WSOP Player of the Year 2019: Could an Outsider Emerge to Take Top Spot?

July 24th, 2019

It has undoubtedly been another stellar year in the brilliant world of poker and excitement, in particular, continues to build around which competitor will ultimately do enough to secure the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year prize.

First awarded back in 2004, it has become a major part of the game and at present, there is significant debate and discussion around who will go on to win it this time around.

Hotly contested

This year’s WSOP Player of the Year race is based on the same formula which was introduced in 2018 and fundamentally sees points awarded to competitors following play in relevant tournaments. In total, 83 bracelet events in Las Vegas are included this time around, as well as ten events being held in Rozvadov in the Czech Republic towards the end of the year.

But who is in the driving seat? Well, at the time of writing, Robert Campbell was leading the way on the leaderboard with two former winners trailing closely behind. Daniel Negreanu was given the prize in both 2004 and 2013, while Shaun Deeb is still challenging to secure back-to-back titles after his win last year.

However, away from the leading contenders, who are the other players to keep an eye on as matters ultimately come to a head?

In it to win it

Among the names that cannot be ignored in the race for the coveted number one spot is Daniel Zack. At the time of writing, the former student was in fourth position and only around 40 points behind third-placed Negreanu. He has also enjoyed plenty of success so far this year, with his biggest moment being his first bracelet win at the $2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw event.

Elsewhere, Phillip Hui has also enjoyed a strong year so far and captured plenty of attention with his victory at the $50,000 Poker Players Championship at the end of June. His reward? Just a fairly sizable stack of winnings worth more than $1 million. Hui currently sits fifth in the WSOP Player of Year rankings and it is hard to bet against him climbing higher as matters progress.

Another name who undoubtedly deserves to be mentioned as in the mix is Jason Gooch, who won his first-ever WSOP bracelet after securing first place in the $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold-em Online Bracelet Event recently. He sits in sixth in the rankings, with the top ten being completed by Joseph Cheong, David ‘ODB’ Baker, the 2017 Player of the Year Chris Ferguson and Anthony Zinno.

All to play for

All in all, it is a fascinating time for poker at the moment and many poker fans across the globe will be intrigued to see how matters develop across the coming months.

While the top three or four are in a strong position at the moment, it may still be too soon to count others out too. There is plenty to play for and all eyes will be on Europe later in the year.

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