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WSOP Player Of The Year: Everything You Need To Know Poker
Amarylisa Gonsalves
Posted on 28 May, 2023
By Amarylisa Gonsalves
On 28 May, 2023
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By Amarylisa Gonsalves
On 28 May, 2023
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WSOP Player Of The Year: Everything You Need To Know


The World Series of Poker (WSOP) awards several players every year with the prestigious WSOP gold bracelets and the WSOP titles. Ever since its inception in 1970, the annual series has kept the world hooked for two months each year to find out who wins at the esteemed series. More so, everyone eagerly looks forward to knowing who takes home the WSOP Champion tag by taking down the WSOP Main Event. To know who all have won the WSOP Main Event to date, click here. 

To take a step forward, the series introduced a unique award called the WSOP Player of the Year award. Let’s find out a little more about WSOP Player of the Year award.

About WSOP Player Of The Year History

The WSOP Player of the Year award was introduced during the 2004 edition of WSOP. The objective of the WSOP Player of the Year contest is to award the player who had the best overall run in that edition of the series. Since 2004, several notable and well-deserving names have won the WSOP Player of the Year title and etched their names in history. 

In 2011, the competition for WSOP Player of the Year was expanded to the World Series of Poker Europe. In 2013, it was expanded again to include the results of the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific events.

List Of WSOP Player Of The Year Winners

So let’s have a look at the complete list of WSOP Player of the Year Winners over the years:

Year Winner Bracelets Final Tables Cashes
2004 Daniel Negreanu 1 5 6
2005 Allen Cunningham 1 4 5
2006 Jeff Madsen 2 4 5
2007 Tom Schneider 2 3 4
2008 Erick Lindgren 1 3 5
2009 Jeff Lisandro 3 3 6
2010 Frank Kassela 2 3 6
2011 Ben Lamb 1 4 5
2012 Greg Merson 2 2 5
2013 Daniel Negreanu 2 4 10
2014 George Danzer 3 5 10
2015 Mike Gorodinsky 1 3 8
2016 Jason Mercier 2 4 11
2017 Chris Ferguson 1 3 23
2018 Shaun Deeb 2 4 20
2019 Robert Campbell 2 5 13
2021 Josh Arieh 2 5 12
2022 Dan Zack 2 4 16
2023 TBA TBA TBA TBA

Daniel Negreanu – 2004 WSOP Player of the Year

The first-ever WSOP Player of the Year award was claimed by none other than poker legend Daniel Negreanu. The Canadian player had cashes in six events out of the 32 events on the 2004 WSOP schedule. This included Negreanu making it to four final tables and winning one of the events. He took down the $2,000 Limit Hold’em event outlasting 287 entries to grab his third WSOP bracelet. He was awarded a 2004 Toyota Tundra pickup truck for winning the 2004 WSOP Player of the Year title.

Allen Cunningham – 2005 WSOP Player of the Year

Five cashes, including four final tables at the 2005 WSOP and one WSOP bracelet, helped Allen Cunningham win the 2005 WSOP Player of the Year title. 

Jeff Madsen – 2006 WSOP Player of the Year

Jeff Madsen won the 2006 WSOP Player of the Year title in style. He cashed in four events, all of which were final tales. Interestingly in all four of them, he finished among the top three, including winning two of them. 

Tom Schneider – 2007 WSOP Player of the Year

Tom Schneider cashed in just three events at the 2007 WSOP, but all three of them were significant and big. He won two of them and finished fourth in one. He won his career-first bracelet at the $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo event. His next bracelet came from the $1,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo event in the same edition. 


ALSO READ: WSOP 2023 Schedule Announced


Erick Lindgren – 2008 WSOP Player of the Year

The 2008 WSOP Player of the Year title went to Erick Lindgren for his five cashes, three final tables, and one gold bracelet in 2008 WSOP. 

Jeff Lisandro – 2009 WSOP Player of the Year

Jeff Lisandro became the first WSOP Player of the Year to win three gold bracelets in a single WSOP. Interestingly, all three of Lisandro’s gold bracelet wins came from stud events. 

Frank Kassela – 2010 WSOP Player of the Year

Six cashes, three final tables, and two WSOP gold bracelet wins cemented Frank Kassela’s name as the 2010 WSOP Player of the Year and shot him to fame. 

Ben Lamb – 2011 WSOP Player of the Year

Ben Lamb finally claimed the 2011 WSOP Player of the Year title after a few close calls previously. Lamb cashed in five WSOP events that year and won one of the events. 

Greg Merson – 2012 WSOP Player of the Year

Greg Merson made a splash at the 2012 World Series of Poker by winning two WSOP gold bracelets, including the 2012 WSOP Main Event. He cashed at a total of four events at the 2012 WSOP. 

