He wasn’t among the pre-series favorites for 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year. However, in the end, he came out on top, and he certainly deserved it. Josh Arieh (Rochester, New York, 47 years old) won the traditional POY leaderboard, the same award handed out to one outstanding performer each year since 2004.
Arieh cashed in 11 live events during the series, and won two WSOP gold bracelets this year (he now totals four): at the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed) and at the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Championship tournaments. Plus he had other cashes in two WSOP.com online bracelet events. That’s more than a dozen cashes, with six top-ten finishes (in the span of a month). “It’s just really cool, it’s weird. My whole life and my career, whatever I do, I build momentum, so when I’m going good, I’m really good. When I’m going bad, I go really bad. It means a lot because my daughters will be really proud,” he said.
TWO FRUSTRATED LEGENDS
After busting on Day 1 of the 88th and final event of the 2021 WSOP, Arieh ended up with 4,194.59 POY points. The incredible thing is that he relegated two giants of poker, such as Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu. Hellmuth, who was also unable to add some points in the last tournament, finished his incredible run at 3,664.09 points. Negreanu couldn’t spin up a stack and joined Arieh and Hellmuth on the rail. The GGPoker ambassador was third, with 3,531.03 points.
Arieh and Hellmuth were clearly the top two performers throughout the series. The ‘Poker Brat’ reached a WSOP single series record seven final tables, won his 16th bracelet in Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw, and was second of the season for the fourth time in his career! Regarding profits, Hellmuth revealed he entered 34 events, cashed in 10 of them, bought in for USD 448,379, and cashed out for USD 1,248,860, for a net profit of UDS 800,481 (minus backer payouts).
For his part, Negreanu, who still hasn’t won a WSOP bracelet since 2013, was in the top ten seven times this year, and cashed 18 times. He also disclosed his wins and losses. The Poker Hall of Famer concluded the series with USD 399,024 in profits, thanks in large part to a pair of third place high roller finishes in the same 24-hour period.