In one of the most colossal mistakes in the history of the World Series of Poker, a tabulation error in the race for the WSOP Player of the Year has resulted in a change atop the standings. Instead of Daniel Negreanu winning his third POY title (no one else has won more than one), Australia’s Robert Campbell will earn the WSOP POY for 2019. But many others are outraged over the change because it affected the third man in the mix, 2018 WSOP POY Shaun Deeb, who had a shot at taking the crown and would have potentially changed his style (more on this in a minute).
Negreanu Awarded Points for Tournament He Didn’t Play
Russian poker journalist Alex Elenskiy noticed a discrepancy in Negreanu’s results from back in Las Vegas during the summer. According to his examination, Elenskiy noted that Negreanu had been credited with a 36th place finish in Event #68, the $1000 Online Championship Event. Problem is that Negreanu didn’t cash in that event; he did cash in Event #87, the $3000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, but the double counting of the 213.1 points available inflated Negreanu’s total.
Elenskiy took the 213.1 points away from Negreanu’s total and it completely changed the outcome of the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year race. Instead of winning the title, Negreanu would actually finish third in the rankings, with Campbell ascending to the lead with Negreanu’s fall. Only roughly 100 points would separate Campbell, Negreanu and Deeb (more on this in a moment).
Elenskiy did the right thing – contacted the WSOP to point out the error:
At this time, the WSOP has not commented on the evidence nor indicated if it will change the final results of the POY race.
Would it Have Changed Deeb’s Approach?
Going into the final tournament of the 2019 WSOP, the €550 Colossus at the WSOP Europe in Rozvadov, only four men had a chance at the WSOP POY title. Negreanu was leading the way, with Campbell in second, Deeb in third and Anthony Zinno in an astounding fourth after a final table finish in the WSOP Europe Main Event. Zinno’s chances required him to win the event and have Negreanu not cash, which didn’t occur.
Campbell also needed to make the final table after Negreanu finished the event in 201st place, but he would come up short by finishing in 159th place in the tournament. That left Deeb, who proceeded to run to the final day of the Collosus, with his stack yo-yoing wildly throughout the tournament. When the penultimate day arrived, Deeb was well aware of what he had to do.
To pass both Campbell and Negreanu and win the 2019 POY, Deeb needed to finish in fifth place or better. On that final day, Deeb came out with a highly aggressive style that did not work for him, eventually seeing him come up short of Campbell and Negreanu after he was the first man knocked out on the final day of the Colossus in eleventh place.
Is THIS the REAL Final Standings?
The results of taking that credited finish from Negreanu upends the WSOP POY standings. This is the way the Top Five finishes IF the WSOP changes the results:
1. Robert Campbell, 3961.31 points
2. Shaun Deeb, 3917.32
3. Daniel Negreanu, 3861.78
4. Anthony Zinno, 3322.0
5. Phillip Hui, 3186.17
Would Deeb have perhaps changed his plan of attack if he knew he only had Campbell to beat for the title instead of driving deeper into the tournament to beat Negreanu? It would have only required Deeb to make ninth place to be able to pass Campbell and, as Deeb came into the final day third in chips, it may have changed his approach. Would Deeb have pumped the brakes a bit to be able to move up the ladder a couple of slots and pass Campbell for what would have been another historic first – the only man to repeat as WSOP POY?
It is a bit of a surprise that the WSOP would make such a huge error as this. Normally the organization is very sharp when it comes to matters such as this, but kudos have to be given to Elenskiy for his legwork. Now it just depends on whether the WSOP will correct the problem or not – PokerNewsDaily will update if there is any statement from the WSOP.