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2017 Card Player Player of the Year Race Update -- Adrian Mateos Takes The Lead

A Look At The Movement Atop The POY Leaderboard Over The Past Week


With the shot clock expiring on the 2017 Card Player Player of the Year race presented by The Commerce Hotel & Casino, we have a nailbiter of a battle going between the players at the top of the POY leaderboard. Without further ado, here is a look at the tournaments over the past week that most impacted the standings.

PokerStars Championship Prague Side Events

Adrian MateosSpanish poker pro Adrian Mateos has become a superstar in 2017. He has made 22 final tables, winning four titles and cashing for $5,664,635 along the way. The 23-year-old from Madrid has come up clutch in the final few weeks of the year, making five final tables over the span of the first two weeks of December, earning $848,364 and 1,398 POY points across those five scores. Mateos has been a POY contender for much of the year, but this run saw him flirt with overtaking the outright lead in the race.

His most recent deep run saw him finish fourth in a €25,500 high roller at the PokerStars Championship Prague festival for $159,064 USD and 210 points on December 13th. This score was the one that pushed him over the top, bringing his point total to the year to 7,220. As a result, he has surpassed Bryn Kenney to take the outright lead in the POY standings by 47 points. Kenney has held the lead since April of this year, having put together a historic run of 23 final table finishes with five titles and $8,201,128 in live cashes. Will Kenney find another final table finish to regain the lead before time runs out, or will Mateos thin lead be enough to secure him the POY title in 2017?

David PetersMateos was far from the only player to make moves as a result of side events at the PSC Prague. Reigning Card Player Player of the Year champion David Peters is putting up an impressive effort to defend his 2016 win. Peters took down his third title of 2017, winning a €2,150 buy-in no-limit hold’em turbo event for $60,180 and 324 points.

Peters made 22 final tables in 2016 and currently has 18 final table scores this year. He now sits in sixth place in the
rankings with 5,034 points and $3,139,160 in year-to-date earnings.

Britain’s Stephen Chidwick also managed to climb a few places in the standings as a result of some success in side events in Prague. Chidwick started off by finishing fourth in another €25,500 high roller for $165,200 and 210. Just three days later he placed fourth in a smaller €2,150 buy-in side event for another $23,718 and 180 points at his 13th final table of 2017, moving into seventh place on the leaderboard with 4,912 points and $3,451,860 in earnings on the year.

Benjamin PollakFrance’s Benjamin Pollak placed third in the 2017 WSOP main event for $3,500,000 and 2,200 points back in July. He made his fifth final table finish of the year in the €5,200 ‘hyper-turbo- no-limit hold’em event in Prague for $65,101 and 200 points. As a result of this latest score he climbed into tenth place on the leaderboard with 4,660 points and $4,931,902 in earnings on the year.

Pollak may have the fewest final tables made of any player in the top ten, but several of his scores have come in huge events. He made it down to the final three from a field of 7,221 in the WSOP main event and also finished third from 557 entries in a €10,300 event at the PSC Barcelona. His lone high roller final table of the year saw him finish as the runner-up in the €25,000 buy-in at the WSOP Europe for $538,928 and 700 points.

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

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 Adrian Mateos 7,220 $5,664,635
2 Bryn Kenney 7,173 $8,201,128
3 Fedor Holz 5,875 $6,367,213
4 Koray Aldemir 5,510 $4,105,519
5 Justin Bonomo 5,144 $4,362,250
6 David Peters 5,034 $3,139,160
7 Stephen Chidwick 4,912 $3,451,860
8 Jason Koon 4,859 $3,835,191
9 Steffen Sontheimer 4,782 $6,812,332
10 Benjamin Pollak 4,660 $4,931,902
11 Mikita Badziakouski 4,579 $4,558,290
12 Rainer Kempe 4,559 $3,002,132
13 Dan Smith 4,449 $4,031,694
14 Ari Engel 4,405 $768,353
15 Jake Schindler 4,396 $6,000,021
16 Darren Elias 4,290 $1,169,729
17 Raffaele Sorrentino 4,224 $1,621,325
18 Cary Katz 4,083 $1,840,961
19 Alex Foxen 4,025 $1,520,713
20 Steve O’Dwyer 3,983 $4,147,919

Mateos photo credit: Neil Stoddart / PokerStars. Peters photo credit: Joe Giron / WPT.