The World Series of Poker Player of the Year is a coveted award given to the player who outperforms everyone else each year. Previously, the main event was excluded from the ranking system, but it was announced that it, too, will be included in the 2009 points list. Though the main event is often viewed differently from other events because of its immense prestige, it will now be a part of the calculations that will determine the Player of the Year for the entire summer series.
It was a decision that was made just as the 2009 WSOP got underway at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and it was announced on June 1 that this summer’s main event will be included in the rankings for the first time ever. All points will be given dependent upon finishes in open events, while events like the casino employee’s championship (Event 1), ladies’ championship (Event 17), seniors’ event (Event 43), and Champions Invitational will not count toward the point accumulation.
The way points are calculated begins with a standard ranking system for each open event. The winner of each event racks up 100 points, the second place finisher gets 75 points, third place 60, and each additional place after - through ninth place - receives 5 points less. There are slightly different final table calculations for shootout and heads-up events, though the top three spots pay the same in each. Additionally, each player reaching the last three tables of a tournament receives 10 points, two tables garners 20 points, and only 5 points for a cash outside of that realm.
The players at the end of the 2009 WSOP will receive the honor of becoming the 2009 World Series of Poker Player of the Year, and the prizes to be awarded will be announced at a later date and awarded at the November Nine WSOP main event final table. Erick Lindgren is the reigning champion due to his bracelet win, three final tables, and five cashes in 2008. Previously, Tom Schneider held the title for 2007, Jeff Madsen in 2006, Allen Cunningham in 2005, and Daniel Negreanu in 2004, which was when the awards began.
WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart commented on the Player of the Year change: “We’re confident the inclusion of the Main Event to the Player of the Year race will add some drama and excitement to the conclusion of this year’s WSOP. The race is wide open this year but, as the past winners confirm, the player who wins this award will clearly be one of the game’s best for years to come.”