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2017 Card Player Player of the Year Race -- September Recap

A Look At The Biggest Poker Tournament Results Of The Month


With summer in the rearview mirror, the weather may be cooling down but the action is heating up in the 2017 Card Player Player of the Year race, which is brought to you this year by the Commerce Hotel & Casino. Here is a look at the events from the first month of Fall that had the biggest impact on the top of the 2017 POY leaderboard.

Poker Masters

Steffen SontheimerThe 2017 Poker Masters was held at Aria in Las Vegas and featured four $50,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournaments and a series-ending $100,000 buy-in event. Whichever player cashed for the most money across these five events would be awarded a custom Poker Masters purple jacket to signify their accomplishment. In the end, the player who secured that honor was German poker pro Steffen Sontheimer. He cashed in four of the five events, winning two titles and cashing for $2,733,000 along the way. Sontheimer garnered a total of 1,578 Player of the Year points across his four cashes. With more than $4.7 in yeat to date earnings and nine total final table finishes on the year Sontheimer climbed to 22nd place in the overall standings.

The first of the five high roller tournaments of this series kicked off on September 13. The $50,000 buy-in tournament drew 51 entries, with Sontheimer finishing fourth for $204,000. Nick Schulman emerged victorious in the end, earning $918,000 and 510 points. Top POY contenders Koray Aldemir and Adrian Mateos finished sixth and seventh in this event, earning 170 and 128 POY points each. This was Aldemir’s lone cash in this series, but it was his 15th final table finish of the year. It further secured his hols on the second-place spot on the POY leaderboard.

Mateos made one more final table at the Poker Masters, finishing fifth in the second event of the series. This was his 12th final table finish of the year. As a result of his incredible consistency, the young Spanish pro has moved into 13th place in the POY rankings.

Bryn KenneyIn the second event, Sontheimer outlasted a field of 50 entries to win $900,000. He defeated Fedor Holz heads-up for the title, sending his fellow German wunderkind to the rail with $550,000 and 425 points. Jake Schindler finished third for $312,000 and 340 points at his 11th final table of the year.

The third tournament of the series was the lone event Sontheimer did not cash in. POY race leader Bryn Kenney emerged victorious in that one, securing the title, the top prize of $960,000 and 510 POY points. This was Kenney’s 18th final table finish, and it brought his year-to-date earnings to more than $7.2 million. With 6,204 points earned so far, Kenney is well ahead of the pack as the outright leader in the 2017 Player of the Year race.

The fourth and final $50,000 buy-in saw Brandon Adams come out on top, with Sontheimer finishing fifth for $117,000. Top POY contenders Justin Bonomo, David Peters and Jake Schindler all also cashed. This was Bonomo’s 12th final table finish of the year, but he was not yet done at the Poker Masters. David Peters finished third for $273,000 and 340 points. This marked the 15th final table finish of 2017 for Peters, who won the 2016 Card Player Player of the Year award. He currently sits in seventh place on the leaderboard as a result and has a real chance to become the first player to ever win the award in back-to-back years. Jake Schindler made his 12th final table of the year with this score, making his third of September alone, including a win in a $25,000 high roller at Aria at the beginning of the month. Schindler now sits in 10th place in the standings as a result.

Justin BonomoThe series-ending $100,000 got underway on Sept. 18, drawing a field of 36 entries. Steffen Sontheimer came out on top in the end, earning $1,512,000 and 600 points. Fedor Holz scored $504,000 and 400 points as the third-place finisher. Holz climbed into sixth place as a result of this latest cash, with nine final tables finishes and $3,591,127 in year-to-date earnings. He has two titles under his belt this year, both of which came in super high roller events at Aria back in May.

Justin Bonomo placed fifth for $216,000 and 250 points. This was his 13th final table of 2017 and it brought his earnings so far this year to $3,697,240. Like Holz, Bonomo’s two titles came in high roller events at Aria early in the summer. Bonomo is currently holding down the third-place spot on the leaderboard. He finished third in the 2016 POY race, and is in prime position to improve on that finish this year.

WPT Borgata Poker Open

Guo Liang Chen has won the 2017 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, outlasting a field of 1,132 total entries to capture the title and the $789,058 first-place prize. This was by far the largest score of his life, with his biggest previous cash being for only $13,858.

Chen also earned 1,440 POY points as the champion of this event. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, but it was large enough on its own to see him climb to 164th place in the standings.

Cliff JosephyCliff Josephy finished fourth in this event for $199,294 and 600 POY points. Josephy has now made five final tables so far in 2017, cashing for $813,977 along the way. By far the largest score so far for the man known to much of the poker community by his online screen name ‘JohnnyBax’ came when he finished second in the PokerStars Championship Bahamas $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event in the Bahamas. He earned $403,448 and 1,520 POY points in that tournament. With his most recent score in this event he was catapulted into 15th place in rankings.

Joespehy was one of online poker’s biggest stars during the poker boom of the early 2000’s. His biggest live poker achievements include winning two WSOP gold bracelets and finishing third in the 2016 WSOP main event for $3,453,035, which accounts for nearly half of his career live tournament earnings of just over $7 million.

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

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 Bryn Kenney 6,204 $7,268,839
2 Koray Aldemir 4,956 $3,882,181
3 Justin Bonomo 4,346 $3,697,240
4 Raffaele Sorrentino 4,224 $1,621,325
5 Jason Koon 4,124 $3,100,301
6 Fedor Holz 4,097 $3,591,127
7 David Peters 4,002 $2,914,385
8 Joseph Mckeehen 3,907 $917,163
9 Benjamin Pollak 3,760 $4,327,873
10 Jake Schindler 3,646 $5,503,771
11 Nick Petrangelo 3,639 $2,765,639
12 Stephen Chidwick 3,602 $2,537,698
13 Adrian Mateos 3,584 $3,095,821
14 Cary Katz 3,579 $1,624,961
15 Cliff Josephy 3,348 $813,977
16 Scott Blumstein 3,300 $8,150,000
17 Dan Smith 3,198 $2,216,464
18 Nadar Kakhmazov 3,080 $1,039,946
19 Matt Berkey 3,071 $830,667
20 Andreas Klatt 3,068 $661,609