With the 2022 final World Series of Poker event in the books, New Jersey poker pro Dan Zack was crowned WSOP Player of the Year.
It was a blistering win for Zack, who really only had one player who could catch him down the stretch. The 29-year-old has racked up 4,530 points in the POY race, nearly 500 more than its nearest competitor and more than 1,250 points better than anyone else.
“[I] set a goal of trying to win a few years ago and it’s an insane battle every year,” Zack said. “[I’m] really ecstatic to get there. [I] have been super stressed the past few weeks trying to wrap up the series. Thank you to everyone who wished me good luck.
The POY the honors are accompanied by a personalized banner which will be hung in Paris and Bally’s during the WSOPplus a custom trophy and $10,000 seat to the 2023 main event.
Zack cashed in a total of 16 times, making four final tables. He also added his second and third WSOP bracelets, keeping alive a streak of double-bracelet winners during the streak dating back to 2000.
These bracelets were a hard-fought one, as Zack endured two of the longest one-on-one matches of the summer to claim them. The first came in the Omaha eight-or-better $10,000 event. Zack outlasted Dustin Dirksen after seven hours of heads-up play to win the title and $440,757.
He took third in the $10,000 triple draw for $129,670. A few days later, he was heads-up again, this time in the 8-or-better event of the $10,000 stud. His opponent was David Funkhouser, who stared at him for eight hours before finally bowing out. Zack picked up his third career bracelet and an additional $324,174.
With the POY title now in sight, Zack stepped on the accelerator and entered the $250,000 super high roller event. He made it to the final table again, this time settling for eighth place and $488,095. In total, he took in just over $1.45 million, about half of his live tournament winnings.
Zack has been a constant performer in the POY racing in recent years. He has 89 in total WSOP cashes, dating back to 2014. Twitter user Ryan O’Leary pointed out that in the past 10 years, only Daniel Negreanu and Shaun Deeb have surpassed Zack in total points. (Although these numbers are geared more towards recent years, as the points formula has changed.)
WSOP Player of the Decade (2013 – 2022, based on total WSOP points earned) pic.twitter.com/pk6c4K9ZC6
— Ryan O’Leary (@ryanolearytx) July 19, 2022
The POY the race included all open bracelet events, including online events held in Nevada and New Jersey. Only one of Zack’s posts has been posted.
The best of the rest
The only other player to score over 4,000 points was longtime grinder Daniel Weinman, who had his own breakthrough streak. The 15-year-old pro started with a second-place finish in the $1,500 stud event but was able to get rid of the monkey in the $1,000 pot-limit Omaha event, scoring his first bracelet and $255,359.
The Georgia native then finished in the money in the $50,000s poker players championship and finished fourth in the $1,979 Hall of fame bonus event. Weinman had 19 cashouts for $665,000.
Germany’s Koray Aldemir was perhaps the most unlikely player of the summer. Not because he lacks talent, but because he won last year WSOP main event for $8 million and no longer needs to play a full schedule if he doesn’t want to.
Aldemir opened the series with a fifth-place finish in the $100,000 high roller, followed by a sixth-place finish the following week in the $25,000 high roller. The 32-year-old then took sixth place in the $50,000 poker players championship, and fourth in the $10,000 razz event. Aldemir had 14 cashes for a total of $1.18 million.
As shown above in O’Leary’s calculations, no one has scored more points than Shaun Deeb in the last decade WSOP. The five-time bracelet winner didn’t add any gold this summer, but he finished in the silver 18 times for $380,000.
Deeb’s best score was the $94,606 he earned for his fourth-place finish in the $10,000 triple draw event. A few days later, he finished fifth in the eight-or-better $10,000 stud event. The 36-year-old now has 134 career wins in WSOP, which is good for no. 35 all time.
While the players above have climbed the rankings with volume, David Peters has done so with just a handful of big hits. The high roller crusher started the streak off with a bang by winning his fourth career bracelet and a total of $1,441,810 in the $100,000 high roller bounty event.
The 35-year-old followed that up with a fifth-place finish in the $50,000 high roller and then another fifth-place finish in the $3,000 no-limit hold’em event. He then made a final table online as well, taking fourth place in the $7,777 lucky seven event for another six-figure score. He now has over $43.3 million in career tournament earnings, which is not the case. 5 of all time.
Yueqi “Rich” Zhu finished sixth in the standings. The Chinese pro has 149 receipts in WSOP in total, including 20 this summer with three final tables.
Portugal’s Joao Vieira is one of the most prolific online players in history, but he’s also proven himself in the live arena. This summer, he landed his second career bracelet and $1,384,413 at the $50,000 High Roller event.
Eighth place belonged to Brazilian poker pro Joao Simao Peres, who won his first gold bracelet and $686,242 in the $5,000 mixed Hold’em/Omaha event.
He was joined in the bracelet winners club for the first time by New York native Alex Foxen. Foxen took home one of the biggest payouts of the summer at the $250,000 high roller event, taking home $4,563,700 to take his career total to $26.9 million.
The top 10 was completed by Poker Hall of Fame nominee Brian Rast. The California native made four final tables and won his fifth career bracelet in the $3,000 six-max no-limit hold’em event for $474,102.
WSOP POY Ranking
|8||Joao Simao Peres||2,735.76|
|20||Jose Ignacio Barbero||2,333.67|
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