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Card Player's Player of the Year Update: Notable Pros Win In Europe

David Williams and Michael Benvenuti Win in England, Craig Casino Wins Largest Heartland Poker Tour Event

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David WilliamsHere is a look at the Card Player Player of the Year movement from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5. Be sure to check back each Wednesday for another update from the world of tournament poker.

European Poker Tour London

The European Poker Tour London festival at the Hilton Metropole features one of the EPT’s biggest main events, but it also plays host to 30 other events. Some recognizable names have won some of these preliminary events. Michael Benvenuti took down the first event of the series, a £1,000 no-limit hold’em event that drew 150 players. For the win, Benvenuti took home $61,738 and 360 POY points.

David Williams defeated Dave “The Devilfish” Ulliot heads-up to take down the £1,000 no-limit hold’em/pot-limit Omaha event for $27,040 and 264 POY points. The event drew 108 players.

Currently the two largest events of the EPT London festival are in their later stages, and both have the possibility of making some changes to the top of the 2011 Player of the Year leader board.

In the £20,000 high-roller, Sam Stein started the second day as the chip leader. Stein entered this event second overall in the POY race, and Stein needs only to finish in seventh place or better to retake the overall lead. Some other notable players in the event who could become threats in the POY race include November Niner Phil Collins, Sam Trickett and current 17th place resident Byron Kaverman.

The £5,000 main event could also have an impact on the POY race. The event drew 691 players, creating a prize pool of £3,351,350 and a first prize of £750,000. Steve O’Dwyer is currently amongst the final nine players in that event, and with a win in this event dolling out an impressive 1920 POY points, he could move inside the top 20 in the overall standings.

The Heartland Poker Tour Black Hawk

The Heartland Poker Tour’s first event, held in Minnesota in 2005, created a $100,000 prize pool. They have come a long way since then, and hit a major milestone this week with their first million dollar prize pool at the Golden Gates Casino and Poker Parlor in Black Hawk, Colorado. The $1,500 main event drew a field of 668 players for a total prize pool of $1,035,650. In the end, Craig Casino took down the event and was awarded $293,270 and 960 POY points.

Here are the payouts and POY points from the final table:

1. Craig Casino — $293,270 (960 POY points)
2. Mary Flurkey — $146,633 (800 POY points)
3. Dan Hirleman — $87,217 (640 POY points)
4. Jimmy Frisk — $67,345 (480 POY points)
5. Phil Martin — $57,108 (400 POY points)
6. Darren Hicks — $47,172 (320 POY points)

Looking Ahead

There a couple of big chances to pick up POY points over the next week. The EPT London main event and high roller will be completed, but there are plenty of other events that will be going on in the coming days.

The World Series of Poker Europe is kicking off this Friday, Oct. 7 in Cannes, France. The series will feature eight events, including the €10,400 main event.

Stateside, the Festa al Lago tournament series is continuing at the Bellagio Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. The series will play host to 17 events, including a $5,000 championship event.

The TJ Cloutier Choctaw Poker Challenge is also getting underway at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. The series features 29 events, with a marquee $1,500 championship event starting Oct. 7.

A Look At The Standings

Rank Player Name POY Points 2011 Earnings
1 Marvin Rettenmaier 4,442 $625,693
2 Sam Stein 4,334 $1,784,380
3 Galen Hall 4,284 $3,004,198
4 Eugene Katchalov 4,048 $2,450,542
5 Maxim Lykov 3,876 $1,543,680
6 Chris Moorman 3,875 $1,187,674
7 Erik Seidel 3,867 $6,275,637
8 Matthew Waxman 3,852 $1,077,958
9 Alessio Isaia 3,828 $936,697
10 Oleksii Kovalchuk 3,780 $1,030,602