Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine

Player of the Year Update -- Ivey, Kovalchuk & Gathy Climb

This Week's WSOP Events That Made The Biggest Impact On The POY Race


The 2012 World Series of Poker has been running for a month now, with $77,942,246 in prize money already awarded through 44 events. The WSOP is making a big impact on the 2012 Card Player Player of the Year race sponsored by Lock Poker. The players to climb the highest in the past week are Oleksii Kovalchuk, Phil Ivey, Michael Gathy, and Kevin Calenzo. Here is a look at the results from June 20st – 27th that had the biggest effect on the POY race:

WSOP Event 42 – $2,500 Omaha/Stud Eight-or-Better

Kovalchuk climbs to 18th placeUkrainian Oleksii Kovalchuk won the $2,500 Omaha/seven-card stud eight-or-better, outlasting a field of 393 to capture his second career World Series of Poker bracelet, the $228,014 first-place prize and 900 POY points. As a result he climbed to 18th in the overall standings. The 22-year-old finished third in the 2011 POY race, making five final tables and winning three titles for a year-end total of $1,555,344 in earnings.

So far this year, he has made three final tables, winning this event and the Italian Poker Tour San Remo main event for $229,163, bringing his lifetime earnings to more than $2.1 million.

Kovalchuk did not have an easy path to this title, however, as he had to beat out the likes of Jeff Lisandro (10th – $16,325), ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad (6th – $36,093), Yuval Bronshtein (5th – $48,387), Mark Gregorich (3rd – $90,829) and eventual runner-up George Danzer (2nd – $140,825)

WSOP Event 37 – $2,500 Eight-Game Mix

After 26 previous World Series of Poker cashes and numerous close calls, David Baker won the $2,500 eight-game mix event to capture his first gold bracelet, as well as the $271,312 first-place prize and 1,080 POY points, moving him into 46th place in the overall rankings.

The 39-year-old professional from Katy, Texas topped a field of 477 entrants and a stacked final table that included opponents like Chris Viox (8th – $24,188), Donnacha O’Dea (5th – $56,277), Kevin Calenzo (3rd – $106,564) and eventual runner-up Greg Mueller (2nd – $167,637).

Calenzo’s third place finish moved him into 27th place in the overall standings. This was his third final table finish this year, including a win in the WSOP Circuit Caesars Palace main event in January.

WSOP Event 35 – $2,500 Mixed Hold’em Limit/No-Limit

Ivey jumps into 6thLike Kovalchuk, Chris Tryba also topped a 393-player field, this time in the $2,500 mixed hold’em event, winning his first WSOP gold bracelet, the $210,107 first place prize and 900 POY points.

Tryba overcame a stacked final table that included with runner-up Erik Cajelais (2nd – $129,766), 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, including third place and runner-up finishes. With this unbelievable run in the span of two weeks, and a massive win in the Aussie Millions $250,000 super high roller, Ivey has moved into sixth place in the Player of the Year race, compiling $2,723,393 in tournament earnings already in 2012.

Michael Gathy also made jump up the POY leaderboard for his fifth-place finish, earning 375 points and moving into 20th position in the overall standings.

Here is a look at the top ten in the 2012 Player of the Year 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