Player of the Year…Who Should It Really Be and What Method Should be Used to Determine the POY?

by , Jul 20, 2007 | 11:52 pm

The following question was posed on 2+2 and I really liked it. “Who Should Be the Player of the Year”? Here are the five that they proposed as possible candidates. For those of you that don’t know, I won; however I’m not saying that I should have and I’m not asking for your support; however, I think the debate is interesting. Here are the results for each of the players that they listed including total cash won, finishing position, number of entrants and event. If there are others that are worthy of consideration, please review their results for the assignment that I am going to give you.

Tom Schneider ($416,829):
Event 5: 1st/327 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better
Event 16: 4th/382 H.O.R.S.E.
Event 46: 1st/668 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better

Jeff Lisandro ($457,309):
Event 7: 13/145 Pot Limit Omaha W/Rebuys
Event 13: 2nd/398 World Championship Pot Limit Hold’em
Event 32: 1st/213 Seven Card Stud
Event 40: 18/620 Mixed Hold’em limit/no-limit
Event 46: 62/668 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better

Robert Mizrachi ($861,138)
Event 5: 26/327 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better
Event 9: 40/690 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better
Event 16: 6th/382 H.O.R.S.E.
Event 26: 5th/192 H.O.R.S.E.
Event 50: 1st/314 World Championship Pot-Limit Omaha

Phil Hellmuth ($738,724)
Event 10: 104/1,531 No-Limit Hold’em
Event 15: 1st/2,628 No-Limit Hold’em
Event 28: 6th/827 No-Limit Hold’em
Event 34: 25th/296 Limit Hold’em
Event 45: 31st/728 No-Limit Hold’em / Six Handed
Event 52: 95/1,048 No Limit Holdem w/ rebuys

Freddy Deeb ($2,291,489)
Event 4: 45/481 Pot Limit Hold’em
Event 30: 27/847 No-Limit Hold’em / Six Handed
Event 39: 1st/148 World Championship H.O.R.S.E.

The current method of determining the POY is to give the same amount of points to each tournament excluding the Main Event, the $50,000 Horse Event and all other events that are restricted, i.e. Seniors, Ladies, Casino Employees and Media. A player receives 100 points for a win no matter what event he wins, 75 points for a second all the way down the line to 5 points for cashing.

Before providing your assignment, here are some of the comments that I have heard regarding the criterion to determine the POY. I’m not saying that I agree or disagree with any of them. Number of players in the field, dollar amount won, dollar amount of buy-in, versatility in tournaments won, the $50K HORSE should count, the Main Event should count, perceived skill of field, and I’m sure there are more. Come up with your own too.

Here’s what I would like you to think about. First look at the performances of the five players above and any other player you would like to include. Based upon your own beliefs about what the criterion should be, pick your winner of the POY. Now that you have your POY, design a system that would end up selecting your player. I think you’ll find that its not easy, however, I may have a little say in this process next year, so I would love the feedback of the smart readers of Pokerati.

13 Comments to “Player of the Year…Who Should It Really Be and What Method Should be Used to Determine the POY?”

  1. dan m

    tom, you’ll always be my player of the year.

    however, had alex kravchenko won the main event, maybe not.

  2. Kevin Mathers

    You could use the 2005 format for WSOP Player of the Year (which includes the every open event), found at:

    Using the 5 players listed, the order would be*:

    Hellmuth 433
    Schneider 368
    Lisandro 308
    Mizrachi 287
    Deeb 167

    If you count Kravchenko, he would win with 456

    * Figures may be slightly off, since I was adding in my head, eschewing pen and paper.

  3. Short-Stacked Shamus

    Haven’t followed the 2+2 thread, but another factor that seems relevant here is number of tourneys entered (and/or ROI% — however you want to view it). Seems like the guy who cashed in 3 out of the 5 events he entered had a much better WSOP than the one who cashed in 3 out 35, and thus should finish higher in the POY race. Particularly since the WSOP’s oversaturated schedule is such that going deep in a tourney necessarily limits the number you can enter.

    Incidentally, I’m happy with how the 2007 POY turned out, and I’m not just saying that because of what my signed copy of his book will now fetch on eBay. (Just kidding!)

