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David Peters Wins 2016 Card Player Player of the Year Award

The 29-Year-Old Poker Pro Made 22 Final Tables, Cashing For More Than $7.3 Million This Year

by Erik Fast |  Published: Mar 01, 2017


For the majority of 2016 it looked like Fedor Holz was going to run away with this year’s Card Player Player of the Year award, but with just 11 days remaining in the year David Peters was able to surpass him with a few clutch performances down the stretch and secure the 2016 POY title. The 29-year-old poker pro from Toledo, Ohio ultimately made 22 POY-qualified final tables in 2016, becoming the first player to make more than 20 final tables in a single year in over a decade.

“It’s been an amazing year. Winning Player of the Year was always a goal of mine, and passing Fedor after he put together one of the best year’s of all time was incredible,” Peters told Card Player. “I’m not ready for 2016 to end.”

With five titles won and $7,370,255 in live tournament earnings in 2016, Peters proved that he was the most consistent tournament player in the game whether playing in tough small-field super high roller events or in massive no-limit hold’em tournaments with thousands of entrants. The 8,601 Player of the Year points he earned in 2016 were easily the most for any player in the past decade. For the sake of comparison 2015 POY winner Anthony Zinno earned 6,488 points, 2014 champ Dan Colman garnered 5,498, 2013 winner Daniel Negreanu scored 5,140 and 2012 POY winner Greg Merson had 5,100 points.

“The past couple years I’ve been working so hard on my game, playing so much and getting a lot of hands in but also doing work away from the table,” said Peters. “I use programs to work on post-flop strategies and preflop shove ranges. I also watch training videos from sites like Run It Once and I’m always talking out hands with friends.”

Peters has been a top tournament player for years now, having finished fourth in the POY race back in 2013. But this year the commitment and hard work payed off in a big way. He now has more than $14.8 million in career tournament earnings, enough to see him join the top 20 on the all-time money list.

David PetersPeters got his year off to an incredible start when he finished runner-up in the $200,000 buy-in World Poker Tour Philippines super high roller just four days into the new year. The $2,309,000 he earned for making it down to heads-up play from a field of 52 entries constituted the largest score of his tournament career.

Peters then made his way to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure where he made three total final tables. First he notched two runner-up finishes in smaller preliminary events before placing fifth in the $100,000 buy-in super high roller for $461,340 and 250 points. By the end of the first month of the year he had already accrued more than $2.9 million in earnings and 750 POY points.

The next major score for Peters came in the Aussie Millions $250,000 AUD buy-in super high roller. He finished second for $622,465 and 500 points.

The spring saw Peters keep up his success in high roller events, making two final tables in Aria High Roller $25,000 buy-in events before heading to Monte Carlo for a profitable European Poker Tour Grand Final run. Peters finished eighth in the €50,000 super high roller event there for $147,117 and then placed third in a €10,300 bounty event.

Peters got his summer off on the right foot by taking down a $25,000 high roller at Bellagio, topping a field of 39 entries to secure the $393,120 top prize, 420 POY points and his first title of the year.

David Peters wins his first WSOP gold braceletJust two days after taking home that title Peters outlasted a field of 1,860 players to win his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet in a $1,500 no-limit hold’em event. Peters also earned $412,557 and 1,080 POY points for the win.

Peters rounded out the summer months with a deep run in the €2,200 Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona main event. He finished third from a starting field of 663 entries to add $122,967 and 560 points to his 2016 totals.

November and December were the months that Peters really put together an incredible run to surpass Fedor Holz (who had six titles and 15 final table finishes) and capture this year’s POY title. Peters made eight POY-qualified final table scores and won three titles in the final two months of the year. He first took a lucrative trip to Asia, finishing eighth in the $500,000 HKD ($64,465 USD) Triton High Roller Series event for $215,462 and 102 points and then winning the Asia Championship of Poker $250,000 HKD ($32,224 USD) high roller $635,076 and 588 points. In that event he topped a field of 71 entries to capture his third title of the year.

Peters rounded out his incredible November by making back-to-back scores in Aria High Roller events. He finished second in the Aria High Roller 46 $25,000 buy-in for $168,480 and 350 points and then took down the $50,000 Aria Super High Roller 13 for $511,970 and 510 points.

2016 Player of the Year David PetersPeters made four final tables in December, starting with a ninth-place finish in a WPT Five Diamond $5,250 no-limit hold’em preliminary event. He then finished fifth in a $25,000 high roller at the same series for $122,880 and 210 points.

