The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year (POY) award has been one by some of the most recognizable names in the poker industry over the years. Chris Ferguson won the WSO POY in 2017 and Shaun Deeb won it in 2018.
The 2021 WSOP POY race is currently being hotly contested by high stakes poker pro Jason Koon and Connor Drinan. Koon currently sits in first place on the WSOP POY leaderboard and also the Velo No Limits POY Leaderboard.

WSOP POY vs. Velo No Limits POY

The WSOP POY takes into consideration all events at the 2021 WSOP and gives out points to players who end up in the money. The Velo No Limits POY only keeps track of no-limit hold’em events and awards points to players who do well in no-limit hold’em events. The winner of each leaderboard will be given a cash prize of $15,000 while the runner-up will receive $7,000.
The $15,000 in cash will not make a huge difference to Koon who has over $32.8 million in live cash prizes. Drinan has also done well for himself with live poker winnings crossing $11.5 million. While the cash prize is not huge, the title of finishing as the WSOP POY and the Velo No Limits POY is a nice accolade.

Close Race Between Koon and Drinan

The 2021 WSOP has just completed two weeks of action and there is still a lot more time left as the live poker tournament comes to an end only on Nov 23. There is still a lot of time for players to make their mark at the WSOP and dramatically change the POY rankings for both leaderboards.
For now though, Koon sits at the top of the WSOP POY rankings with 1,660.20 points while Drinan is not far behind with 1,507.51 points. Koon has done well during the first two weeks by winning the $25,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship, making two final tables and one final table bubble that saw him finish in 9th place.
The field is open right now as Dylan Linde (1,477.25) is in third place, followed by Aria Engel (1,378.73) in fourth place and Daniel Lazrus (1,277.87) in fifth place.
Things are a lot closer on the Velo No Limits POY Leaderboard. Koon is once again holding on to the first place here with 1,660.20 points while Daniel Lazrus is second with 1,277.87. Tyler Cornell (1,197.65) is in third place, followed by Harvey Mathews (1,136.33) in fourth place and Zhi Wu (1,110.25) in fifth place.
Koon also made headlines during the 2021 WSOP when GGPoker announced him as their latest brand ambassador. Koon topping the WSOP POY and Velo No Limits POY leaderboard after the first two weeks is another boost for the GGPoker brand.

Big Names Yet To Break Into Top 5

Some of the biggest names in the poker industry are missing from the 2021 WSOP POY race. Chris Ferguson is not on the POY list this year because he hasn’t made an appearance at the RIO so far and there is no confirmation if he will play any events at the 2021 WSOP.
One wonder’s if Ferguson is skipping the 2021 WSOP due to the mandatory vaccination mandate? Alex Foxen’s name will not be on the WSOP POY list for sure as he has confirmed that he will not attend the 2021 WSOP due to the mandatory vaccination requirement.
Phil Hellmuth has had a good run at the 2021 WSOP so far, finishing in the money on multiple occasions but needs one big win to break into the top 5.

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