With the tournament poker world on a hiatus (and for good reasons – stay safe, everyone!), the two major Player of the Year races are on hold. For how long is not known, but one thing that is known is that there were two entirely different lists that were being compiled. It points out the major differences in the ranking systems that the organizations use in putting together their countdowns.
CardPlayer POY Dominated By High Rollers…
On the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year race, domination from the “high rollers” of the poker world are the biggest story. The champion of the Aussie Millions, Vincent Wan, has been able to sit on the top of the CardPlayer POY despite that finish being the only thing that he has done in 2020. With 2280 points, it is up to the remainder of the field to chase down Wan, who has admitted he is more of a cash game player than a tournament chaser.
While Wan sits on high, Anton Suarez is close behind him. The victor at the partypoker MILLIONS United Kingdom Main Event, Suarez picked up a cool million dollars for his efforts in that tournament. Also nice were the 2100 points that he picked up, putting him in second place on the rankings with his only cash of 2020.
The runner up in the Aussie Millions, Ngoc Hoang, has the slimmest of leads over Aaron Van Blarcum and Tim Adams in the battle for third place through fifth place. Hoang’s second place finish to Wan earned him 1900 points, good enough to clip the duo in pursuit for third place on the CardPlayer board. But it is Van Blarcum and Adams who have been making the most noise so far in 2020.
Van Blarcum has put together nine cashes so far in 2020, with his work at one of the final tournaments that got in before the poker world shut down being the most impressive. At the Super High Roller Bowl Sochi, Van Blarcum made four final tables; add in another High Roller final table at the $25,000 event at the L. A. Poker Classic and Van Blarcum amassed 1896 points, just behind Wan in fourth place.
Adams has had his own fun with the High Roller tournaments. Over a six-week span, the Canadian captured two championships, the $250,000 Super High Roller Bowl Australia and the $250,000 Super High Roller Bowl Sochi. Those achievements, a part of the six final tables Adams has made in 2020 (with none having a buy in under $25,000) leave him in fifth place with 1857 points.
Rounding out the CardPlayer leaderboard are Brian Altman (sixth, 1848 points), Michael Addamo (seventh, 1806), Pablo Silva (eighth, 1800), Cary Katz (ninth, 1795) and Kahle Burns (tenth, 1786).
While Global Poker Index Ruled by Grinders
Remember those names in the CardPlayer ranking? OK, forget about them when it comes to the Global Poker Index’s Player of the Year list. Only two of the players on the CardPlayer rankings make an appearance on the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race. Why?
Because the GPI POY race takes into account the top 13 finishes of a player for the computation (it is broken down into two parts, January to June and July to December), players who have been able to do well in 13 (or more) events have been able to put together a decent catalog of results and, ergo, earned the points. Rather than getting a big number of points through one or two finishes, these players have been able to chalk up some great work over a span of tournaments.
First on the GPI POY is Ari Engel, who has put together 1536.41 points to this mark in the calendar year. In 2020, Engel has racked up 12 cashes (of the 13 he has available), with his peak finish being the $2000 Six Handed No Limit Hold’em event at the L. A. Poker Classic. Engel made the Commerce his playground as, between February and March, he earned seven cashes.
The champion of the partypoker MILLIONS South America High Roller, Farid Jattin, hasn’t been resting on those laurels. Overall Jattin has put together seven cashes (six points earning cashes) to put up 1519.64 points. Note Jattin’s resume; with only six points earnings cashes, he has a great deal of room to be able to work his way further up the leaderboard – once tournaments start up, that is.
By far one of the players putting some frequent flyer miles on his card is someone the poker world hasn’t heard of – Peter Vitantonio. Vitantonio has crisscrossed the U. S., with his first cash coming in Florida at the World Poker Tour’s Lucky Hearts Poker Open. He has since gone to New Jersey (Borgata Winter Poker Open), back to Florida (World Series of Poker Circuit Tampa), to Nevada (WPT DeepStacks Venetian), another WSOPC event in Nevada and the Wynn Classic to compile his nine points earning events. He sits in third place with 1360.62 points.
Burns is one of two players to appear on both the CardPlayer and the GPI Player of the Year races (Aaron Van Blarcum is the other). Burns has earned six points garnering cashes, including his win at the $100,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions and a $25,000 High Roller win at the partypoker MILLIONS UK. Burns holds the fourth place slot down with 1334.24 points, roughly 34 points more than fifth place Sam Greenwood.
Rounding out the Top Ten on the GPI POY are Van Blarcum (sixth, 1299.06), Brock Wilson (seventh, 1281.39), Trung Pham (eighth, 1256.94), Ross Ward (ninth, 1250.93) and Brett Apter (tenth, 1204.7).
Normally we would now tell you that these numbers are going to completely change over the next 30 days, but we do not live in normal times. Hopefully soon the tournament circuit will return to action – there is no estimate on when casinos around the world will reopen for business and competition on their tournament floors – and the poker world will return to normal. For now, these lists are a sign of the frozen world of tournament poker – unmoving, frozen in time, until the games can begin again.