Player of the Year Update -- David 'ODB' Baker and Gregory Merson Climb
WSOP Prelims Concluded, Main Event To Have Huge Impact on POY
After the busiest season of the year, the picture is starting to come into focus for the second half of the 2012 Card Player Player of the Year race, sponsored by Lock Poker. The preliminary events are all wrapped up and the main event is currently underway at the 2012 World Series of Poker. The biggest event of in poker has consistently awarded the most POY points each year, and this time around will be no exception: This year’s WSOP champion will take home 3,300 POY points in addition to the title, the glory, the bracelet and more than $8.5 million in prize money. Until then, lets take a look at the winners who made moves in the POY race in the final week leading into the main event:
WSOP National Championship
Ryan Eriquezzo won the World Series of Poker Circuit National Championship in front of ESPN cameras filming for an August 7th broadcast, defeating a 147-player field to capture his first WSOP gold bracelet, the $416,051 first-place prize and 720 POY points.
Eriquezzo was one of 100 players to qualify for this million-dollar guaranteed event for free as a result of his performance on the WSOP Circuit. Eriquezzo won the WSOP Circuit Caesars Palace Atlantic City main event in early March for $191,194. As a result, he has climbed to 51st place in the POY rankings.
Other notables that made the final table include Amanda Musumeci (8th – $48,576), Sam Stein (7th – $61,434), David “ODB” Baker (6th – $79,002) and Matt Keikoan (4th – $137,485).
This was David Baker’s fourth official final table of the series, including event no. 58 which is discussed below. Earlier this summer, Baker earned his first WSOP gold bracelet in the $2,500 eight-game mix event, and also finished third in a $2,500 deuce-to-seven triple draw lowball event and 10th in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. As a result of all of these huge scores, Baker has moved into 11th place in the overall POY standings, with 2,385 points and year-to-date earnings of $653,256.
WSOP Event 57 – $10,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em
Gregory Merson topped a field of 474 in this tough $10,000 buy-in shorthanded event to earn his first gold bracelet, the $1,136,197 top prize and 1,800 POY points. As a result, Merson jumped into a tie for 27th place in the overall POY standings with Daniel Negreanu.
Merson specializes in short-handed play, and made the unofficial final table of the brand new WSOP $2,500 four-max no-limit hold’em event earlier this summer, bubbling the final table for $70,280.
Other notables who made deep runs in this event include runner-up Keith Lehr (2nd -$701,757), Shannon Shorr (3rd – $455,362), Eddy Sabbat (4th – $300,753) and Andrew Lichtenberger (6th – $140,531).
WSOP Event 58 – $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight-or-Better
Viacheslav Zhukov won his second career bracelet when he took down the $3,000 pot-limit Omaha eight-or-better tournament, banking $330,277 and 1,260 POY points. The Russian geologist turned poker pro won a bracelet at the 2011 WSOP as well, in the $10,000 Omaha eight-or-better event. He is among the six Russians to have won a bracelet at the WSOP.
The 23-year-old defeated a stacked final table that included Scotty Nguyen (8th – $33,789), Yuval Bronshtein (6th – $57,662), Randy Ohel (5th – $75,662), David “ODB” Baker (4th – $100,820), Chris Bell (3rd – $135,858) and runner-up finisher Roch Cousineau (2nd – $204,426).
Here is a look at the top ten in the POY standings:
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