Six weeks into the 2022 tournament poker season, one man has been able to ride a wave of success to the lead in the Player of the Year race. Coming off his big victory in the 2022 PokerGO Cup, Jeremy Ausmus has stepped forward as the early season leader in the race for POY. At this moment, however, we only have one leaderboard to draw any conclusions from, as the second notable board has yet to start calculating their results.

Ausmus Rolls to the Top Slot on Strength of Seven Final Tables

The first six weeks of 2022 have been very bountiful for Ausmus on the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year leaderboard. If you think that the four overall final tables that he earned at the 2022 PokerGO Cup schedule are the only thing on his resume, you would be mistaken. Ausmus used two deep runs during the World Poker Tour’s Lucky Hearts Poker Open festivities, where he finished in seventh place in the Main Event and a 14th place finish in another preliminary tournament, and three finishes in the “Stairway to Millions” to rack up an astounding seven final tables already in 2022.

These finishes have allowed Ausmus to amass 1997 points to date, outpacing the champion of the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event Alex Yen. That win by Yen is the only points-earning finish on his blotter for 2022, but it is enough for him to pick up 1620 points and take the second position. It is questionable whether Yen can keep up the pace to be a serious contender for the title, as Yen doesn’t keep a hectic tournament schedule under normal circumstances.

A player who is doing it the “hard way” (AKA actually playing in “open” tournaments and not High Roller events) is Nick Verderamo. Verderamo has put together five finishes of 22nd or better (including a win) in tournaments ranging in buy-in from $300 to $3500. Through those five events, Verderamo has racked up 1594 points, falling just short of Yen in third place.

After six weeks of 2022, here’s your CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race:

1. Jeremy Ausmus, 1997 points
2. Alex Yen, 1620
3. Nick Verderamo, 1594
4. Scott Baumstein, 1440
5. Anton Wigg, 1350
6. Nick Petrangelo, 1276
7. Nikolay Fal, 1260
8. Brock Wilson, 1230
9. Ali Imsirovic, 1182
10. Victor Paredes, 1147

Standings Subject to Change – and Quickly

To this point of 2022, the Global Poker Index has not released their 2022 POY race. The organization is probably looking for ways to tweak their rankings to remove the influence of the “High Roller” events on the rankings (the last three years have seen “High Roller” regulars Ali Imsirovic and Alex Foxen take the title), thus the delay in posting their first rankings for the year. The GPI POY has routinely been a more detailed look at the best players in the world, so their input is something that many are looking forward to.

There’s plenty of events on the horizon that will completely upend these standings, and quickly. The venerable L. A. Poker Open is currently running, with their $10,000 WPT event coming up on Wednesday. The European Poker Tour is set to return to action with the EPT Prague kicking off on March 5 and several World Series of Poker Circuit events will take place over the next six weeks. By our next look at the POY races, we should have the GPI’s input on the situation and many of the players that are currently riding high might be pulled back down to earth.

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