  4. Tom Schneider


    This is amazing. I almost edited my post late last night to include a few things that you mentioned. I do think that the percentage of in-the-money and final table wins vs. the number of tournaments played should be considered. Also, people should keep in mind that if a player makes a final table, he will not be able to play in 2 tournaments; therefore making 10th a lot less important than 9th.

    Shamus, I’m very impressed with your comments. With a mind like that, you’ve got to move up from the $2-4 games.

    Let me know what you get for the book on ebay. We may be able to start a little business enterprise.

  5. donkey

    Maybe I’m a lil slow in this matter, but why the Main Event is not used to determine the POY. I think WSOP should put a point value on the Main Event, not necessarily giving more points because it’s a bigger event, and the winner of the Main Event doesn’t automatically win in the standings. But by far, it is the most challenging and gruesome competition, so some kind of equitable point value should be given. Having said that, I believe that a player cashes 4th in a field of 6300 has a lot more value than a player who wins an event of 300 players, so they definitely should look at the field size in determining point values. Had this happened, the two best players this year would have been Scotty Nguyen and Kravchenko, in my opinion. Look at the MVP in the NBA this past year. Do you think that Dirk would have won if they waited until after the finals?

  6. Tom Schneider

    Donkey, I like your name and some very good points. I can give you my reasoning as to why they did not include the main event in the points. I’m not saying its right, but this might be their reasoning.

    First of all, the player who wins the main event is already considered by the nonpoker playing public as the best player in the world. This as we know is not necessarily true; however, this winner doesn’t need another crown of glory, because every player I know would give up 2 players of the year for one main event win.

    Secondly and probably more likely is that the race for player of the year should create some drama, some excitement. If they waited until after the main event to present this award, all of it’s prestige and excitement would be pretty much a nonevent. All of the players have gone home. In the publics eye, the real champion just won $8.2 million and no one would care about some award given to someone else after the big one is over.

    The WSOP is trying to create a triple crown of poker. The Player of the Year, the $50,000 Horse event and the Main event. Its a cool idea, but it’s virtually impossible for someone who doesn’t have a main event win under their belt already.

    Thanks for the comments.

  7. DanM

    Don’t forget that if there were a player ranking system for the WSOP, the fields with, say, 300 people, would be full of tougher players. so while, true, it may be tougher to navigate through a 2,000-player minefield, really … is it?

    We already know Tom’s bracelets really shouldn’t count because they weren’t on TV, but at the same time, the fields he beat clearly had far less “dead money” in them than the rest.

    By the way, Bill Edler also had a pretty good WSOP.

  8. Anon

    I believe that some consideration should be given to those entrants that are clearly not as smart as the others, or overcome obvious limitations. To that end, I’d nominate Vinnie Vinh’s chair for at least a third place finish. Lacking arms, a muscular or nervous system, and any level of consciousness must count for something.

  9. GoodChuck

    Here’s a thought off the top of my head. All players who finish in the money are given one point for each place they finsh above the bubble with the winner receiving points equal to the number of players who got paid. Example: 34 players get paid – 34th place gets one point, winner gets 34 points. Exclude the Main Event. The player with the most cummlative points wins. Let me know what you think Tom.

  10. Tom Schneider


    I like your idea; however, the one thing that I find that might need some work is that if you win the $50k horse event, you would get about 10 points. This is the toughest field in the whole tournament. Fix this and others like it and you have a winner.

  11. DanM

    Multiply that number by the number of thousands at stake?

    So a $2k event is multiplied by 2, a $50k by 50 … $10k PLO by 10 …

    Does this work? I’m not very good at math.

  12. Chris Hanel

    One observation I saw from someone is that Michael Binger should be up on the list, considering his record-tying number of cashes.

    I’m too lazy/busy/whatever at the moment to check how deep he got or if he made any Final Tables. But it’s worth thinking about.

  13. Tom Schneider

    The big reason why this is so hard to figure out is that if you use GoodChuck’s system, which is a reasonable approach, if a player doesn’t make the top 100 or so in the main event, he has no shot at player of the year. Why? The winner would get 600-some points and first place for many of the other events would only be 30 or 40 points. Maybe the system they have isn’t all that bad, but I would still like to try and make it better so that when someone wins it, there are no arguments. Wait, then what would Dan do (wwdd)?