The 2016 EPT Prague was the final event on in the tour’s history, as the EPT was set to rebrand in 2017. The €5,300 no-limit hold’em main event drew a massive field of 1,192 players. Peters came incredibly close to becoming the last ever EPT champion, ultimately finishing in third place to earn $413,339 and 1,280 points. This was the single largest POY point score Peters earned all year, and it was the one that finally saw him leapfrog Fedor Holz to take the outright lead in the POY standings with less than two weeks remaining before the end of the year.

Peters secured his claim on the POY title when he took down his fifth title at his 22nd final table. He topped a field of 26 in the Aria High Roller 48 $25,000 buy-in event to win $293,232 and 420 points just two days before New Years.

Peters never stopped grinding in 2016. He made huge poker scores on four continents, showing incredibly commitment and consistency along the way.

“I’m very passionate about poker,” said Peters. “I’m always going to keep playing. I don’t think I’ll be traveling to the extent that I am now in ten years, necessarily, but I think I will keep playing and working at it. I do love the game of poker. I love getting better, regardless of how much money I’m making. I love working at it and trying to get better, testing myself against such incredible competition.”

As a result of Peter’s hard work and dedication he has earned the title of 2016 Card Player Player of the Year.

“To join the list of players who have won this award before is awesome,” concluded Peters. “It’s been a goal of mine throughout my career. I mean, first and foremost I’m out here trying to win tournaments to make money, but this is definitely something I’ve wanted to achieve for quite a while.”

David Peters Top Ten Biggest Scores of 2016

Date Tournament Buy-In (USD) Place Payout POY Points
Jan 04, ’16 WPT Philippines Super High Roller $196,000 2 $2,309,000 500
Nov 13, ’16 ACOP HKD$250,000 Super High Roller $32,224 1 $635,076 588
Feb 01, ’16 Aussie Millions AUD$250,000 Super High Roller $177,043 2 $622,465 500
Nov 19, ’16 Aria Super High Roller 13 $50,000 1 $511,970 510
Jan 08, ’16 EPT PCA $100,000 Super High Roller $100,000 5 $461,340 250
Dec 19, ’16 EPT Prague €5,300 Main Event $5,920 3 $413,339 1280
Jul 05, ’16 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em $1,500 1 $412,557 1080
Jul 02, ’16 Bellagio High Roller 8 $24,000 1 $393,120 420
Dec 28, ’16 Aria High Roller 48 $25,000 1 $293,232 420
Nov 06, ’16 Triton Super High Roller Series HKD$500,000 $64,465 8 $215,462 102

Here is a look at the final standings in the 2016 POY Race:

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 David Peters 8,601 $7,370,255
2 Fedor Holz 7,058 $16,288,714
3 Justin Bonomo 6,520 $4,148,354
4 Ari Engel 5,653 $1,831,640
5 Jake Schindler 5,528 $3,519,396
6 Cary Katz 5,160 $3,311,073
7 Sam Soverel 4,989 $2,501,347
8 Chance Kornuth 4,838 $2,282,181
9 Dan Smith 4,799 $5,063,362
10 Tom Marchese 4,685 $3,750,324
11 Connor Drinan 4,637 $3,226,731
12 Ankush Mandavia 4,460 $2,250,438
13 Bryn Kenney 4,299 $5,171,203
14 Gordon Vayo 4,190 $5,248,348
15 Adrian Mateos Diaz 4,113 $1,684,112
16 Charles Carrel 4,100 $2,035,512
17 Jason Koon 4,053 $2,753,236
18 Nick Petrangelo 4,023 $1,992,339
19 Ivan Luca 3,958 $1,768,778
20 Joseph Mckeehen 3,843 $3,013,550

Card Player Player of the Year Winners:

Year Player Name
1997 Men Nguyen
1998 T.J. Cloutier
1999 Tony Ma
2000 David Pham
2001 Men Nguyen
2002 T.J. Cloutier
2003 Men Nguyen
2004 Daniel Negreanu
2005 Men Nguyen
2006 Michael Mizrachi
2007 David Pham
2008 John Phan
2009 Eric Baldwin
2010 Tom Marchese
2011 Ben Lamb
2012 Greg Merson
2013 Daniel Negreanu
2014 Daniel Colman
2015 Anthony Zinno
2016 David Peters