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Stephen Chidwick Named 2022 Player Of The Year

High-Stakes Crusher Now Has Six Consecutive Top-25 Finishes

by Erik Fast |  Published: Feb 08, 2023


Just four years after becoming the first British player in poker history to win the Card Player Player of the Year award, Stephen Chidwick has done it again. The 33-year-old managed to put together yet another incredible year on the live tournament circuit, ending atop the 2022 POY points race, which was presented by Global Poker.

The poker pro from Deal, England made 25 qualifying final tables over the 12-month span, winning five titles, and cashing for more than $6.2 million along the way. He ended with 6,499 total points, which was just enough (266) to edge out second-ranked Farid Jattin.

With that narrow lead holding through year’s end, Chidwick is now just the second player in poker’s modern era (2004-present) to earn the Card Player Player of the Year award twice, joining Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu.

“It’s definitely a cool accomplishment,” Chidwick told Card Player after clinching the 2022 POY honors. “With the inherent variance of tournament poker, it takes a long time for results to become meaningful. Doing well in year-long contests feels like a much bigger achievement than any individual tournament win.”

Chidwick’s consistency is not limited to year-long samples, either. He has been a top contender in the POY race each and every year from 2015 through today, with eight consecutive top-50 finishes in that time frame.

In fact, starting in 2017, he has not failed to finish inside the top 25, with an average showing of just below eighth place in that six-year span. In addition to his two outright wins in the points race, he also finished as the runner-up in 2018 and the seventh-place finisher in 2017.

“I play a pretty high volume of the biggest stakes tournaments, which puts me at a big advantage,” Chidwick explained. “I have a lot more opportunities to put up big scores especially given I play short deck, pot-limit Omaha, and other mixed games. At this point, I have spent more time playing big final tables and/or on stream than most, so when I run well enough to go deep in a tournament, I usually feel very comfortable and confident that I can do my best to capitalize on it.”

Chidwick also offered a few reasons for his evolution from a successful professional to one of the stars of the game.

“I started to take poker a lot more seriously for several reasons. I met my wife-to-be, who gave me a ton of support and motivation to try and realize my potential as a player. I focused my efforts with a lot more dedication,” said Chidwick. “Perhaps the most significant factor was the appearance of the advanced software that is now widely used. I was an early adopter of those tools and immediately saw the huge potential they offered for the development of a theoretical understanding of the game. Certainly, the time I have put in with solvers has been a big contributing factor in my success.”

Another evolution in Chidwick’s game has to do with his table presence, which wasn’t particularly noteworthy in the early years. Now, the barbershop debates that play out on the internet about the best players increasingly include Chidwick as one of the more intimidating players in the game, thanks in part to his sometimes-unnerving staredown.

“When I started playing live, I adopted a defensive posture, mostly looking down and trying not to give anything away without much thought to picking anything up from others,” revealed Chidwick. “At some point I realized this was just an invitation for my adversaries to look at me as much as they wanted. So I turned my attention outward, looking at my opponent whenever the action was on them. I realized I was capable of noticing much more than I had anticipated and the added complexity of factoring these reads into my decisions is something that has captivated my interest ever since. It was never intended to intimidate, just to have as much information as possible on which to base each decision.”

In addition to winning the Card Player POY race, Chidwick also ended 2022 atop the PokerGO Tour leaderboard, edging out the likes of living legend Phil Ivey (2nd) and Jason Koon (3rd) in that high-stakes-centric point race.

Stephen Chidwick Credit: PokerGO / Antonio AbregoThanks in part to his POY-winning performance this year, Chidwick now has more than $44.9 million in career tournament earnings, the fourth most of any player in the game.

How Chidwick Won His Second POY Award

Chidwick started off the year somewhat slowly, making just two final tables in the first two months of the year. He finished fifth in a $15,000 buy-in Stairway To Millions event and fourth in a $25,000 buy-in high roller held at the PokerGO Cup.

March was a much busier month, with five final-table finishes and his first title of the year. Chidwick topped a field of 52 entries in a €5,200 event at EPT Prague for $86,590. He also finished fourth in a €25,000 high roller there for another $56,527. He then made his way back to Las Vegas for the U.S. Poker Open at the PokerGO studio, making three more final tables for $287,500 in total prize money.

