Ian Matakis assumes top spot in 2023 WSOP Player of the Year chase

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: June 16, 2023 6:43 pm EDT

The 2023 World of Series of Poker’s Player of the Year race stands at its tightest juncture to date in the early weeks of the series, with Ian Matakis holding a thin 65-point lead over Shaun Deeb with over a quarter of the series completed.

Ian Matakis, of Faribault, Minnesota, has compiled 2,388.98 points to Deeb’s 2,323.06, while last week’s early leader, double-bracelet winner Chad Eveslage, sits just a little bit further back at 2,217.92. The three are the first players to crack the 2,000-point plateau.

Matakis jumped to the top of the leaderboard on the strentgth of several recent showings, both live and online, that added to the points he won for taking down the WSOP’s second online bracelet event almost two weeks ago. More recently, Matakis finished fifth in another WSOP.com bracelet event, while also adding deep runs in two live short-handed events, Event #15: $1,500 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em, and Event #32: $3,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em.

How serious is Matakis at making a committed run for the 2023 POY title?

Deeb, the defending WSOP Player of the Year, is off to another impressive start. Deeb claimed his sixth career bracelet in winning Event #27: $1,500 Eight-Game Mix. Deeb has already racked up nine cashes this summer.

By this time tomorrow, the 2023 WSOP POY race could have an entirely new leader. At ninth place currently, Michael Moncek entered the day as one of the final three players in Event #33, the $10,000 Razz Championship. The winner of that event receives 987 POY points. Moncek, the winner of Event #6: $5,000 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em; Pot-Limit Omaha, has already amassed 1,649 points and is guaranteed to move over the 2,000-point mark.