With 10 players left in the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $3,500 Championship, Cate Hall found herself in a unique position. On one hand, she was looking to become the first female winner of an open WPT main tour event. One another, she was looking to finish third or better to surpass Mike Shariati and win the WPT Player of the Year title. As it turned out, her run ended in ninth place and secured Shariati the WPT Player of the Year honors.
Shariati's triumph earned him a custom-made, one-of-a-kind timepiece from Hublot, the WPT Player of the Year sponsor, plus hotel accommodation and ground transport for all WPT events he plays in next season. He also earned himself quite the pocket full of change from Season 14, winning one event, placing second in another, and going deep in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $3,500 Championship. All told, Shariati bagged over $1.36 million from those three finishes.
In September 2015, Shariati stormed to the winner's circle of the Legends of Poker $3,700 Main Event. It was there that Shariati denied Feddy Deeb his third WPT title and won $675,942.
Then, six months later in March 2016, Shariati found his way at the final table of the L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 Main Event from a field of 515 entries. Shariati made his way to heads-up play against German Dietrich Fast, but ultimately fell short of a second title. His runner-up finish was worth a consolation prize of $656,540, though.
To add another 50 points to his WPT Player of the Year tally, Shariati finished 21st from a field of 1,222 entries in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $3,500 Championship for $30,228.
Shariati joins a high-quality list of WPT Player of the Year winners, including Daniel Negreanu (Season 3), Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (Season 7), Faraz Jaka (Season 8), and Anthony Zinno (Season 13).
*Image courtesy of Joe Giron/WPT.