WSOP: John Hennigan Making Moves in Player of the Year Race

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John Hennigan
John Hennigan is back on top in the POY race.

Elio Fox remains on top of the World Series of Poker Player of the Year leaderboard but he has new player challenging him for the top spot. Two final tables and one bracelet later, John Hennigan is second overall heading into another big week at the WSOP.

Hennigan started his rush with a solid seventh-place finish in the $10,000 NL 2-7 Single Draw event. Immediately after busting the tournament, Hennigan hopped in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Four days later, Hennigan beat that field to win his fifth bracelet and now stands with 1,727 POY points. Fox leads Hennigan by 283 points but that lead could shrink once again.

The $50,000 Poker Players Championship returns 12 players for Day 4 action Monday at the Rio. Hennigan is still a viable contender having final tabled the event twice, winning it in 2014. If Hennigan finishes at least ninth, he will pass Fox for the POY lead and be the first person aside from Fox to wear the yellow jersey.

Fox added 266.5 points to his total in Millionaire Maker for his 92nd place result. His numbers for 2018 now equal three cashes, two final tables, and a single win. Fox stated Player of the Year is not a goal of his but one-third of the way through the WSOP schedule, he is the favorite to finish on top.

Arne Kern jumped from zero points all the way up to seventh (1,332.47) for winning Millionaire Maker for $1.173 million. Although he finished third in Millionaire Maker and picked up his second bronze medal of the series, Joe McKeehen is only in 25th place overall. McKeehen earned 599.6 points for Millionaire Maker, less than half of what Kern took for first. Only 666.2 points were available to Sam Razavi for taking second.

The new WSOP Player of the Year formula favors first-place finishers and McKeehen and others, like Mike Wattel, are feeling the sting. Wattel place second in the $10,000 2-7 Single Draw for 493 points, exactly half of the 986 Brian Rast collected for first. The fourth-place finish for Wattel in the $1,500 2-7 Single Draw netted him 350.9 and he is in 20th heading into a new week at the WSOP.

Another first-time bracelet winner to climb into the top-10 is $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha winner Ryan Bambrick. The win marked Bambrick’s fourth cash of the summer. Bambrick earned the same 266.5 points as Fox did in Millionaire Maker for his 73rd place payout. Along with the 1,009.5 points allotted for his PLO bracelet and relative min-cashes in the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. and $3,000 Six-Max, Bambrick is in fifth place with 1,431.46 points.

Upcoming events on the WSOP calendar this week that could shift the tide include the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship, $25,000 PLO High Roller, and $1,500 Monster Stack.

The winner of the Poker Players Championship has 1,315 points waiting for them. Contenders who could jump to first place with a win are Rast, Shaun Deeb, Eli Elezra, Chris Vitch, Jesse Martin, Justin Bonomo, and Anthony Zinno. David ‘Bakes’ Baker can climb within a single point of Fox if he wins.

Joe Cada and Paul Volpe retain their respective top-fives positions but will need to make another deep run soon to hold ground against the charge behind them.

Top 10 2018 WSOP Player Of The Year Points Thru 6/16

Name Points
1 Elio Fox 2,010.14
2 John Hennigan 1,727.27
3 Joe Cada 1,692.71
4 Paul Volpe 1,671.30
5 Ryan Bambrick 1,431.46
6 Julien Martini 1,338.82
7 Arne Kern 1,332.47
8 Nick Petrangelo 1,269.75
9 Roberly Felicio 1,264.46
10 Craig Varnell 1,194.63