WSOP POY Race Set For an Explosive Finale As Chris Ferguson Sits in Second Place

June 30th, 2017 | by Jason Reynolds

With the World Series of Poker (WSOP) heading into the home straight, fans and players alike are now looking to a potentially explosive end to the Player of the Year (POY) race.

Chris Ferguson WSOP POY.

Will there be uproar if Chris Ferguson wins this year’s WSOP Player of the Year (POY) title? (beatthefish.com)

Every year, as the WSOP is nearing an end, there’s a sense of anticipation as the top players of the summer battle it out for the right to be called the WSOP POY.

For those in contention this year there’s the added incentive of prizes worth more than $20,000 up for grabs.

Money and Pride on the Line

Since including events from the WSOP Europe in the annual race, the official POY hasn’t been decided until after the summer festival in Las Vegas is over.

However, in a bid to keep the interest of players alive while they’re in Vegas, the organizers have put up two prizes.

The player that finishes atop of the POY leaderboard after the conclusion of the WSOP in July will win a €10,000/$11,400 seat in the WSOP Europe Main Event.

The player that finishes with the most points after the WSOP Europe will not only be crowned the 2017 POY but win a $10,000 ticket to the 2018 WSOP Main Event.

Prior to this year’s Vegas event, PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu had made it clear he was gunning for his third title. After winning the race in 2004 and then again in 2013, Negreanu laid out his plan to dominate in a pre-WSOP blog post.

With the halfway point fading into the distance, Negreanu is currently sitting in 8th place while Ray Henson inches closer to the title in 1st. However, the most interesting and potentially divisive story of this year’s WSOP POY race is presence of Chris Ferguson.

POY Races a Powder Keg of Possibilities

Before PokerStars‘ parent company, the Rational Group, saved Full Tilt from financial ruin back in 2012, Ferguson was one of the men in charge of the poker site. However, when the site was involved in the DOJ’s indictment, things started to unravel and a number of players lost their bankrolls.

Many in the community still blame Ferguson and those involved with the company, but that hasn’t stopped the player known as Jesus from trying to resurrect his playing career at the WSOP.

Along with his former Full Tilt cronies Howard Lederer and Andy Bloch, Ferguson has anted up in a variety of tournament this summer and, so far, done well.

At the time of writing, Ferguson was second in the POY race after cashing in 12 events. His most recent result came in the Event #51: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship where he took 4th place for $150,929.

Throughout the Series, players around at the time of Full Tilt’s demise have made no secret of their contempt for Ferguson. Although many have remained silent, a few outspoken individuals have vocalized this discontent.

Although there’s still a way to go in this year’s WSOP, there’s a strong chance that Ferguson winning the POY title would ruffle more than a few feathers inside the Rio.

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