November 25, 2021 Poker Gossip, Poker News Petr Černý

WSOP Player of the Year Drama unfolds as organizers get it wrong again

Josh Arieh’s Player of the Year celebrations had to be put on ice last night as it emerged the WSOP organisers had messed up the count yet again, Justin Bonomo tweeting out the unfolding drama…

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The entire poker world was under the impression that Arieh had scooped the 2021 overall leaderboard title when Phil Hellmuth failed to land his 17th bracelet in the $50k PLO and then bust the final $5k event.

The WSOP twitter account was quick to congratulate Arieh, who won two bracelets from five final tables and cashed another seven times in his remarkable run.

However, Bonomo’s tweet had everyone scrambling for their calculators, although Arieh himself reacted to the news that there might be a recount required with humour…

For fans of the WSOP’s Player of the Year contest it was a case of “déjà vu all over again”, as the 2019 PoY finale was embroiled in miscounts and controversy.

That saw Daniel Negreanu pipped at the post in Rozvadov, during the WSOP Europe, after the recount gave Robert Campbell the title, with Negreanu accused by both Shaun Deeb and Doug Polk of dubious behaviour.

Negreanu hit the headlines again this week, Chance Kornuth questioning his integrity regarding the $50k PLO event that could have changed the leaderboard race completely.

Back to the actual Player of the Year recount (with this year’s currently running WSOP Europe not counting towards the totals) and one Twitter poker fan pointed out what everyone else was no doubt thinking…

While debates and discussions about the ability of the WSOP team to count correctly, all eyes were on Ben Yu – the man who had the chance to topple Josh Arieh from the top of the Player of the Year podium.

Yu had gone from chip leader with 30 left as per Bonomo’s initial tweet, to the official final table bubble all-in and at risk against Ramon Colillas, his jack-ten of hearts facing pocket eights…

  • Ben Yu: J♥10♥
  • Ramon Colillas: 8♦8♠

A great flop for Yu was followed by a deadly turn, and it was all over as far as the leaderboard race was concerned…

Board: 10♠ 3♠ K♣ 8♥ K♥

Josh Arieh wins 2021 WSOP Player of the Year

…with Josh Arieh finally able to celebrate his Player of the Year win and the $15k bonus that goes with it.

Josh Arieh wins 2021 WSOP Player of the Year

With the 2021 WSOP now over, and the venue and dates changing for next year to Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, from May 31 – July 19, 2022, it may also be time to rethink the Player of the Year structure.

Phil Hellmuth criticised it heavily earlier this series and the second miscount in as many runnings seems to ask some questions over its clarity and ability to run properly.

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