WSOP Changes Player of the Year Leaderboard Scoring System

Jonathan
30 May 2024
Jonathan Raab 30 May 2024
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  • World Series of Poker Changes Player of the Year Rules
  • Only the top ten results now count
  • Players must cash at least five times to earn a place on the Leaderboard
WSOP
Player of the Year Leaderboard Changes at the WSOP

Caesar’s Entertainment has made changes to the way that points are accumulated for the World Series of Poker Player of the Year (POY) leaderboard. The changes were announced just a few days before the start of the 55th Annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

In previous years all events counted towards the POY leaderboard, including results in WSOP Online events. However this year new rules have been added, stipulating:

  • Players have to cash at least five times
  • Only the top ten results will count
  • Only one WSOP Online result will count as part of these ten results

The winner of the POY receives a 2025 Main Event seat, a trophy and will have a Player of the Year banner erected with their name and photo at the venue.

The introduction of a cap of the best ten results will end the practice by some players (who are competitively chasing the award) of entering as many events as possible, as it’s no longer going to be a reward for cashing ih in as many events as possible. It’s simply not going to be a thing at the WSOP any more.

Overall its probably a good change, as very few people have the time or inclination to play everything, so it focuses on quality over quantity. However, it was probably a thrill and a great talking point for many lower staking players to have sat with the likes of Daniel Negreanu or Shaun Deeb in $1k buy-in events. Players like this are now very unlikely to play many, if any, of the lower buy-in big field tournaments. This might diminish this aspect of the WSOP experience for recreational players, who will now leave Vegas without an I had Negreanu on my table and he dusted off his chips in three hands' story to take home with them.

The WSOP Should Award Bigger Prizes for the POY

One thing that has been overlooked in the internet discussions about this topic is that the WSOP is really rather poor at rewarding its Player of the Year. The cash value of the winners prize is a $10,000, the cost of a main event seat. Players who do well on the leaderboard will have spent many times this amount in buy-ins, even with the changes taken into account.

Compare this to other poker tours and events and the WSOP fairs badly in this respect. The World Poker Tour (WPT) invests $250,000 in prize for its Player of the Year leaderboard, including prizes valued at $100,000 for the winner. Even 5th place on the WPT Player of the Year leaderboard gets a prize worth more than the 2024 WSOP Player of the Year winner. Even the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour pays out a prize worth £20,000 to its Player of the Year.  Maybe it’s time for the WSOP to up its game and add more significant prizes to the POY race.

Why Not Expand the POY Instead of Just Changing It?

Considering there’s almost no financial cost for Caesar’s Entertainment, its slightly surprising that they don’t expand the system a little. When the POY was first conceived the WSOP was much smaller than it is now. With so many events on the schedule, it would be perfectly viable to have an Omaha POY, a non NLH/PLO Games POY and a Hold’em POY in addition to the overall POY award. 

It would also be possible to have both POY Classic (quantity) and POY Revised (quality) leaderboards, enabling those who want to chase everything to carry on doing so.

As its stands, the POY leaderboard updates are going to be a bit sparse, until someone has cashed five times as only a handful of people will have qualified for the leaderboard until quite deep into the series. Most of these are likely to be mixed-game and high roller players, as they will have much more opportunity to cash, due to the smaller sized fields in these events.

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