The Complete Guide to the 2023 WSOP Player of the Year Race


The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has always been the pinnacle poker attraction of the world, attracting the most skilled and dedicated players from around the globe.

And over the next two months, this shiver of sharks will battle it out for one of the most prestigious WSOP accolades available, the Player of the Year title.

So PokerNews thought it would be wise to assemble this complete guide to the WSOP Player of the Year race so you have everything you need to know about this fierce competition.

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What Does the WSOP PoY Win?

Other than etching their names into poker's history books for eternity, the winner of the WSOP PoY race receives:

  • 2024 WSOP Main Event seat
  • A unique trophy
  • Player of the Year banner at Horseshoe/Paris

The latest player to have their PoY banner erected was Dan Zack, who edged out Daniel Weinman to the title. The New Jersey native, who first became known in the poker world for crushing Live at the Bike games, held the lead in the POY race for the final three weeks.

Zack picked up two gold bracelets and had 14 other WSOP cashes, which included an additional two final table appearances. For his wins, Zack first took down Event #15: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $440,757, and then shipped Event #40: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $324,174.

However, it already appears that Zack has conceded his title, as he told PokerNews last summer that he was getting married this year and wanted to have kids in the near future which would limit his time at the table.

2022 WSOP Player of the Year Final Leaderboard

1Dan Zack4,530
2Daniel Weinman4,040
3Koray Aldemir3,275
4Shaun Deeb3,197
5David Peters2,982
6Yueqi Zhu2,766
7Joao Vieira2,752
8Joao Simao2,735
9Alex Foxen2,548
10Brian Rast2,520

What Events Count Towards the PoY Race?

2022 WSOP Main Event Fibal Table

The 2023 PoY race will be exclusively based on the open bracelet events of the upcoming WSOP, which takes place at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and Horseshoe Las Vegas from May 30 to July 18. Additionally, the online bracelet events held in Nevada and New Jersey will also be included.

It's important to note that certain events will be excluded from the leaderboards, which are:

  • Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em
  • Event #48: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em
  • Event #51: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em
  • Event #61: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em
  • Event #67: $1,000/$10,000 Ladies Event

Other key information:

Heads-Up and Shootout events: Players eliminated in the same round (e.g. fifth through eighth place in a heads-up event, or all players eliminated on Day 2 of a shootout) will all receive the same points. The points awarded for those places will be the average of the points those places would have earned in a standard event.

Multi-flight events featuring Day 1 payouts: Some events (e.g. The Closer) offer the opportunity to cash more than once. However, a player will only earn POY points once for each event, and the points earned will be based on the position in the final results.

How are PoY Points Calculated?

The formula for calculating points for the PoY race is inspired by the proven point system utilized in the WSOP Circuit over the years. This system will be applied to each bracelet event but with some adjustments to account for the buy-in amount and the number of entries.

Players can use the WSOP PoY calculator to estimate points for any event and the leaderboard will be updated daily for people to follow.

Who Are The Favorites?

It's difficult to have any serious PoY predictions before the WSOP kicks off however, usual names at the forefront include previous winners such as Daniel Negreanu and Shaun Deeb. This is due to the fact that competing for WSOP PoY is quite a grind, as it requires players to enter dozens of events to have any shot at winning. Deeb, Negreanu, and a few others traditionally enter 40 or more bracelet tournaments in each series.

However, with Deeb in the middle of a body fat-related $1 million prop bet, his time at the table could be hampered. But, even with that caveat, Deeb should still be considered as a possible frontrunner due to how well he performs under the WSOP umbrella.

Negreanu will be looking to have a very different summer from the one he experienced last year, which saw him end the series down $1.1 million. The tides, though, have seemed to have turned recently for 'Kid Poker' as momentum is on his side following his Super High Roller Bowl VII and High Stakes Duel victories.

Espen Jorstad
Espen Jorstad

Another player who could be in contention is Espen Jorstad, who won the 2022 WSOP Main Event and plans to play a full schedule this time around.

"I'm planning to go for the whole World Series this summer. I'm going at the very beginning and leaving at the very end. I was recently looking over the WSOP schedule, trying to map out how much money I'm going to need in Vegas this summer. You know, deciding if I want to play the $250,000 or the $100,000." Jorstad told PokerNews

"I figured if I want to play all the big stuff, I'm going to need like $700,000-$800,000 just for my buy-ins. So it will be a crazy summer if I want to play that full schedule — which would be cool!"

And, of course, it would be impossible to rule out 16-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, who has finished as the runner-up on four occasions, with the last being in 2021.

WSOP Player of the Year Winners

2004Daniel NegreanuTed Forrest
2005Allen CunninghamMark Seif
2006Jeff MadsenPhil Hellmuth
2007Tom SchneiderJeff Lisandro
2008Erick LindgrenBarry Greenstein
2009Jeff LisandroVille Wahlbeck
2010Frank KasselaMichael Mizrachi
2011Ben LambPhil Hellmuth
2012Greg MersonPhil Hellmuth
2013Daniel NegreanuMatthew Ashton
2014George DanzerBrandon Shack-Harris
2015Mike GorodinskyJonathan Duhamel
2016Jason MercierPaul Volpe
2017Chris FergusonJohn Racener
2018Shaun DeebBen Yu
2019Robert CampbellShaun Deeb
2020N/A (pandemic)N/A
2021Josh AriehPhil Hellmuth
2022Dan ZackDaniel Weinman
  • The WSOP Player of the Year is a fierce competition, with the world's best poker players looking to etch their name in poker's history books.

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Editor & Live Reporter

Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum's proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.

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