How to Win WSOP Player of the Year

There is no solid blueprint to winning the World Series of Poker Player of the Year title. Since 2011, the WSOP POY formula has been powered by BLUFF using three main components — buy-in, field size and finishing position.

2012 Player of the Year Greg MersonHistory shows us that making two or three final tables in big buy-in events will net players more points than winning a bracelet in a large field, low buy-in event. The 2014 WSOP will have even more emphasis on the large buy-in events with shorter fields with the return of the $10,000 championship events.

Here are the 10 events on the 2014 schedule that BLUFF thinks are key to taking home POY honors:

  • Event No. 2 — $25,000 Mixed Max
  • Event No. 22 — $10,000 HORSE
  • Event No. 28 — $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em
  • Event No. 32 — $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em
  • Event No. 40 — $10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold’em
  • Event No. 46 — $50,000 Poker Players Championship
  • Event No. 49 — $5,000 No Limit Hold’em
  • Event No. 57 — $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop
  • Event No. 64 — $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha
  • Event No. 65 — $10,000 Main Event*

*The Main Event has a hard point scoring system with no multipliers.

Winning two or more bracelets will put a player in the conversation, but it’s not a necessity. Six of the last 10 POY winners won multiple bracelets and only one winner won the Main Event (Greg Merson) and two of them made the Main Event final table (Allen Cunningham and Ben Lamb).

One of the main components of winning the title is making final tables in big buy-in events. It would be easy to assume a player could wrap up the title by winning the One Drop and making another final table — but that’s incorrect.

In 2012, Antonio Esfandiari won the Big One for One Drop as well as another bracelet at WSOP Europe, but, even with a third-place finish thrown in for good measure, ultimately finished in third place nearly 300 points behind Merson.

Merson got the max for winning the Main Event (500 points) and another 360 points for his $10,000 Six Max bracelet, Esfandiari earned 106.25 for his third-place finish in the $3,000 Shootout and 300 points for the One Drop.

The most surefire way to add your name to the list is to win a bracelet in a decent sized event and then turn in a few final table runs in bigger buy-in events.

Past WSOP POY Winners

2004 — Daniel Negreanu
Bracelets — 1 ($2,000 Limit Hold’em)
WSOP Cashes — 6
Final Tables — 5

2005 — Allen Cunningham
Bracelets — 1 ($1,500 No Limit Hold’em)
WSOP Cashes — 5
Final Tables — 4

2006 — Jeff Madsen
Bracelets — 2 ($2,000 NLHE & $5,000 NLHE Six Max)
WSOP Cashes — 4
Final Tables — 4

2007 — Tom Schneider
Bracelets — 2 ($2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo & $1,000 Stud Hi-Lo)
WSOP Cashes — 3
Final Tables — 3

2008 — Erick Lindgren
Bracelets — 1 ($5,000 Limit/No Limit Hold’em)
WSOP Cashes — 5
Final Tables — 3

2009 — Jeffrey Lisandro
Bracelets — 3 ($1,500 Seven Card Stud, $10,000 Stud Hi-Lo & $2,500 Razz)
WSOP Cashes — 6
Final Tables — 4

2010 — Frank Kassela
Bracelets — 2 ($10,000 Stud Hi-Lo &$2,500 Razz)
WSOP Cashes — 6
Final Tables — 3

2011 — Ben Lamb
Bracelets — 1 ($10,000 Pot Limit Omaha)
WSOP Cashes — 5
Final Tables — 4

2012 — Greg Merson
Bracelets — 2 ($10,000 NLHE Six Max & $10,000 Main Event)
WSOP Cashes — 4
Final Tables — 2

2013 — Daniel Negreanu
Bracelets — 2 (AU10,000 WSOP APAC Main Event & €10,000 WSOPE High Roller)
WSOP Cashes — 10
Final Tables — 4

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June 2014