Now that the dust has settled from the 2023 World Series of Poker, it is time to get back to the battles that the tournament poker world is facing. The 100-plus events (counting the online tournaments) of the 2023 WSOP definitely affected the standing in both major Player of the Year races. The problem is neither of them agree on who the best player in tournament poker for 2023 is at this point in the season.
Bin Weng Snags CardPlayer POY Lead…
On the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year leaderboard, Bin Weng set himself up well even before the 2023 WSOP started. Weng was in the position to win two World Poker Tour events in late May, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, which he did win, and the WPT Choctaw. Thus, you could say that Weng’s summer was already rather good, but he made it even better without winning a WSOP bracelet.
Not to say that Weng didn’t try. Weng would go on to cash in seven WSOP events, but another WPT party was the one that truly made his year. Weng would take down the WPT EveryOne for OneDrop championship, with that $10,000 buy-in (with re-entry) event blowing away its $10 million guarantee and earning Weng a $2.2-million-plus payday. It also picked him up 2700 points for the CardPlayer POY, bringing his total to 8238 points.
That vastly outpaces one of the bracelet winners of 2023, Isaac Haxton. In winning his first bracelet in the $25,000 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament at the WSOP, Haxton earned 1512 points for the victory. It was the points that Haxton earned in the $111,111 Alpha8 for OneDrop, however, that allowed him to pass Jose “Nacho” Barbero for the second-place slot on the CardPlayer ladder.
Haxton’s 6807 points eked past Barbero’s 6735 points, but both men have a long way to the top if they are going to go after Weng. Here’s the remainder of the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race’s Top Ten as we get ready to start the second half of the tournament poker season:
1. Bin Weng, 8238 points
2. Isaac Haxton, 6807
3. Jose “Nacho” Barbero, 6735
4. Ren Lin, 6115
5. Chris Brewer, 5687
6. Stephen Chidwick, 5246
7. Aram Oganyan, 5189
8. Alex Foxen, 5015
9. Jeremy Ausmus, 4977
10. Michael Watson, 4832
…While “Nacho” Takes GPI POY Lead
You will see some of the same names on the Global Poker Index Player of the Year leaderboard that you see on the CardPlayer rankings, but they are in a different order. Why? The GPI rankings have a complex system of scoring that takes only the best thirteen performances of a player over the span of the tournament season, rather than an accumulated point total. Thus, a player can rack up a slew of excellent finishes but, if it does not go through the calculator for more points than one of the player’s previous efforts, then it is not counted towards the points. It is also the reason that the GPI POY race is much closer than the CardPlayer POY is.
On the GPI POY, Barbero has been able to get the computer to spit out a better roster of tournaments than Weng, enough so that Barbero holds the top slot. Barbero has 4044.07 points so far in 2023, better than the 4006.63 that Weng has been able to rack up with his thirteen finishes. Haxton drops to third behind these two gentlemen with his 3857.94 points, while Lin (3705.69) and Brewer (3650.19) hold on to the same positions that they hold on the CardPlayer board.
Here’s a look at the entirety of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race at the halfway pole of 2023:
1. Jose “Nacho” Barbero, 4044.07 points
2. Bin Weng, 4006.63
3. Isaac Haxton, 3857.94
4. Ren Lin, 4705.69
5. Chris Brewer, 3650.19
6. Stephen Chidwick, 3508.68
7. Jeremy Ausmus, 3471.45
8. Aram Oganyan, 3423.19
9. Michael Watson, 3401.10
10. Jesse Lonis, 3279.40
Just for fun, it is interesting to see what the new World Champion, Daniel Weisman, did regarding his victory in the largest-ever WSOP Championship Event. On the CardPlayer list, Weinman went from not even ranked to the 19th place slot on their leaderboard. It is even more stunning on the GPI ratings, as Weinman went from #8254 to only #926 for the calendar year; he currently sits in 968th place, although I do not think he cares with that $12.1 million in the bank.
There’s no rest for the wicked, at least according to Cage the Elephant (and that little thing called the Book of Isaiah), and tournament poker players are not taking any post-WSOP slumber. Beginning this week, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, FL, will be kicking off its Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. One of the most popular events on the European Poker Tour, their stop in Barcelona, Spain, is coming up in August, and the WPT has a slew of WPT Prime events in Provence, Taiwan, and Lichtenstein.
This is not counting the big tournaments at the Wynn nor the Venetian, nor the tournaments on the WSOP Circuit or the “High Roller” events. It is going to be a slog as the players make the run to the end of the calendar year, and we have just set the lineup for the players to watch who has the best shot at taking down the Player of the Year awards.