2018 WSOP POY Scoring System Tweaked, Possible Reaction to Outrage Over Chris Ferguson 2017 Win

The WSOP POY (Player of the Year) scoring system is getting adjusted after widespread complaints over last year’s ROI-based format that helped its winner, Chris Ferguson, rack up so many points. The Caesars Entertainment-owned poker brand may have reacted to customer feedback, and has now announced changes to its scoring system.

Chris Ferguson WSOP POY

Chris Ferguson is the reigning WSOP Player of the Year (POY) and all the poker fans who hate him will have to stare at his mug on the wall at the Rio all summer long. (Image: codigopoker.com)

That “ROI” determination for any given player included factors such as event buy-ins vs. final cashes, GPI rankings, number of tournament entrants per event, and WSOPE cashes.

Pointing Out Jesus

It’s unclear if fury over Ferguson winning POY last year had anything to do with the changes. The man who goes by the nickname “Jesus” still hasn’t apologized or publicly accepted responsibility for his role in the infamous 2011 Black Friday scandal at Full Tilt Poker.

A WSOP press release explained the adjusted formula will “better reward bracelet winners and players who run deep, while still rewarding consistency.”

The press release noted the new format is based on the point system used for the WSOP Circuit leaderboard.

Min-Cash in Large-Field Vs. Win in Small-Field

Throughout the 2017 WSOP, series grinder Daniel Negreanu and others constantly complained that players like Ferguson were getting too many POY points for small and min-cashes in large field events, while those who made deep runs in the $10,000 buy-in tournaments — which had fewer players –weren’t earning points on an equal footing.

Ferguson racked up a total of 17 cashes in Las Vegas last summer, tying a series record, but most were of the min-cash variety. Despite not winning a bracelet and only making two final table appearances, Jesus ended the summer with the POY lead heading into the fall WSOPE leg in the Czech Republic.

He added another six cashes in EU, setting a single-year record, with 23 overall, and finally won a bracelet in a €1,650 PLO tournament — albeit only for €39,289 ($47,225) — to secure the 2017 POY title.

Many poker players voiced their displeasure with Ferguson’s POY title on social media last year. The sting of his role in the 2011 FTP scandal, and continued refusal to apologize, has lingered and festered. But even if the Series had implemented its current scoring system in 2017, Ferguson still would have won with 3,309 points, according to the press release.

The new formula won’t give players like Ferguson as much credit for min-cashes and will better reward winners of the higher buy-in tournaments that have smaller turnouts.

The latter was a seemingly daily complaint from Negreanu during the 2017 series. He argued that the $10,000 buy-in events — tournaments which, except for the Main Event, typically have fewer than 200 entries — are more difficult to survive, play, and win than the $2,000-and-below events that attract thousands of players.

Negreanu, the only two-time WSOP Player of the Year (2004 and 2013), felt those who played the high rollers were slighted by the ROI-based POY scoring system.

This year, more points will be awarded for winning and making a final table in $10,000 buy-in tournaments, and min-cashers in the lesser buy-in events won’t receive as much credit as they did in 2017.

Additionally, six of the 78 bracelet events won’t count towards Player of the Year.

Events That Won’t Award POY Points in 2018

Event #1, $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’emEvent #32, $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’emEvent #36, Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’emEvent #55, $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’emEvent #57, $1,000/$10,000 Ladies EventEvent #78, $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop

The WSOP kicks off May 29. Poker players who still have a distaste for Chris Ferguson will have to stare at his picture on the wall, along with the other 13 past POY winners, all summer long at the Rio Convention Center.

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