This is the third year that the players who have earned the most WSOP Player of the Year points, which are powered and calculated by BLUFF Magazine, over a two year stretch (in this instance, 2012 and 2013) will be able to buy-in to the bracelet event for $10,000 and compete alongside the 100 freeroll qualifiers from the WSOP Circuit.
Negreanu tops this list of POY qualifiers after a dominating year at the tables where he won two bracelet s and became the first two-time WSOP POY. Over the two-year period, Negreanu racked up 1,094.82 points, while Phil Hellmuth, who was the top qualifier last year, came in second with 1,038.03. The 2012 WSOP Main Event Champ Greg Merson rounds out the top three with 1,031.13.
What is interesting to note about Negreanu’s top dog status is that he is actually a first-time National Championship qualifier. For comparison, consider that Hellmuth has qualified for the National Championship all three years the option has been available. Moreover, Negreanu and Matthew Ashton are the only two players in the top ten qualifiers who have not qualified for the event previously.
Of the 100 qualifiers, 45 made the cut last year as well. There are also 11 players who have qualified for the event all three years:
David “Bakes” Baker
David “ODB” Baker
It is an impressive list that includes three November Niners, a Main Event champion, two David Bakers, and a whole slew of bracelets. Yet, even though these big names in the game are some of the top pros around, they have yet to succeed in the National Championship. Two years ago, Ryan Eriquezzo turned his Circuit freeroll seat into a six-figure payday and a bracelet, while last year it was Jonathan Hilton who took the title and taught us all how to ball all day.
Will this year’s event, which will take place in Atlantic City in May, be the year one of these qualifiers takes the bracelet? We won’t know in May, but right now we do know that these are the 100 players who have a chance to do just that. A full list of players is also available on WSOP.com, as is the current at-large leaderboard of Circuit points chasers: