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2018 Card Player Player of the Year Update: Stephen Chidwick Takes The Lead

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


After the first quarter of 2018 it looked like Toby Lewis had a chance to hold the lead in 2018 Card Player Player of the Year race for much of the year. Just a month later there have been some major shakeups near the top of the leaderboard, with a number of big events concluding in recent weeks that have had a huge impact on the standings. Here is a look at the key live tournaments of April.

2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona High Roller Events

There were several massive high roller events at the 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona series in early April. The opening weekend of the tournament festival was highlighted by two €25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em high roller events that both drew sizable fields.

The first €25,000 buy-in event attracted a total of 88 entries, building a final prize pool of $2,628,069 USD. In the end Andreas Eiler came out on top, earning $861,000 and 672 POY points. Other POY contenders who made the final table included runner-up Rainer Kempe, who earned $553,500 and 560 points, and reigning Player of the Year Adrian Mateos, who finished fourth for $250,920 and 336 points. Neither of those players were done for the month, though, so look for more on them later.

Davidi KitaiThe second €25,000 high roller of the series drew an even larger field of 90 entries to build a $2,687,798 prize pool. In the end it was three-time WSOP bracelet winner Davidi Kitai who emerged victorious with the top prize of $861,000 and 756 points.

Justin Bonomo earned $73,800 and 126 points for finishing eighth. Jake Schindler placed sixth for $110,700 and 189 points while Adrian Mateos added another $264,450 and 378 points. The young Spanish star now has made five final tables in 2018, with 2,509 points and $1,599,220 in earnings on the year. He currently sits in seventh place as a result.

Jake SchindlerJake Schindler wasted no time getting back into action, improving on his sixth-place finish by taking down the €100,000 super high roller for $2,170,000 and 600 points. He defeated Stephen Chidwick heads-up for the title, sending him to the rail with $1,364,000 and 500 points. More on both on Chidwick later in the article, though.

Schindler, who made another small final table in a side event in Spain, has climbed into 12th place in the overall rankings with 2,241 points and $3,473,200 in earnings. He has made nine final tables and won three titles. Later on in April he won two $25,00 buy-in high roller events at Aria, but the tournaments each only drew nine entries and did not qualify for the POY race due to insufficient prize pools.

2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona Main Event

Pascal LeFrancoisThe 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona €10,300 main event featured a massive €10,000,000 guarantee, which was easily surpassed when a total of 1,175 entries were made to grow the final prize pool to €11,397,500. 31-year-old Canadian poker pro Pascal LeFrancois who emerged victorious with the title and the first-place prize of €1,700,000 ($2,108,000 USD). He also earned 2,400 POY points for the win, enough to see him catapult into seventh place on the overall POY leaderboard.

Fresh off his high roller win Davidi Kitai survived all the way to the final seven players in this event before he was sent to the rail with €325,000 ($403,000 USD). He now sits in 43rd place in the standings.

Stephen ChidwickDominik Nitsche finished fourth for €800,000 ($992,000 USD) and 1,200 POY points. This was his fifth final table finish of the year, and this huge score was enough to see him climb into sixth place in the POY standings.

Not satisfied with his runner-up finish in the €100,000 super high roller just four days earlier, Stephen Chidwick finished third in this event for $1,240,000 and another 1,600 points. This was his tenth final table finish of the year, with two titles won along the way. With 4,710 total POY points and $5,479,663 in year-to-date earnings Chidwick has surged into the lead in the POY race, and now sits more than 900 points ahead of the nearest competitor in Toby Lewis.

Adam Owen took home $1,612,000 and 2,000 POY points as the runner-up and now sits in 16th place in the overall standings.

WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event

Scott Margereson has won the 2018 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $3,500 no-limit hold’em main event. The tournament featured a $3 million guarantee that was easily blown away when the 1,309 total entries grew the final prize pool to $4,188,800. In the end it was Margereson, a 25-year-old poker pro from Chesterfield in the United Kingdom who emerged victorious with the title, the $696,740 first-place prize and 1,440 POY points.

