Chad Eveslage Wins 2022 WPT Player of the Year

Chad Eveslage
WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic S20

Chad Eveslage backed up his breakout 2021 campaign on the live tournament circuit with an even better showing in 2022. In addition to winning his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet as the champion of the $25,000 no-limit hold’em eight max event this summer, Eveslage had another standout season on the World Poker Tour. The 31-year-old poker pro from Indiana secured four cashes, with two final-table finishes and one title won. He cashed for $1,450,825 across those four scores, securing the 2022 WPT Player of the Year honors in the process.

Eveslage’s big win came back in October at the Bellagio. He topped a field of 569 entries in the $10,4000 buy-in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic no-limit hold’em main event to secure his second WPT title and the top prize of $1,042,300. This was the second-largest payday of Eveslage’s career, behind only the $1.4 million along with his bracelet.

Eveslage’s heads-up opponent in that tournament, Steve ‘Cuz’ Buckner, made Eveslage sweat the POY honors down the final stretch. In the last WPT main tour event of the season, the record-breaking WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas, Eveslage was knocked out before the bubble burst. At that point, he held just a 175-point lead over Buckner, who cashed in five main tour events this year and made two final tables. Buckner made the money but ultimately finished in 319th place for $18,450 and 125 points, leaving him 50 points shy of pulling even with Eveslage. Buckner, who also finished as the runner-up in the WPT Choctaw main event, cashed for $1,056,950 this season.

Eveslage’s other final table finish this season came in the penultimate event, the WPT Seminole Rock’N’Roll Poker Open. He finished third from a field of 1,541 entries in that tournament to earn $390,000 and 850 WPT POY points.

His two other cashes this season were a 79th-place showing in the 2022 WPT Venetian main event, the tournament he won in 2021, and a 239th-place finish in the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open.

Eveslage now has nearly $7.4 million in career tournament earnings, with more than $2.6 million coming from WPT main tour cashes.

Here is a look at the final top ten in the WPT POY standings:

Rank Player WPT POY Points WPT POY Points WPT Cashes WPT Final Tables WPT Titles
1 Chad Eveslage 2,325.00 $1,450,825 4 2 1
2 Steve Buckner 2,275.00 $1,056,950 5 2 0
3 Josh Kay 1,825.00 $824,080 4 2 0
4 Ray Qartomy 1,775.00 $621,300 3 2 0
5 Stephen Song 1,625.00 $747,750 4 0 0
6 Eliot Hudon 1,600.00 $4,136,000 1 0 0
7 Naj Ajez 1,425.00 $316,169 3 1 0
8 Mark Davis 1,400.00 $1,000,300 1 1 1
9 Alexander Yen 1,400.00 $975,240 1 1 1
10 Mike Vanier 1,400.00 $661,800 4 1 0

Eveslage became the 20th player to secure the WPT’s POY honors, as there has never been a repeat winner. Below is a look back at the POY victors of the past two decades:

WPT Season POY Winner
1 Howard Lederer
2 Erick Lindgren
3 Daniel Negreanu
4 Gavin Smith
5 J. C. Tran
6 Jonathan Little
7 Bertrand Grospellier
8 Faraz Jaka
9 Andy Frankenberger
10 Joe Serock
11 Matthew Salsberg
12 Mukul Pahuja
13 Anthony Zinno
14 Mike Shariati
15 Benjamin Zamani
16 Art Papazyan
17 Erkut Yilmaz
18 Brian Altman
19 Jake Ferro
20 Chad Eveslage

Photo credits: Joe Giron / World Poker Tour.

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