Paul Volpe Uses Two Outstanding WPT Finishes To Lead Major POY Races

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With a slight lull before the end of the first quarter of the tournament poker season, Paul Volpe has used two outstanding performances on the World Poker Tour’s stage to surge to the top of the major Player of the Year races.

A little over a month ago, there were only a few major events in the books to establish the early leaders in the three major POY races out there. With his performances in California at the L. A. Poker Classic (second to Paul Klann) and the Bay 101 Shooting Star (third to WeiKai Chang and Joe Nguyen), Volpe has been able to rocket to the top of every one of the ratings boards for 2013’s best player. With nine months to go, however, there’s plenty of time for players to catch up.

On the Bluff Magazine POY, Volpe has been able to bypass the champion of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Dimitar Danchev, by a wide margin. Volpe’s 564.42 points vastly outpaces Danchev’s 448.45 points. On the Bluff Magazine rankings, Danchev would have to win another tournament to garner the points to be able to catch up with Volpe at this time.

There’s a new rider in the third place slot, Mike “SirWatts” Watson. Watson (434.20 points) used two runner-up finishes in side events at the European Poker Tour London stop to push his way into the Top Five. With his victory at the LAPC, Klann was able to bump his way into the fourth place slot with 425.85 points (Klann also had a deep run at the Bay 101, finishing 11th in that event). Rounding out the Top Five is the runner-up from our last look at the POY races, Aussie Millions winner Mervin Chan, who hasn’t added to his 393.00 points back then.

On the bottom half of the Bluff Top Ten, Dani Stern makes an appearance in sixth place after not showing up in the last analysis. James Anderson, Vanessa Selbst, Scott Seiver and Vladimir Troyanovsky round out the Top Ten, with Joe Cabret, Tobias Reinkemeier, Shannon Shorr and Sam Trickett falling off the Top Ten.

Volpe is also the leader on the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race and Danchev is once again the second place contender. Volpe’s 3230 points is reigning high on the CardPlayer POY, while Danchev (also the leader last time we looked) sits in second with 2340 points. Where the CardPlayer POY deviates a bit is in having Klann and Chan (both 2100 points) in a tie for third place, while PCA runner-up Joel Micka holds on to fifth place with 1996 points.

Two more newcomers step into the bottom half of the CardPlayer Top Ten. EPT Deauville champion Remi Castaignon’s run on the French coast was good enough to push him to sixth place (1824), while Watson makes his presence felt in seventh (1754). Dan Shak remains a threat in the Top Ten in eighth place (1750), while Cabret (tied with Shak) and EPT London champion Ruben Visser (1716) round out the CardPlayer Top Ten.

While the Global Poker Index POY race has Volpe (501.54), Watson (barely second with 501.20) and Shak (429.60) in the top three slots, the rest of the Top Ten introduces some new names. Christian Harder (410.03) is in the fourth place slot, but there is a surprise with the last member of the Top Five.

Spain’s Ana Marquez is the fifth ranked player, according to the GPI POY, due to a rash of solid finishes around the world. Marquez made two final tables at the Venetian’s Deep Stack Extravaganza, a third final table in a $5000 preliminary event at the LAPC and a 20th place finish at the LAPC Main Event. Two more deep runs during the EPT London action have earned her 390.93 points, good for fifth place.

Scott Seiver also jumps in the GPI POY Top Ten, landing in sixth place with 386.91 points. Yury Gulyy, Steven Silverman, Micah Raskin and Christopher Frank round out the Top Ten, making it nearly a complete changeover since our last look at the GPI POY.

Over the course of the next two months, these rankings promise to be shaken, stirred and upended once again. The WPT Venice begins on Sunday and will be almost immediately followed by a WPT stop in Barcelona. The EPT has a bit longer wait, until mid-April, when it heads to its popular stop in Berlin. What will probably have the most effect on the different POY rankings is the upcoming inaugural event for the World Series of Poker in Australia. The WSOP APAC will begin on April 4, featuring five bracelet events that are sure to draw in the crème of the international poker world.

While the battle is heating up, the players in the chase for the different POY awards in the poker community have yet to be firmly decided.

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