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2015 Card Player Player of the Year Update -- Ivan Luca and Ben Zamani Join Top Five

Jason Mercier and Dario Sammartino Also Move Into Top 20


The World Series of Poker has reached its halfway point, in terms of events, and although there is still a long way to go the Series has already had a major impact on the 2015 Card Player Player of the Year race. Here’s a look at the biggest tournament results from the past seven days at the Rio:

2015 WSOP Event No. 20 – $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

Benjamin Zamani A total of 1,844 players turned out for event no. 20 at the 2015 World Series of Poker, a $1,500 no-limit hold’em tournament, building a total prize pool of $2,489,400.

In the end the lion’s share of that was awarded to Benjamin Zamani, who emerged victorious to capture his first gold bracelet, the $460,640 first-place prize and 1,080 Player of the Year points.

Zamani has now made a total of five final tables in 2015, most recently finishing runner-up to Barry Hutter in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em shootout event at the WSOP less than a week earlier.

With 2,801 POY points and $785,647 in year-to-date earnings so far Zamani has rapidly ascended to fourth place in the overall POY standings.

2015 WSOP Event No. 30 – $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em

Ivan LucaIvan Luca seems to be 2015’s breakout young player. The 23-year-old Argentinian poker pro has made six final tables so far this year, with his latest score being the the crowning jewel of his burgeoning career: Luca topped a field of 2,150 players in WSOP event no. 30, a $1,000 no-limit hold’em tournament.

For the win the 23-year-old from Buenos Aires earned his first WSOP gold bracelet, the $353,391 first-place prize and 1,080 POY points. As a result of this huge win Luca has catapulted into second place on the overall POY leader board with 3,117 points and $1,172,535 in year-to-date earnings.

In March Luca finished runner-up to David Peters in the €10,300 eight-max no-limit high roller at the European Poker Tour Malta festival, earning $433,504 and 1,000 POY points after navigating his way through a field of 304 players only to fall just short heads-up. With $1.3 million in lifetime live earnings Luca already sits in third place on the the Argentinian all-time earnings list behind Jose Ignacio “Nacho” Barbero and Leo Fernandez.

2015 WSOP Event No. 32 – $5,000 Six-Max NLH

Jason MercierJason Mercier won his third WSOP gold bracelet in one of the toughest no-limit hold’em fields of the year, the $5,000 six-max. Mercier topped a field of 550 players to win the $633,357 first-place prize and 1,680 POY points.

This was Mercier’s first no-limit hold’em bracelet win, with his two previous titles coming in pot-limit Omaha tournaments. Mercier’s lifetime live earnings have climbed to $14,349,763 as a result of this most recent title run, making him 12th on the all time earnings list.

He has made four final tables in total in 2015, earning 2,270 points in total to date. As a result he has climbed to 10th place in the overall POY rankings.

Joining Mercier in making a big move up the leader board was fourth-place finisher in this event Dario Sammartino. The Italian earned $163,604 and 840 points for his sixth final table finish of the year, climbing into 18th place as a result.

Here is a look at the current top twenty in the POY standings:

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 Anthony Zinno 4,816 $1,657,890
2 Ivan Luca 3,117 $1,172,535
3 Taylor Paur 2,994 $1,422,274
4 Benjamin Zamani 2,801 $785,647
5 Joe Kuether 2,791 $1,307,454
6 Dzmitry Urbanovich 2,598 $2,568,415
7 Adrian Mateos Diaz 2,376 $1,276,805
8 Kevin Schulz 2,308 $1,494,177
9 Michael Wang 2,274 $678,079
10 Jason Mercier 2,270 $796,217
11 Jean Montury 2,232 $817,303
12 Erik Seidel 2,230 $3,663,798
13 Bryn Kenney 2,223 $1,236,504
14 Paul Volpe 2,181 $749,900
15 Mike Leah 2,140 $785,695
16 Manny Stavropoulos 2,100 $1,270,283
17 Javier Zarco 2,040 $909,965
18 Dario Sammartino 1,970 $1,325,753
19 Nick Petrangelo 1,960 $879,524
20 Scott Seiver 1,950 $2,368,868