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2020 Card Player Poker Player of the Year Race: March Update

A Look At The Players Who Made The Biggest Moves Atop The POY Leaderboard


The live tournament poker circuit ground to a halt in the final weeks of March, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Despite that, the month still saw plenty of movement inside the top 20 of the 2020 Card Player Player of the Year race, which is sponsored by Global Poker. Here is a look at the players who made the biggest impact over the past month:

4th – Cary Katz (2,095 points)

Cary KatzThe 2020 partypoker MILLIONS Super High Roller Sochi series played host to 10 events, including the inaugural running of the Super High Roller Bowl Russia. Cary Katz made the money in four of those events, cashing for a cumulative $1,270,000 in the span of just over a week.

Katz kicked things with a fourth-place showing in a $25,000 buy-in short deck event for $105,000 and 210 POY points. Just a few days later Katz made back-to-back final tables in a pair of $50,000 buy-in events, finishing sixth in a no-limit hold’em tournament ($135,000 and 170 points) and fourth in another short deck event ($250,000 and 255 points). Katz closed out his cashing spree with a runner-up showing in a $100,000 buy-in short deck event for $780,000 and 300 points. With those four cashes in March, Katz climbed into fourth place in the overall POY rankings. He has one title and eight final-table finishes so far in 2020, with more than $2.4 million in year-to-date earnings.

Katz has been one of the most consistent performers in the POY race in recent years. He has finished inside the top 20 in the final standings for four straight years now, with an average finish just better than 13th place. The 50-year-old American businessman and poker player seems to be well on his way to making it five consecutive years with a year-end ranking inside the top 20, having already made eight total final tables through the first three months of 2020.

5th – Kahle Burns (1,956 points)

Kahle BurnsFresh off of a top-five finish in the 2019 POY race, Australian poker pro Kahle Burns hit the ground running in 2020. He made four final tables in the first five weeks of the year, winning two titles and cashing for more than $2.5 million along the way.

Burns backed up his hot start with two more final-table showings in March. He finished sixth in the $100,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em high roller at the MILLIONS Super High Roller Sochi series of $252,000 and 200 points, and then added another $124,000 and 170 points for a fifth-place finish in a $50,000 buy-in event.

The two high roller scores in Russia were enough to move Burns into fifth place on the POY leaderboard.

7th – Aaron Van Blarcum (1,896 points)

Aaron Van BlarcumAaron Van Blarcum is tied with Cary Katz for the most final tables made so far in 2020 with eight. The 2019 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker main event champion had only eight recorded live tournament cashes prior to winning his WPT title in August of last year. Since then, he has been a regular on the tournament circuit, including the super high roller scene. Van Blarcum went on a tear in Sochi, cashing in four of the first eight events held in the Russian resort town. The 43-year-old Dallas, Texas resident cashed for $684,500 throughout the week, accumulating 916 POY points along the way.

He started things off in Russia with a third-place showing in a $25,000 short deck event for $168,000 and 280 points. He then went on a back-to-back-to-back tear, finishing sixth or better in three straight events over the course of three days. He finished sixth in another $25,000 short deck event ($91,500 and 168 points), fourth in a $50,000 no-limit hold’em event ($225,000 and 255 points) and fifth in a $50,000 short deck event ($200,000 and 213 points).

With more than $1.8 million in year-to-date earnings, Van Blarcum now sits in seventh place in the POY race standings. He looks well situated to improve on his previous high finish of 23rd which he set in 2019.

8th – Sam Greenwood (1,881 points)

Sam GreenwoodCanadian poker pro Sam Greenwood made four final tables at the high roller festival in Russia, all of them coming in $50,000 buy-in events. Two were no-limit hold’em tournaments, while the other two were short deck events. Greenwood cashed for $845,510 across those four events, adding 927 POY points to his 2020 total along the way. His biggest cash of the year came when he finished third from a field of 50 total entries in one of the short deck events. He took home $350,000 and 340 points.

Greenwood had previously made two final tables in high stakes events at the Aussie Millions festival for another $512,297 and 954 points. With six total final-table finishes, $1,357,807 in earnings so far this year and 1,881 points, Greenwood now sits in eighth place in the POY rankings.

9th – Tim Adams (1,857 points)

Tim AdamsNobody has cashed for more money in live poker tournaments in 2020 than Tim Adams. The Canadian poker pro has already accrued $5,904,777 in earnings in the first few months of 2020.

Adams has made six final tables and won three titles, two of which have come in $250,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl events. Just 41 days after taking down the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl Australia for $1,490,400 and 240 points, Adams managed to return to the winner’s circle with a victory in the first-ever Super High Roller Bowl Russia. He overcame a field of 40 total entries in the event to earn $3.6 million and 600 more points.

With three titles, six final tables, and 1,857 total points, Adams currently occupies the ninth-place spot on the leaderboard.

17th – Alex Foxen (1,597)

Alex FoxenAlex Foxen has finished inside the top three in the POY race standings each of the past two years improving on his 3rd-place finish in 2018 with a runner-up showing in 2019. The young American pro kicked off 2020 with a bang, making six final tables and cashing for more than $1.6 million in the first two months of the year.

Foxen’s most accomplishment on the circuit was a victory in a $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em high roller at the 2020 L.A. Poker Classic series at The Commerce Hotel & Casino. He outlasted a field of 20 entries to win $237,452 and 252 points.

The score in Los Angeles was enough to move Foxen inside the top 20 heading into April.

19th – Stephen Chidwick (1,537)

Stephen ChidwickDefending Card Player Player of the Year award winner Stephen Chidwick has finished inside the top 50 in the POY race for five straight years, closing out that run with a second-place finish in 2018 and, of course, a win in 2019.

The 30-year-old poker pro from Deal, England seems poised to keep his streak of strong finishes in the POY race alive, as a recent pair of high stakes tournament final-table finishes have helped propel him inside the top 20 in the standings.

Chidwick placed sixth in a $25,000 short deck event in Sochi for $63,000 and 140 points. He later finished third in a $50,000 no-limit hold’em event at the same series for another $248,000 and 272 points.

With a title, six final tables and $1,043,973 in year-to-date earnings, Chidwick has moved into 19th place for the time being.

Here is a look at the current top 20 in the 2020 POY race standings:

Rank Player POY Points 2020 Titles 2020 Final Tables Year-to-Date Earnings
1 Vincent Wan 2,280 1 1 $909,420
2 Farid Jattin 2,177 3 6 $1,205,493
3 Anton Suarez 2,100 1 1 $1,000,000
4 Cary Katz 2,095 1 8 $2,420,543
5 Kahle Burns 1,956 2 6 $2,923,988
6 Ngoc Hoang 1,900 0 1 $909,420
7 Aaron Van Blarcum 1,896 0 8 $1,854,522
8 Sam Greenwood 1,881 0 6 $1,357,807
9 Tim Adams 1,857 3 6 $5,904,777
10 Brian Altman 1,848 2 3 $542,866
11 Michael Addamo 1,806 2 5 $2,143,310
12 Pablo SIlva 1,800 1 1 $1,000,000
13 Christian Rudolph 1,750 0 1 $620,000
14 James Romero 1,736 1 2 $745,000
15 Erik Seidel 1,686 0 5 $669,649
16 Eric Afriat 1,680 1 1 $394,120
17 Alex Foxen 1,597 1 6 $1,603,559
18 Nino Ullmann 1,540 0 2 $370,609
19 Stephen Chidwick 1,537 1 6 $1,043,973
20 Gareth Pepper 1,520 0 1 $690,000

Click here to check out the complete standings in the 2020 Player of the Year race.