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Stephen Chidwick Wins 2019 Card Player Player of the Year Award

The 30-Year-Old Poker Pro Banks $7.3 Million, Improves On His Second-Place Finish In 2018 To Become The First-Ever British POY Winner

by Erik Fast |  Published: Feb 26, 2020

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Stephen Chidwick has finished inside the top 50 in the Card Player Player of the Year race standings, sponsored by Global Poker, for five consecutive years now. The 30-year-old poker pro from the aptly named town of Deal, England has proven to not only be one of the most consistent players in the game, he has also managed to improve his final year-end POY ranking each and every year since 2015. In 2018 he finished in second place, which left him little room for growth. Incredibly, Chidwick was able to improve on that runner-up finish and emerge victorious as the Card Player Player of the Year for 2019.

Over the past 12 months, Chidwick made a total of 22 POY-qualified final tables, winning five titles. Among those was his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet, which saw him take home more than $1.6 million along with the coveted hardware as the champion of the $25,000 buy-in pot-limit Omaha event.

2019 Card Player Player of the Year Stephen ChidwickAll told, Chidwick cashed for more than $7.3 million in POY-qualified events in 2019, bringing his career live earnings to $33,439,159. As a result, Chidwick now sits in seventh on poker’s all-time money list.

Chidwick proved himself to be a world-class player in a number of tournament disciplines this year, with deep runs on both the ultra-high stakes international circuit and in the larger field, smaller buy-in main events. While he primarily focused on no-limit hold’em, he also found big scores in pot-limit Omaha and short deck events.

Chidwick’s ascension to the top of the game is not only evidenced by his numbers in 2019. Earlier this year, a survey of the top players in the game saw a jury of Chidwick’s peers vote him the best player in the world. A total of 24 of the 61 players questioned gave Chidwick their vote, with the next highest candidate receiving 7. This vote of confidence from the other top tournament pros of the world, combined with the results and statistics, demonstrates that Chidwick truly is the Player of the Year for 2019.

A Look At Chidwick’s 2019 Campaign

It took less than two weeks for Chidwick to accrue seven-figures’ worth of earnings in 2019. Chidwick’s year began with a trio of scores at what looks to be the final running of the now discontinued PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Chidwick took third and second place in back-to-back $50,000 buy-in single-day high roller events and then managed an eighth-place showing in the $100,000 super high roller. Those three cashes earned him $1,084,322 and 783 POY points, putting him in contention right away.

Chidwick's second title won at the 2019 USPOChidwick didn’t join the top ten in the POY standings, though, until February. He followed up his three final-table appearances at the PCA with four final-table scores at the U.S. Poker Open series. He came out on top with two titles, taking down the kickoff $10,500 no-limit hold’em event and a $26,000 pot-limit Omaha tournament. Throughout the series, he accumulated a total of $705,950 and 1,336 points, enough to see him move into eighth place on the leaderboard.

March saw Chidwick make his way to South Korea for the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Jeju festival. He finished second from a field of 25 entries in the $1,000,000 HKD ($127,389 USD) no-limit hold’em high roller event, earning $1,151,779 USD and 300 points. It was Chidwick’s only tournament result for a three-month span, as he took an extended break to spend time with his wife Marine and their newborn daughter, who joined the family in the spring.

Chidwick’s paternity leave extended through the first few weeks of the WSOP. The series began in late May, but Chidwick didn’t play his first event until nearly three weeks into June. Ironically, after roughly a decade of grinding every tournament he could reasonably enter at the Rio, Chidwick finally secured a bracelet (pictured below) during the summer in which he skipped nearly half of the events on the schedule. In the first event he entered, Chidwick outlasted a field of 278 entries to win the $25,000 pot-limit Omaha high roller event for the hardware, the $1,618,417 top prize and a massive haul of 1,512 POY points.

The summer months would see Chidwick secure four more POY-qualified final table scores. Just a few days after winning at the WSOP, Chidwick finished second in a $10,000 event at the ARIA Summer High Roller Series. His next deep run came in the Card Player Poker Tour Venetian DeepStack Championship Poker Series $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. He navigated his way through the 564-entry field, ultimately finishing in third for $245,199 and 1,120 points. Chidwick had managed to improve on his performance in this event in 2018, which saw him place fourth from a total of 547 entries. His latest run in this event was enough to catapult him into the outright lead in the 2019 POY race standings.

Chidwick’s final two scores of the summer took place at the 2019 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series London. He finished seventh in the £100,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event for $663,680 USD and 330 points, and then added another $195,444 USD and 170 points with a sixth-place showing in a £50,000 buy-in short deck event.

Chidwick also added a fourth-place finish in the largest-ever buy-in poker tournament in history: the £1,050,000 buy-in Triton Millions Charity Invitational. The massive payday of $5,380,200 he earned in the event didn’t count towards his POY success because the event was not officially open to the public. The score does still count towards his total career earnings.

Chidwick after securing his third PLO title of the yearThe top spot on the POY leaderboard already belonged to Chidwick, but he managed to extend his lead with an impressive showing at the inaugural British Poker Open high roller tournament series. Chidwick cashed in four of the ten events held, emerging victorious in the £26,000 pot-limit Omaha event for his fourth title of the year. Chidwick cashed for just shy of $420,000 USD and 529 POY points across the
four BPO final tables.

