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2015 Card Player Player of the Year -- Nick Petrangelo Closing The Gap

Joseph McKeehen and Erik Seidel Also Climbed This Week

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With the holidays just around the corner some of the last major events of the year have recently wrapped up as we approach the end of the 2015 Card Player Player of the Year race. Here is a look at the tournaments that made the biggest impact on the POY standings over the past seven days:

World Poker Tour Alpha8 Las Vegas

Nick PetrangeloThe final $100,000 buy-in of 2015, the WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas, attracted 45 entries to build a $4,414,500 prize pool. Only the top seven players made the money, with the lion’s share going to eventual champion Fedor Holz. For the win the German poker pro earned $1,589,219 and 600 Card Player Player of the year points. This was his second title and ninth final table of the year, and he moved into 48th place in the POY rankings as a result.

The runner-up in this event is also a top POY contender. Nick Petrangelo was already in third place in the standings, but his second-place finish for $1,015,335 and 500 POY points brought him within 44 points of Joe Kuether, who currently sits in second.

Petrangelo has made 11 final tables in 2015, with wins in a $5,300 prelim at the PokerStars Caribbean Advneture and in a $3,000 no-limit hold’em shootout event at the World Series of Poker for his first gold bracelet. With 6,026 total points and $3,362,396 in year-to-date earnings Petrangelo is having a career year. In fact, his point total would have been enough to secure him the Player of the Year award each of the last three years.

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event

Kevin EysterThe 2015 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,400 no-limit hold’em main event drew 639 entries, the second largest in the tournament’s 14 year history. As a result the prize pool swelled to $6,198,300. Kevin Eyster navigated his way though the massive field to win his second WPT title and the $1,587,382 first-place prize.

In addition to the title and the prize money Eyster was also awarded 2,100 Player of the Year points, enough to move him into 72nd place in the overall standings even though this was his first POY-qualified score of the year. The poker pro from Colorado now has over $4 million in career live tournament earnings.

Ben Yu finished third for a $607,433 payday, the largest of his career. He has made a total of five POY-qualified final tables this year, including a win in the WSOP $10,000 limit hold’em championship event for his first bracelet. The 1,400 POY points he earned for this latest score were enough to move him into 40th place in the overall standings.

Aria High Roller XXI

Joseph McKeehen The Aria High Roller XXI $25,000 no-limit hold’em event drew 37 entries on Dec. 20th, creating a prize pool of $888,000. Nearly half of that ended up going to David Peters, who came out on top to earn $426,240 and 420 POY points.

Peters topped a star-studded final table that included the likes of reigning WSOP main event champion Joseph McKeehen (5th – $35,520), hall of famer Erik Seidel (4th – $71,040), two-time bracelet winner Nick Shulman (3rd – $133,200) and high-stakes regular Isaac Haxton (2nd – $222,000).

McKeehen and Seidel both made moves inside the top 20 of the POY leader board as a result of this event. The 175 points McKeehen earned at his fourth final table of the year moved him into 11th in the rankings, with 3,923 points and $7,810,170 in year-to-date earnings.

Seidel was at his 12 final table of the year. The 210 points he earned brought his totals for 2015 to 3,340 points and $4,983,119 in total earnings, enough to see him rise to 17th in the standings.

Here is a look at the current top 20 in the POY standings:

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 Anthony Zinno 6,632 $3,442,769
2 Joe Kuether 6,070 $2,084,691
3 Nick Petrangelo 6,026 $3,362,396
4 Byron Kaverman 5,342 $3,008,957
5 Benjamin Zamani 4,561 $1,095,924
6 Steve O’Dwyer 4,400 $4,550,025
7 Rainer Kempe 4,392 $1,508,065
8 Jason Mercier 4,294 $1,896,195
9 Taylor Paur 3,984 $1,971,944
10 Dzmitry Urbanovich 3,978 $3,958,885
11 Joseph Mckeehen 3,923 $7,810,170
12 Mario Javier Lopez 3,898 $1,204,412
13 Mustapha Kanit 3,860 $2,259,859
14 Kevin MacPhee 3,710 $1,795,306
15 Ivan Luca 3,625 $1,533,916
16 Igor Yaroshevskyy 3,396 $1,045,372
17 Erik Seidel 3,340 $4,983,119
18 Jack Salter 3,331 $784,954
19 Paul Volpe 3,275 $1,003,036
20 Nipun Java 3,240 $603,262