[SS] “Happy New Year!” Stan the Stat greeted.
[LL] “Happy 2019!” Leroy the Lion returned.
[RR] “Ready to ring in the new year with some poker?” Roderick the Rock inquired.
[SS] “Not quite. It’s time to wrap up last year first.”
[LL] “Player of the Year?”
[SS] “Yes, there were some amazing performance in 2018! Justin Bonomo set an all-time record with ten titles and $25,295,441 in winnings and finished… fifth!”
[SS] “David Peters also broke the previous record but ended three behind Bonomo.
Three players would have set the record for most final tables any other year: Stephen Chidwick, Rainer Kempe, and Peters each made 26 final tables! And any other year, Chidwick would hold the record for points, having topped Daniel Negreanu’s 14-year-old record.
But in 2018 none of those were good enough, as Jake Schindler reached an astonishing 31 final tables and collected 9,407 points for the crown. Congratulations to both Schindler and Bonomo on their incredible years!”
Card Player Player of the Year – 1997 to 2003
Card Player Player of the Year – 2004 to Present
|2004||Daniel Negreanu||8,764||David Pham||7,068||19.4%|
|2005||Men Nguyen||5,204||John Phan||4,428||14.9%|
|2006||Michael Mizrachi||5,989||Nam Le||5,215||12.9%|
|2007||David Pham||6,562||J.C. Tran||5,748||12.4%|
|2008||John Phan||6,704||David Pham||6,022||10.2%|
|2009||Eric Baldwin||6,994||Cornel Cimpan||5,934||15.2%|
|2010||Tom Marchese||6,738||Dwyte Pilgrim||5,576||17.2%|
|2011||Ben Lamb||6,036||Chris Moorman||5,875||2.7%|
|2012||Greg Merson||5,100||Dan Smith||5,040||1.2%|
|2013||Daniel Negreanu||5,140||Paul Volpe||4,298||16.4%|
|2014||Daniel Colman||5,498||Ami Barer||5,042||8.3%|
|2015||Anthony Zinno||6,632||Joe Kuether||6,070||8.5%|
|2016||David Peters||8,601||Fedor Holz||7,058||17.9%|
|2017||Adrian Mateos||7,220||Bryn Kenney||7,173||0.7%|
|2018||Jake Schindler||9,407||Stephen Chidwick||8,845||6.0%|
- Men Nguyen won the award a record four times (1997, 2001, 2003, and 2005).
- T.J. Cloutier (1998 and 2002), David Pham (2000 and 2007), and Daniel Negreanu (2004 and 2013) have won twice each.
- Negreanu outpointed second place by the largest (2004) and third largest (2013) margins. Merson (2012) eked by with the smallest margin. Mateos edged Kenney by a mere 47 points (0.7%) for the 2017 crown. Fedor Holz finished third for a second consecutive medal finish.
Here are the all-time records for Points, Titles, and Final Tables with data going back to the rule changes of 2004.
Most Player of the Year Points
- David Peters and Justin Bonomo became the first players to finish in the Top 10 in a season four times. David Pham was the first player to finish in the Top 10 three times way back in 2008. Jason Mercier matched him in 2015, Bonomo and Peters in 2016, and Schindler in 2018.
- Erik Seidel, Jason Mercier, Joseph Mckeehen, and David Peters are the only players to finish in the Top 25 five times. Phan, Dan Smith, Daniel Negreanu, J.C. Tran, John Juanda, Steve O’Dwyer, Erick Lindgren, Nick Petrangelo, and Schindler have each done it four times. Mckeehen has the record with five straight, one ahead of Tran and Petrangelo (both Mckeehen’s and Petrangelo’s streaks are alive).
- Vanessa Selbst is the only women to finish in the Top 25, which she had done three times with two Top 10 finishes before retiring at the start of 2018.
|2018||Sean H. Yu||1,206||13||$190,027|
- With another increase in tournaments to choose from, the Top 10 was rewritten this year with seven 2018 results, including a new leader and runner-up.
Most Final Tables
- Like the previous two lists, 2018 obliterated the old standings with six new entries including the top four.
- Luong topped this list from 2004 until 2016 but is hardly a household name. The Californian has never won a WSOP bracelet, and his biggest cash was $290,792 for a runner-up finish in a WSOP circuit event in 2007.
- Before 2018, this list was entirely composed of Big One for One Drop winners (Colman and Esfandiari) and World Series of Poker Main Event during champions (everyone else). With the proliferation of High Roller events, 2018 added five players from neither category, including Bonomo at the top. Peter Eastgate, Jonathan Duhamel, Pius Heinz are next three on the list.3
- In 2012, Greg Merson beat Dan Smith by 60 points (5,100 to 5,040) for a 1.18% margin, while Mateos overcame Kenney by just 57 points and a mere 0.65%.
- Mateos first made a name for himself by winning the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event in 2013 when he was just 19.
- Jamie Gold is notably missing from the list because it was one of the years where the WSOP Main Event didn’t count toward the standings.