Chris Ferguson Clinches 2017 World Series of Poker Player of the Year

Chris Ferguson is poised to be crowned the 2017 World Series of Poker Player of the Year. The news came in an announcement by the WSOP via Twitter on Monday, following the elimination of second-in-points John Racener from the final POY-eligible event of the year.

For his POY win, Ferguson will receive an entry into the $10,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event next year and get his face on a banner that will be displayed in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino with the other former WSOP Players of the Year and WSOP Main Event winners. Here’s a look at the elite group of POY winners that Ferguson will be joining.

Year Winner Bracelets Won Final Tables
2004 Daniel Negreanu 1 5
2005 Allen Cunningham 1 4
2006 Jeff Madsen 2 4
2007 Tom Schneider 2 3
2008 Erick Lindgren 1 3
2009 Jeff Lisandro 3 4
2010 Frank Kassela 2 3
2011 Ben Lamb 1 4
2012 Greg Merson 2 2
2013 Daniel Negreanu 2 4
2014 George Danzer 3 5
2015 Mike Gorodinsky 1 3
2016 Jason Mercier 2 4

Race to the Top

Ferguson went into the WSOPE in October with the lead in the Player of the Year race after his 17 cashes and two top-four finishes in $10,000 Championship events in the 2017 WSOP in Las Vegas. His summer performance earned him a €10,350 buy-in to the WSOPE Main Event at King’s Casino in Rozvadov which kicked off with two starting flights over the weekend.

After six WSOPE cashes including his sixth bracelet win in Event #7: €1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better for €39,289, Ferguson extended his lead in the POY race as the final qualifying event neared.

Heading into the WSOPE Main Event on Saturday, Racener was in the best position to challenge Ferguson for POY, sitting 136 points behind, while Ryan Hughes had 184 points to make up in third place. When Racener was eliminated on Day 2 Monday, Ferguson had the title locked up.

Following are the updated POY standings:

Place Player Points
1 Chris Ferguson 1,178.53
2 John Racener 1,042.04
3 Ryan Hughes 994.35
4 John Monnette 865.21
5 Mike Leah 849.16
6 Kenny Hallaert 838.35
7 Alex Foxen 833.45
8 Dario Sammartino 775.89
9 Ray Henson 768.49
10 Ben Yu 766.49

Player Reactions

As a controversial figure in the poker world since his alleged involvement in the Full Tilt Poker scandal, Ferguson stayed clear of live poker tournaments after “Black Friday” on April 15, 2011 but made a return to the felt in the 2016 WSOP, prompting outrage from many in the community.

After finishing ninth in the 2016 POY race that Jason Mercier won, now, in his second year back in the public eye, Ferguson captures the highly-esteemed POY title to join an elite bunch of well-respected players in the community. Ferguson’s impressive run during the WSOPE received support from Phil Hellmuth on Twitter, which in turn spurred much negative feedback from Daniel Negreanu and others.

Players’ reactions captured by PokerNewsJulia Lee at WSOPE Rozvadov were mostly positive and congratulatory towards Ferguson with the exception of 888poker Ambassador and online poker pro Parker Talbot aka “Tonkaaaap”, who feels that Ferguson’s winning of the POY title is … let’s just say — not good for poker.

While all are entitled to their opinions on the merits of Ferguson as the newest POY member, as well as opinions on the formula for calculating POY, none can argue with the impressive results Ferguson has had this year, and it is those results that have propelled him to the top of the POY race for 2017.

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