November saw Chidwick add another three POY-qualified final-table finishes to his resume. He made two final tables at the Poker Masters high roller series in Las Vegas, finishing fifth in the $10,500 big-bet mix event and fourth in the $52,000 no-limit hold’em main event. Toward the end of the month he placed seventh in a $10,300 high roller event at the partypoker LIVE Caribbean Poker Party festival. The three scores added a total of $286,600 and 554 points to Chidwick’s totals for the year.

Chidwick earned his fifth title of the year by overcoming a field of 44 entries to win the €50,000 European Poker Tour Prague no-limit hold’em high roller event to earn $805,538 and 510 points. As the year wound down, he secured his 22nd final-table finish of the year by placing fifth in a $25,000 high roller event at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio, earning $76,000 and 140 points. The points proved crucial, as there were a few contenders hot on his heels as the year came to a close. Alex Foxen ultimately finished just 130 points behind Chidwick, in large part due to his win in the Five Diamond main event in late December. But Chidwick was able to hold onto his lead as 2019 came to a close, earning this year’s Player of the Year award.

Chidwick has now earned an average finish of just below third place in the POY rankings over the last three years, having placed seventh hin 2017, second in 2018, and now first this year. Perhaps in 2020 the incredibly consistent Chidwick can make a run at becoming the first-ever back-to-back POY winner.

Stephen Chidwick’s 2019 POY-Qualified Scores

Date Event Buy-In (USD) Place Earnings (USD) POY Points
1/9/19 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Single-Day High Roller I $50,000 3rd $423,780 408
1/12/19 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Single-Day High Roller II $50,000 2nd $423,822 255
1/12/19 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller $100,000 8th $236,720 120
2/14/19 U.S. Poker Open Event #1 – No-Limit Hold’em $10,000 1st $216,000 540
2/16/19 U.S. Poker Open Event #3 – No-Limit Hold’em $10,000 3rd $113,750 360
2/17/19 U.S. Poker Open Event #4 – Short Deck $10,000 6th $25,200 100
2/19/19 U.S. Poker Open Event #6 – Pot-Limit Omaha $25,000 1st $351,000 336
3/9/19 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Jeju $1,000,000 HKD NLH $127,389 2nd $1,151,779 300
6/22/19 World Series of Poker Pot-Limit Omaha Eight-Max $25,000 1st $1,618,417 1,512
6/26/19 ARIA Summer High Roller Series $10,000 2nd $93,600 200
7/20/19 CPPT Venetian DeepStack Championship Main Event $4,775 3rd $245,199 1,120
8/5/19 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series London £100,000 NLH $125,900 7th $663,680 330
8/8/19 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series London £50,000 Short Deck $62,950 6th $195,444 170
9/4/19 British Poker Open Event #2 – Pot-Limit Omaha $13,054 3rd $58,080 160
9/5/19 British Poker Open Event #3 – No-Limit Hold’Em $13,054 7th $27,830 75
9/7/19 British Poker Open Event #5 – No-Limit Hold’Em $32,323 4th $84,700 126
9/9/19 British Poker Open Event #7 – Pot-Limit Omaha $32,323 1st $248,655 168
11/9/19 Poker Masters Event #5 – Big Bet Mix $10,000 5th $41,600 125
11/14/19 Poker Masters Event #10 – No-Limit Hold’em Main Event $50,000 4th $170,000 204
11/23/19 Caribbean Poker Party No-Limit Hold’em High Roller $10,300 7th $75,000 225
12/11/19 European Poker Tour Prague Super High Roller $55,153 1st $805,538 510
12/19/19 Five Diamond Poker Classic High Roller $25,000 5th $76,000 140

Here is a look at the final top 20 standings in the 2019 POY Race:

Rank Player POY Points POY Titles POY Final Table POY Earnings
1 Stephen Chidwick 7,484 5 22 $7,345,794
2 Alex Foxen 7,354 2 20 $5,729,532
3 Sean Winter 6,679 4 17 $3,942,037
4 Sam Soverel 6,352 7 26 $5,561,333
5 Kahle Burns 5,804 4 15 $4,118,003
6 Bryn Kenney 5,762 5 8 $9,709,698
7 Cary Katz 5,729 4 26 $8,037,828
8 Almedin Imsirovic 5,692 4 21 $4,610,836
9 Joseph Cheong 5,447 3 12 $1,458,245
10 Rainer Kempe 5,333 5 16 $3,706,408
11 Manig Loeser 5,231 2 14 $2,008,950
12 Paul Phua 5,147 0 12 $11,497,582
13 Anthony Zinno 4,862 1 12 $1,492,779
14 Christopher Hunichen 4,845 1 7 $4,057,428
15 Dario Sammartino 4,800 0 4 $6,639,238
16 Nicholas Pupillo 4,775 2 15 $836,654
17 Jeremy Ausmus 4,764 0 8 $1,528,283
18 Shannon Shorr 4,728 2 9 $1,146,974
19 Adrian Mateos 4,672 3 6 $2,659,429
20 Sam Greenwood 4,550 3 12 $7,618,551
20 David Jackson 4,550 4 12 $758,776

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
2017 Adrian Mateos
2018 Jake Schindler
2019 Stephen Chidwick