WSOP Error Leads to Campbell Taking POY from Negreanu
There has been a lot of talk about revamping the World Series of Poker Player of the Year system. It didn’t even work this year.
Someone at the World Series of Poker made an error when attributing points to the top players on the leaderboard over the summer, and it all led to a race for the POY title at WSOP Europe that was based on false pretenses.
The system was so convoluted that none of the players in the running for the POY title even verified their points along the way, so the error went undetected for months. It wasn’t until after Daniel Negreanu was named the Player of the Year that a person unaffiliated with the WSOP noted the mistake.
With very much ado, the new 2019 WSOP Player of the Year is Robert Campbell.
Poker Journalism FTW
Alex Elenskiy, a Russian poker journalist for whom English is not his first language, was the person to discover the error.
He posted on Twitter and in a Two Plus Two forum thread that points were miscalculated for Daniel Negreanu along the way. Negreanu was given 213.1 points for Event 68 from the summer series, but he, in fact, did not cash in that tournament.
@shaundeeb @RealKidPoker @Kevmath @WSOP @SonicJaxx2019 you should check #68, according to official report DN got 213.1 points, but he didn't cash there. All places from 32 to 46 in #68 are messed up with #87. https://t.co/LUO6oWfNz8
results from #68 – https://t.co/EBmUd5cmoS
— Alex Elenskiy (@GT_iskander) November 8, 2019
It seemed that some of the tournament results for Event 68 and Event 87 overlapped. Those who cashed from 32nd through 46th place in Event 87 were credited for 48.7 points correctly, and those places were then credited for Event 68 as well. Since Negreanu cashed in 36th place in Event 87, the finish registered twice – in that event for 48.7 points and in Event 68 for 213.1 points.
Once the WSOP paid attention to Elenskiy’s assertion and checked it, WSOP executives realized that he was correct.
Admission and Apology
The WSOP did not post anything on its website or put a note on the WSOP POY page of its site to clarify the error. However, the points were corrected. And the WSOP did issue a statement that it posted to its Twitter page
We've been made aware of an error on the 2019 POY leaderboard. After verifying results and points, Rob Campbell (@SonicJaxx2019) is the 2019 POY.
We'd like to apologize for this error, and offer our sincere congratulations to Rob!
Please read our full statement below. pic.twitter.com/QqZaczMDJz
— WSOP (@WSOP) November 8, 2019
The “data entry error” was attributed to a staffer who made the mistake. Affected players were contacted.
WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart noted, “We’d like to offer our sincere and public apology to those players who chased the award. It is an amazing thing when poker players pursue history and a sense of sporting honor, and thus it’s a terrible embarrassment for us to stain a great race for the title. We’re going to take the next few months to overhaul the POY and many of our procedures that have gone off course.”
Thus, the final correct WSOP POY leaderboard now reflects Robert Campbell as the winner:
1st place: Robert Campbell – 3,961.31 points
2nd place: Shaun Deeb – 3,917.32 points
3rd place: Daniel Negreanu – 3,861.76 points
4th place: Anthony Zinno – 3,322.00 points
5th place: Phillip Hui – 3,186.17 points
6th place: Daniel Zack – 3,126.13 points
7th place: Dario Sammartino – 3,091.03 points
8th place: Chris Ferguson – 2,997.10 points
9th place: Kahle Burns – 2,983.37 points
10th place: Dash Dudley – 2,860.79 points
Campbell was humble in his ultimate victory.
He had been congratulatory of Negreanu when the erroneous results were announced, and he was grateful to the WSOP for a “fantastic” tournament series in Las Vegas and in Rozvadov. On November 6, he wrote, “I had one of the most exciting years of my life, had an incredible experience and made some great new friends. I certainly have nothing to complain about with 13 cashes, 6 top-10 finishes and 2 gold bracelets; that’s (sic) better results than my previous 3 years combined!”
When he left Rozvadov, he flew to Dubai and landed to discover messages on his phone about the error. When he finally absorbed it all and realized that he was the Player of the Year, he tweeted his gratitude, along with a refutation of the idea that Negreanu knew he was not the true winner.
I just want to say thank you to everyone for their overwhelming support! Wow. What an insane 12hours. I for one completely refute the idea @RealKidPoker knew. I know he has his detractors but he loves poker too much to do something like this #wsop #poy
— Rob Campbell (@robcpoker) November 9, 2019
Daniel Negreanu immediately tweeted congratulations to Campbell. The third-place POY finisher said he was “genuinely happy” for Campbell “because I know what it meant to him and frankly, the entire country of Australia.”
He later published a blog post with more thoughts.
“It’s an unfortunate situation, but mistakes happen and life goes on,” Negreanu wrote. He then continued, “When I got the news, I was oddly not phased by it whatsoever. I surprised myself. Not a single negative emotion or feeling of loss. Obviously, had I known the correct point totals it would have changed my strategy in Rozvadov; there are several hands I can think of off the top of my head that would have been played differently well before the closing Colossus event, which was also affected.”
Negreanu concluded that he felt good about his decisions and still views his trip to Rozvadov as a success during which he accomplished his goals.
Second-place finisher Shaun Deeb did not shrug it off as easily.
Two things Its amazing Daniel wouldn’t bet on me with poy cuz he was afraid I would cheat when he’s the one caught trying to cheat. Second the only acceptable move from @WSOP is co poy with me and @SonicJaxx2019
— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) November 9, 2019
Deeb then called in to speak with Joey Ingram on a podcast about the situation. He asserted that there is more than a 60% chance that he would’ve won POY if all three men had known the true points tally during WSOP Europe. “I’m the one who takes the brunt of this mistake,” he claimed.
It is clear – and Deeb says as much – that he and Negreanu have a longstanding dislike for each other. Some of the reason that both went to WSOP Europe to compete was to beat each other, but had the tally been different, Deeb claimed that Negreanu may not have even gone to Rozvadov. That and other scenarios would’ve given Deeb a better chance at the POY victory.
(Interview with Deeb begins at 1:53:10.)
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