With the advent of a new calendar year, that also brings a new tournament poker season for the poker world. Around the world, players will square off over the baize to battle it out for massive amounts of money (of course), but some of these combatants will also be in a fight to determine the mythical “best player in poker.” Through the two major Player of the Year races, some of these questions will be answered or, at the minimum, fuel for many a discussion will be produced.
David Coleman Takes Early CardPlayer Magazine POY Lead
It is barely a month into 2024 and already two players have been able to separate themselves from the pack. David Coleman treated the 2024 PokerGO Tour Kickoff as his own personal playground in winning two tournaments and making four final tables total, but one of those events did not earn him any POY points. There is a reason for that, and it is something that one of the rankings has instituted to preserve some integrity in their leaderboard.
On the CardPlayer POY rankings, there is a player minimum that must be met for the tournament to count towards the POY standings. To be eligible for POY points, a tournament must have 45 entries to become eligible. In one of the tournaments that Coleman won at the PGT Kickoff, a $5000 tournament, only 41 entries were received and, thus, did not count towards Coleman’s point total.
Coleman made up for this by starting the year off at (ironically) the CardPlayer Poker Tour stop at the Venetian to start the year. In their DeepStack Extravaganza $1600 tournament (which featured a $400,000 guarantee), Coleman emerged as the champion to capture a decent $115,989 payday and 720 POY points. That was the catalyst for getting him to the top of the CardPlayer Player of the Year race to start 2024.
Raminder Singh Heads the Pack in Pursuit
If Coleman didn’t have that CPPT victory in his pocket, the winner of one of the major “non-tour” events on the tournament poker circuit would have taken the #1 slot. Raminder Singh battled it out with Daniel Martin and Jesse Lonis to win the 2024 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event title. That victory, along with another SHRH Lucky Hearts final table, earned Singh a massive payday of almost $500,000 and enough points from the two tournaments to pick up 1440 POY points.
The international poker world is getting in on the fun also. At the 2024 Merit Poker Western Series in Cyprus, their $1.5 million guaranteed Main Event (buy in $3000) drew in a stellar field of 672 runners to crack that guarantee. In the end, Mohammed Mokrani came out as the champion, with another member of that final table, Nichan Khorchidian, also making his way into the CardPlayer POY race.
As of January 27, here is the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race Top Ten:
1. David Coleman, 1564 points
2. Raminder Singh, 1493
3. Mohammed Mokrani, 1260
4. Daniel Martin, 1200
5. Max Deveson, 1128
6. Jesse Lonis, 1104
7. Alex Foxen, 1065
8. Nichan Khorchidian, 1050
9. Daniel Butler, 1020
10. William Berry, 1010
No Current GPI POY Statistics…
This is where we would normally offer the information regarding the Global Poker Index POY race, but they have not finalized their criteria for 2024. Additionally, there have not been enough events for the GPI to be able to come up with a list – the top thirteen (13) results of a player are used in the calculations for the GPI board, and even Coleman only has five results that could be considered by this point. As such, the GPI is waiting for the players to rack up some results – and gives them extra time to tweak their computer formulas – before they issue their first POY standings.
If there is one thing we can be assured of, it is that the start of the year leader will be likely to NOT be around by the end. In 2023, the end of January saw players such as Aliaksandr Shylko, Max Menzel, and Michel Dattani at the top of the leaderboard. By the end of 2023, only one player from that January Top Ten – eventual Player of the Year Bin Weng – was still in the Top Ten; Shylko eventually finished in 72nd place, while Menzel (116th) and Dattani (184th) were outside the Top 100.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so many of the names you see on the POY leaderboards in the early going may be long gone by the end of the year. Getting off to a good start is important, however, so these players have already ticked one box on their 2024 tournament poker journeys.