As if the news about the elimination of the November Nine wasn’t news enough just two weeks before the start of the 2017 World Series of Poker, the WSOP has more to announce. Starting this year, a new formula will be used to determine the WSOP Player of the Year. Details have yet to be released as to the formula’s specifics, but we do know for sure that the POY will no longer be determined by the Global Poker Index’s formula.
One of the biggest criticisms of the WSOP Player of the Year calculation (using the GPI or not) is that it particularly benefited those who played in the large buy-in tournaments. Players who participated in a lot of smaller buy-in events struggled to keep up, even when making deep runs. And with more and more $1,000 and $1,500 buy-in tournaments added over the last few years, that meant there were lots of players who knew they had no chance at POY, even if they played a lot and did quite well.
One of the loudest critics of the WSOP’s past POY systems has been former Poker News Daily writer and poker media mainstay Jessica Welman, who has provided sharp analysis and suggestions over the last few years. It appears, despite the WSOP not releasing details of the new formula yet, that the new system is heavily Welman-influenced.
Along with the announcement of the WSOP POY adjustments, the WSOP has also said that the player who is in the lead in this year’s Player of the Year race at the end of the traditional Las Vegas portion of the schedule will receive a seat into the 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event, slated for November at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. The WSOP’s statement about it, plus the one-sentence tidbit about the formula change is as follows:
Player of the Year Presented by King’s Casino: Kings Casino Rozvadov is the new sponsor, awarding the 2017 WSOP POY a seat into the 2018 WSOP Main Event. In addition, the player that has accumulated the most points in Las Vegas over the first 71 open events will receive a seat to the 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event at King’s in Rozvadov. With WSOP Europe on the calendar in 2017, there are a total of 82 WSOP gold bracelets in play to contest for the WSOP POY crown in 2017, 71 open events in Las Vegas and 11 in the Czech Republic at WSOP Europe. The POY points will no longer use the GPI formula for calculations, but instead use a proprietary formula. The winner will be celebrated with their own banner as well.
Jason Mercier won the 2016 WSOP Player of the Year award, clinching it when Paul Volpe was eliminated from the Main Event in 29th place. Mercier cashed eleven times last year, including two wins and a runner-up finish in the span of just a week early in the Series. That run put him out to a massive lead at the outset and it looked like nobody had a chance to catch him. Though Volpe gave it a go, that it would’ve required an even deeper Main Event run is a testament to how well Mercier did in the 2016 WSOP.