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Card Player POY Overall Update

A Look At The Top Of The Leader Board After The World Series Of Poker Drastically Changes The POY Race

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Sam SteinThe World Series of Poker completely changes things in the Card Player Player of the Year race every year. This year those changes were felt during the final stretch of preliminary events this summer at the Rio. There are now three new players in the top five on the leader board and a new front runner for the award heading into the final months of 2011.

Sam Stein has scored a number of big cashes in 2011 and many of them came at the WSOP. Ironically, it was one of his smallest cashes that allowed him to leap over Galen Hall for the top spot in the POY race. Stein was four points behind Hall after his gold bracelet victory in the $3,000 pot-limit Omaha event. He then cashed in 24th place in the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha championship to take home 54 points and he is now the leader in the race with a total of 4,334.

Elsewhere in the top five Maxim Lykov jumped into third place after his first gold bracelet win in a $1,000 no-limit hold’em event that added 1,440 points to his 2011 total of 3,876 points. Lykov has jumped into the top five on the strength of his five final-table appearances this year.

Another player who grabbed a spot in the top five is Chris Moorman. He can now claim fourth place in the standings with 3,875 points after two top-three finishes he has booked during a successful WSOP run that had him in the running for that POY award as well until Ben Lamb’s deep run in the WSOP main event.

Lamb was the third player to join the top five in fifth place and he also made his jump thanks to a first bracelet win. Lamb won the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha championship event that Stein cashed in for 24th place. Lamb garnered quite a few more points for his victory, banking 2,160 to grow his 2011 total to 3,636. Lamb is also in a great position to make a run to the top of the leader board as a member of the 2011 November Nine. You can read more about those scenarios below.

Ben LambA Look at the Player of the Year Points up for Grabs for the November Nine

During the slow stretch of tournament poker action in August it is a good time to turn an eye to November, when the largest prizes of the 2011 POY race will be awarded. The winner of the 2011 WSOP $10,000 no-limit hold’em main event final table will take home 3,600 points. Those are enough points to put a player with no prior 2011 POY experience in sixth place as of press time.

That many points would still put you 36 points behind November Nine member Ben Lamb, who comes into November in fifth chip-position with 20,875,000. If Lamb were to claim the world championship not only would he be the WSOP Player of the Year, but he would be the run-away favorite to win the Card Player POY award as well with 7,236 points. Last year, Thomas Marchese won the POY award with 6,738 points so Lamb could make the final stretch of the race a little less interesting than previous years with a world title.

Every player who has advanced to November is guaranteed at least 300 points so Lamb unofficially holds 3,936 points as of the end of the summer stretch of the WSOP, which would be good for third place overall.

Only three other November Nine players hold POY points at press time and they are Phil Collins (828 points), Pius Heinz (360 points), and Eoghan O’Dea (216 points). Even the highest-ranked player among this trio would need a third-place finish (2,400 points) at the final table to enter the top 10 and make a serious challenge for the POY lead.

This is all speculation at this point, but the presence of Lamb in the November Nine has made the main event final table a major factor in the 2011 POY race. Not even current 4,000-point club members Sam Stein (4,334 points) and Galen Hall (4,284 points) are safe if Lamb makes a deep run in November.

Here is a look at the POY Points that will be awarded in November:

First Place: 3,600 points
Second Place: 3,000 points
Third Place: 2,400 points
Fourth Place: 1,800 points
Fifth Place: 1,500 points
Sixth Place: 1,200 points
Seventh Place: 900 points
Eighth Place: 600 points
Ninth Place: 300 points

Here is a look at the current totals for November Nine contenders in the POY Race:

Ben Lamb: 3,636 points (Fifth place)
Phil Collins: 828 points (802nd place)
Pius Heinz: 360 points (1,167th place)
Eoghan O’Dea: 216 points (1,961st place)
Matt Giannetti: 0 points
Martin Staszko: 0 points
Anton Makiievskyi: 0 points
Badih Bounahra: 0 points
Sam Holden: 0 points