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2012 Player of the Year Update -- Antonio Esfandiari Climbs To Sixth

Ravi Raghavan, Shawn Buchanan and Andrew Lichtenberger Also Moved Up POY Leaderboard

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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 Five Diamond World Poker Classic

Ravi Raghavan into 13th placeLess than a week after winning a $2,500 prelim for $150,810 and 468 POY points, Ravi Raghavan went on to top the 503-entry field in the 2012 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,300 no-limit hold’em re-entry main event at Bellagio. In addition to his first WPT title, the 26-year-old pro also earned $1,268,571 and 2,100 POY points. With these two wins and another final table under his belt, Raghavan has climbed to 13th in the overall standings with 2,835 total POY points and year-to-date earnings of $1,501,029.

Raghavan defeated Shawn Buchanan heads-up for the title, sending the Canadian home with $746,502 and 1,750 POY points. This was his third final table of 2012, with a win in a $10,000 turbo six-max no-limit event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Buchanan now its in 26th place in the POY rankings.

Antonio EsfandiariAntonio Esfandiari made the final six in this event for the third year in a row, finishing fourth this time around for $329,339 and 1,050 POY points. Esfandiari has had a career year in 2012, and as a result he has moved into sixth in the POY rankings.

Esfandiari made the first of his four final tables this year at the WSOP, finishing third in a $3,000 no-limit hold’em shootout for $151,613. He followed that up by winning the biggest buy-in tournament in poker history, the $1 million Big One for One Drop. For the historic win Esfandiari earned the record-breaking $18.3 million first place prize, overtaking the lead on the all-time tournament earnings list. He kept up his winning ways in the fall, emerging victorious in a €1,000 no-limit hold’em event at the WSOP Europe for $163,362. All told, “The Magician” has accumulated 3,330 POY points and $18,990,987 in year-to-date earnings.

Andrew Lichtenberger finished fifth in this event for $234,197 and 875 POY points. This was his sixth final table of the year, bringing his year-to-date earnings to $558,207
and catapulting him into 32nd in the rankings.

World Series of Poker Circuit Atlantic City

Adam Teasdale topped a 616-entrant field in the $1,675 buy-in World Series of Poker Circuit Atlantic City main event at the Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, earning his first gold ring, 840 POY points and $194,000.

This is the aspiring poker pro from Wisconsin’s largest tournament score to date, and his first POY-qualified final table. He defeated Wade Woelfel heads-up to secure the title, sending the Minnesota native to the rail with $120,018 for his runner-up performance.

World Poker Tour Prague

The €3,300 buy in PartyPoker World Poker Tour Prague main event drew 567 entries, building a total prize pool of just over €1.6 million. 26-year-old Marcin Wydrowski of Poland emerged as the winner, taking home €325,000 ($423,957) and 1,260 POY points. Wydrowski is the first Polish player ever to win a World Poker Tour main event.

Here is a look at the top twenty in the POY race:

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 Antonio Esfandiari 3,330 $18,990,987
7 Phil Hellmuth 3,210 $4,293,213
8 John Dibella 3,064 $1,901,113
9 Oliver Speidel 3,046 $1,767,371
10 Anthony Gregg 2,984 $1,004,155
11 Ole Schemion 2,956 $1,663,559
12 Michael Mizrachi 2,942 $2,155,179
13 Ravi Raghavan 2,835 $1,501,029
14 Vadzim Kursevich 2,829 $1,379,987
15 Joe Kuether 2,797 $585,234
16 Jesse Sylvia 2,770 $5,294,344
17 Faraz Jaka 2,720 $1,009,964
18 Davidi Kitai 2,690 $1,086,561
19 David Baker 2,689 $700,386
20 Noah Schwartz 2,678 $1,076,035