This win alone was enough to propel Margereson into 44th place in the standings. He had to overcome some stiff competition at the final table, including Matt Stout (5th – $189,880), Brian Hastings (3rd – $336,466) and Faraz Jaka (2nd – $454,496). The 1,200 points Jaka earned for his runner-up showing were enough to see him move into 47th place in the rankings. This was his second final table of the year.

CPPT Choctaw Main Event

David PhamThe 2018 Card Player Poker Tour Choctaw $1,100 no-limit hold’em main event drew a massive field of 1,086 entries to surpass the $1 million guarantee and build a $1,053,420 final prize pool. In the end the lion’s share of that money went to Brad Freeman who earned $170,984 and 960 POY points for the win.

The most accomplished player at the final table was David “The Dragon” Pham. The two-time POY award winner (2000, 2007) finished seventh in this event for $23,923 and 160 points. This was his third final table finish of the year, having won both the $1 million guaranteed $1,600 event at the Wynn Classic and the WSOP Circuit Bicycle Casino $1,675 main event. With 1,984 points and $480,967 in year-to-date earning Pham has climbed into 17th place on the leaderboard.

EPT Monte Carlo High Rollers

Sam GreenwoodSam Greenwood is having an incredible run on the live tournament circuit. He has four seven-figure live tournament scores in his career, and three of them have come in the last six months. The most recent huge payday for the Canadian poker pro came in the 2018 European Poker Tour Monte Carlo €100,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em super high roller. Greenwood topped a field of 46 total entries in the event to win €1,520,000 ($1,839,200 USD) and 600 points. This was his third POY-qualified title and his seventh final table finish of 2018. With 2,281 points and $4,015,094 in year-to-date earnings, Greenwood has climbed into tenth place on the overall POY leaderboard.

Greenwood was not the only player to make a move near the top of the rankings as a result of this event. Isaac Haxton placed sixth for $378,730 USD and 200 points at his tenth final table, shooting into the 11th-place spot. Justin Bonomo finished fifth for $485,210 USD and 250 points.

Justin BonomoBonomo was not yet done in Monte Carlo. The next day he finished fourth in the €50,000 single day super high roller for another $276,727 and 255 points. This was his ninth final table finish of the year, with three titles won along the way. With 3,627 point and year-to-date earnings of $7,988,459 he has further secured his hold on the third-place spot in the rankings.

Right behind Bonomo is Rainer Kempe, who finished sixth in this event for $168,432 and 170 points. This was the 11th time Kempe has made a final table in 2018. He came away from all of those with two titles, 3,097 points and $3,661,441 in earnings. The upshot is the German poker pro now sits in fourth place in the standings.

Steve O’Dwyer won the event, earning $818,323 and 510 points for his second title run of the year. He now occupies the 46th-place spot in the ranks.

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

Rank Player POY Points 2018 POY Earnings
1 Stephen Chidwick 4,815 $5,520,198
2 Toby Lewis 3,780 $1,756,835
3 Justin Bonomo 3,627 $7,988,459
4 Rainer Kempe 3,097 $3,661,441
5 Francois Billard 2,550 $479,618
6 Dominik Nitsche 2,525 $3,170,325
7 Adrian Mateos 2,509 $1,599,220
8 Brian Altman 2,464 $320,359
9 Pascal LeFrancois 2,400 $2,108,000
10 Samuel Greenwood 2,281 $4,015,094
11 Isaac Haxton 2,271 $2,697,034
12 Jake Schindler 2,241 $3,473,200
13 Maria Lampropulos 2,100 $1,081,100
14 Daniel Wagner 2,040 $305,561
15 Viktor Blom 2,024 $1,110,550
16 Adam Owen 2,000 $1,612,000
17 David Pham 1,984 $480,967
18 Alex Foxen 1,942 $1,738,362
19 Koray Aldemir 1,940 $791,336
20 Stefan Huber 1,900 $721,300