Daniel Negreanu clinched the 2019 World Series of Poker Player of the Year title on Monday after Shaun Deeb was eliminated from the €550 Colossus No-Limit Hold’em at WSOP Europe. This is the third time Negreanu has won the POY award. He previously won in 2004 and 2013; the first was before the WSOP Europe existed, so the only events that counted were those in the traditional WSOP in Las Vegas.
Players receive points toward the Player of the Year standings based on their finish in open WSOP events. There were 83 qualifying events this year at the WSOP in Las Vegas and 14 more at the WSOP Europe. Just two open events did not count: the $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em event in Las Vegas and €250,000 Super High Roller at the WSOP Europe. Points are modified based on buy-in and the number of entrants in a tournament.
Negreanu began WSOP Europe in third place, behind Robert Campbell and Shaun Deeb. Thanks to six cashes, though, he jumped to first place going into the final event of WSOP Europe, the €550 Colossus. In addition to the three names just mentioned, former World Poker Tour Player of the Year Anthony Zinno had a chance to claim the POY title in the final event.
The standings to begin the Colossus:
Daniel Negreanu: 3,971.54
Robert Campbell: 3,857.97
Shaun Deeb: 3,710.64
Anthony Zinno: 3,270.33
Negreanu, Campbell, and Zinno all cashed, but they also bowed out before Monday’s Day 3, leaving an opening for Deeb. Negreanu increased his total to 4,074.88. This meant that Deeb needed to finish in at least fifth place to earn enough points to pass Negreanu.
Deeb was one of just eleven players to reach Day 3, so Negreanu had a hell of a sweat this morning. The intrigue did not last long, though, as Deeb was the very first player eliminated on Monday. The eleventh place finish was not enough to catch Negreanu, which should be obvious based on what I wrote in the previous paragraph.
After he clinched the Player of the Year title, Negreanu tweeted proudly, “While there is no cash prize for WSOP POY, poker is my passion. The title is the achievement and acknowledgment of a lot of hard work, long grueling days against top competition.”
One person tweeted at Negreanu, asking him if there was one hand he could pick out that was significant in his quest for Player of the Year. Negreanu’s answer was interesting:
“Silly hand. 33 on last bullet of Colossus,” he replied. “A raise in front. I was on button short stacked. Paused. Took a breath. Reminded myself why I flew out here, and folded. Seems insignificant, but it was huge mentally. In that moment I decided to grind hard.”
And so the Poker Hall of Famer has won the World Series of Poker Player of the Year three times. Nobody else has won it more than once.