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Card Player POY Update -- Thomas Marchese Holds Lead with Two Major Events Remaining

Marchese Extends his Lead – Mizzi Jumps to Third – Racener Races into the Top 10

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Thomas MarcheseHere is a look at current standings in the Card Player Player of the Year Race:

1: Thomas Marchese — 6,738
2: Dwyte Pilgrim — 5,576
3: Sorel Mizzi — 4,785
4: Vanessa Selbst — 4,608
5: John Racener — 4,493
6: Harrison Gimbel — 4,080
7: Jeffrey Papola — 3,870
8: Andy Frankenberger — 3,730
9: John Juanda — 3,717
10: Jonathan Duhamel — 3,600

Marchese Increases his Lead Thanks to NAPT LA Bounty Shootout and Five Diamond World Poker Classic

The PokerStars North American Poker Tour Los Angeles $5,000 no-limit hold’em bounty shootout event attracted many of the largest names in poker in a field of 81 players on November 16 and 17 but it came down to a showdown between two friends to decide the tournament title. Reigning Player of the Year Eric Baldwin defeated Justin Young heads up to take home the top prize worth $157,280 and 384 points for the win. Young was awarded $26,000 and 320 points as the runner up.

The exciting tournament was important in the 2010 POY race because Thomas Marchese finished in fifth place to add $24,000 and 160 points to his 2010 totals. He followed that up with another POY score at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in early December. Marchese won a $1,000 no-limit hold’em with rebuys event at Bellagio for his second tournament win of the year. He took home $45,958 in prize money and 252 points.

He now holds 6,738 points overall and he leads the race by a margin worth 1,162 points over Dwyte Pilgrim (5,576 points) heading into the final weeks of the year. Marchese has now made 11 final tables for the year and he has won $2,068,658 in prize money at POY events.

The POY battle will come down to the wire and there are just two major point opportunities remaining, the €5,300 PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague main event, and the $10,000 World Series of Poker Circuit Eastern Regional Championship event.

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Awards Thousands

The World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,000 no-limit hold’em main event attracted a large field consisting of 438 players and it crowned a champion on December 8. The turnout created large POY gains for the players that made a deep run in the event. Among them was POY contender Sorel Mizzi, who was awarded 200 points for his ninth-place finish. This took his total for the year to 4,785 points, which was enough to surpass Vanessa Selbst for third place overall.

Antonio Esfandiari took home the top prize in the tournament worth $870,214 along with his second WPT title, and 2,400 POY points. Other huge points were scored by runner-up Andrew Robl (2,000 points), and third-place finisher Vanessa Rousso (1,600 points).

It was fourth-place finisher and current World Series of Poker main event runner-up John Racener who made the most significant gain in the POY race. He added 1,200 points to his total and he now holds 4,493 overall, which is good for fifth place in the standings. The bulk of his points came from the November Nine appearance (3,000 points) and he added his additional points thanks to a final table run at WSOP Europe (fifth place — $7,395 pot-limit Omaha event), and another deep run at the WSOP this summer (21st place — $10,000 pot-limit Omaha world championship).

Rounding out the final table to make a six-pack of poker professionals at Bellagio were Kirk Morrison, who took home 1,000 points in fifth place, and Ted Lawson, who took home 800 points.

EPT Barcelona Awards Big Points despite Thanksgiving Schedule

The 2010 PokerStars European Poker Tour Barcelona €5,300 no-limit hold’em main event was a testament to the international popularity of poker. Despite the majority of the tournament taking place during Thanksgiving weekend, which resulted in low attendance by U.S. players (38 participated) the tournament still attracted a large field of 758 players and created a prize pool worth €3,790,000.

The eventual champion was 22-year-old Swedish player Kent Lundmark. He took home the top prize worth €825,000 and became the sixth Swedish player in history to win an EPT title. Lundmark also took home a nice POY prize worth 1,920 points but it is a little late in the game for anyone to make a run at the POY title considering the major contenders have more than 5,000 points. There were two other players that took home four-figure POY scores in Spain and they included runner-up Jesus Cortes Lizano (1,600 points) and third place-finisher Konstantin Puchkov (1,280 points).