Poker Coverage: Poker Legislation Poker Tournaments U.S. Poker Markets Sports Betting

2018 Card Player Poker Player of the Year Update: O'Dwyer and Plesuv Join The Top Ten

A Look At The Players Who Made Major Moves In The POY Race This Month


We have reached the final stretch of the 2018 Card Player Player of the Year race, sponsored by Global Poker. With just one month remaining in the year, the action is heating up as players attempt to surge accross the finish line. Here is a look back at the players who made the biggest moves inside the top twenty of the POY race standings during the month of November:

1st – Jake Schindler: 8,647 points

Jake Schindler after winning the $25k high roller at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker OpenJake Schindler has made a ridiculous amount of final tables in 2018, even given that many come in small-field high roller events. With 29 POY-qualified final table scores, he is running away with the record for final table finishes in a calander year and still has a month to pad his lead. Schindler finished third in a $100,000 buy-in super high roller at Aria in early November for $384,000 and 240 Player of the Year points to help maintain his lead over the rest of the top POY contenders.

With five titles won and more than $7.2 million in earnings so far in 2018, Schindler remains the player to beat as the finish line quickly approaches. He is now almost guaranteed to improve on his highest prior finish in the POY race, which saw him end 2016 in fifth place after having won three titles and made 14 final tables.

2nd – Stephen Chidwick: 8,045 points

Stephen ChidwickStephen Chidwick is hot on Schindler’s heels. The British poker pro made two final tables at the ARIA Fall Madness series, finishing second in a $10,500 no-limit hold’em event and winning a $26,000 high roller. The two scores earned him $369,300 and 452 POY points, enough to keep him within striking distance of the top spot as December begins.

Chidwick has accumulated 24 final table finishes and $8.3 million in earnings so far in 2018, and is the only other player outside of Schindler to surpass 8,000 POY points so far this year. He has won five titles this year, and also made three seven-figure cashes along the way. His biggest was the $1,364,000 he earned as the runner-up in the 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona €100,000 super high roller.

3rd – Justin Bonomo: 7,752 points

Justin Bonomo at the Big One For One Drop final tableJustin Bonomo has cashed for more than $25 million dollars this year, setting a record for the most money earned in a calendar year in poker tournament history. He has won 10 titles this year, including two World Series of Poker bracelets and both the Super High Roller Bowl and the Super High Roller Bowl China. Bonomo ‘s success has come almost exclusively in high buy-in, small field events, which has limited the amount of POY points he has accumulated somewhat when compared to Schindler and Chidwick, who’ve each made deep runs in larger field main events. Bonomo’s latest score saw him finish fourth from a field of 196 entrants in a Caribbean Poker Party $10,300 no-limit hold’em event in November, earning $160,000 and 420 points. This was the largest field for an event that Bonomo has made the final table in so far in 2018.

4th – David Peters: 7,629 points

David Peters2016 Card Player Player of the Year award winner David Peters is a closer. He went on a final-table spree to surpass Fedor Holz just before the buzzer two years ago, and this year he is once again stringing together a bunch of scores as the year comes to a close. Peters made four final tables in November, finishing third in a $50,000 high roller and winning a $100,000 super high roller at the Aria to start the month. He then finished third in the $250,000 super high roller at the Caribbean Poker Party for $1,420,000. He added his second title of the month by taking down a $5,000 no-limit hold’em side event at the WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open for another $143,159 and 432 points. Peters has moved into fouth place in the overall standings as a result of his string of deep runs.

7th – Rainer Kempe: 5,714 points

Rainer KempeGermany’s Rainer Kempe made two final tables in November, bringing his yearly total to 24. Kempe finished seventh in the MILLIONS World $10,000,000 guaranteed $25,500 buy-in event, earning $350,000 and 525 points. He followed that up with an eighth-place showing in a $1,100 side event at the same series for another $13,000 and 152 points.

Kempe has was six titles this year and accumulated morethan $5.3 million in live earnings. The 2016 Super High Roller Bowl champion’s biggest score of 2018 came when he placed third in the first ever Super High Roller Bowl China, cashing for just more than $2 million. His consistent play has been enough to see him climb into seventh place in the rankings.

9th – Steve O’Dwyer: 5,338 points

Steve O'DwyerSteve O’Dwyer surged inside the top ten with a huge score in the MILLIONS World $10,000,000 guaranteed $25,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event. O’Dwyer finished second from a field of 394 entries, earning 1,750 POY points and a payday worth more than $1.3 million.

O’Dwyer has 13 final-table finishes so far in 2018, with four titles won along the way. He has cashed for more than $5.8 million so far this year. O’Dwyer has been incredibly consistent on the live tournament circuit, having only failed to finish inside the top 30 once in the past five years. O’Dwyer finished seventh in the POY standings in 2015 and fifth in 2013, and has a shot to improve on those impressive showings if he finds another big score in December.

10th – Pavel Plesuv: 5,084 points

Pavel PlesuvPavel Plesuv took down the 2018 World Poker Tour Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open $3,500 no-limit hold’em main event, outlasting a field of 898 total entries to win his first WPT title, the top prize of $504,820 and 1,368 POY points.

This was Plesuv’s second title of 2018, having won the $3.5 million guaranteed $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event at the Venetian DeepStack Championship Poker Series this summer for $640,062. With five final table finishes, 5,084 POY points and $2,456,715 in year-to-date earnings, Plesuv has climbed into tenth place in the overall POY race standings.

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

Rank Player POY Points Earnings
1 Jake Schindler 8,647 $7,231,019
2 Stephen Chidwick 8,045 $8,296,142
3 Justin Bonomo 7,752 $25,295,441
4 David Peters 7,629 $10,433,892
5 Alex Foxen 6,739 $3,974,387
6 Adrian Mateos 6,277 $3,872,609
7 Rainer Kempe 5,714 $5,342,929
8 Jason Koon 5,427 $11,516,918
9 Steve O’Dwyer 5,338 $5,833,175
10 Pavel Plesuv 5,084 $2,456,715
11 Mikita Badziakouski 4,926 $14,594,839
12 Shaun Deeb 4,610 $2,936,292
13 Dominik Nitsche 4,492 $5,001,902
14 Ben Yu 4,461 $3,331,459
15 Nick Petrangelo 4,174 $6,340,074
16 Cary Katz 4,131 $4,819,239
17 Isaac Haxton 4,120 $4,045,148
18 Michael Addamo 4,070 $2,224,790
19 Benjamin Tollerene 4,069 $3,032,532
20 Joseph McKeehen 4,029 $1,468,808