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Player of the Year Update -- Phil Ivey, Davidi Kitai and Vadzim Kursevich Move Into Top Ten

WSOP Continues to Have Huge Impact on POY Race


A total of 35 gold bracelets have already been awarded at the 2012 World Series of Poker, and as a result of the constant tournament action someone flies up the rankings almost every day in the 2012 Card Player Player of the Year race sponsored by Lock Poker. A number of WSOP events have made an impact on the race, with the biggest movers being Davidi Kitai jumping into seventh place, Phil Ivey climbing into sixth place and Vadzim Kursevich taking over the second-place position. Here is a look at the results from this week that had the biggest effect on the POY race:

WSOP Event 35 – $2,500 Mixed Hold’em

Phil Ivey moves to sixth in POY rankingsChris Tryba topped a 393-player field in the $2,500 mixed hold’em event to win his first WSOP gold bracelet, the $210,107 first place prize and 900 POY points.

Tryba overcame a tough final table, including eventual runner-up Erik Cajelais, recent bracelet winner Michael Gathy (5th – $50,640), and Phil Ivey (8th – $21,699). This was Ivey’s fifth final table appearance at the 2012 WSOP, cashing for $572,933 between June 8th and June 20th, and as a result he has moved into sixth place in the overall standings. Gathy also made jump up the POY leaderboard for his fifth-place finish, earning 375 points and moving into 20th position in the POY rankings.

Ivey had finished fifth in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. championship mere days earlier, and third in the $5,000 Omaha eight-or-better championship just days before that, earning $136,046 and 544 POY points. The 35-year-old now has year-to-date earnings of more than $2.7 million in live tournaments, the most of any player on the circuit in 2012.

WSOP Event 34 – $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Max

Davidi KitaiNaoya Kihara became the first Japanese player to capture a gold bracelet when he won the World Series of Poker $5,000 pot-limit Omaha six-max event. In addition to his first bracelet the Tokyo resident also earned the $512,029 first-place prize and 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points, moving him into 45th place in the overall POY standings.

Kihara outlasted a 419-player field in this event, topping a number of tough players on the final day including Kevin MacPhee (11th – $26,349), Joseph Cheong (9th – $34,620), Jason Dewitt (8th – $46,692), Davidi Kitai (5th – $92,064) and eventual runner-up Chris DeMaci, who earned $316,308 for his second-place finish.

Kitai earned 600 POY points for his fifth-place finish, climbing to seventh in the overall POY standings as a result.

WSOP Event 32 – $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship

David BakerDavid “Bakes” Baker topped an absolutely star-studded final table to win the WSOP $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. championship, earning his second gold bracelet, $451,779 and 780 POY points for topping a tough 178-player field.

Baker defeated John Monnette (2nd – $279,206) heads-up after outlasting a handful of other talented opponents, including Daniel Kelly (8th – $45,360), Matthew Waxman (7th – $58,093), Abe Mosseri (6th – $75,511), Phil Ivey (5th – $99,739) and Phil Hellmuth (4th – $134,056).

Kelly maintained his spot in fifth position with the 130 POY points he earned with his deep run, while Phil Ivey rocketed into the top ten, taking over the seventh-place spot with the 325 POY points he earned at this, his fourth final table of the 2012 WSOP.

WSOP Event 28 – $2,500 Four-Max No-Limit Hold’em

Brendon RubieTim Adams won the first ever $2,500 four-max no-limit hold’em event held at the WSOP, topping a tough field of 750 to win his first gold bracelet, the $392,476 first place prize and 1,368 POY points, vaulting him into 43rd place in the overall standings.

Adams defeated Australian Brendon Rubie heads-up to secure the title. For the runner-up finish Rubie was awarded $242,458 and 1,140 POY points, moving him into 13th place in the overall standings with 2,052 points.

This was Rubie’s second final table of the year, as the Sydney, Australia native had already won an Aussie Millions $1,000 AUD no-limit hold’em event for $208,340 in January. He now has year-to-date earnings of $450,798.

WSOP Event 26 – $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha

Vadzim KursevichAustin Scott topped a field of 589 players to win the $3,000 pot-limit Omaha event, taking home his first bracelet, the $361,797 first-place prize and 1,260 POY points, moving him into 54th place. Runner-up Brett Richey earned $223,492 and 1,050 POY points, which moved him into 88th place in the rankings.

The player who made the biggest move as far as the POY race was concerned, however was third place finisher in this event, Vadzim Kursevich, who climbed into second place in the overall standings with the 840 POY points he collected in addition to his $158,530 payday. Kursevich became a contender in the race when he won the European Poker Tour Deauville main event for $1,150,756 and 1,824 POY points.

Here is a look at the current top ten in the 2012 POY race:

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 Oliver Speidel 3,046 $1,767,371
2 Vadzim Kursevich 2,717 $1,355,584
3 Marvin Rettenmaier 2,552 $1,585,007
4 John Dibella 2,512 $1,781,418
5 Daniel Kelly 2,508 $766,317
6 Phil Ivey 2,495 $2,723,393
7 Davidi Kitai 2,474 $1,039,657
8 Faraz Jaka 2,360 $899,277
9 Jonathan Duhamel 2,290 $1,345,366
10 Dan Smith 2,208 $1,758,285