Sixteen cash prizes, four final tables and two bracelets earned Dan Zack the 2022 World Series of Poker Player of the Year crown. [Image: PokerGO.com]
Deeb taught Zack all the tricks
A few weeks ago I played the World Series of Poker Mini Main Event 2022, pulling an unusually difficult table for such a soft tournament with Shaun Deeb and top Irish player/professional mystery bounty envelope opener Padraig O’Neill.
Deeb beautifully “reversed slowrolled” me
Deeb reversed slowrolled me superbly where we moved all in on the turn, holding the third nuts and him with the nutblocker.
“Nuts,” he declared before turning over the nut draw with one more card to come. I held on and we chatted, played a game of “Nominate each year’s Main Event winners in reverse chronological order” and later discussed the Player of the Year game. It went something like this:
Me: “How many people can win it?”
Deeb: “That’s a good question.”
Me: “Thanks Shaun, asking good questions is what I do.”
Deeb: “What do you think the song is?”
Deeb: “It’s bigger than that. If someone gets injured early, they normally go for it and always have a chance.”
Me: “Reasonable point.”
Deeb: “But you’re right there aren’t that many.”
The talk, of course, turned to race leader Dan Zack and Deeb, half jokingly, half earnestly complaining about how he had given Zack “all the tricks” to maximize his chances. Deeb certainly knows his stuff on this front. He is a perennial fighter, always in the mix, and this year was no exception as he finished fourth. If you look at the total number of WSOP POY points earned in the last ten years, he is miles ahead.
Zack’s three-year goal
Zack jumped all he could in the final stretch, eventually holding off challenges from Deeb, Dan Weinman (2nd), Koray Aldemir (3rd) and David Peters (5th). A contender since 2017, it was finally his time. Sixteen cash prizes, four final tables and two gold bracelets were enough to cross the line.
After being declared the winner, an emotional and grateful Zack made it clear that full-time poker is not in his long-term future. He is getting married next year and plans to settle down and start a family. This was one of his last shots at the title.
it’s been a crazy battle every year and I’m really ecstatic to actually get there”
“It means a lot, I set a goal three years ago that I really wanted to try and win it before I left poker, and this is the third series I’ve tried… it’s been a crazy battle every year and I am really ecstatic to actually get there… I have been super stressed for the past few weeks to finish the series. Thank you to everyone who wished me luck.”
On his way to winning POY, Zack won his second and third bracelets, single-handedly keeping the string of double bracelet winners in the series alive since 2000. Those bracelets were hard-fought as Zack played two of the longest heads-up games of the summer to claim them.
Zach’s first came in the $10,000 buy-in Omaha Eight-or-Better Championship event, in which he battled Dustin Dirksen for seven hours to eventually claim the title and $440,757. His second came in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Eight-or-Better Championship event where he won $324,174. This time it was David Funkhouser who clung for eight hours before finally succumbing.
Despite the two wins, Zack felt the chasing pack breathing down his neck and knew he would have to make EV sacrifices. He alluded to this in his post-win interview:
“You throw away a few hundred bucks here and there to give yourself the best chance of competing because you know guys like (Deeb) are doing the same thing and it’s the only way to keep up with them.”
Passing the house, with the POY crown within reach, Zack sold action to enter the $250,000 buy-in Super High Roller event. He made the final table, finishing in 8th place for $488,095 and a vitals shot. At the 2022 WSOP, his cash was close to $1.5 million, accounting for half of his live tournament revenue.
Zack’s award for winning Player of the Year is a custom trophy and a $10,000 seat to the 2023 main event. But more importantly, he will be immortalized at the WSOP with a personalized banner that will be proudly displayed during future Series. wall of Bally’s of Paris.
WSOP POY 2022 Final Standings
Dan Zack – 4,530.64Daniel Weinman – 4,040.20Koray Aldemir – 3,275.02Shaun Deeb – 3,197.65David Peters – 2,982.08Yueqi Zhu – 2,766.27Joao Vieira – 2,752.88Joao Simao Peres – 2,735.76Alex472006 2.4 Dzivielevski – 2,433.13 2.418.11Calvin Anderson – 2.403.91Georgios Sotiropoulos – 2.397.74Harry Lodge – 2.370.19Raj Vohra – 2.358.05Chad Eveslage – 2.346.89Jose Ignacio Barbero, 2,333.67 2,320.70k. – 2,236.35
This post Dan Zack wins two bracelets and 2022 WSOP POY title
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