The World Series of Poker wrapped up on Wednesday with New Jersey online poker grinder Dan Zack taking the Player of the Year title. A Pennsylvania online player also scored big, winning the top spot in the $1 million Tournament of Champions.
After 88 tournaments, 13 online events, and the Tournament of Champions, action has concluded at Bally’s and Paris in Las Vegas. Players will have to wait another year for more bracelet chasing – or at least until WSOP Europe in October.
As the events closed out, a couple players from legalized online poker markets found the spotlight. That included Zack (pictured in lead image) living out a dream as Player of the Year after winning two bracelets with 18 cashes.
Zack spoke with USPoker earlier in the series after his first win and then also this week after securing the POY title.
Dan Zack sizzles at WSOP
Some of the biggest names in poker have won the WSOP Player of the Year title including Daniel Negreanu, Allen Cunningham, Jason Mercier, and Shaun Deeb. Zack, of Jersey City, brought some real consistency to the series and is pleased to be listed among so many poker greats.
“I feel honored to be among so many big names to have won the title,” he tells USPoker. “I grew up watching the WSOP on espn and these guys were my idols growing up. To see my name among them now is a childhood dream come true.”
Zack’s big run began with winning the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship in June for $440,757. Just about a week and a half later, he followed that up by winning the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship for $324,174.
Between those, Zack also grabbed a third place in the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship for $129,670. Winning the POY earned Zack some nice rewards including:
- 2023 WSOP Main Event seat
- winner’s trophy
- Player of the Year banner displayed during each WSOP at Paris/Bally’s
Fulfilling a dream
Many players dream of winning the POY title. For Zack, that actually became a reality, albeit a bit later than when he’d originally planned. After winning his first bracelet in 2019, he seemed on track for the award.
“I set the goal to win POY heading into WSOP in 2019,” he says. “I’d been doing a mixture of cash games and tournaments for the past few summers and decided I enjoyed the leaderboard aspect of POY as well as the challenge of staying focused on a singular goal for the whole time being out in Vegas.
“I was leading most of the 2019 series before falling off toward the end and finishing fourth. Back then WSOP Europe counted toward POY and I decided not to go to Czech Republic because I was confident I’d get a better opportunity in the future. Thankfully I now have gotten that opportunity and capitalized on it.”
“Next for me is lots of sleep and rest,” he says. “I’m pretty burned out after seven weeks of 12-hour days and I doubt I’ll play much poker at all in the next month. Eventually I’ll return to the online felt as that’s been my main poker game for the past few years since COVID hit.”
Pennsylvania online player Benjamin Kaupp scoops $250K in Tournament of Champions
Zack wasn’t the only US online player to find some success in the series’ final days. Benjamin Kaupp, of Feasterville Trevose, Pennsylvania, took down the Tournament of Champions for $250,000 and his first bracelet.
A regular online player in the Keystone State, Kauppqualified for the event after winning a WSOP Online Circuit ring in February. The WSOP added the TOC this year as the final event in the series and the tournament brought in 470 players.
A freeroll exclusively for bracelet winners and WSOP Circuit ring winners, either live or online, the event came with a $1 million prize pool.
Battling at the virtual table seems to have paid off for Kaupp. He now has $331,625 in live tournament winnings after the TOC title.
“I’ve just been grinding online for the last couple of years, taking it pretty seriously,” he said afterward. “I play a lot of the circuit events online. I didn’t really play poker for a while until the last couple of years when it was legal in Pennsylvania again.”
WSOP Circuit action continues live and online
Players looking for even more poker still have numerous opportunities to win a WSOP Circuit championship ring. Company officials recently released the live schedule with 25 tour stops.
Action is already underway at the Choctaw in Oklahoma and 10 more stops are also in the works. Those are expected to be announced soon.
After just wrapping up a WSOP Circuit Online in July, players can expect more ring action in August. Look for a preview soon at USPoker.
CBS Sports WSOP schedule released
Those looking to check some of the action throughout the series can now check out the action episodically on CBS Sports Channel. The action began July 21 and continues in the coming weeks with more tournament coverage added as well. Here’s a look at the TV schedule so far, courtesy of PokerGO.
WSOP television schedule – CBS Sports
Date Time Event
July 21 8 p.m. ET $100,000 High Roller Bounty
July 21 9 p.m. ET $2,500 NL Hold'em - Part 1
July 21 10 p.m. ET $2,500 NL Hold'em - Part 2
July 27 8 p.m. ET $25,000 Heads-Up Championship - Part 1
July 27 9 p.m. ET $25,000 Heads-Up Championship - Part 2
July 27 10 p.m. ET $25,000 High Roller - Part 1
July 27 11 p.m. ET $25,000 High Roller - Part 2
Aug. 4 8 p.m. ET $50,000 High Roller
Aug. 4 9 p.m. ET $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo - Part 1
Aug. 4 10 p.m. ET $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo - Part 2
Aug. 11 8 p.m. ET $25,000 High Roller PLO - Part 1
Aug. 11 9 p.m. ET $25,000 High Roller PLO - Part 2
Aug. 11 10 p.m. ET $1,500 Monster Stack - Part 1
Aug. 11 11 p.m. ET $1,500 Monster Stack - Part 2
Aug. 18 8 p.m. ET $50,000 High Roller PLO - Part 1
Aug. 18 9 p.m. ET $50,000 High Roller PLO - Part 2
Aug. 18 10 p.m. ET $1,500 NL Hold'em - Part 1
Aug. 18 11 p.m. ET $1,500 NL Hold'em - Part 2
Aug. 25 8 p.m. ET $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw - Part 1
Aug. 25 9 p.m. ET $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw - Part 2
Aug. 25 10 p.m. ET $100,000 High Roller - Part 1
Aug. 25 11 p.m. ET $100,000 High Roller - Part 2
Aug. 31 8 p.m. ET $3,000 PLO 6-Max
Aug. 31 9 p.m. ET $1,500 Millionaire Maker - Part 1
Aug. 31 10 p.m. ET $1,500 Millionaire Maker - Part 1