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2018 Player of the Year Update: Toby Lewis Takes The Lead

A Look At The Biggest Poker Tournament Results So Far In 2018


With just over a month in the books, the early contenders are staking their claims at the top of the 2018 Card Player Player of the Year leaderboard. Here is a look at the tournaments over the past several weeks that have most impacted the standings.

2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure kicked off the tournament circuit for 2018 with several massive events making waves in the Player of the Year rankings. Cary Katz kicked off the festivities by defeating a field of 48 entries to win the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 buy-in super high roller event for $1,492,340 and 600 POY points, defeating Justin Bonomo heads-up for the title.

Maria LampropulosSteve O’Dwyer took down the $50,000 super high roller for $769,500 and 510 points, while Jason Koon overcame a field of 58 to win the $25,000 single-day high roller for $421,080 and 420 points. The high roller events concluded when Chris Kruk secured the $25,000 high roller title, defeating 144 entries to win $836,350 and 1,008 points. With one other final table finsih, Kruk now sits in 16th place in the POY standings.

Maria Lampropulos outlasted a field of 582 entries to win the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $10,300 no-limit hold’em main event, becoming the first ever female PCA champion. The 36-year-old Argentinian poker pro defeated a stacked final table to secure the $1,081,100 first-place prize, the second seven-figure score of her career. Lampropulos also earned 2,100 Player of the Year points, enough to see her take control of the third-place spot on the leaderboard. Runner-up Shawn Buchanan, third-place finisher Koray Aldemir and reinging Player of the Year award winner Adrian Mateos are all among the top 20 in the standings as well, largely thanks to the POY points they earned in this event.

WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley

Hafiz KhanHafiz Khan was one of the most feared players in the online tournament poker scene, accumulating more than $3 million in earnings as ‘hafizzle’. Khan had also accumulated more than $2.5 million in live tournament earnings before deciding to take a break from poker for the last two years. He has recently decided to return to the game, and so far his comeback is going quite well.

The 43-year-old defeated a field of 599 entries to win the 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit Thunder Valley $1,675 no-limit hold’em main event for his first gold ring and the top prize of $188,686.

The 840 points he earned for the win were enough, when combined with a third-place finish he notched earlier in this same series, to move him into 14th place in the POY rankings with 1,128 total points and $224,229 in year-to-date earnings.

2018 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open

Darryll FishAt the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood in Southern Florida Darryll Fish defeated a field of 911 entries to win the 2018 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, taking home the $511,604 top prize and his first WPT title.

The 1,368 POY points Fish earned as the champion of this event were enough to catapult him into 10th place in the overall standings. Runner-up Aleksandr Shevelev now sits in 12th place after earning 1,140 points. Former WPT Legends of Poker main event champion and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Andy Frankenberger finished third for 912 points, entering into a tie with Kfir Nahum for 29th place in the rankings as a result of his deep run in this event.

Justin Bonomo took down the sizable $25,000 buy-in high roller at the series, overcoming 75 entries to win $556,873 and 588 points. Adrian Mateos finished second, and Joe McKeehen placed fourth.

2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open

Eric AfriatEric Afriat has won the 2018 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, defeating a huge field of 1,244 entries to win the $651,928 first-place prize and his second WPT title. Afriat’s previous win came in 2014, when he overcame the largest field in WPT history to win the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $1,081,184.

The 1,440 points Afriat was awarded were enough to see him climb into ninth place on the leaderboard. Runner-up finisher Justin Zaki earned 1,200 points and jumped in 11th place. Fourth-place finisher and 2015 WSOP main event champion Joe McKeehen added 720 POY points with this deep run, enough to move into 19th place in the standings.

2018 Aussie Millions

Toby LewisToby Lewis emerged victorious in the 2018 Aussie Millions $10,600 AUD buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The 28-year-old British poker pro overcame a field of 800 entries, the largest-ever turnout for this tournament, to capture the title and the first-place prize of $1,458,198 AUD ($1,156,205 USD).

Lewis also secured 2,280 POY points for the win, which was enough to see him claim the first-place spot on the leaderboard for the time being.

Stefan Huber earned $721,300 USD and 1,520 as the runner-up and now sits in fourth place in the POY rankings. Third-place finisher Espen Solaas garnered $933,325 USD and 1,520 points and now occupies the ninth-place position.

Solaas took home more money than the second place finisher because the final three players made a deal that apportioned the prize pool based on their position at the time, leaving only $75,000 AUD and the title to play for.

2018 US Poker Open

The first-ever running of the US Poker Open is still ongoing, but a number of the events have come to a conclusion and have impacted the standings in the POY race.

The first event of the series was a $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament that drew 68 entries. Justin Bonomo came out on top in the end, capturing his second title of the year at his fifth final table. Bonomo earned $190,400 and 360 POY points.

With 2,156 points and year-to-date earnings of $2,332,423 Bonomo now sits in second place on the leaderboard, behind only Lewis.

The second event of the series was a $10,000 pot-limit Omaha tournament, which was won by Mike Gorodisnky for $179,200 and 360 points. Stephen Chidwick captured back-to-back titles in the third and fourth events of the series, the $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event and the $25,000 mixed game championship. he also had placed fifth in the tournament that Bonomo won. All told he has cashed for $810,900 and earned 990 POY points so far in 2018, enough to move into 22nd place in the standings.

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

Rank Player POY Points POY Earnings
1 Toby Lewis 2,280 $1,156,205
2 Justin Bonomo 2,156 $2,332,423
3 Maria Lampropulos 2,100 $1,081,100
4 Stefan Huber 1,900 $721,300
5 Adrian Mateos 1,795 $1,083,850
6 Shawn Buchanan 1,750 $672,960
7 Koray Aldemir 1,610 $667,336
8 Espen Solaas 1,520 $933,325
9 Eric Afriat 1,440 $651,928
10 Darryll Fish 1,368 $511,604
11 Justin Zaki 1,200 $434,614
12 Aleksandr Shevelev 1,140 $331,116
12 Chul Park 1,140 $372,663
14 Hafiz Khan 1,128 $224,229
15 Benjamin Richardson 1,120 $270,252
16 Christopher Kruk 1,113 $907,930
17 Benedikt Eberle 1,080 $249,083
18 Stefan Schillhabel 1,032 $949,922
19 Joseph Mckeehen 1,014 $409,939
20 Yang Zhang 1,006 $118,372