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After a stellar season competing in multiple World Series of Poker events including two bracelet wins, Shaun Deeb claimed the WSOP Player of the year award. The New York poker pro faced stiff competition over the summer but by the end of the race, he had separated himself with a significant lead over the rest of the pack.
Player John Hennigan was the frontrunner in the race earlier this year. Hennigan also won two bracelets this year, along with a second place finish. His three deep runs all happened within two-weeks time. The wins counted as Hennigan’s fifth and sixth WSOP gold bracelets.
Hennigan was among the 2018 Poker Hall of Fame inductees. He very nearly became the first Hall of Famer to win the WSOP POY in the same year he joined the hall. His two bracelet wins and runner-up finish fell short and Deeb surpassed his point total by August.
First tabulated in 2004, the WSOP Player of the Year race is based on points accumulated, not necessarily on wins. Over the years it has become the most coveted award on the live poker scene. It is not just the mark of a skilled player, but one who is dedicated to grinding through summertime events in Las Vegas and in Europe.
Last year, the infamous Chris Ferguson won WSOP POY and set a new record for a single year of cashes. Ferguson made it in the money in a total of 23 events. Deeb came close to Ferguson’s record. Although he likely entered more bracelet events than any other player this year, he only cashed 20 times.