The WSOP Player of the Year award is regarded amongst the professional poker fraternity as the highest accolade one can receive at the World Series of Poker. The award is received by the player who has amassed the greatest number of points over the series based on finishing position, type of game, buy-in and field size. The number of bracelets and amount of money you accumulate sure helps you get to the top of the leaderboard, but consistency in a number of major events will keep you there more than a one off “flash in the pan” performance.
Therefore, it is no surprise to see Phil Hellmuth at the top of the rankings after 35 events. Hellmuth, who has belied his nickname of “Poker Brat” with some gentlemanly performances to date, finished second to John Juanda in the 2-7 Draw Lowball and second again to Eric Rodawig in the 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo to amass 393.75 Player of the Year (PoY) points. He is closely followed by Sam Stein who won the $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha earlier this week following cashes in the NLHE Shoot Out and a final table appearance in the Pot Limit Hold´em.
Only Jake Cody appears in the leaderboard top ten among the UK Poker Players to have won a WSOP bracelet to date, but an honourable mention should go to Chris Moorman who, although yet to win a bracelet, appears at number 23 on the list due to his three fine cashes in recent weeks.
The good news for Hellmuth is that, since its inception in 2004, no player has won the WSOP Player of the Year award without collecting a bracelet along the way. Maybe that elusive twelfth bracelet will not be too long in coming!