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2018 Player of the Year Update: Toby Lewis Extends His Lead

A Look At The Biggest Poker Tournament Results Of The Past Month


With two months now officially in the books, the picture the top of the leaderboard is starting to take shape in the 2018 Card Player Player of the Year race. Here is a chronological look at the tournaments that have most impacted the standings over the past several weeks.

US Poker Open

Stephen ChidwickFebruary kicked off with a new series, a high-roller festival called the U.S. Poker Open. There were eight events held over a ten-day span, featuring a number of disciplines including no-limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha and mixed games. At the conclusion of the series, the US Poker Open Championship trophy was awarded to the player who cashed for the most money throughout the series: Stephen Chidwick.

The 28-year-old British poker pro cashed in five of the eight tournaments and was the only player to win two of the events during the series. All told Chidwick accumulated $1,256,600 across this series, also earning 1,620 POY along the way.

With the 150 points and $78,400 he earned with a runner-up finish in a $10,000 high roller at Aria at the start of March Chidwick has now climbed into eighth place in the POY rankings with 1,770 total points.

Chidwick was not the only player in the POY top ten who benefitted from a strong showing at the USPO. Justin Bonomo won the first event of the series, a $10,000 buy-in high roller, for $190,400 and 360 points. This was his second title and fifth final-table finish of 2018, and he climbed into second place in the standings as a result with $2,332,423 in year-to-date earnings and 2,156 points.

WPT Fallsview Poker Classic

Mike LeahMike Leah came out on top in the 2018 World Poker Tour Fallsview Poker Classic $5,000 CAD no-limit hold’em main event, defeating a record turnout of 517 entries to win $451,821 CAD ($352,985 USD), his very first WPT title and 1,680 POY points. This win alone was enough to catapult him into 11th place on the POY leaderboard. The Canadian poker pro from nearby Innisfil, Ontario has had incredible success at the Fallsview Poker Classic, having won a title at this series in three out of the last four years, each time in the $1,100 CAD preliminary event.

Runner-up Ryan Yu has also moved inside the top twenty in the standings. Yu had finished eighth in the $1,100 CAD event for $23,723 USD and 160 points. The $235,326 and 1,400 points he earned for finishing second in the main event just a few days later were enough to move him into 15th place.

Tim Rutherford joined Yu in making both the $1,100 CAD and the main event final tables. He finished third in both tournaments, cashing for a collective $254,514 and 1,760 points. He now occupies the ninth-place spot on the leaderboard.

partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany

Viktor BlomViktor Blom defeated a total field of 927 entries to win the 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Germany €5,300 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event for €850,000 ($1,054,000 USD) and his first live tournament title in six years.

The online nosebleed-stakes cash game player better known as “Isildur1” now has over $2.7 million in lifetime live tournament cashes. The 27-year-old poker pro from Sweden earned 1,824 POY points for the win, enough to see him shoot up the standings and into fifth place.

Pavel Plesuv was awarded $930,000 USD and 1,520 points and the runner-up finisher and now sits in a tie for 16th place in the standings.

Fourth-place finisher Joao Simao had in incredble run at this series, finishing second and fourth respectively in back-to-back €25,500 buy-in high rollers before making his deep run in the main event. All told he cashed for $791,538 and 1,472 POY points. The Brazilian climbed into 19th place in the rankings as a result.

WPT L.A. Poker Classic

Toby LewisA total of 493 entries were made in the 2018 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. Dennis Blieden emerged victorious from that sea of players to capture the $1,000,000 first-place prize and 1,800 POY points. As a result he shot soared into sixth place in the overall standings.

Incredibly it was none other than 2018 Aussie Millions main event champion Toby Lewis who finished as the runner-up. Less than a month after topping the largest ever field in the biggest poker tournament in Australia for $1,156,205 and 2,280 POY points, Lewis navigated this sizable field to finish second for $600,630 and another 1,500 points. Lewis was already in the lead in the POY race, but now he has a massive lead of 1,624 points over his nearest competitor.

To put Lewis’ 3,780 total points into perspective, that number whould have been good for 27th place in the final standings in 2017. And Lewis still has nearly 10 months of poker left to play. He is surely going to be a player to watch in the coming months.

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

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 Toby Lewis 3,780 $1,756,835
2 Justin Bonomo 2,156 $2,332,423
3 Maria Lampropulos 2,100 $1,081,100
4 Stefan Huber 1,900 $721,300
5 Viktor Blom 1,824 $1,054,000
6 Dennis Blieden 1,800 $1,000,000
7 Adrian Mateos 1,795 $1,083,850
8 Stephen Chidwick 1,770 $1,335,050
9 Tim Rutherford 1,760 $254,514
10 Shawn Buchanan 1,750 $672,960
11 Mike Leah 1,680 $352,985
12 Francois Billard 1,638 $287,418
13 Koray Aldemir 1,610 $667,336
14 Stefan Schillhabel 1,592 $1,433,066
15 Ryan Yu 1,560 $259,049
16 Espen Solaas 1,520 $933,325
16 Pavel Plesuv 1,520 $930,000
16 Brian Altman 1,520 $213,285
18 Joao Simao 1,472 $791,538
20 Eric Afriat 1,440 $651,928