April saw another pair of high-stakes finishes for Chidwick. He finished fourth in a $50,000 short deck event at the Super High Roller Series Europe for $231,000, and six days later placed sixth in the $50,000 no-limit hold’em event for another $95,000.

May was the biggest month of the year by far for Chidwick. He started off by securing his second POY-qualified title in another €5,200 six-max side event at an EPT stop, this time in Monte Carlo. He earned another $84,399 after outlasting a tough field of 51 entries. He then went on to finish as the runner-up in a €25,000 high roller at the same series for another $276,292.

Next up on the schedule was the Triton Series Madrid, which saw Chidwick lock up three of his top four scores of the year, including his two biggest cashes of 2022. He kicked things off with a runner-up finish in the 63-entry €75,000 no-limit hold’em event for $1,355,985. Just two days later he added another $291,375 by finishing third in a €50,000 turbo event.

Chidwick closed out his massive run in Madrid by beating a field of 60 entries in the €100,000 short deck event, earning $1,890,000 as the champion. This was his single largest score of the year and the second largest of his career.

“My victory in the Triton Madrid €100k short deck is the obvious highlight of my year. It was simultaneously my first live short deck win, my first Triton trophy, and my first win in a six-figure buy-in. Certainly, a special experience.”

Like most of the rest of the poker world, Chidwick’s summer was largely spent in Las Vegas at the World Series of Poker. His first of two final tables at the series saw him finish fifth in the $10,000 short deck bracelet event for $65,143. He later finished eighth in the $50,000 no-limit event for another $158,278.

He also found plenty of success in high-roller events held throughout the summer at ARIA Resort & Casino with four final tables, including earning his fourth and fifth titles of the year in a pair of $10,000 buy-in events. Those four scores added more than $350,000 to his POY earnings total, with $174,000 and $115,000 in the two wins. These scores also saw Chidwick take the lead in the POY standings for the first time that year.

September had a trio of final-table showings for Chidwick, all coming in events held in Cyprus. He placed fourth in a $10,400 event at the Mediterranean Poker Party for $100,000. Just a few days later, he finished third from a field of 123 entries in a $30,000 six-max event in the Triton Mediterranean Poker Party series for another $408,000. He rounded out his trip with a fourth-place finish in a $25,500 pot-limit Omaha event for an additional $92,000.

In early October, he placed second in a $25,000 buy-in at the Aria Fall High Rollers series for $161,000. Later that month he placed third in another $25,000 buy-in event, this time at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic festival at Bellagio. He added $68,000 with that score to bring his final POY tally to 6,499, with 25 POY-qualified final tables and five victories overall.

“It has been great to see poker rebound so well after COVID. Entrepreneurs like Cary Katz and Paul Phua have invested a lot of money and effort into running and broadcasting fantastic high-roller tournaments and the popularity of the game seems to just keep growing,” said Chidwick when asked about the state of the game. “I’m excited to see what the coming years bring.”

Chidwick has been one of the most consistent players in the game for nearly a decade now and doesn’t plan to cut back any time soon.

“I hope to be competitive at the highest levels of poker for many more years. I assume at some point I’ll scale back my volume but I still absolutely love the game and have no plans of switching careers any time soon.” ♠

Chidwick’s Top Scores Of 2022

Event Finish Payout
€100,000 Short Deck 2022 Triton Madrid 1 $1,890,000
€75,000 NLH 2022 Triton Madrid 2 $1,355,985
$30,000 NLH 6-Max 2022 Triton Mediterranean Poker Party 3 $408,000
€50,000 NLH 8-Max Turbo 2022 Triton Madrid 3 $291,375
€25,000 NLH 2022 EPT Monte Carlo 2 $276,292
$50,000 Short Deck 2022 Super High Roller Series Europe 4 $231,000
$50,000 NLH 6-Max 2022 Triton Poker Cyprus 7 $188,000
$10,000 NLH 2022 Summer Aria High Rollers 1 $174,000
$25,000 NLH 2022 Aria Fall High Rollers 2 $161,000
$50,000 NLH 2022 World Series of Poker 8 $158,278