WSOP Main Event: Check Out These WSOP Main Event Winners

Daniel Negreanu – 2013 WSOP Player of the Year

Daniel Negreanu became the first player to win the WSOP Player of the Year award twice after becoming the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year. In 2013, Negreanu won two gold bracelets this year at WSOP Asia-Pacific and WSOP Europe. Additionally, he had eight other cashes that year.

George Danzer – 2014 WSOP Player of the Year

In 2014, George Danzer had a total of 10 WSOP cashes and claimed three WSOP bracelets to walk away with the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year title. 

Mike Gorodinsky – 2015 WSOP Player of the Year

Mike Gorodinsky became the 2015 WSOP Player of the Year thanks to eighth cashes, three final tables, and one gold bracelet that year. His cashes came from a variety of events such as Razz, PLO and Texas Hold’em. 

Jason Mercier – 2016 WSOP Player of the Year

Jason Mercier enjoyed 11 cashes and two gold bracelets at 2016 WSOP, which led him to be crowned the 2016 WSOP Player of the Year. 


ALSO READ: List Of All Chris Ferguson’s WSOP Bracelets


Chris Ferguson – 2017 WSOP Player of the Year

Chris Ferguson prevailed as the king of cashes at 2017 WSOP events, thus crowning him as the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year. He finished in the money on 23 occasions at WSOP and WSOP Europe. These 23 cashes, included three were final tables and one WSOP gold bracelet win. 

Shaun Deeb – 2018 WSOP Player of the Year

Shaun Deeb had a total of 20 cashes in 2018, 16 at WSOP and four at WSOP Europe. He also won two gold bracelets that year to become the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year. 

Robert Campbell – 2019 WSOP Player of the Year

Robert Campbell enjoyed 13 cashes at WSOP events, including five final table finishes and claiming two gold bracelets. Campbell being crowned the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year was a rather controversial incident.

Josh Arieh – 2021 WSOP Player of the Year

The 2021 WSOP Player of the Year race was won by Josh Arieh, who walked away with the title thanks because of two gold bracelet wins, five final tables, and 12 cashes. 

Dan Zack – 2022 WSOP Player of the Year

Dan Zack led 2022 WSOP Player of the Year race. Zack enjoyed a great run at 2022 WSOP with 16 cashes, four final tables, and two gold bracelet wins. 

Note: All the stats in this article are updated as of 28th May 2023

WSOP Player of the Year Fun Facts and Records

  • Phil Hellmuth has won 16 WSOP gold bracelets, which is the highest by any player ever. However, he has never won the WSOP Player of the Year title. Interestingly, Hellmuth is the only player in the world to have finished runner-up in the race more than once. He finished second on four occasions – 2006, 2011, 2012, and 2021. 
  • Greg Merson is the only WSOP Main Event winner to have won the WSOP Player of the Year title in the same edition in 2012. 
  • Daniel Negreanu is the only player to have won WSOP Player of the Year more than once. Negreanu won the title twice, first in 2004 and then in 2013.
  • For winning the WSOP Player of the Year award in 2004, Daniel Negreanu was awarded a brand new Toyota Tundra truck.
  • The prizes for the WSOP Player of the Year have been altered as the award evolved. The 2022 WSOP Player of the Year, Dan Zack won a trophy, a seat into the 2023 WSOP Main Event and his banners across Bally’s and Paris casino.

WSOP Player of the Year Controversy

In 2019, the award took a controversial turn when WSOP originally announced Daniel Negreanu as the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year winner. However, a Russian poker journalist Alexander Elenskiy discovered a scoring error, leading to WSOP correcting the error. Finally, Robert Campbell was awarded the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year title.

WSOP Player of the Year 2023

The 2023 WSOP Player of the Year (POY) is Ian Matakis. He won the POY race with the highest 2,135 points. He is the third player in the history of WSOP to win the POY award without winning a single bracelet. The other two players to do so are Barry Greenstein and David Williams.

Matakis is a professional poker player from Boca Raton, Florida. He has been playing poker for more than 10 years, and he has won several major tournaments. In 2023, he won the WPT DeepStacks Main Event in Las Vegas for $1 million. He also finished runner-up in the WSOP 2023 $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller for $1.2 million.

Matakis’s POY victory is a major accomplishment. He is only the third player to win the award without winning a bracelet, and he is the first player to do so since David Williams in 2004, which is almost close to a decade. Matakis is a deserving winner, and he is a rising star in the world of poker.

For more news and updates, keep reading Gutshot Magazine or follow us on our social media handles. We are present on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Telegram.

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