The 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year Race continues to gain momentum with American poker pro Dan Zack still keeping a firm grip on the top spot.
Zack captured his first WSOP bracelet after winning Event #6: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball, topping 296 entries. He earned $160,447 for his victory last week and cashed in three other events, making him a POY frontrunner. During the second week, the American mixed games crusher scored an additional two cashes, giving him enough points to secure the No.1 spot.
While Dan Zack has managed to maintain his position on the POY leaderboard after two weeks of action at the Rio, the same can’t be said about the players below him. As an example, Ben Heath slipped down to No. 7 as of this writing after reaching his highest rank (No. 2) a week ago when he came in just behind Zack. The British poker pro won the $50K Annual High Roller event and scored another cash, but it didn’t give him enough points to hold on to his position.
Who Made It To The Top 10?
Climbing his way up to the No. 2 spot is John Gorsuch. The Virginia native captured his first bracelet after taking down the $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em, defeating a huge field of 8,809 entries. He finished off runner-up Kazuki Ikeuchi heads-up, earning the first-place prize of $1.344 million.
Following Gorsuch in third place is Daniel Strelitz who also won his first bracelet in Event #11: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em. He outlasted more than 400 players to claim the top prize worth $442,385. Isaac Baron, who was following Zack in second place just two days ago, fell to No. 4. Baron bested 1,831 other players to win Event #16: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed.
At No. 5 is Femi Fashakin who is also a first-time bracelet winner. Fashakin took down the record-breaking BIG 50 event and turned his $500 into $1,147,449 after topping a massive field of 28,371 entries. The BIG 50 created the record for the largest ever poker tournament in history.
Just behind Fashakin in sixth place is Brett Apter, who has cashed three times so far in his WSOP journey this summer. He won Event #17: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout, outlasting a 917-entry field and earning $238,824 in first-place prize, his first-ever six-figure score. Among his opponents was bracelet winner Erik Seidel, who currently ranks third on Hendon Mob’s All Time Money List.
Jeremy Pekarek secured enough points to sit at No. 8 after winning Event #9: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deep Stack, which attracted a huge field of 6,151 entries.
Ben Yu came close to winning his fourth bracelet in Event #15: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em. He ended up as runner-up to Sean Swingruber. Nevertheless, Yu managed to be on the Top 10 list, with six WSOP cashes and two final tables under his belt. He finished second to Shaun Deeb in the 2018 WSOP POY race.
California native Frankie O’Dell rounded out the current Top 10. O’Dell captured his third gold in Event #18: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, outlasting fellow bracelet winners Chris Ferguson, Daniel Alaei and Scotty Nguyen.
Among the players who are currently outside of the Top 10 but might see a significant improvement to their performance in the coming days include Yuval Bronshtein (11), Scott Clements (12), Murilo Figueredo (13), Daniel Park (14) and Shannon Shorr (15).
Former WSOP Player of the Year Shaun Deeb is in No. 27, with other famous players such as Phil Hellmuth, Dan O’Brien, Chance Kornuth and Jon Turner rounding out the Top 100.
Details of the 2019 WSOP POY Race
Since 2018, the WSOP has been using the same formula to determine the Player of the Year. Points are calculated based on buy-ins and field sizes, with the formula loosely based on the same one being currently used in the WSOP Circuit rankings. In the years prior to 2018, the points system was a lot different, but the WSOP decided to make some changes to better reward players with a deep run and at the same time reward consistent performers.
The 2019 WSOP POY race covers all of the open bracelet events taking place at the Rio this summer as well as events from the 2019 WSOP Europe which is set to kick off in October in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. The newly-added $50K Final Fifty High Roller will also count toward this year’s WSOP POY leaderboard.

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