The 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) has concluded from Horseshoe / Paris Las Vegas, with 25-year-old Ian Matakis named the 2023 WSOP Player of the Year.

Matakis rose from behind his laptop to take the lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race and never relented on amassing results to continue to build upon his score. There were deep runs every week in a variety of events. Live or online. Hold'em or Omaha. Matakis' schedule mirrored previous winners that were pushing hard for the entire WSOP as he played as many events as possible once the possibility of him being crowned the WSOP Player of the Year was in reach.

"Coming into the series, I didn't have any plans for playing for Player of the Year," Matakis said on what it means to him to be the 2023 WSOP Player of the Year. "It was just sort of something that came as I was playing. It means a lot to be part of this prestigious group of people."

After two early cashes, Matakis won his first WSOP bracelet in the WSOP Online Event #2: 500 No-Limit Hold'em Bankroll Builder for $120,686. Two days later, he final tabled another WSOP online event and finished ninth in Event #15 before adding a 15th-place finish in Event #32 for $30,429. The next deep run came in the MILLIONAIRE MAKER where Matakis finished 15th in a field of 10,416 before he picked up two huge scores in back-to-back events. Matakis finished seventh in Event #65 for $114,210, and two days later took home $199,275 for a ninth-place finish in the $50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller. To close out his 2023 WSOP campaign, Matakis finished third in the $3,000 6-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha event for his biggest career score of $205,696.

"It was surreal for a week or two," Matakis said on how many cashes he had at the 2023 WSOP. "I was deep in everything I played and always on one entry. I couldn't believe it really. It's been a surreal series, and I couldn't ask for more."

Matakis finished with $881,052 in WSOP winnings at the 2023 WSOP and cashed 22 times. Of those 22 cashes, nine came online at WSOP.com. Throughout Matakis' WSOP career, which dates back to 2019, he has 38 additional WSOP cashes with seven coming in Las Vegas and 31 coming online on WSOP.com and GGPoker, on top of what he achieved at the 2023 WSOP.

"The way I view it is that the fields online are still big and still tough to win," Matakis said about the debate between WSOP Online and live events. "I think they should count, but a lot of people disagree. That's ok, that's their opinion. But I'm happy they did count because it was a big part of my points this year."

Matakis finished with 5,203.89 points ahead of Shaun Deeb (4,276.12), Chris Brewer (4,127.62), and Josh Arieh (3,938.62). However, he never felt like he had locked up WSOP Player of the Year as Deeb was playing as many events as he could, and both Brewer and Arieh each won a second WSOP bracelet. Matakis shifted his focus to the battle for the WSOP Player of the Year title and put his foot on the gas.

"There was a point where I stopped playing the Wynn and Venetian events and just played the WSOP. My plan was to play every venue, but I only played one event at the Venetian and one at the Wynn."

After achieving one of the toughest WSOP accomplishments possible, you would expect the WSOP Player of the Year to sit back now and enjoy their future WSOPs. Previous winners like Dan Zack and Shaun Deeb have stated that that isn't the case. They want to win another to tie Daniel Negreanu and a third to take the lead. Matakis might also be cut from the same cloth.

"I think next year I'll be playing for it," Matakis said on pushing for a second WSOP Player of the Year title. "I'm also going to learn some mixed games so I won't just be playing No-Limit Hold'em and Pot-Limit Omaha next year. I guess we'll see what happens. I'm going to be grinding for next year for sure.

Ian Matakis' 2023 World Series of Poker Results

Event Place Prize
Online Event #1: $333 No-Limit Hold'em Triple Treys Summer Tip Off 30th $2,285
Event #12: $5,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold'em 8-Handed 99th $8,011
Online Event #2: $500 No-Limit Hold'em Bankroll Builder 1st $120,686
Event #13: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack 93rd $2,051
Event #15: $1,500 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em 9th $47,788
Online Event #4: $600 No-Limit Hold'em Ultra Deepstack 5th $38,184
Event #21: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed 282nd $1,602
Event #32: $3,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em 15th $30,429
Event #37: $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em 78th $6,805
Online Event #7: $500 PLO 8-Max 17th $3,332
Event #46: $500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold'em 199th $1,821
Event #49: $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold'em 128th $2,213
Online Event #9: $1,000 PLO Championship 29th $2,912
Event #53: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER No-Limit Hold'em 15th $68,523
Online Event #11: $888 No-limit Hold'em Crazy 8's 20th $6,850
Event #65: $5,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em 7th $114,210
Event #71: $50,000 High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha 9th $199,275
Online Event #14: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo 27th $3,244
Event #82: $3,000 6-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha 3rd $205,696
Online Event #18: $2,000 Freezeout Championship 66th $3,874
Online Event #19: $500 No-Limit Hold'em Summer Saver 41st $3,202
Event #94: $5,000 8-Handed No-Limit Hold'em 115th $8,059

Being crowned 2023 WSOP Player of the Year will see Matakis join a list of winners that include Dan Zack (2022), Josh Arieh (2021), Robert Campbell (2019), Shaun Deeb (2018), Jason Mercier (2016), and Daniel Negreanu (2013 and 2004). Matakis will now have his WSOP Player of the Year banner in the Horseshoe Grand Ballroom, and he'll also receive a seat in the 2024 WSOP Main Event and the WSOP Player of the Year trophy. 

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WSOP, 2023 WSOP, WSOP 2023, Ian Matakis