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Player of the Year Top 10 Populated by Pros

First Quarter of the Year Is Over and It's Still Anyone's Title


About a quarter of the year is over, and the Card Player Player of the Year (POY) race is shaping up to be a battle of the hardened pros. James Van Alstyne, J.C. Tran, Bill Edler, Ted Forrest, John Hennigan, J.J. Liu, and Randy Holland all are in the top 10 with at least 1,500 points, but with so many months to go, all of these players have a ton of work to do to win the title.

Van Alstyne has had a great start in 2007. With six cashes and a feature spot on top of the POY leader board with 2,848 points, he has set himself up to possibly win the whole thing. His ascension is similar to last year's POY champion, Michael Mizrachi, who leaped to the top of the list with a few big wins early in the year. So far this year, Van Alstyne has made four final tables and won $573,022 in tournaments.

Van Alstyne moved past J.C. Tran into the top spot by finishing fourth in the Bay 101 Shooting Star championship. Superstar Tran has 2,064 points and has won $1.3 million so far this year. Most of that came from his second-place finish in the L.A. Poker Classic (LAPC) main event, for which he collected about $1.2 million.

Tran also finished sixth at the World Poker Open.

Bill Edler has been a tournament regular since around 2005 and, like Van Alstyne, he's never started a year the way he has started 2007. Edler has cashed five times for more than $704,000. He won the heads-up championship that took place at Crystal Casino ($215,000), took seventh at the LAPC ($189,000), and finished sixth at the Bay 101 Shooting Star ($160,000). He's third on the leader board with 1,936 points.

Ted Forrest sits right behind Edler with 1,925 points. All but 5 of those points came from winning the Bay 101 Shooting Star. He won $1.1 million for that victory.

John Hennigan trails Forrest by 5 points. He won all of his 1,920 points (as well as $1.6 million in cash) by winning the Winter Poker Open. He also cashed in the $5,000 no-limit hold'em event there for a little more than $7,000.

J.J. Liu is the only woman in the top 39 players on the POY list. Her second-place finish at the Bay 101 Shooting Star earned her $600,000 and 1,600 points, which is good for the seventh slot on the list. She also cashed in the $1,500 no-limit hold'em event at the LAPC for $11,030.

Right behind Liu is Randy Holland, with 1,614 points. Holland, whose list of tournament wins at goes 14 pages deep, already has made eight final tables this year. He cashed five times alone at the LAPC. He won the $1,000 pot-limit hold'em event at the World Poker Open for $51,971, which was good for 408 points. He also earned 408 points for finishing third in the $1,000 no-limit hold'em shootout event at the LAPC.

If he keeps that up, he'll nickel and dime his way right into the lead. If he wins a major event, he will be tough to catch, as long as he continues cashing in any way that he can.

Please visit's page dedicated to the Player of the Year race by clicking here.



15 years ago

They better run in fear, I plan on starting in June and still taking down POY. :)