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Thomas Marchese Wins 2010 Card Player POY Award

Marchese Wins the 2010 POY Award with 6,738 Points Overall

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Thomas MarcheseAll major live tournament poker action in 2010 has come to a close and Thomas Marchese sits atop the Card Player Player of the Year standings with 6,738 points. He wins the POY award for the first time after defeating a number of talented challengers in Dwyte Pilgrim, Sorel Mizzi, and Vanessa Selbst, who all posted more than 4,500 points in a competitive year for the POY race. Marchese will receive a trophy for his win and a $10,000 seat in the 2011 World Series of Poker main event from Card Player.

Here is a look at the final standings in the Card Player Player of the Year Race:

1: Thomas Marchese — 6,738
2: Dwyte Pilgrim — 5,576
3: Sorel Mizzi — 4,851
4: Vanessa Selbst — 4,608
5: John Racener — 4,493
6: Harrison Gimbel — 4,080
7: Andy Frankenberger — 4,010
8: Jeffrey Papola — 3,870
9: John Juanda — 3,717
10: Jonathan Duhamel — 3,600

Consistency Throughout 2010 led to Marchese POY Victory

Marchese won the POY award by making 11 final tables and winning two tournament titles along with $2,068,658 in prize money. He scored the first tournament cash of his career on February 5, 2010, when he finished in third place in the $3,500 no-limit hold’em championship event at the Borgata Winter Open that scored him $190,027 and 960 POY points. He never looked back after that, racking up 16 cashes in his first year on the tournament trail. That he was able to win the POY award during what is effectively his rookie year makes it all the more impressive. Marchese was also very consistent, cashing in seven months of the year, spreading out his success from early February to late November.

Here is how his overall output ranked in the standings for each major category in 2010:

Money Won: $2,068,658 (10th overall – fifth amongst non-November Nine players)
Titles: 2 (Tied for 14th overall)
Final Tables: 11 (Tied for third overall)

Marchese would have won the POY award in four of the last five years thanks to the strong total output that got him close to 7,000 points overall. The only POY winner he would not have topped in the last five years is 2009 POY winner Eric Baldwin. Here is a look at the point totals for the winners from the last five years:

2010: Thomas Marchese – 6,738
2009: Eric Baldwin – 6,994
2008: John Phan – 6,704
2007: David Pham – 6,562
2006: Michael Mizrachi – 5,989

Big Wins and a Late Push Stave off Strong Competition

Marchese became a serious contender for the POY award at the end of February, when he won 1,920 points and $827,648 for his first tournament victory. He topped a field of 872 players at the first-ever PokerStars North American Poker Tour $5,000 main event at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a big win for the young tournament professional, but by the time he was done compiling tournament cashes in 2010 this single large cash represented just 28 percent of his final POY total.

Marchese proved once again that the best path to a POY title is to book a big tournament victory along with consistent cashes throughout the year. His NAPT win gave him a lead over Dwyte Pilgrim, who booked seven POY cashes in January and February (not to mention a 43rd-place finish in the NAPT Venetian main event that Marchese won). Pilgrim would be a thorn in his side for most of the year. Pilgrim took the lead with a victory at the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open $3,500 main event in September to grow his total to 5,576 points.

Luckily for Marchese, these would be the final POY points that Pilgrim would record in the race, and by the end of November Marchese was back out in front thanks to two final-table appearances, at the WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals $10,000 main event (third place – 960 points) and the NAPT L.A. bounty shootout $5,000 event (fifth place – 160 points).

Vanessa Selbst came within striking distance in November thanks to her second tournament title of the year (Partouche Poker Tour Cannes $10,000 main event), but that would be her final cash of the year and she settled at 4,608 points overall. Sorel Mizzi challenged down the stretch as well, and heading into the penultimate day of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December he was in a position to give Marchese his largest scare. Mizzi fell in ninth place though, and the 200 points he earned were a far cry from the thousands that could have been won at the televised final table. Mizzi ended the year with 4,851 points.

By the time the tournament trail reached its final stop of the year at the WSOP Circuit $10,000 Eastern Regional Championship at the Harrah’s in Atlantic City Marchese had wrapped up his POY win. Card Player would like to congratulate Marchese, the 2010 Player of the Year, he will be profiled in an upcoming feature cover story in a future issue of Card Player Magazine.