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2019 WSOP Player of the Year: Dan Zack is Back on Top

Dan Zack

It's hard to believe but four weeks of poker have already been played at the 2019 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, with 55 bracelets having been awarded thus far. The 2019 WSOP Player of the Year race continues to heat up as well, with early leader Dan Zack having moved back into the top spot this week after making another final table.

Zack kicked off this year's WSOP with a victory in Event #6: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball, earning him his first career bracelet. He now has 10 cashes overall this summer, the most recent being for finishing fifth in Event #51: $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better won by Yuri Martins.

That finish gave Zack enough POY points to retake the No. 1 spot where he presently enjoys a lead over Jason Gooch at No. 2. Gooch has moved up the rankings after finishing runner-up to Josh Pollock in Event #24: $600 ONLINE Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed, then last Sunday winning another online event by topping a field of 1,333 in Event #55: $1,000 Online Double Stack No-Limit Hold'em.

Meanwhile Upeshka Da Silva, who led the race a week ago after he won Event #38: $600 ONLINE No-Limit Hold'em Knockout Bounty, currently sits at No. 3.

Here's how the 2019 WSOP POY Top 10 looks as of this morning, Wednesday, June 26:

PlacePlayer2019 WSOP POY Points
1Dan Zack2,516.41
2Jason Gooch2,268.02
3Upeshka De Silva2,162.02
4Scott Clements2,157.48
5Daniel Strelitz1,918.94
6Shaun Deeb1,910.18
7Robert Campbell1,879.49
8Ismael Bojang1,816.91
9Ari Engel1,786.49
10Frankie O'Dell1,716.45

After winning Event #10: $1,500 Dealer's Choice, Scott Clements made yet another final table — his third this summer — in Event #54: $1,500 Razz won by Kevin Gerhart. Clements finished fourth in that event, and he's also fourth in the POY standings at present.

Daniel Strelitz has also followed a bracelet win with more WSOP success. Strelitz has cashed seven times this year, including his victory in Event #11: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em shown on PokerGO, to place him at No. 5.

Last year's WSOP Player of the Year Shaun Deeb has yet to win a bracelet in 2019, although he came very close when he finished second to Adam Friedman in the Event #35: $10,000 Dealer's Choice Championship. Deeb sits at No. 6 this morning after cashing three more times since that deep run, giving him 11 cashes total this year so far.

Incidentally, as of today Jake Schwartz (currently No. 18 in the POY standings) and Jon Turner (currently No. 21) are tied for the most cashes in 2019 with 13.

Robert Campbell, winner of Event #33: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw is at No. 7 this week, while Ismael Bojang has moved up to No. 8 after capturing his first career bracelet in Event #40: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Ari Engel (No. 9) who won his first career bracelet in Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em and Frankie O'Dell (No. 10) who won his third WSOP title in the Event #18: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship.

Players closing in on the Top 10 right now include Brett Apter (No. 11), Dash Dudley (No. 12), Ben Yu (No. 13), Loren Klein (No. 14), and Roman Korenev (No. 15).

About the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year

After changing the way POY points were calculated prior to last year, the WSOP has kept the same formula to determine this year's winner. The formula is "loosely based" on the one employed to calculate WSOP Circuit rankings, with modifiers based on buy-ins and field sizes.

At the time, the WSOP explained the changes had been made "to better reward bracelet winners and players who run deep, while still rewarding consistency." A couple of differences from the pre-2018 system include a bigger gap between points earned from first- and second-place finishes, and min-cashes being worth relatively less than was the case before.

Here's an information sheet provided by the WSOP that provides further details regarding the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year.

The 2019 WSOP POY race includes all of the "open" bracelet events from this summer's WSOP in Las Vegas as well as events from the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe series that will take place in Rozvadov, Czech Republic later this year (Oct. 15-Nov. 4). That means from the full schedule of bracelet events this summer, the following six events are excluded:

  • Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em
  • Event #32: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em
  • Event #39: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold'em
  • Event #47: $1,000/$10,000 Ladies Event
  • Event #57: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold'em
  • Event #81: $1,500 Bracelet Winners Only No-Limit Hold'em

The WSOP also added one more bracelet event to this year's schedule — the $50,000 Final Fifty High Roller — bringing the total number of bracelets awarded in the 2019 WSOP to 90. That new entry will count toward the 2019 WSOP POY race, which means players can earn points in 84 of this summer's events.

We'll keep looking in on the WSOP POY race once a week here on PokerNews as the WSOP progresses. However, you can always check the standings any time on the constantly updated WSOP Player of the Year page. There you also can find a "WSOP Point Calculator" to discover in advance how many points each event will award based on the number of entries.

Follow all of the action from the 2019 World Series of Poker and keep track of which players are challenging for the WSOP POY on PokerGO.

  • WSOP Player of the Year: Dan Zack has moved back in front ahead of Gooch, De Silva, and Clements.

  • Four weeks in, Dan Zack has moved back on top in the race for 2019 WSOP Player of the Year.

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Martin Harris

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