Card Player Player of the Year Winners

Year Player Name
1997 Men Nguyen
1998 T.J. Cloutier
1999 Tony Ma
2000 David Pham
2001 Men Nguyen
2002 T.J. Cloutier
2003 Men Nguyen
2004 Daniel Negreanu
2005 Men Nguyen
2006 Michael Mizrachi
2007 David Pham
2008 John Phan
2009 Eric Baldwin
2010 Tom Marchese
2011 Ben Lamb
2012 Greg Merson
2013 Daniel Negreanu
2014 Daniel Colman
2015 Anthony Zinno
2016 David Peters
2017 Adrian Mateos
2018 Jake Schindler
2019 Stephen Chidwick
2020 Vincent Wan
2021 Ali Imsirovic
2022 Stephen Chidwick

The Best Of The Rest: Jattin, Song, Foxen, And Ausmus Round Out Top Five

Farid Jattin
Points: 6,233
Earnings: $1,558,538
Titles: 3
Final Tables: 15

In 2020 Farid Jattin had his best year to that point on the live tournament circuit, and as a result, he secured a career-high finish of fourth place in the POY race. It took the 34-year-old Colombian poker pro just two years to top that explosive performance. In 2022 he made 15 final tables, winning three titles and accruing more than $1.5 million in POY earnings along the way.

While most of the names near the top of the POY leaderboard belong to high-roller tournament regulars, Jattin managed his gaudy numbers primarily in events with buy-ins between $2,000 and $10,000.

He kicked off the year in red-hot form, with his first three POY-qualified scores being outright victories. He started by topping a 4,960-entry field in a $600 buy-in no-limit hold’em event at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open festival for $306,832 in mid-January. Just nine days later he won a $2,200 pot-limit Omaha event at the same series for another $58,410. In March he took down a $3,500 buy-in event at the Venetian DeepStack Showdown for another $272,357 to complete the hat trick of titles.

Jattin went on to make a dozen more final tables throughout the year, with the largest score being a runner-up finish in the $5,000 eight-max no-limit event at the WSOP. That second-place showing from a field of 573 entries saw him earn $334,747 and further cemented him as one of the top POY contenders for the year. He closed out 2022 with a pair of runner-up showings in December to edge his way into second place with just 10 days remaining on the calendar.

Stephen Song
Points: 6,230
Earnings: $2,065,501
Titles: 2
Final Tables: 16

Stephen Song managed the biggest win of his career on Dec. 19, topping a field of 5,430 entries in the $1,100 buy-in WPT Prime Championship to earn $712,650 and a massive haul of 1,320 POY points. The victory saw Song surge into second place in the POY standings, but his time as number two was brief. The very next day was when Jattin managed his last final-table finish of the year to take a three-point lead over Song.

Song, a 27-year-old poker pro from Greenwich, Connecticut, managed 16 final-table finishes in 2022, with two titles won along the way. His first came roughly two months prior to his big score at the WPT’s season-ending festival held at Wynn Las Vegas. Song took down a $5,200 buy-in progressive bounty event at the same venue for $85,995 and 288 points.

His second-largest cash came in a runner-up finish at the WSOP which saw him fall just short of the second gold bracelet of his young career. Song placed second from 920 entries in the prestigious $5,000 no-limit hold’em six-max event, earning $476,990 for his strong showing. This was his second-largest score ever.

He managed two other six-figure paydays in 2022, with a fourth-place finish in a $2,400 buy-in event at the Venetian DeepStack Championship in July and a sixth-place showing in a $25,500 buy-in high roller at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in the Spring.

Thanks to his consistency on the felt in 2022, more than $2 million of Song’s $5.1 million in career earnings were secured over the past 12 months. This third-place showing blew away Song’s prior best year-end POY finish of 35th in 2019.

Alex Foxen
Points: 5,417
Earnings: $6,757,024
Titles: 4
Final Tables: 20

No, this is not a typo. Alex Foxen, who finished fourth in the 2021 POY final standings, ended 2022 in the exact same spot. While he made four fewer final tables this past year when compared with the one before, his 2022 campaign was in many ways more successful. He won four titles this year, up from two, and most importantly accrued over $4 million more in POY earnings.

Foxen first broke into the upper echelons of the live tournament regulars in 2017, ending the year in 19th place in the POY standings. Since then, he has managed five consecutive years of finishing inside the top 10, with his lowest year-end ranking in that span being eighth in 2020. Over the past half-decade, the 31-year-old poker pro has had an incredible average POY finish of just shy of fourth place, with his highest finish being the runner-up showing in 2019.

