The World Series of Poker has once again changed its Player of the Year formula, this time basing the calculations on the World Series of Poker Circuit system.
Each time I log on to the wi-fi in Coffee #1, there is a mini-questionnaire asking me to rate on quality and to leave a remark. I have a pre-written statement I copy & paste each time.
“When it works, it’s a 5/5, but I am going to give you a 1/5 because you keep cutting me off after 20-minutes and I often lose work, or most importantly, my place in my Spotify playlist.”
I could also add – your chairs look cool but are uncomfortable, a woman must have designed the men’s bathroom, and your seats are too low for people using laptops causing backache – but I don’t bother; it’s a coffee shop, not an office.
There are times when a business should change – pivot even – on the back of customer feedback. And then there are times when the company needs to say, “thanks, but no thanks,” and I think the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is at that point with the meddling of the Player of the Year (POY) formula.
From WSOP to Bluff, to the GPI and back again
In 2015, the Global Poker Index (GPI) replaced BLUFF as the geeks behind the WSOP POY rankings. At the time, many people questioned the move, stating, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But given the GPI’s position as the unofficial premier ranking system, you could see why the move occurred.
The moaning and the groaning continued, until last year, when the WSOP dropped the GPI and went standalone. Then came the social media outcry after Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson looked likely to become the first player to win the POY title without winning a bracelet, despite his record 23 cashes (Ferguson later won a bracelet in the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) festival).
Amongst the most vocal was Daniel Negreanu. The only player to win the award twice, had a goal to win the POY for himself and began brightly. As Negreanu’s quest for a third title waned, he questioned the formula on social media and found he wasn’t alone in his thinking that the WSOP was not awarding the bracelet winners highly enough. Kid Poker is a fan of the new system.
Positive changes for WSOP POY. Running the WSOP is a daunting task and I think they do an outstanding job and deserve a lot more credit than they get from the poker community. @wsop @WSOPTD https://t.co/aaLcYHzgZd
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) April 13, 2018
Ferguson went on to win the POY award at a canter.
This week, the WSOP announced plans to change the structure of the POY again. Negreanu was the first person to win a WSOP POY award in 2004. 14-years on and we are still tweaking the formula based on ‘player feedback?’
It’s time this stopped.
Sometimes the answer is right under your nose
The WSOP stated in a press release that the ‘improved’ Player of the Year formula for 2018,’ is based on the ‘highly successful’ World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) system they have used for many years.
The improvement aims seem to be two-fold.
1. To better reward bracelet winners
2. To reward consistency
The primary change seems to be the ratio of points between a min-cash, a final table appearance, and a bracelet victory. Previously the ratio between a min-cash and a win fell between 3.25/1 and 8.16/1. This changes to 20/1 across the board.
Other quibbles that have been pressed hard with an iron are as follows:
1. Points for the Giant and the PLO Giant will not hit the leaderboard until after the final starting flight.
2. Players eliminated in the same round of a Heads-Up or Shootout event will receive the same points, and it will be an average of the scores those places would have earned in a standard game.
3. Events that payout more than once (The Colossus and The Giant) will only produce one set of POY points, and this will be your final finishing position.
The following events do NOT carry POY points.
Event #1: $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em
Event #32: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em
Event #36: Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em
Event #55: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em
Event #57: $1,000/$10,000 Ladies Event
Event #78: $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop
As with the previous campaign, the POY runs over the summer festival in Las Vegas and the WSOPE planned for Rozvadov in the winter.
The new calculator is available here.
Here is a handy little table that shows you how the points system has changed for some premium events.
Had the new points system been in play last year then Ferguson would have still won.