ashton665.7533.7%
2014George Danzer923.50Brandon Shack-Harris806.7014.5%
2015Mike Gorodinsky2,251.81Jonathan Duhamel2,175.643.5%
2016Jason Mercier2,195.57Paul Volpe1,923.6614.1%
2017Chris Ferguson1,178.53John Racener1,042.0413.1%
2018Shaun Deeb5,073.92Ben Yu3,746.0435.4%
2019Robert Campbell3,961.31Shaun Deeb3,917.321.1%

Notes:

Multiple Top Ten Finishes

Bluff Magazine sponsored and tabulated the WSOP Player of the Year results from 2010 to 2014. In those five years, besides Hellmuth, four other players finished in the Top 10 twice: Daniel Negreanu (1st in 2013 and 5th in 2014), David "Bakes" Baker (4th in 2010 and 5th in 2013), Michael Mizrachi (2nd in 2010 and 6th in 2012), and Richard Ashby (8th in 2010 and 10th in 2014).

Going back to 2007 adds Jeff Lisandro (2nd in 2007 and 1st in 2009), Phil Ivey (3rd in 2009 and 5th in 2012), and Tom Schneider (1st in 2007 and 10th in 2013).

Going back to 2005 adds Allen Cunningham (1st in 2005 and 10th in 2006). Hellmuth also placed 2nd in 2006 and 5th in 2007. Ivey also finished 6th in 2005.5

Lastly, to go back to the beginning, in 2004 Negreanu was the first WSOP Player of the Year, making him the only two-time winner. Unfortunately, the rest of the top ten for 2004 could not be tracked down (nor even the formula to calculate them).

Since 2015, the list has expanded to include Anthony Zinno (6th in 2015, 8th in 2018, and 4th in 2019), Chris Ferguson (9th in 2008 and 1st in 2017), David "ODB" Baker (7th in 2012 and 10th in 2019), and Shaun Deeb (3rd in 2015, 1st in 2018, and 3rd in 2019). Negreanu posted a record sixth Top 10 finish in 2019.

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