Daniel Negreanu Makes His Move in Major Player of the Year Races

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With a slight lull before the final charge to the end of the calendar year, Daniel Negreanu has made his move towards reclaiming the lead in several Player of the Year rankings that he started the year with. While he’s been able to claim two of them, the third one has still eluded him but he is closing in.

On the Bluff Magazine POY list, Negreanu has been able to pass a pesky Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson, who had taken the top spot after an outstanding run at this summer’s World Series of Poker. Watson has been unable to add many points to his total, which allowed Negreanu to storm past him on the Bluff POY. With his second place finish at the European Poker Tour’s High Roller event in Barcelona, Negreanu earned more than 209 points to push his total to 1014.16 over Watson’s 833.44.

Making his first appearance in the Bluff POY is David Peters, who picked up the championship of Bellagio Cup IX in July to push him into the third place slot on the countdown with 773.90 points. A player who has lurked around the top of this POY all year has been Ole Schemion, who cashed alongside Negreanu at the EPT Barcelona High Roller and sits in fourth place on the leaderboard with 762.62 points.

Blair Hinkle is another player making his first appearance on the Bluff POY after his victory in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open back in August. Hinkle, with 750.97 points (good for fifth place), passed over such players as Steve O’Dwyer (742.62), Scott Seiver (715.49), Joe Kuether (705.00), Justin Bonomo (699.17) and Paul Volpe (683.19) to reach his spot in the Bluff Top Ten.

Negreanu had taken over the lead from Volpe on the CardPlayer Magazine POY list back in July and has only extended his lead since then. Negreanu, with 4468 points, now holds a nearly 1000 point lead over Volpe (3530) while Hinkle has taken over the third place slot (and is threatening Volpe) with 3448 points. Bonomo (3395) and O’Dwyer (3188) round out the Top Five before some new names enter the game.

David Vamplew (2932) earned some points in a preliminary event at the EPT Barcelona to bypass Erick Lindgren (2800) for sixth place on the CardPlayer POY (Lindgren hasn’t scored points since the WSOP), while Watson settles into the eighth place slot with his 2724 points. Rounding out the CardPlayer Top Ten is Steven Silverman (the inaugural World Poker Tour Alpha8 champion in Florida) with 2720 points and Dimitar Danchev with 2676 points.

The battle is a tight one on the Global Poker Index POY race and, surprisingly, it is the only race that doesn’t have Negreanu at the helm. Schemion and his 892.4 points hold the lead on the GPI POY, while Negreanu is nipping at his heels with 875.96 points. Watson sits in third place (with 836.8 points) and Volpe (814.81 points) and Silverman (786.11 points) round out the Top Five.

Another new name makes an appearance on the GPI POY in the form of Jonathan Duhamel. Duhamel (768.24 points) is only roughly 18 points in back of Silverman while barely eking out sixth place over O’Dwyer (767.53 points). Bryn Kenney, who doesn’t show in any of the other Top Ten lists, is in eighth place with 764.21 points, with Peters (736.55) and Marvin Rettenmaier (696.56 points) rounding out the GPI POY Top Ten.

Beginning this weekend, the players will begin making the final push towards the eventual champions of all these POY lists. The WPT Borgata Poker Open begins on Sunday and, in October, the World Series of Poker Europe, the EPT London and the WPT Grand Prix de Paris are the major highlights. These, along with other events, should give us a better look by the time Halloween arrives as to who are the serious contenders for the various Player of the Year awards come the end of 2013.

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