Continuing what has been arguably his most successful tournament poker span and the most controversial period of his career at the same time, Chris Ferguson has all but seized control of the 2017 World Series of Poker Player of the Year race.
Ferguson won Event #7, the €1500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo Eights or Better, defeating 92 players and taking away a €39,289 payday along the way. Other than being his sixth bracelet win, the more important thing for Ferguson with the win is the points that he added to his total. For the entirety of the 2017 WSOP (counting the summer Las Vegas version), Ferguson has been able to rack up 216 points in Event #7 and bring his total to 1178.53 points.
With only four events remaining on the WSOP schedule, it leaves little time for those trailing him to catch up.
Having arguably the best tournament poker year of his career, John Racener has been the hound in pursuit of the hare from the start of the WSOP. He has cashed three times at the WSOP Europe, including just missing the final table in Event #7. Those points have enabled him to hold onto second place – but not creep any closer to the top of the ladder – with his 999.76 points.
Pushing Racener for the second-place slot on the POY list has been Ryan Hughes. He has also cashed three times at the WSOP-E and, for a quick moment after Event #1, had passed Racener for the second-place slot in the pack to catch Ferguson. He has since fallen back behind Racener, but his 994.35 points have him in the mix should he make a deep run in any of the remaining tournaments.
After Hughes, one of the two players who was in the Top Ten at the start of the WSOP-E that did NOT go to the Czech Republic can be found. John Monnette, despite being in the Top Five after the schedule of events in Las Vegas this summer, decided against heading to Rozvadov to take part in the WSOP-E. Thus, his total of 865.21 will stay the same and he’ll probably stay in the Top Ten to the end of the European stop.
After Monnette, the players on the list have a “slim and none” chance and slim is leaving the building. Despite being on the grounds at the King’s Casino and picking up a couple of cashes, Foxen hasn’t garnered any more points in the race for the Player of the Year. As a result, Foxen and his 786.86 points are probably going to have to be sated by his current fifth place status. The remainder of the Top Ten also will have to be happy to be among the top players in the 2017 WSOP, including Mike Leah (sixth, 770.74 points), Raymond Henson (seventh, 768.49), Ben Yu (eighth, 766.49), Daniel Negreanu (ninth, 717.76) and Dario Sammartino (tenth, 710.96).
If someone is going to catch Ferguson for the POY, they’re going to have to go on a multi-tournament run. Because the fields have been smaller at the WSOP-E and the buy-ins aren’t as large, racking up any serious points is highly difficult. These are the four events left on the schedule:
Event #8 – €1000 “Little One for One Drop” No Limit Hold’em
Event #9 – €25,000 No Limit Hold’em
Event #10 – €111,111 High Roller for One Drop
Event #11 – €10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event
The €25,000 High Roller is nearing its conclusion, which basically means that those players left are not playing in the “Little One.” The lineup for the big One Drop tournament might see someone from the €25K take a shot, but it is expected that Ferguson will also participate in that event. With only the Main Event left, there just aren’t enough opportunities for players to mount an offensive against Ferguson.
Although the poker world might not like it, Ferguson has amassed quite a record for the 2017 WSOP. After cashing 17 times in Las Vegas, Ferguson has added another six in the seven completed events in Rozvadov, including his bracelet win. Unless someone can dig up a swing-dancing Anna Chapman to poison Ferguson over the next week, he’ll be the one who walks away with the accolades as the 2017 World Series of Poker Player of the Year.