The World Series of Poker Player of the Year race is always a fun one to watch. For 2019, several players were in the running to earn the top spot, including defending champion Shaun Deeb and top poker pro Daniel Negreanu. As the summer closed in, Negreanu and Deeb would be stuck with another opponent in the race, Robert Campbell. In the end, Negreanu would be given the title, only to eventually find out that a points error gave the win to Campbell instead.
The summer was good to both Negreanu and Deeb. While neither player earned a WSOP bracelet, they both were able to cash out. Deeb cashed out 17 times while Negreanu cashed out 16. For Campbell, he would win two bracelets over the summer, in Event #33 and Event #67. He cashed out a total of nine times during the WSOP.
As the summer came to an end, Campbell was at the top of the points race with 3,418.78. Deeb had 3,280.13 while Negreanu had 3,160.24. The contest would not whittle down until later in October during the WSOP Europe.
While at King’s Casino, Negreanu would earn seven cash outs and take the point lead with one day remaining. Campbell was already eliminated during the Colossus event, so he was out of the race.
Deeb still had a shot but he finished short of what was needed to surpass Negreanu.
About a week after Negreanu was named the WSOP Player of the Year, a poster in the TwoPlusTwo Forum known as iskander, started a thread discussing a possible error. The poster was found to be Alexander Elenskiy, who is a live reporter for poker gaming at Gipsyteam.
Elenskiy had noticed an error in the results for one of the events during the summer, Event #68. This event reportedly gave extra Player of the Year points out. The WSOP looked into the error and verified there was a problem. Negreanu lost 213.1 points, earning only 3,861.78 in total. This put Campbell as the rightful winner with 3,961.31. Deeb was then the runner up with 3,917.32.
Ty Stewart, the WSOP Executive Director, commented on the error by publicly apologizing to the players who were chasing the award. According to Stewart, it was an terrible embarrassment for the WSOP and a stain on a great race for the title.
The WSOP now plans to take time to change the Player of the Year race, including procedures of the contest.