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Poker Leaderboard: WSOP POY Winners By Earnings

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Sep 07, 2022

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Year Player Bracelets Final Tables Cashes Earnings
2012 Greg Merson 2 2 5 $9,785,354
2011 Ben Lamb 1 4 5 $5,352,970
2018 Shaun Deeb 2 4 20 $2,545,623
2013 Daniel Negreanu 2 4 10 $1,954,054
2015 Mike Gorodinsky 1 3 8 $1,766,487
2006 Jeff Madsen 2 4 5 $1,467,852
2022 Dan Zack 2 4 16 $1,455,622
2008 Erick Lindgren 1 3 5 $1,358,528
2010 Frank Kassela 2 3 6 $1,255,314
2021 Josh Arieh 2 5 12 $1,194,061

There have been 17 different World Series of Poker Player of the Year award winners since the honor was first bestowed in 2004 to Daniel Negreanu. The Poker Hall of Famer also won the POY title in 2013 to become the first, and so far only, two-time winner of the award. When Negreanu first secured the POY, he did so with one bracelet won and just six cashes totaling $346,280. The series has grown considerably since then, with the 2022 WSOP having more than 100 bracelets up for grabs while the 2004 series sported just 33 events.

This leaderboard highlights the highest-earning WSOP POY award winners, based on the amount they earned at the series in the year they locked up the award. Sitting atop this list is 2012 WSOP main event champion Greg Merson. He is the only player to win both the POY and the world championship in the same year. His win in the big dance was what pushed him over the top. Had he even finished one spot lower, all-time bracelet leader Phil Hellmuth would have won his first POY title that year.

Hellmuth has now finished as the runner-up for the award four times (2006, 2011, 2012, 2021). Merson cashed in five events that summer, but it was his two wins in two massive and prestigious events that sealed his victory. He took down the prestigious $10,000 no-limit hold’em six-max event for $1.1 million and his first bracelet just a few days before the main event got underway. He then topped a field of 6,598 entries to earn more than $8.5 million as poker’s world champion.

Ben Lamb sits in second place thanks to his incredible performance in 2011. He made four final tables that year, including finishing third in the main event for more than $4 million. He also took down the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha championship event that summer, beating out a field of 361 entries to earn $814,436 and the hardware. All told, he cashed for more than $5.3 million in bracelet events that year.

Rounding out the top three is 2018 POY award-winner Shaun Deeb. His 20 cashes (totaling more than $2.5 million) were the second-most of any WSOP POY, trailing only 2017 winner Chris Ferguson and his 23 in-the-money finishes. Unlike Ferguson, Deeb hardly min-cashed his way to victory, though. He made four final tables that year, winning two of his five career bracelets that summer. Deeb first took down the $25,000 pot-limit Omaha event for $1.4 million, then won the $10,000 six-max no-limit hold’em event for another $814,000.

With ever larger schedules and more high-roller events than ever at the WSOP, this leaderboard will likely continue to see plenty of shifts in the future. ♠