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2017 Card Player Player of the Year Race -- July Recap

A Look At The Biggest Poker Tournament Results Of The Past Month

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July is one of the most pivotal months on the live tournament circuit, with several massive events that always have a massive impact on the 2017 Card Player Player of the Year race, which is brought to you this year by the Commerce Hotel & Casino. Here is a look at the events this past month that had the biggest impact on the top of the 2017 POY leaderboard:

World Series of Poker Main Event

Scott BlumsteinEach year the World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event awards the single largest amount of Player of the Year points of any tournament. The event, which is unequivocally poker’s largest event each year in terms of total prize pool, attracted a massive field of 7,221 in 2017. This was the third biggest turnout ever for the WSOP main event, and it created a final prize pool of $67,877,400.

From that sea of players, only one could emerge victorious as this year’s world champion, and that player was Scott Blumstein. The 25-year-old poker pro from New Jersey earned $8,150,000 and a massive 3,300 in POY points for the win, enough to catapult him into sixth place in the overall standings despite having no prior POY-qualified scores this year.

Blumstein entered the final table as the chip leader, and at the end of the first two nights of final table action, he retained that advantage. By the time the event was down to three players he held roughly two-thirds of the chips in play. Daniel Ott knocked out Benjamin Pollak in third place ($3,500,000 and 2,200 points) to secure at least a runner-up finish, but was unable to mount the comeback heads-up and ultimately was eliminated in second place.

Ott, also a 25-year-old poker pro, earned $4,700,000 and 2,750 points for his deep run. This score alone was enough the see him climb into 21st place in the rankings. Benjamin Pollak moved into 33rd place on the leaderboard, having made one prior POY-qualified final table in a €1,100 turbo no-limit event at the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo.

Borgata Summer Poker Open

Joseph McKeehenWith the World Series of Poker in the books, many of poker’s biggest stars were looking to get some rest after six weeks of grueling battle on the felt. 2015 WSOP main event champion Joe McKeehen was not one of those players. He made his way straight to New Jersey for the 2017 Borgata Summer Poker Open and final tabled two events.

First he finished runner-up in a $1,090 buy-in six-max event for $22,252 and 220 POY points. Just five days later he placed second in the $2,700 buy-in $1 million guaranteed no-limit hold’em main event, earning $196,425 and 1,050 more points. He now has three titles on the year, two runner-up finishes and a third-place showing in 2017. Among his titles this year was a win in the $10,000 limit hold’em championship event for his second gold bracelet, $311,817 and 660 points.

McKeehen climbed to second place in the overall standings as a result of these latest scores, with six final tables and $917,163 in year-to-date earnings.

Aria Summer High Roller Series

Throughout the summer the Aria Poker Room hosted 18 separate high roller events as a part of their Aria Summer High Roller Series. A total of eight of those events took place in July, all of them sporting $25,000 buy-ins.

Koray AldemirSix players inside the top 20 of the POY leaderboard earned final tables finishes in events these events. Austrian poker pro Koray Aldemir made his tenth and eleventh final table finishes of the year, finishing fourth in the Aria High Roller 67 for $86,400 and 210 points and then returning the following day to place third in the Aria High Roller 68 $25,000 buy-in event for another $117,600 and 280 POY points. With more than $2.9 million in year-to-date earnings, he now sits in fifth place on the POY leaderboard.

Defending Card Player Player of the Year winner David Peters made his 12th final table of the year when he finished fourth in the same $25,000 high roller that Aldemir placed third in. Peters added $75,600 and 210 points to his totals, moving up to eighth place as a result. He is within striking distance of the top spot, giving him the chance to become the first player to ever win the POY award in back-to-back years.

Jason Koon finished second in the Aria High Roller 65 for $238,000 and 350 points and then a week later won the Aria High Roller 71 $25,000 buy-in event, defeating a field of 27 entries to win $324,000 and 336 points. This was his second title and ninth final table score of the year, bringing his to-date earnings to just less than $2.9 million and moving him into 13th place on the POY leaderboard.

Cary KatzLike Koon, Dan Smith also made two final tables and finished as the winner and as the runner-up. He took down the Aria High Roller 65 for $238,000 and 420 points. the next day he final tabled the $25,000 pot-limit Omaha event at the WSOP before returning to the Aria to place second in the Aria High Roller 72 for $162,000 and 280 points. Smith now sits in 15th place in the rankings as a result.

In the span of eight days Cary Katz made four final tables in Aria High Roller events, finishing as the runner-up once and in fourth place three times. He cashed for a combined $378,240 in the four events, earning 854 POY points along the way. Katz now sits in 18th place on the leaderboard as a result of his high roller spree in July.

Rounding out the list of POY top-twenty contenders who made Aria High Roller scores is Justin Bonomo. He placed fourth in the Aria High Roller 66 to earn $84,240 and 210 points at his 11th final table of the year. He currently occupies the third-place spot in the standings, just 66 points behind Joe McKeehen.

Here is a look at the current top 20 in the POY standings:

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 Bryn Kenney 4,162 $5,192,223
2 Joseph Mckeehen 3,907 $917,163
3 Justin Bonomo 3,841 $3,305,740
4 Nick Petrangelo 3,639 $2,765,639
5 Koray Aldemir 3,472 $2,933,810
6 Scott Blumstein 3,300 $8,150,000
7 Fedor Holz 3,272 $2,537,127
8 David Peters 3,202 $2,441,682
9 Nadar Kakhmazov 3,080 $1,039,946
10 Adrian Mateos Diaz 3,076 $2,674,243
11 Andreas Klatt 3,068 $661,609
12 Anthony Spinella 3,027 $1,285,841
13 Jason Koon 3,020 $2,889,051
14 Ben Heath 2,976 $1,059,369
15 Dan Smith 2,943 $2,024,464
16 Steve O’Dwyer 2,855 $2,417,107
17 Thomas Boivin 2,808 $517,777
18 Cary Katz 2,793 $1,212,461
19 Raffaele Sorrentino 2,784 $607,697
19 Ari Engel 2,784 $481,469