Will Daniel Negreanu become the WSOP Player of the Year today?

You've heard of the name Daniel Negreanu, right? Of course you have. In fact, you can probably hear him from wherever you are in the world right now. He's that outspoken! The Team PokerStars Pro is recognised as being of the best players in the world, you need only look at his $18,539,856 in live winnings, five WSOP and two WPT titles to attest to that. Negreanu came painfully close to winning his Triple Crown earlier this year at the EPT9 Grand Final but finished 4th (€321,000) in arguably one of the toughest final tables of all time. Read about that here. Right now, his focus is elsewhere: another WSOP bracelet and the chance to seal the number one spot on the WSOP Player of the Year leader board.

Negreanu has won the Player of the Year title once before (in 2004) and is painfully close to making it his again . UK mixed game specialist Matt Ashton is currently leading the race, no little thanks to his $1.77m Players' Championship win over Jonathan Duhamel and George Danzer, but can't score any further points. Negreanu can and has.

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Daniel "Kid Poker" Negreanu

In fact, the POY is currently Negreanu's to win. "Kid Poker" is average-stacked with 13 players left in the WSOPE High Roller event and should he finish strongly then the Player of the Year title is almost certainly his.* The story is not finished yet though. Just behind him in chips in France is Marc-Etienne McLaughlin who is also among the final 13 and is also among the nine remaining players in the WSOP Main Event. Should McLaughlin fall...

*Of course, the €725,000 first prize is an incentive, too.

WSOP Player of the Year race
1. Matthew Ashton 649.75
2. Daniel Negreanu 598.34
3. Loni Harwood 487.20
4. David (Bakes) Baker 475.35
5. Donald Nguyen 466.13
6. Marco Johnson 439.38
7. Tom Schneider 438.51
8. Chris Klodnicki 400.80
9. Jared Hamby 395.73
10. Anthony Gregg 390.00

It might all be over today, but with echoes of last year's tussle between Greg Merson and Phil Hellmuth, Negreanu fans may have another reason to watch the November Niners play down to the win. We'll keep you up-to-date with the situation. Good luck today, Daniel!

is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in Team PokerStars