World Series of Poker officials confirmed today that the 2009 WSOP Player of the Year race, in a shift from 2008 and earlier years, will include the Main Event. With the change, all “open” events in the 2009 WSOP will be used to calculate 2009 Player of the Year points, excepting only the limited-entry Casino Employees, Ladies and Seniors events.
The new change likely means greater visibility for the Player of the Year honor as well, given the increased focus of this year’s television coverage on the Main Event. In 2008, the Main Event was the only “open” event not calculated into the PoY standings, with the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, originally the only other open non-PoY tourney, was added into the mix early on. The 2008 PoY honors went to Erick Lindgren (pictured), who turned in a stellar series that included his first bracelet. Lindgren narrowly edged Barry Greenstein and Jacobo Fernandez for the honor. Previous Player of the Year awards have gone to Tom Schneider (2007), Jeff Madsen (2006), Allen Cunningham (2005) and Daniel Negreanu (2004).