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2012 Player of the Year Update -- Davidi Kitai and Joe Kuether Climb

WPT Mazagan and Bellagio Prelims Effect POY Top Twenty


Here is a look at the ones that made the biggest impact on the 2012 Card Player Player of the Year race, sponsored by Lock Poker.

World Poker Tour Mazagan

Davidi KitaiA total of 146 players turned out for the 38,500 Moroccan dirham buy-in no-limit hold’em World Poker Tour Mazagan main event, building a prize pool of $546,635 when converted to USD. A number of European tournament circuit regulars made deep runs, but in the end the last player standing was Giacomo Fundaro. For the win the Italian earned $166,704 and 432 POY points.

Belgium’s Davidi Kitai finished fourth, earning $46,904 and 216 POY points and moving into 16th position in the overall rankings. This was his fourth final table of the year, including winning the massive European Poker Tour Berlin main event for $930,816 and 1,824 points. Kitai is one of five players to win an EPT_,_WPT and World Series of Poker event. His year-to-date earnings are in excess of $1 million.

Other notables who made deep runs include Bruno Fitoussi (6th – $28,304), Paul Tedeschi (7th – $23,394), Guillaume Darcourt (8th – $18,715) and Bruno Lopes (11th – $10,282).

WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic Prelims

The WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic main event kicks off this week, along with a $25,000 no-limit high roller, but plenty of prize money and POY points have already been awarded at the Bellagio during the preliminary events.

Joe KuetherJoe Kuether climbed from 15th to 13th in the overall POY standings as a result of making his incredible 12th final table of the year, finishing seventh in a $1,080 no-limit hold’em ‘position poker’ event. Kuether has strung together an incredible year, winning four titles and cashing for $585,234 to-date.

2012 World Series of Poker main event fifth-place finisher Jeremy Ausmus won the $78,572 first-place prize, 432 POY points and his second career tournament title for emerging victorious in a $1,080 no-limit event with 270 entrants. As a result of these two scores Ausmus has moved into 57th place in the overall standings.

Dwyte Pilgrim outlasted a field of 140 to win the kickoff $1,080 tournament, pocketing $43,453 for the victory.

2010 Card Player Player of the Year Thomas Marchese won his eighth career title by emerging victorious in a $2,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event, earning $51,117 while outlasting a final table that featured fellow pros Justin Young and David Sands.

Here is a look at the current POY top twenty:

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 Gregory Merson 5,100 $9,664,179
2 Dan Smith 4,625 $3,538,078
3 Kyle Julius 3,842 $2,155,885
4 Joseph Cheong 3,590 $1,062,822
5 Marvin Rettenmaier 3,530 $1,943,043
6 Phil Hellmuth 3,210 $4,293,213
7 John Dibella 3,064 $1,901,113
8 Oliver Speidel 3,046 $1,767,371
9 Anthony Gregg 2,984 $1,004,155
10 Ole Schemion 2,956 $1,663,559
11 Michael Mizrachi 2,942 $2,155,179
12 Vadzim Kursevich 2,829 $1,379,987
13 Joe Kuether 2,797 $585,234
14 Jesse Sylvia 2,770 $5,294,344
15 Faraz Jaka 2,720 $1,009,964
16 Davidi Kitai 2,690 $1,086,561
17 David Baker 2,689 $700,386
18 Noah Schwartz 2,678 $1,076,035
19 Phil Ivey 2,635 $3,546,334
20 Brock Parker 2,584 $691,770