This year also saw Foxen remove his name from the dreaded ‘best without a bracelet’ list. He took down the $250,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event at the WSOP, topping a field of 56 entries to earn a career-best $4,563,700 payday. While that was his largest cash, Foxen’s biggest POY point haul came when he finished third in a $3,000 buy-in event at the Wynn Fall Classic. His podium finish from the field of 684 entries in that event saw him earn $158,587 and 840 points.

Foxen’s more than $6.7 million in POY earnings in 2022 increased his career total to nearly $27.4 million, putting him just outside the top 20 on poker’s all-time money list.

Jeremy Ausmus
Points: 5,356
Earnings: $2,570,587
Titles: 6
Final Tables: 21

Jeremy Ausmus ended 2022 tied for the most POY-qualified titles won among the top 30 contenders with six victories. Two of those wins came in WSOP events, bringing Ausmus’ career bracelet total to five, with four being won since the start of the 2021 WSOP. He is now one of just 32 players in history to have won five or more bracelets.

The 43-year-old poker pro’s first bracelet win of 2022 saw him outlast a field of 213 entries in the $3,000 six-max limit hold’em event for $142,147. His second win came in a WSOP Online $365 buy-in no-limit hold’em event which did not qualify for POY points. He defeated a field of 571 entries to earn $51,807 and the hardware, though.

Ausmus’ two biggest cashes of the year both came at the PokerGO Cup, which was held in February. The former November Niner took down the $15,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event for $263,250, and then a few days later finished third in the $50,000 no-limit hold’em finale for another $256,000. All told, he cashed in half of the eight events of that series, banking more than $820,000 in total earnings to lock up player of the series honors.

All told, Ausmus made 21 POY-qualified final tables in 2022, closing out the year with a win in a $10,000 buy-in at the Aria Winter High Rollers series for $111,520 in December. That sixth title run was enough to see him narrowly move inside the top five in the final standings.

Chad Eveslage
Points: 5,302
Earnings: $3,053,688
Titles: 2
Final Tables: 7

Chad Eveslage backed up his breakout 2021 campaign on the live tournament circuit with arguably an even stronger showing in 2022. While he ended up finishing one spot lower at sixth place in the final POY standings, Eveslage made the same amount of final tables and cashed for over $800,000 more in earnings this year, with marquee wins at both the WSOP and on the World Poker Tour.

In fact, the 31-year-old poker pro from Indiana had four WPT cashes overall, with two final-table finishes and one title won. As a result, he secured the 2022 WPT Player of the Year honors. (See pg. 22 for more on that accomplishment.)

Eveslage’s first big win of the year came when he beat out a field of 251 entries in the WSOP $25,000 no-limit hold’em eight-max event, earning his first bracelet, the $1,415,610 top prize, and 1,428 POY points in the process. This was not only his biggest score of the year, but it was also his single-largest tournament payday ever.

He earned his second-largest cash a few months later when he beat out a field of 569 players in the WPT Five Diamond $10,400 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event for $1,042,300. These two wins accounted for the vast majority of his more than $3 million in POY earnings accumulated throughout the year.

Rounding out his top three scores was the third-place showing he managed in the WPT Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open main event, which was worth $390,000 after outlasting all but two opponents from the 1,541-entry field.

Erik Seidel
Points: 5,262
Earnings: $3,671,084
Titles: 1
Final Tables: 18

Nine-time bracelet winner and Poker Hall of Fame member Erik Seidel is the only player eligible for the WSOP seniors championship that made the top 10 in the final POY standings in 2022. But despite his age, the 63-year-old poker pro has shown no signs of slowing down as he enters the back half of his fourth decade of professional competition.

Seidel made 18 POY-qualified final tables in 2022, and managed to come away with one title. That lone win came in a $25,000 buy-in high roller at the U.S. Poker Open back in March. He overcame a field of 63 entries in that tournament, defeating 16-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth heads-up to take home $472,500. This was his 30th recorded tournament title.

Seidel’s biggest payday of the year came in a runner-up showing in the €100,000 buy-in high roller at the EPT Barcelona festival. He placed second from a field of 68 entries to earn $1,325,084 and 600 POY points. This was the sixth time ever that Seidel earned a seven-figure score, with this particular payday being the fourth-largest recorded by the living legend of the game.

With 18 final-table finishes this year accounting for a combined total of nearly $3.7 million in POY earnings, Seidel increased his lifetime earnings to more than $43.3 million. As a result, he is now roughly $1.2 million away from rejoining the top five on the all-time money list, and is one of only eight players in the game to have cashed for more than $40 million.

