A new Player of the Year (POY) formula is coming to the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and will be used at the 49th annual WSOP which starts on May 29 to July 17.
The WSOP released a statement via their website confirming that they are tweaking the POY formula for 2018 “in response to player feedback.” This year the WSOP will change things up as the new system will be rewarding those who run deep in tournaments, while still rewarding consistency.
Many poker players are happy to see the WSOP take steps to make changes as they were not very happy with how the 2017 WSOP POY ratings turned out.
Chris Ferguson Receiving 2017 POY Award Upsets Players
Controversy regarding the POY system started last year when the WSOP surprisingly introduced its own proprietary formula, scrapping the 2011 formula that took into consideration the field size and buy-in price, and the results of the WSOP Europe. The 2017 formula relied on ROI, rewarding those who cashed more for their buy-ins.
The new formula caught many players off guard, especially two-time POY winner Daniel Negreanu who took the 12th spot on the 2017 list. Negreanu had a great run in 2016 and came in second behind James Obst. Negreanu was one of those players who were not happy with the 2017 POY process and said that $10,000 buy-in tournaments are much more superior that small buy-in events, and POY points should be rewarded based on the superiority of the tournament and the player field.
Chris Ferguson who is still one of the most hated poker pros on the circuit due to his role in the Full Tile Poker scam ended up winning the 2017 POY much to the frustration of thousands of poker players.
John Monnette, who took 5th place at the 2017 POY straight-up called the POY system a flawed system and said that Ferguson was able to bag the POY not by being the best player overall but by manipulating and taking advantage of the system. Because of the negative feedback, WSOP has decided to pull back the 2017 POY system and released a revamped version of the 2011 format.
Min-Cash in Large-Field versus Win in Small-Field
The new and updated POY points formula will be more generous towards players who run deep in prestigious tournaments like the $10,000 Main Event, where the player size isn’t as big as smaller min-buy tournaments, but are comparatively harder than all other tournaments.
This time, the POY points formula will have a much bigger ratio for points awarded for a win versus points awarded for a min-cash. In 2017, ratio stood at around 3.25:1 to 8.16:1. This year, ratio will play around 20:1, which means more points for those who win the bracelets.
The WSOP did highlight via its website that the POY winner for 2017 would have remained unchanged even if they used the 2018 formula. That meant they stand by their decision to award Chris Ferguson the POY, who would have still amassed 3,309 points from his 2017 WSOP run.
2018 POY Formula
Those who want to monitor their points this year can keep track using the point calculator on the WSOP website. Like the past years, POY runners will have the entire 2018 WSOP run at the Rio in Las Vegas to rack up points and also the WSOP Europe at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic from Oct 11-Nov 2.
For heads-up and shootout events, players eliminated in the same round will be awarded equal points. Multi-fight events like The Colossus and The Giant, where players can cash more than once, will only award POY points once for each event, and will be awarded only based on the final results positions.
Six events are also excluded from the POY race: $1,000/$10,000 Ladies Event, $1,000 Tag Team NLHE, $565 Casino Employees NLHE, $1,000 Seniors NLHE, Super Seniors NLHE, and the $1 million Big One for One Drop.
Since 2004, only Daniel Negreanu has won the POY twice. The Canadian poke pro was the first POY winner in 2004 and then won the POY in 2013. The richest POY winner was Greg Merson, who won the POY in 2012. He took home a jaw-dropping $9,755,180 for the WSOP series alone, after running a back-to-back win at the $10,000 World Championship NLHE for $ 8,531,853 and the $10,000 NLHE Six Handed for $ 1,136,197.

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