We said it was possible and Shaun Deeb is getting it done. Deeb, currently in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, for the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe festivities, has passed the man who led at the end of the WSOP in Las Vegas, Robert Campbell, to take over the lead in the race for WSOP Player of the Year.
Plenty of Movement in Race for POY
The POY race has certainly ramped up since the action began in the WSOP Europe last week. Deeb, who has been able to make two cashes at the King’s Casino, has driven deep in those events. Between them, Deeb has added 341.4 points to the 3280.13 points that he had at the end of the WSOP in Las Vegas. With those points, Deeb has now taken over the lead in the POY race for 2019.
Campbell is trying to keep pace with Deeb, earning two cashes himself. Those two cashes, however, were a bit deeper into the payouts (50th and 48th places in Events #3 and #2, respectively) than Deeb’s efforts (13th and 18th places in Event #7 and Event #2). As such, they didn’t add as many points (139.84) to his total, leaving him in second place on the POY standings with 3558.62 points overall.
Also hanging in the back waiting for a misstep – or perhaps a bit of a run of his own – is Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu hasn’t moved up the standings at all – he’s still in third place – but he has also cashed twice in Rozvadov. Negreanu has added 97.96 points to currently sit at 3264.2 points and maintain his position in the race for the POY.
The biggest mover on the POY leaderboard was the winner of the €550 Eight-Handed Pot Limit Omaha tournament, Dash Dudley. Dudley wasn’t even in the Top Ten at the start of the WSOP Europe, but the victory in Event #2 (and another cash in Event #7, the €1100 Turbo Bounty Hunter No Limit tournament, catapulted him into the mix for the POY race. As of Sunday night, Dudley is in seventh place on the ladder and, should his contemporaries falter ahead of him, it isn’t out of the question that he might take the POY.
At the halfway mark of the WSOP Europe, here’s how the Top Ten currently looks:
1. Shaun Deeb, 3621.53 points
2. Robert Campbell, 3558.62
3. Daniel Negreanu, 3264.20
4. Phillip Hui, 3186.17
5. Daniel Zack, 3126.13
6. Jason Gooch, 2643.72
7. Dash Dudley, 2615.14
8. Anthony Zinno, 2609.30
9. Dario Sammartino, 2600.21
10. Joseph Cheong, 2595.54
Possibilities at History…or Longshots Coming In?
There are plenty of opportunities for history to be made in this POY race. If Deeb were to hold onto his lead, then he would become the first man to ever win the POY in back-to-back years. Negreanu is looking to leave his mark on the record books as well; if he were to win the POY, he would extend his own record of POY championships at the WSOP to three (no other player has even won two WSOP POYs).
There’s also a chance that a longshot may make a charge at the wire. There are still eight events left on the schedule, including the €10,000 Championship Event of the WSOP Europe, that could have a massive effect on the final POY standings. For example, if one of the players even as far back as Cheong were to win the Main Event (and the said tournament was at least 500 entries – last year’s tournament had 534 entries), they would earn roughly 1200 points. That would be enough, if the current standings remained static, to pass Deeb’s 3621 points and steal the POY away. Three other players – Chris Ferguson (11th), David ‘ODB’ Baker (12th) and Ismael Bojang (13th) – are within 1200 points of Deeb at this mark.
This is all for naught should Deeb continue his current strong play. Deeb has 19 cashes between Las Vegas and Rozvadov in 2019 and shows no signs of slowing down. But the people behind him are within shouting distance, giving Deeb not a moment to relax lest he lose the lead in the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year race.