Sean Winter
Points: 5,198
Earnings: $3,417,569
Titles: 3
Final Tables: 16

Sean Winter was a force to be reckoned with at the PokerGO Studio, with all three of his titles and 10 of his 16 final-table finishes in 2022 coming in events held at that venue located at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The 32-year-old poker pro won the PokerGO Tour player of the series awards at two separate stops held on his apparent ‘home court’ during the past year.

Winter’s first player of the series run saw him go back-to-back in the final two events of the U.S. Poker Open, taking down the two highest buy-in tournaments of the 12-event schedule to bring his total earnings for the festival to $1,196,000. Despite having bricked out in the first ten events of the series, his victories in the penultimate tournament, a $25,000 buy-in, and the $50,000 buy-in finale, were enough to earn him the title of 2022 USPO champion.

Winter managed another late-festival surge at the Poker Masters, finishing second in one $25,000 buy-in event and first in another at the same price point a couple of days later for combined earnings of $777,000. The pair of big scores were enough to lock up the Poker Masters Purple Jacket for Winter, while also cementing his status as one of the top POY race contenders.

While he ended the year in eighth place in Card Player’s points race, he did manage to finish inside the top five on the PGT leaderboard. All told, Winter cashed for more than $3.4 million in 2022, bringing his career total to more than $23.1 million in the process.

Daniel Dvoress
Points: 4,859
Earnings: $6,048,107
Titles: 2
Final Tables: 19

Canadian poker pro Daniel Dvoress was one of only seven players to accumulate more than $6 million in POY earnings in 2022, with his $6,048,107 being the sixth-most of any contender. With $24.5 million in career earnings, he is now the fourth-highest earning Canadian player ever, trailing only Daniel Negreanu ($49.2 million), Timothy Adams ($30.8 million), and Sam Greenwood ($27.6 million).

The bracelet winner, who was born in the Soviet Union but grew up Mississauga, Ontario, recorded two of the top 10 largest scores of his career this year. The first of those two deep runs saw Dvoress place second from a field of 34 entries in the €150,000 buy-in short deck event at the Triton Series Madrid. That runner-up finish earned Dvoress $1,249,500 and 400 POY points.

Roughly six weeks before capturing that seven-figure payday, Dvoress came out on top of a 43-entry field in a $50,000 buy-in event at the Super High Roller Series Europe to earn $731,000 and 510 points.

Dvoress’ second title of the year saw him emerge victorious in a £25,000 buy-in high roller at EPT London, besting a field of 19 entries to earn $219,710. He closed out the year with a trio of third-place finishes in high rollers at the EPT Prague festival to bring his final table count for the year to 19.

Thanks to his impressive consistency on the high-roller circuit, Dvoress ended 2022 in ninth place in the POY standings, the highest year-end finish yet for the 34-year-old who remains one of the better online players as well, playing high-stakes tournaments under the name ‘Oxata.’

Chris Brewer
Points: 4,723
Earnings: $2,635,840
Titles: 3
Final Tables: 15

Chris Brewer made his debut on the high-stakes live tournament scene during the post-pandemic boom. The former University of Oregon distance runner placed ninth in the 2021 year-end standings and managed to back up that campaign with another top-10 showing in 2022.

He barely edged out 11th-ranked Adam Hendrix, who finished with just 18 fewer POY points. In fact, only 410 points separated Brewer from 20th-ranked Joao Simao, which illustrates just how tightly packed the standings were outside of the standout competitors at the top of the rankings.

Brewer made 15 final tables this year, winning three titles and cashing for more than $2.6 million in POY earnings along the way. Three of the 29-year-old’s top five largest tournament paydays were recorded this year, including his single biggest score to date, which was a $442,213 payday earned for finishing fourth in the $25,000 eight-max no-limit hold’em event at the WSOP.

In August, Brewer finished third from a field of 1,110 entries in the $5,300 buy-in Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open main event, adding $412,375 and 1,280 points to his totals. He also came out on top of a 62-entry field in the €20,000 buy-in short deck event at the Triton Series Madrid festival for $390,600.

Prior to 2020, the then-cash game specialist had less than $100,000 in live tournament cashes to his name, but he has since become a consistent force on the high roller circuit. Brewer now has more than $6.6 million in career tournament earnings, with over $2.6 million in POY earnings added just this past year.