Ian Matakis Wins 2023 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Award

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Ian Matakis has been a fixture on the tournament scene for about half of a decade, with his first recorded live tournament score coming in early 2018. This year marked a true breakout for the 25-year-old poker player from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He cashed in 22 events during the 2023 World Series of Poker, with six top-nine finishes and a win in the WSOP Online $500 no-limit hold’em ‘Bankroll Builder’ event for his first gold bracelet. Nine of Matakis’ 22 total cashes this summer came in WSOP Online events.

Matakis’ impressive run saw him accumulate $881,682 in total earnings and 5,203 WSOP Player of the Year points, enough to see the rising star secure this year’s POY honors.

Next year, Matakis will have a POY banner hung in the Horseshoe Grand Ballroom and will receive free entry into the WSOP main event.

The average payday secured by Matakis across his 22 scores was $40,076. The single largest score was the $205,696 he earned as the third-place finisher in the $3,000 pot-limit Omaha six-max event that played out on one of the secondary featured tables while the WSOP main event was busy setting the final table.

Matakis was incredibly consistent given that most of the tournaments he played were smaller buy-in, large-field events. The average field size for his in-the-money finishes during the series was just over 1,913 entries. His average buy-in in the events he cashed in ended up being $3,924, but that average would drop to $1,730 if one were to exclude his one super high roller cash of $199,275 earned for his ninth-place showing in the $50,000 pot-limit Omaha event.

2018 WSOP POY Shaun Deeb finished second in the standings, marking his fifth straight year of finishing inside the top six. Deeb’s streak spans from 2018-2023, with 2020 excluded, as no POY race was held that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chris Brewer and Josh Arieh, who both won two bracelets this summer, finished in third and fourth place in the final POY standings. Mike Holtz, who finished 14th in the final rankings, set a new record this year with 25 in-the-money finishes secured in a single series. The WSOP.com regular known to many as ‘BrockLesnar’ just edged out Deeb for the most cashes, with Deeb’s 24 also breaking the previous record held by Chris Ferguson and Daniel Negreanu.

Here is a look at the top ten in the 2023 WSOP POY standings:

Place Player WSOP POY Points
1 Ian Matakis 5,203
2 Shaun Deeb 4,276
3 Chris Brewer 4,127
4 Josh Arieh 3,938
5 Jesse Lonis 3,865
6 Michael Rodrigues 3,513
7 Chad Eveslage 3,447
8 Ben Yu 3,128
9 Phil Hellmuth 3,072
10 Yuval Bronshtein 3,056

Matakis’ in-the-money finishes at the 2023 WSOP (reverse chronologically):

Date Event Place Payout
Jul 18, ’23 $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Eight Max
2023 World Series of Poker
115 $8,059
Jul 16, ’23 $500 No-Limit Hold’em
2023 World Series of Poker Online (NV/NJ)
41 $3,202
Jul 15, ’23 $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout
2023 World Series of Poker Online (NV/NJ)
66 $3,874
Jul 14, ’23 $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Six Max
2023 World Series of Poker
3 $205,696
Jul 06, ’23 $400 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo
2023 World Series of Poker Online (NV/NJ)
27 $3,244
Jul 02, ’23 $50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha
2023 World Series of Poker
9 $199,275
Jul 01, ’23 $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max
2023 World Series of Poker
7 $114,210
Jun 28, ’23 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Millionaire Maker
2023 World Series of Poker
15 $68,523
Jun 27, ’23 $888 No-Limit Hold’em
2023 World Series of Poker Online (NV/NJ)
20 $6,850
Jun 22, ’23 $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha
2023 World Series of Poker Online (NV/NJ)
29 $2,912
Jun 21, ’23 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty Super Turbo Freezeout
2023 World Series of Poker
128 $2,213
Jun 21, ’23 $500 No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout
2023 World Series of Poker
199 $1,821
Jun 18, ’23 $500 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight Max
2023 World Series of Poker Online (NV/NJ)
17 $3,332
Jun 17, ’23 $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em
2023 World Series of Poker
78 $6,805
Jun 14, ’23 $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max
2023 World Series of Poker
15 $30,429
Jun 10, ’23 $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight Max
2023 World Series of Poker
282 $1,602
Jun 08, ’23 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max
2023 World Series of Poker
9 $47,788
Jun 06, ’23 $600 No-Limit Hold’em Ultra Deepstack
2023 World Series of Poker Online (NV/NJ)
5 $38,814
Jun 06, ’23 $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack Eight Max
2023 World Series of Poker
93 $2,051
Jun 06, ’23 $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout Eight Max
2023 World Series of Poker
99 $8,011
Jun 04, ’23 $500 No-Limit Hold’em
2023 World Series of Poker Online (NV/NJ)
1 $120,686
Jun 01, ’23 $333 No-Limit Hold’em
2023 World Series of Poker Online (NV/NJ)
30 $2,285





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