The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has taken the coveted Player of the Year title from Daniel Negreanu to give it to the rightful winner, Robert Campbell. This move comes after WSOP admitted it had made a clerical error in calculating the total player points in the 2019 WSOP.

Disappointing Math

When Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu won the WSOP POY 2019 last summer, nobody questioned the results. Negreanu had won 2 POY titles previously, and it seemed that his third was the perfect hat trick. Until somebody crunched the numbers and found a clerical error.

Russian poker journalist Alexander Elenskij discovered the clerical error when tallying up the WSOP tournament point totals for 2019. Elenskij has been covering the WSOP in Las Vegas for years, and this year he was tasked to cover a WSOP fantasy freeroll program based on Player of the Year points.

“I first noticed this back in July but I thought it was a temporary error with the payouts and I assumed they would fix it the next day and I completely forgot about it,” Elenskij said. “Today I remembered this story and I went to see if this was fixed and that’s when I discovered this mistake.”

Negreanu was erroneously credited points for an event that he didn’t even cash in. He was awarded 213.1 POY points in Event #68: $1,000 Online No Limit Hold’em Championship, when in fact he did not finish with money in that event.

The New Winner

Robert Campbell took 2 WSOP bracelets in this year’s tournament, and made it to 6 final tables in his run in 2019. He cashed in 6 figures in several events, ranging from $102,868 in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (Event #18) up to $385,763 in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better (Event #67).

When WSOP heard of the possible error, they checked the numbers and admitted a mistake had been made. They then issued an apology via Twitter:


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!”

The WSOP also issued a full press statement below their tweet, explaining what happened in detail, including the proper point totals and how the new winner was announced.

After recalculating the official point totals, Robert Campbell jumped to first place with 3,961.31 points, Shaun Deeb took second place with 3,917.32 point, and Daniel Negreanu fell to third with 3,861.78 points.

Robert Campbell was pleasantly surprised by his sudden change in fortune, and he tweeted his immediate response:

“I just want to say thank you to everyone for their overwhelming support! Wow. What an insane 12 hours.”

Daniel Negreanu graciously accepted the results, and stated that it was “an unfortunate situation, but mistakes happen and life moves on.”

Point System Overhaul

Players have been criticizing the WSOP point system for years, mostly due to its complexity and inconsistency. With so many events and separate statistics for cashes, wins, bracelets, and POY point totals, many players were affected by this year’s scoring error.

The system was partially overhauled in 2018, but after this year’s recount, WSOP needs to redouble its efforts to ensure fairness and accuracy. The WSOP celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, and it hosted the second largest main event of all time.

After the golden anniversary, organizers of the venerable tournament expressed deep regret for its ‘senior moment.’

“We’d like to offer our sincere and public apology to those players who chased the (POY) award,” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said. “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.”

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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.