Jeffrey Lisandro won the 2009 World Series of Poker Player of the Year award after earning 355 points. The 2009 race was the most highly contested in recent years, four of the top six POY finishers this year won multiple bracelets this year. Last year’s winner, Erick Lindgren, won the title with 245 points and one bracelet.
Lisandro won a record-tying three WSOP bracelets, four final tables and six cashes in the 2009 WSOP. He won each of his bracelets in the three variations of Seven-card poker: the $2,500 Seven-card Razz, the $10,000 World Championship Seven-card Stud 8-or-Better and $1,500 Seven-card Stud. Only Phil Ivey (2002) and Ted Forrest (1993) have won three bracelets in one year.
Lisandro’s lead in the point race was so secure that only Ville Wahlbeck had a chance to catch him. He would have had to finish 8th to tie him or 7th or better in the Main Event to win. Lisandro was announced as the winner before the Main Event even reached the money bubble.
Even though Phil Ivey has his ticket punched for the November Nine, a Main Event win is only worth 100 points which would leave him 13 points short of the title. He already won two bracelets; $2,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball and $2,500 Omaha/Seven-card Stud HiLo 8-or-Better and five cashes. His sixth cash remains to be finalized at the conclusion of the Main Event. If Ivey were to win the Main Event there would surely be great debate about changing the POY point value for the Main Event. Finishing a close second is Ville Wahlbeck. The young Finnish pro had considered quitting the game after five years of frustration, but his six cashes and one bracelet in premier events has changed his mind. Wahlbeck proved that he is a world class player when he won the $10,000 World Championship Mixed Event, final tabled the $50,000 World Championship HORSE tournament with a 6th place finish, took 2nd place in the $10,000 World Championship NL 2-7 Lowball, took 3rd place in the $10,000 World Championship Seven-card Stud and finished 13th in the $10,000 World Championship Omaha HiLo 8-or-Better. Finishing in third place is Vitaly Lunkin, an experienced Russian player that collected his cashes in World Championship events. He started off the WSOP with winning the highly anticipated $40,000 40th Annual No Limit Hold’em event – good for $1,891,012. He final tabled the World Championship Pot Limit Omaha and World Championship HORSE, 2nd and 4th respectively. He cashed in the Championship Mixed Event and the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event.
Greg “FBT” Mueller and John Brock Parker both won two bracelets this year with multiple cashes. Last year they would have been 2nd and 4th, but they had to settle for 5th and 6th place after the incredible runs Lisandro, Wahlbeck, Lunkin and Ivey had this year.