Down to the wire

Jake Ferro made a huge run at the end of 2021 to capture the World Poker Tour Season XIX Player of the Year title, narrowly beating out several strong players for the crown.

Ferro earned 1,550 Player of the Year points thanks to three WPT Main Event cashes and one final table, though he did not win any of those tournaments. There was a three-way tie for second at 1,450 points between Rok Gostisa, Chad Eveslage, and Brian Altman. Just behind them were Taylor Black and Gediminas Uselis at 1,400 points. Of those players, Eveslage, Altman, and Black had their names etched on the WPT Mike Sexton Champions Cup.

“The WPT Player of the Year race came down to the wire and Jake’s determination in the final event makes him a fantastic winner,” said Adam Pliska, World Poker Tour CEO in Wednesday’s announcement. “It was an exciting way to close out Season XIX and certainly raises the bar for what will be an historic 20th anniversary season.”

Three cashes was all it took

Ferro earned his first Player of the Year points for the season in June, when he finished in 39th place at WPT Seminole Hard Rock Tampa. His biggest score, both in points and money, came right at the beginning of December, when he finished second to Uselis at the WPT Seminole Rock N’ Roll Poker Open Championship. He claimed 1,200 points and $573,605 for his accomplishment. What got him over the top was the very last event of the season, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, where he came in 14th and earned 300 points.

Though, as mentioned, there was a three-way tie for second place, the official runner-up for Player of the Year is Rok Gostisa, as he won the most money. He only cashed twice and did not make a final table, but he still earned $965,663. Eveslage was next with $916,840 for two cashes including one win. Altman earned $662,389 for three cashes and one victory.

In addition to the place in poker history, the World Poker Tour awarded Ferro with a WPT Passport worth $15,000 that he can use to enter any events this season. He also gets the “VIP treatment,” which is actually pretty darn nice, as it includes free accommodations and ground transportation at WPT Main Tour events. At least for me, I’m at the age, where the convenience of someone taking care of those things for me is gold.

World Poker Tour Season XX gets going next week with the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The $3,500 Main Event runs January 21-26.

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