Former world no.1 Shaun Deeb has said his only motivation for travelling to this week’s World Series of Poker Europe kick-off is an unbridled desire to win Player of The Year 2018.
The 32-year-old is already leading the way for 2018 POY honours, after an incredible summer, highlighted by a fourth bracelet and a combined $2.4 million on 15 cashes.
Hailing from Troy, New York, Deeb’s now won more than $7 million in live events and $6.8 million online, overall, and sits atop the POY leadearboard with a lead of almost 600 points over Nevada-based Ben Yu.
Deeb built that lead at the 49th WSOP in Las Vegas. He had 15 in the money finishes, landing two bracelets, a final table and strong finishes in both the main event and the Poker Players Championships event.
He had the measure of Yu, second in the POY 2018 standings, on a stacked final table in the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship, and believes he’s never had a better shot at being WSOP Player of the Year.
‘I Want It’
Before he flew out to the Czech Republic for the WSOP Europe event at the Kings Casino Rozvadov, he admitted the trip would cost him money, but that his only goal was to win POY 2018.
“To be honest, it’s probably unprofitable for me to go there,” he told cardplayer.com. “When you consider the buy-ins and the travel expenses.”
“If it was strictly about money, I would never bother going there, but I really want to win POY, and this is the best shot I’ve had at doing it.”
The five-time World Championship of Online Poker winner is no stranger to chasing leaderboard titles, citing one of his first motivations as the PokersStars TLB leaderboard. “That was my main motivation for grinding and putting in the effort back in the day,” he revealed.
“I’ve won a lot of leaderboards throughout my career, and the WSOP is kind of the most important one. There isn’t a monetary prize with it, but I still want it.”
To get it, he must perform well across the remaining 10-event series, with 1o gold bracelets and at least €13million in guaranteed payouts up for grabs in the Kings Casino Rozvadov. It began on Tuesday evening and will wrap on Sunday, October 28.
‘My Game is My Game’
It’s a crazy road chasing a POY win, and for Deeb it’s included almost winning two bracelets on the same day in a mad multi-table bid. “The multi-tabling was definitely a minus EV (negative expected value) move, but somehow I actually made money while I did it,” he said.
“To me, making those two day thirds simultaneously was the most impressive thing I did this summer, not winning two bracelets.”
“I had to accumulate so many chips in both events just to avoid binding out, running back and forth. If someone were to win two bracelets on the same day, that would be one of the most incredible accomplishments in poker.”
Speaking about his form this summer, he played cool, saying, “my game is my game”, and adding: “There’s so little difference between an okay summer and a great summer. I can’t say I’m the best, or even that I outplayed anybody. I’m just happy that the events I won were two high buy-ins.”
What is POY 2018?
The WSOP Player of the Year is a points-based leaderboard that takes into account performances at 72 bracelet events in Las Vegas and in bracelet events at WSOP Europe. For 2018, the POY points system has changed, following player feedback.
The POY 2018 formula now better rewards bracelet winners and players who run deep, while still rewarding consistency. Last year’s winner, LA’s Chris Ferguson, earned only one bracelet, making four final tables and 23 cashes.