We’re coming into the final quarter of the 2023 Player of the Year races on the tournament poker circuit, and it looks as if the major leaderboards have become a two-man race. While Bin Weng has asserted himself to take over the lead on both boards, “Nacho” Barbero has been able to keep close to Weng, enough so that he is a challenger for the title. Beyond that, it may be difficult for anyone to catch up to this duo.

Barbero Closes in on Weng on CardPlayer POY

The CardPlayer Player of the Year race has tightened up quite a bit since the end of the World Series of Poker. In mid-July, Weng’s lead was a sizeable one over Isaac Haxton, with almost 1500 points separating them. Now, a new contender has emerged in the form of Barbero, and that lead is now only a few hundred points.

Barbero has used the “High Roller” circuit to make his move up the leaderboard. Over the past eight weeks, the Argentinian has cashed in six different tournaments with more than a $25,000 buy-in, scoring over $4 million in cashes in making four final tables. He also picked up 1181 points toward the CardPlayer POY race, enough to push him into the runner-up slot on the board.

Weng is still perched atop the standings, however. At the 2023 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, Weng made the final table of a preliminary tournament and, at the 2023 Potomac Summer Poker Open, a runner-up finish in a $3500 tournament scored Weng more POY points. The 600 points scored by Weng allowed him to stay ahead of Barbero (and former second-place holder Haxton) but by just over 900 points.

Here are the standings currently in the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race:

1. Bin Weng, 8838 points
2. Jose “Nacho” Barbero, 7916
3. Isaac Haxton, 7667
4. Chris Brewer, 7190
5. Stephen Chidwick, 6770
6. Ren Lin, 6516
7. Jason Koon, 5950
8. Alex Foxen, 5423
9. Aram Oganyan, 5189
10. Jeremy Ausmus, 5027

Even Closer Race on the Global Poker Index POY

The CardPlayer battle is tightening up, but the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race could go either way at this point. Barbero was the leader after the WSOP, but since that time Weng has been able to close the gap. Barbero did make some points in the Triton Poker Super High Roller series in London, but in reaching 4190.58 points wasn’t able to hold off Weng.

Weng’s work at the MGM National Harbor Resort & Casino for the Potomac Summer Poker Open replaced some of his lesser point totals. It was enough to push Weng past Barbero, but just barely; Weng sits with 4200.46 to hold the Global Poker Index Player of the Year lead:

1. Bin Weng, 4200.46 points
2. Jose “Nacho” Barbero, 4190.58
3. Isaac Haxton, 3968.94
4. Chris Brewer, 3856.80
5. Ren Lin, 3799.30
6. Stephen Chidwick, 3737.46
7. Jason Koon, 3478.78
8. Jeremy Ausmus, 3471.45
9. Daniel Tang, 3454.40
10. Aram Oganyan, 3423.19

How will the next three months play out? There are plenty of points out there for players to claim on the WSOP, World Poker Tour, and European Poker Tour circuits. The PokerGO Tour also has several made-for-streaming “High Roller” events on the horizon, but those are tricky in that they must reach certain levels (player numbers in particular) to count towards each POY race. There could be some players who come from back in the pack to challenge for the two Player of the Year battles, but right now it appears that it is a two-man race between Weng and Barbero that won’t conclude until the very end of 2023.

(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)

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