WSOP Player of the Year Update: Hui Challenges Zack, Deeb Third

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Phil Hui, Dan Zack, and Shaun Deeb
Phil Hui (left) is challenging Dan Zack (middle) for the WSOP Player of the Year lead, with Shaun Deeb (right) moving up to third in the race (WPT photos)

On Friday at the 2019 World Series of Poker, Dan Zack finished off his 11th cash of the summer with a fourth-place result in the $10,000 Razz Championship. Not only did the run earn Zack another $94,305 in prize money, but it paid big dividends in keeping him in the lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race.

That same day, Phil Hui had finished off his ninth cash of the 2019 WSOP with a win in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. It was Hui’s third final table appearance of the summer and skyrocketed him to 2,830.68 points. Had Zack not earned at least a sixth-place finish, the race would have a new leader on Saturday morning and it would have been Hui.

2019 WSOP Player of the Year Top 10

*Leaderboard as of Saturday, June 29, at 9 a.m. PT.

1. Dan Zack – 2,920.76
2. Phil Hui – 2,830.68
3. Shaun Deeb – 2,393.50
4. Scott Clements – 2,368.02
5. Jason Gooch – 2,268.02
6. Anthony Zinno – 2,186.20
7. Upeshka De Silva – 2,162.02
8. Robert Campbell – 2,034.56
9. Daniel Strelitz – 2,032.04
10. Ari Engel – 1,997.03

Comparing the two players, Zack and Hui, both have a gold bracelet win and both have three final tables. To date, Zack has earned $338,490 from his 11 cashes and Hui has earned $1,277,104 from his nine cashes. The two players have also set their sights on winning the WSOP Player of the Year award.

“My plan was always to chase Player of the Year,” Zack said following his gold bracelet win a few weeks ago. “When I came in the last three years, I always came in the first week or so with the plan to do that and then if I didn’t do anything in the first week I usually ended up in cash games. This is the first year I’ve done anything in the first couple weeks, so I’m more committed to actually trying going forward.”

After he won gold this week, Hui echoed the same goal.

“I want to win Player of the Year,” Hui said. “That was my main goal going into this year. I was going to play everything I could and try to make deep runs, so Player of the Year is first on the list.”

Deeb, Clements, and Gooch Round Out Top Five

Behind Zack and Hui is Shaun Deeb, the defending champion of the WSOP Player of the Year title. Deeb has 11 cashes at the 2019 WSOP, including a runner-up finish in the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship and a fifth-place finish in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship.

Scott Clements, who is currently fourth in the race, nearly earned his fourth final table of the summer with a 14th-place finish in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event recently. For Clements, he has six cashes at the 2019 WSOP to date and won the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event at the beginning of June.

Jason Gooch rounds out the top five at 2,268.02 points, and his place on this leaderboard is an interesting one in that the bulk of his points have come from two of the online gold bracelet events held on WSOP.com. Gooch took second in the $600 Online Six-Max Pot-Limit Omaha event for $85,560 and 474.4 points, then he won the $1,000 Online Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em event for $241,493 and 1,030 points. Gooch’s WSOP.com screen name is ‘TheBigGift.’

Zinno, Engel, Turner, and Negreanu Climb

Anthony Zinno took down the aforementioned $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo that Clements ran deep in. The win pushed him to sixth on the WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard. Also in that event, Jon ‘PearlJammer’ Turner finished fourth and Ari Engel placed 10th. Those results allowed Engel to jump to 10th and Turner to 11th on the WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard.

Daniel Negreanu finished fifth in the $10,000 Razz Championship to earn another 379.1 points and improve to 1,817.21 points overall. It was Negreanu’s 11th cash and third final table of the 2019 WSOP, and he’s now 12th in the WSOP Player of the Year race.