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Daniel Negreanu Outlasts Shaun Deeb For Third World Series Of Poker Player Of The Year Title

45-Year-Old Becomes First WSOP POY Winner Without Bracelet Victory

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The World Series of Poker Player of the Year race came down to the final day of the WSOP Europe series, with the final table of the Colossus determining who would walk away with the honors.

Six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu entered the day with the lead following an aggressive campaign for the title this summer in Las Vegas and in the Czech Republic. Defending POY winner Shaun Deeb, however, was still in contention for the award, needing a fifth-place finish for better to overtake Negreanu.

Deeb, who has four career WSOP bracelets, was looking to become just the second player to win multiple POY titles, and first back-to-back winner. Negreanu, a six-time bracelet winner, was the first WSOP POY recipient back in 2004, and also won it all in 2013 as well.

Although Deeb’s chances looked strong, he was ultimately eliminated just short of the final table, allowing Negreanu to claim his third overall title.

The 45-year-old Canadian becomes the first POY winner in the race’s 16-year history to earn the honors without winning a bracelet. Although he was proud of his accomplishment, even Negreanu acknowledged that the POY is in need of some tweaks.

The WSOP POY race has been criticized since 2017 for favoring quantity over quality, and rewarding those poker pros who are willing to drop multiple re-entries per tournament in an effort to rack up cashes. That year, Chris Ferguson won the title with 23 cashes, despite only generating $428,423 in winnings.

Negreanu cashed 24 times for $2,213,605 en route to winning this year, but did so at the expense of a lot of buy-ins. He made five final tables, and finished runner-up twice, in the $10,000 stud championship, and also the $100,000 high roller.

Double bracelet winners Robert Campbell, Kahle Burns, and Dash Dudley didn’t have enough to overtake Negreanu, nor did winners like Anthony Zinno, David Baker, Daniel Zack and Phil Hui.

Italian poker pro Dario Sammartino took second in the WSOP main event for $6 million and fourth in the WSOP Europe main event for another €341,702. He also managed deep runs in the €25,000 short deck event, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, took fourth in a $1,000 online event, and third in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Somehow, he only finished in seventh place overall.

Many players have offered fixes for future POY races, including limiting the number of cashes that count, but the most common suggestion has been to reduce the amount of points that can be won when a player re-enters a tournament.

Of course, that solution may pose a privacy issue for those players who don’t want the number of entries they make made public. Additionally, the WSOP may not be in a hurry to implement a policy that will discourage players from re-entering their events.

Here are the final top 10 results.

Rank Player POY Points
1 Daniel Negreanu 4,074
2 Robert Campbell 3,961
3 Shaun Deeb 3,917
4 Anthony Zinno 3,322
5 Phillip Hui 3,186
6 Daniel Zack 3,126
7 Dario Sammartino 3,091
8 Kahle Burns 2,983
9 Dash Dudley 2,860
10 David Baker 2,808

Here is a look at all of the previous WSOP POY winners.

Year Player Total Earnings Bracelets
2019 Daniel Negreanu $2,213,605 0
2018 Shaun Deeb $2,534,511 2
2017 Chris Ferguson $428,423 1
2016 Jason Mercier $960,424 2
2015 Mike Gorodinsky $1,766,796 1
2014 George Danzer $878,993 3
2013 Daniel Negreanu $2,214,304 2
2012 Greg Merson $9,755,180 2
2011 Ben Lamb $5,352,970 1
2010 Frank Kassela $1,255,314 2
2009 Jeff Lisandro $807,521 3
2008 Erick Lindgren $1,348,528 1
2007 Tom Schneider $416,829 2
2006 Jeff Madsen $1,467,852 2
2005 Allen Cunningham $1,006,935 1
2004 Daniel Negreanu $346,280 1