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Scratch That - Points mix-up means Campbell, not Negreanu, wins WSOP POY

Poker Player of the Year

Just days ago Daniel Negreanu got off his flight from Rozvadov to find out he had won the World Series of Poker Player of the Year. It was the third time he won the title, but he only held on to it for a few days. 

It turns out there was a data entry error that gave Negreanu 213.1 points that he didn’t earn. The error, of course, was first pointed out on Twitter by Alex Elenskiy:

Without these points, Negreanu finished the series third in the race and Robert Campbell moves up to first. Campbell, Negreanu and Shaun Deeb started the WSOPE locked in a tight race for POY. They all cashed multiple times and it came down to the final event, The Colossus. All three players cashed, but Negreanu and Campbell finished far from the final table. 

Deeb needed to finish fifth or better to take the title and he made it to the final day third in chips with just 11 players left. Then a series of quick beats saw him bust in 11th. Everyone congratulated Negreanu for being the first player to win three WSOP POY awards, but now he’ll have to wait here to try to regain the hat trick.

The Realization

Negreanu took the turn of events gracefully and congratulated Campbell on Twitter:

“In the end, I have no regrets. I went out to Rozvadov clear on the goal ahead, strategized to give myself the best chance to end with the most points, and based on what I knew, I accomplished that,” Negreanu said in a more detailed post on his blog. 

He also talked about how he would’ve changed his strategy if he’d known about the mistake earlier.

“One obvious example, in the 25k Short Deck event on the bubble I folded QQ to a single raise because I felt the cash and points put me in really good position to win POY,” Negreanu said. “Had I known I was further from the lead than I thought, by 213 points, I would have went with that hand, and who knows what would have happened from there.”

Coincidentally, Campbell also got off a plane to find out he’d won the POY title:

Just a day earlier, Campbell had posted a longer response about the POY race. In it, he lamented finishing second, talked about how his strategy changed after he became a POY contender, and he suggested a few changes the WSOP could make to the race and the series in general.

You can read his full statement here.

Defiant Deeb Demands Rematch

Shaun Deeb was arguably the biggest loser in this whole snafu. With the correct points, Deeb would’ve needed to finish ninth in The Colossus and not fifth to win POY. He says this would’ve changed his strategy completely, accused Negreanu of cheating and said he should receive co-POY along with Campbell:

Deeb later went on Joey Ingram’s podcast to expand on his views and challenged Negreanu to a rematch in 2020. You can check out the full interview here. 

There’s been a lot of suggestions on how to change the POY race. Some people are suggesting taking the 12 best results from every player, others suggest reducing the value of min-cashes and focus points on final tables. We don’t know what form the race will take next year, but you can be certain all the top contenders will be keeping a close eye on their points next year.