Josh Arieh a Surprising 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Winner
Josh Arieh wasn't among the pre-series favorites for 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year. In the end, however, he came out on top, and he certainly deserved the title.
Arieh won the traditional POY leaderboard, the same award handed out to one outstanding performer each year since 2004. This year, the WSOP also added a separate POY leaderboard, Velo No Limits, which only tracks finishes in no-limit hold'em bracelet events. Scott Ball, who won two bracelets in NLH tournaments, is in the driver's seat in that race.
Arieh's 11 cashes in live events during the series are as follows:
|20||$1,000 GGPoker Flip & Go||46th||$4,355|
|23||$1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed||64th||$2,415|
|39||$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed)||1st||$204,766|
|60||$50,000 Poker Players Championship||6th||$161,422|
|66||$10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Championship||1st||$484,791|
|67||$10,000 Main Event||411th||$30,000|
|72||$1,500 Mixed NLH/PLO||40th||$5,057|
|73||$10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship||9th||$30,290|
|84||$50,000 High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha||7th||$165,462|
|86||$1,000 Super Turbo No-Limit Hold'em||10th||$10,604|
"It’s just really cool, it’s weird," Arieh told PokerNews about his run to WSOP Player of the Year. "My whole life and my career, whatever I do, I build momentum, so when I’m going good, I’m really good. When I’m going bad, I go really bad. It means a lot because my daughters will be really proud."
Hellmuth Comes Up Short
With Phil Hellmuth's elimination from Event #88: $5,000 8-Handed No-Limit Hold'em short of the money, Arieh wrapped up the Player of the Year award.
Arieh is a deserving winner because he won at high stakes and low stakes, and cashed in multiple poker variants. He performed at a high level from start to finish, and didn't just crush no-limit hold'em or mixed games. Even he was surprised with his own performance.
Holy shit! I can't believe this really happened! I fkn won @wsop POY....what in the actual fuck! https://t.co/ejK1gRvgPF— Joshua Arieh (@golferjosh)
After busting on Day 1 of the 88th and final event of the 2021 WSOP, Arieh finished with 4,194.59 Player of the Year points. Hellmuth, who was also unable to add some points in the last tournament, ended his incredible run at 3,664.09. Daniel Negreanu, who was also still mathematically alive in the POY race heading into the final table, couldn't spin up a stack and joined Arieh and Hellmuth on the rail. The GGPoker ambassador will likely finish in third place with 3,531.03.
Shaun Deeb, who won the award in 2018, has a chance to surpass Hellmuth for second place, but is mathematically eliminated from contention. He bagged a big stack on Day 1 of the final event, which is set to conclude on Tuesday. But he can only increase his score by as much as 1,118 points if he were to go on and win the bracelet. He needed at least 1,163 to catch up to Arieh.
Hellmuth and Arieh were clearly the top two performers throughout the series. The "Poker Brat" reached a WSOP single series record seven final tables, won his 16th bracelet, and finished second twice. Arieh won two bracelets and cashed in 11 live events plus two online events.
If the Player of the Year was to be awarded based on a vote, you could probably flip a coin between those two. They both performed at a high level in the low and high buy-in tournaments, and crushed multiple poker variants. In most years, Hellmuth would have won POY, but he was up against the legendary performance of Josh Arieh in 2021.
In this Series
- 1 WSOP 2021 Schedule: 88 WSOP Bracelet Events, Sept. 30 - Nov. 23
- 2 WSOP 2021: Best Events to Play on a Budget
- 3 WSOP 2021 Main Event Satellites From $80 Hit GGPoker
- 4 WSOP 2021: Former Champ Chris Moneymaker Set to Miss This Year's WSOP
- 5 WSOP 2021: COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Players, Update on Staff
- 6 WSOP 2021: Best Hotels in Las Vegas
- 7 WSOP 2021: Try These 5 Hidden Gem Las Vegas Restaurants
- 8 World Series of Poker 2023: Read Phil Ivey's Top WSOP Tips
- 9 WSOP 2021: 8 Things Poker Players Should Definitely Bring to the WSOP - and 2 You Shouldn't!
- 10 How to Enter the WSOP 2021 Freezeout Events
- 11 Is It Worth Playing Cash Games During the WSOP?
- 12 What Game Should You Pick in Dealer’s Choice?
- 13 What We've Learned from the First Week of the 2021 WSOP
- 14 Hands That Helped GGPoker Ambassador Jason Koon Win 1st WSOP Gold Bracelet
- 15 GGPoker Successfully Brings Online Flip & Go Concept to Live 2021 WSOP
- 16 Jason Koon, Connor Drinan Lead 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Race
- 17 Anthony Zinno in Exclusive One-Player Club Following Fourth WSOP Title
- 18 Looking Back At The Illustrious History of the Poker Players Championship
- 19 Phil Hellmuth Blows Up AGAIN; Rails Against WSOP POY Rules
- 20 Poker Fan Loses Job, Twitch Streamer Gifts Him WSOP Main Event Package
- 21 WSOP 2021: Are the Fields Tougher or Softer than Recent Years?
- 22 Doyle Brunson Treats Crowd to Surprise WSOP Return on Halloween
- 23 Spooktastic: Best & Worst Halloween Costumes from the 2021 WSOP
- 24 Phil Ivey NFT Launch Party a True 'What Happens in Vegas' Night
- 25 Poker Community Buys Man Facing Terminal Cancer into WSOP Main Event
- 26 Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 27 WSOP Temporarily Goes on Lockdown Over Suspect's "Suspicious Item"
- 28 Did Phil Hellmuth's Sex Ban Lead to 1989 WSOP Main Event Glory?
- 29 Doyle Brunson Arrives; Defending Champ Salas Busts Before 1st Break of 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 30 Aces Cracked Leaves Kevin Campbell as the 2021 WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 31 Quads Vs. Quads Sends Chang Liu Home Near WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 32 The Muck: Mike "The Mouth" Matusow Wants to End Max Late Reg
- 33 Doyle Brunson Proves He Still Has it Despite WSOP Main Event Exit
- 34 Phil "Gandalf" Hellmuth Makes Grand Entrance in 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 35 Chris Moneymaker Makes Late Decision to Play WSOP Main Event
- 36 Who is GGPoker Ambassador and YouTube Vlogger 'Greg Goes All In?'
- 37 The Muck: Poker Twitter Debates Potential Angle-Shooting in WSOP Main Event
- 38 Nick Rigby Plays the 2-3 "Dirty Diaper" in 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 39 Is Josh Arieh Running Away with WSOP Player of the Year?
- 40 'Wedding Crashers' & 'Old School' Star Vince Vaughn to Join WSOP's Move to Strip in 2022
- 41 Eli Elezra Selected as 2021 Poker Hall of Fame Inductee
- 42 Master of Ceremonies Vince Vaughn Suffers Bad Beat in His First WSOP Tournament
- 43 Players Implement Covid Contract During WSOP $250K Super High Roller
- 44 How Much Money Did Players at the WSOP Main Event Final Table Really Make?
- 45 Phil Hellmuth Breaks WSOP Single Series Final Table Record
- 46 Daniel Negreanu's Most Mind-Boggling WSOP Stat at the Rio
- 47 Josh Arieh a Surprising 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Winner