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2017 Card Player Player of the Year Race -- January Update

A Look At The Biggest Poker Tournament Results Of The Month


The first month of poker action is in the books in the 2017 Card Player Player of the Year race, which is brought to you this year by the Commerce Hotel & Casino. In recent years January has consistently been one of the busier months of the year on the live tournament circuit, with several massive poker festivals held around the globe. Here is a look at the events this past month that had the biggest impact on the 2017 POY leaderboard:

PokerStars Championship Bahamas

The poker series formally known as the “PokerStars Caribbean Adventure” is now the PokerStars Championship Bahamas, with the change coming as part of a restructuring and rebranding of PokerStars’ live poker tours for the new year. The first-ever PSC Bahamas played host to more than 90 tournaments from Jan. 6-14, once again taking place at the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas.

The first major event of the series was the $100,000 super high roller. Jason Koon topped a field of 54 entries to win $1,650,000 and
600 POY points. Charlie Carrel finished second for $1,191,900 and 500 points.

Bryn KenneyBryn Kenney, who won this event in 2016, finished seventh for $275,060 and 150 points. The very next day he outlasted 69 entries in the $50,000 single-day high roller to win another $969,075 and 612 points. Byron Kaverman and Daniel Colman joined Kenney in making both super high roller final tables.

Kenney was far from finished, though. Just two days after winning the $50,0000 buy-in he took down a $25,750 high roller for another $392,876 and 420 points. As a result of his impressive run in the Caribbean, which was bolstered by a ninth-place finish in another $25,750 event a few days later, Kenney has climbed to eighth place in the overall standings. Luc Greenwood won another $25,000 high roller event, topping a field of 159 to win $779,268 and 1,008 points.

The centerpiece of the PSC Bahamas was the $5,000 no-limit hold’em main event. A total of 738 entries were made to build a $3,376,712 prize pool. In the end, Christian Harder came to a deal with Cliff Josephy that saw him secure the title and a $429,664 payday. Harder also earned 1,824 points for the win, enough to catapult him into third place on the leaderboard. Josephy took home $403,448 and 1,520 points as the runner-up and moved into fifth place in the rankings.

WSOP Circuit Choctaw

Grant HinkleGrant Hinkle took down the 2017 World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw $1,675 no-limit hold’em main event, earning his first WSOPC gold ring and the top prize of $375,427.

In addition to the title and the money, Hinkle also earned 960 POY points. As a result he has shot up the rankings and into the 18th-place spot in the standings.

This event featured a $1 million guarantee that was easily surpassed when the tournament drew a field of 1,451 entries to create a prize pool of $2,176,500.

Hinkle, who is a WSOP bracelet winner with more than $1.5 million in live earnings, is no longer a full-time poker pro. He has stepped away from traveling the circuit year round and now only plays tournaments when he is able to get away from his desk job as a GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) consultant in Kansas City. This might make it hard for him to contend for the Player of the Year title, although Vanessa Selbst came incredibly close to winning in 2010, finishing fourth in the race despite being a full-time law student at Yale.

Aussie Millions

Nick PetrangeloIn late January the poker world made it’s way to Melbourne for the 2017 Aussie Millions festival. The first major event of the series was a $25,000 AUD high roller that drew 133 entries. James Chen took down that event to win $654,998 USD and 924 points. Nick Petrangelo, who had finished second in a $25,000 high roller in the Bahamas, placed sixth in this event for $109,166 and 308 points.

Roughly a week later Petrangelo emerged victorious in the $100,000 AUD super high roller event, defeating Mike Watson heads up for the title, the $665,734 top prize and 480 points. As a result of his impressive trifecta of high roller scores, Petrangelo has climbed into fourth place in the overall POY rankings.

Fedor Holz, who won six titles and made 15 final tables in 2016, placed third for $266,293 and 320 points. He followed that up with a fifth-place showing in the $10,000 AUD Aussie Millions main event for $254,600 and 950 points. As a result he jumped to seventh place in the standings.

Shurane VijayaramThe main event drew 725 entries this year, making it the third largest in the tournament’s history. Australian native Shurane Vijayaram won his way into the event in a $130 AUD buy-in tournament, and then managed to turn that into $1.6 million AUD by outlasting the entire field. He also earned 2,280 in his first recorded live tournament cash, enough to see him take the outright lead in the Player of the Year race.

Ben Heath finished in second place for $1 million AUD and 1,900 POY points, which moved him into second place on the POY leaderboard as well. He had taken down a $15,000 high roller at the PSC Bahamas earlier in the month for $141,440 and 288 points.

Third and fourth place finishers Tobias Hausen and Jeffrey Rossiter also scored enough POY points to join the top twenty.

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

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 Shurane Vijayaram 2,280 $1,216,000
2 Ben Heath 2,188 $901,440
3 Christian Harder 1,824 $429,664
4 Nick Petrangelo 1,628 $1,514,932
5 Tobias Hausen 1,520 $471,200
5 Cliff Josephy 1,520 $403,448
7 Fedor Holz 1,270 $520,893
8 Bryn Kenney 1,266 $1,727,391
9 Michael Vela 1,216 $259,980
10 Byron Kaverman 1,162 $1,232,560
11 Jeffrey Rossiter 1,140 $334,400
12 David Yan 1,110 $169,920
13 Michael Graffeo 1,080 $293,687
13 Robert Raymond 1,080 $243,831
15 Bridges Roe 1,072 $133,783
16 Charles Carrel 1,040 $1,349,661
17 Luc Greenwood 1,008 $779,268
18 Grant Hinkle 960 $375,427
19 James Chen 924 $654,998
20 Aleksei Opalikhin 912 $191,420