Bin Weng wins both major POY awards; Kristen Foxen wins the women's POY title

As we approach the end of another year, it's always good to look back at the past twelve months, especially the tournament poker grind. There were many challengers in the two major Player of the Year races, but there was only one man who took control of the standings early on and maintained that lead until the end. It was a heated battle on the women's side as a former women's POY came back to take her place on the throne.

Bin Weng takes both major POY titles

In the two big POY races, it was Bin Weng who gained an early lead and was able to maintain it until the end of the year despite a few challenges.

Weng faced the biggest challenges in the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race. For most of 2023, Jose “Nacho” Barbero tried to keep up with Weng, but he would fall behind towards the end of 2023, finishing in third place. The challenge of catching Weng fell to three men: Ren Lin, Chris Brewer and Isaac Haxton.

Lin took the World Poker Tour Alpha8 title after a good run at the WPT World Championship, but it wasn't enough to overcome his slow start and he finished fifth. Brewer was a master of consistency, cashing in 26 times during the year (equating to more than $13 million in winnings), but he couldn't rack up enough POY points to make a difference, finishing fourth became. Haxton was the man who took on the biggest challenge, competing in both the WPT World Championship/Alpha8 and the World Series of Poker Paradise in the Bahamas, but in the end he couldn't score enough points to overtake Weng.

Here is the overview of it CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year Race for 2023:

1. Bin Weng, 12,256 points
2. Isaac Haxton, 10,013
3. Jose Barbero, 9492
4. Chris Brewer, 9455
5. Ren Lin, 9380
6. Stephen Chidwick, 8779*
7. Danny Tang, 8700
8. Jason Koon, 8582
9. Alex Foxen, 7281
10. Quan Zhou, 6743

(* – Player of the Year 2022)

In the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race, Weng was once again at the top of the leaderboard, but with a different ranking behind him. Barbero took second place in the GPI rankings, but was quite far behind Weng. Lin also made an attack, but failed in third place. Haxton was the odd man out here, finishing fourth despite his success at the end of the season.

Here is the overview of it Global Poker Index Player of the Year Race for 2023:

1. Bin Weng, 5008.99 points
2. José Barbero, 4387.72
3. Ren Lin, 4260.94
4. Isaac Haxton, 4168.62
5. Daniel Tang, 4107.14
6. Jason Koon, 4043.74
7. Chris Brewer, 4013.23
8. Stephen Chidwick, 3904.93
9. Jesse Lonis, 3823.02
10. Quan Zhou, 3776.80

(Stephen Song, 2022 Player of the Year, was 39thTh place in 2023)

Weng's tournament performance in 2023 is certainly one for the ages. Earlier this year, he won The Return, the Borgata's first tournament where the poker room reopened after the COVID pandemic. Afterwards, Weng's performance in back-to-back WPT events in May (the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown and the WPT Choctaw), where he won one and finished fourth in another at the HyperX Sports Arena in Las Vegas, catapulted him to prominence. Weng capped his successful 2023 with a win at the WPT EveryOne for OneDrop and finished the year in December by winning a $25,000 High Roller tournament during the WPT World Championship for nearly $900,000.

Kristen Foxen climbs to the title of “Player of the Year 2023”.

With a tremendous final run, former Women's Player of the Year winner Kristen Foxen re-established herself at the top of the mountain in 2023 and captured the Women's POY title in surprising fashion.

Proving how big the 2023 WPT World Championship was, Foxen's good run in the tournament put her ahead of the rest of the women in the race. Foxen's 33approx Not only was the place good for over $132,000 in prize money, but it also earned her 345.07 POY points. For the women, that was enough to catapult them to first place of the year with 2,461.25 points.

Nadya Magnus was also in the running for the women's POY, but her efforts would fall somewhat short. At one of the preliminary rounds for the Seminole Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open in November, Magnus made the final table of a $1,000 tournament. This event earned her 145.06 points, putting her at 2431.92 points, which would have been good enough for the women's POY… except for Foxen.

Defending women's POY Cherish Andrews didn't have enough fuel in the tank to defend her championship, but she came pretty darn close. Andrews earned 2298.75 points to defend her belt, which was good enough for the top three. Here's a look at the finale Women's Player of the Year As of 2023:

1. Kristen Foxen, 2461.25 points
2. Nadya Magnus, 2431.92
3. Cherish Andrews, 2298.75*
4. Victoria Livschitz, 2220.78
5. Angela Jordison, 2139.81
6. Kitty Kuo, 2020.64
7. Maria Ho, 1997.65
8. Loni Harwood, 1872.67
9. Rania Nasreddine, 1868.03
10. Christina Gollins, 1751.29

(* – Player of the Year 2022)

This marks the end of the 2023 tournament poker season. The PokerGO Tour will hold its season-ending tournaments in early January, but these tournaments will count towards the 2024 rankings. Congratulations to Bin Weng and Kristen Foxen, the Players of the Year for the 2023 tournament poker season!

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