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Dan Zack Crowned 2022 World Series Of Poker Player Of The Year After Two Bracelet Wins

Zack Cashed In 16 WSOP Events For A Total Of $1.45 Million


With the final 2022 World Series of Poker event in books, New Jersey poker pro Dan Zack has been crowned WSOP Player of the Year.

It was a runaway victory for Zack, who really only had one player who could catch him down the stretch. The 29-year-old racked up 4,530 points in the POY race, nearly 500 more than his nearest competitor and more than 1,250 points better than anyone else.

“[I] set a goal to try and win this a few years ago and it’s been an insane battle each year,” Zack said. “[I’m] really ecstatic to actually get there. [I] have been super stressed the past few weeks trying to close out the series. Thanks to everyone who’s wished me luck.”

The POY honors come with a personalized banner that will hang at Paris and Bally’s during the WSOP, as well as a custom trophy, and a $10,000 seat into the 2023 main event.

Zack cashed a total of 16 times, making four final tables. He also added both his second and third WSOP bracelets, keeping a streak alive of double-bracelet winners at the series that dates back to 2000.

Those bracelets were hard fought, as Zack endured two of the longest heads-up matches of the summer to claim them. The first came in the $10,000 buy-in Omaha eight-or-better event. Zack outlasted Dustin Dirksen after seven hours of heads-up play to pick up the title and $440,757.

Jack Effel Presents POY Trophy credit: PokerNews Hayley HochstetlerHe took third in the $10,000 triple draw event for $129,670. A few days later, he was once again heads-up, this time in the $10,000 stud eight-or-better event. His opponent was David Funkhouser, who stared him down for eight hours before finally bowing out. Zack picked up his third career bracelet and another $324,174.

With the POY title now in sight, Zack put his foot on the gas and entered the $250,000 buy-in super high roller event. He once again made the final table, this time settling for eighth-place and $488,095. In total, he cashed for just over $1.45 million, which is roughly half of his career live tournament earnings.

Zack has been a consistent performer in the POY race for the last few years. He has 89 total WSOP cashes, dating back to 2014. Twitter user Ryan O’Leary pointed out that in the last 10 years, only Daniel Negreanu and Shaun Deeb have outperformed Zack for total points. (Although these numbers are skewed more towards recent years as the points formula has changed.)

The POY race included all open bracelet events, including online events run in Nevada and New Jersey. Only one of Zack’s cashes came online.

The Best Of The Rest

The only other player to score more than 4,000 points was longtime grinder Daniel Weinman, who enjoyed a breakthrough series of his own. The 15-year pro started with a runner-up finish in the $1,500 stud event, but got the monkey off his back in the $1,000 pot-limit Omaha event, scoring his first bracelet and $255,359.

The Georgia native then finished in the money in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship and got fourth in the $1,979 Hall Of Fame bounty event. Weinman had 19 cashes for $665,000.

Perhaps the most unlikely top performer of the summer was Germany’s Koray Aldemir. Not because he lacks the skill, but because he won last year’s WSOP main event for $8 million and no longer needs to play a full schedule if he doesn’t want to.

Aldemir opened the series with a fifth-place showing in the $100,000 high roller, and then a sixth-place finish the next week in the $25,000 high roller. The 32-year-old went on to take sixth in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, and fourth in the $10,000 razz event. Aldemir had 14 cashes for a total of $1.18 million.

As noted above in O’Leary’s calculations, nobody has scored more points than Shaun Deeb over the last decade the WSOP. The five-time bracelet winner didn’t add any gold this summer, but he did finish in the money 18 times for $380,000.

Deeb’s best score was the $94,606 he earned for taking fourth place in the $10,000 triple draw event. A few days later, he finished fifth in the $10,000 stud eight-or-better event. The 36-year-old now has 134 career cashes at the WSOP, which is good for no. 35 all time.

While the above players climbed the leaderboard with volume, David Peters did it with just a handful of big results. The high roller crusher started off the series with a bang by winning his fourth career bracelet and a combined $1,441,810 in the $100,000 buy-in bounty high roller event.

The 35-year-old followed that up with a fifth place in the $50,000 high roller, and then another fifth place in the $3,000 six-max no-limit hold’em event. He then made an online final table as well, taking fourth in the $7,777 Lucky Sevens event for another six-figure score. He now has more than $43.3 million in career tournament earnings, which is no. 5 all time.

Yueqi “Rich” Zhu finished sixth in the standings. The Chinese pro has 149 cashes at the WSOP overall, 20 of which came this summer along with three final tables.

Portugal’s Joao Vieira is one of the most prolific online players in history, but he has proven himself in the live arena as well. This summer he picked up his second career bracelet and $1,384,413 in the $50,000 high roller event.

Eighth-place belonged to Brazilian poker pro Joao Simao Peres, who won his first gold bracelet and $686,242 in the $5,000 hold’em/Omaha mixed event.

He was joined in the first-time bracelet winner’s club by New York-native Alex Foxen. Foxen earned one of the biggest paydays of the summer in the $250,000 buy-in high roller event, taking home $4,563,700 to bring his career totals to $26.9 million.

The top 10 was rounded out by Poker Hall of Fame nominee Brian Rast. The California native made four final tables and won his fifth career bracelet in the $3,000 six-max no-limit hold’em event for $474,102.

WSOP POY Standings

Place Player Points
1 Dan Zack 4,530.64
2 Daniel Weinman 4,040.20
3 Koray Aldemir 3,275.02
4 Shaun Deeb 3,197.65
5 David Peters 2,982.08
6 Yueqi Zhu 2,766.27
7 Joao Vieira 2,752.88
8 Joao Simao Peres 2,735.76
9 Alex Foxen 2,548.47
10 Brian Rast 2,520.06
11 Dario Sammartino 2,465.20
12 Phil Hui 2,445.32
13 Yuri Dzivielevski 2,433.13
14 Lawrence Brandt 2,418.11
15 Calvin Anderson 2,403.91
16 Georgios Sotiropoulos 2,397.74
17 Harry Lodge 2,370.19
18 Raj Vohra 2,358.05
19 Chad Eveslage 2,346.89
20 Jose Ignacio Barbero 2,333.67
21 Michael Moncek 2,320.70
22 Phil Ivey 2,264.88
23 Yuliyan Kolev 2,250.31
24 Adam Hendrix 2,242.90
25 Scott Seiver 2,236.35

You can follow the 2022 World Series of Poker on Card Player’s series landing page, sponsored by Global Poker, the fastest growing online poker room in the world. Check out the series schedule, as well as event recaps, news, and player interviews.

Photo credit: Hayley Hochstetler/WSOP