The 2022 World Series of Poker, through three weeks, has been dominated by two Daniel’s, one of whom, surprisingly, isn’t a Negreanu.
Daniel Zack, the only double bracelet winner this summer, and Daniel Weinman are the top two in the current WSOP Player of the Year standings. Daniel Negreanu, a perennial POY candidate and two-time winner (2004 and 2013), is still trying to catch a break and hit a heater before it’s too late to get back into contention.
As “DNegs” proved last fall, he’s never out of it. Following a slow start at the 2021 WSOP, the GGPoker ambassador closed out the series on a flurry with consecutive third place finishes, which put him in third place behind the champion Josh Arieh and Phil Hellmuth.
Negreanu didn’t win Player of the Year last fall, but his late surge showed that even with just three small cashes thus far in 2022, you can’t assume he’s drawing dead.
Zack, Weinman Have Been Unstoppable
On Tuesday night, Zack came out victorious in an eight-hour heads-up battle against David Funkhouser in Event #40: $10,000 Stud Hi-Lo Championship. In doing so, he won $324,174 and claimed first place in the WSOP Player of the Year standings with 2,981 points.
The win was Zack’s second of the series and third of his career. He also took down Event #15: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $440,757, beating out Dustin Dirksen in another marathon heads-up match.
Zack, once a regular on Live at the Bike who has become a perennial contender for POY over the past few years, has six cashes this summer and three final table appearances. This could be the year he finally gets over the hump, especially if he continues at his current pace.
If Zack doesn’t win Player of the Year, perhaps it will be Weinman, who is also off to a stellar start to the 53rd annual World Series of Poker. With a bracelet win in Event #30: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed, a runner-up finish, and eight additional cashes to boot, he’s racked up 2,521 points in the POY chase, good for second place.
Deeb, Ivey Lurking
Although Negreanu hasn’t caught a heater yet, his fellow top annual Player of the Year competitor, Shaun Deeb, is well within striking distance. The five-time bracelet winner sits in eighth place with 1,824 points, perhaps just biding his time to make a serious push to win his second POY title.
Another big name pro, Phil Ivey, is back at the WSOP for the first time since 2019, and he’s off to a strong start. The 10-time WSOP champion nearly won his 11th bracelet Monday night before losing heads-up to Aleksejs Ponakovs in Event #42: $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em. He enters Wednesday’s action with 1,680 points, putting him in 10th place.
Jake Schindler, an accused poker cheater, fell back a bit after leading the race one week ago. He’s still well in contention with 1,842 points, but he didn’t secure any cashes in the past seven days.
As for Josh Arieh, the defending champion, he’s right in the thick of things as well, currently holding steady at 1,594 points, worthy of 12th place.
Current WSOP Player of the Year Standings
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