Summer is always one of the busiest and most exciting times for the Card Player Player of the Year race, which is sponsored by Global Poker. With the World Series of Poker and countless other massive poker festivals all taking place simultaneously, this season consistently sees major moves made atop the POY leaderboard. Here is a look at the players who’ve recently flown up the rankings:
1st – Stephen Chidwick
In 2018, Stephen Chidwick established himself as one of the top tournament players in the game with an incredible year on the live circuit. He made 26 final tables, won five titles and cashed for $9,950,805 along the way. In 2019 he was voted the top player in the game by his peers, and despite taking some time off in the spring following the birth of his first child, Chidwick has proved that his breakout last year was no flash in the pan.
Chidwick wasted little time getting back in the winner’s circle following his short break. He topped a field of 278 entries to win the WSOP $25,000 pot-limit Omaha high roller on June 22. It was the first event he played at the series. He earned $1,618,417 and 1,512 POY points as the champion. A few days later he placed second in a $10,000 high roller at Aria for another $93,600 and 200 points.
The British poker pro secured his eleventh final-table finish of 2019 by placing third in the Card Player Poker Tour Venetian DeepStack Championship Poker Series $5,000 no-limit hold’em main event for $245,199 and 1,120 points. Incredibly, Chidwick had improved by one spot over his fourth-place showing in this same event last year.
The score was enough to catapult Chidwick into the outright lead in the 2019 POY race standings, surpassing Bryn Kenney to claim the top spot on the leaderboard with 5,251 points accumulated thus far.
6th – Dario Sammartino
Poker pro Dario Sammartino had an incredible summer at the World Series of Poker. The 32-year-old Italian kicked things of with a third-place finsih in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. for $184,854 and 520 points. He then went on to place fourth in the $1,000 online no-limit hold’em double stack for another $75,095 and 480 points. Although he didn’t make the final table, he did also manage to finish ninth in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, earning $93,764.
Sammartino closed out the series by finishing second from a field of 8,569 entries in the WSOP main event, earning $6,000,000 and a massive haul of 2,750 POY points. With his two prior POY-qualified final-table showings, Dario’s point total grew to 3,750. As a result, he now sits in sixth place in the POY race, with more than $6.2 million in year-to-date earnings.
7th – Ali Imsirovic
Ali Imsirovic has been one of tournament poker’s fastest rising stars in recent years. The 24-year-old recorded his first live cash in late 2015, and has already accumulated lifetime earnings of more than $5.4 million. So far in 2019 he has made 12 final tables, winning three titles along the way. His most recent deep run saw him finish seventh in the $50,000 ‘Final Fifty’ high roller event at the WSOP, earning $212,292 and 281 points. The score saw him climb into seventh place on the overall leaderboard.
11th – Hossein Ensan
Iranian-born Hossein Ensan became the second-ever resident of Germany to win the World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, following in the footsteps of 2011 champion Pius Heinz. The 55-year-old outlasted a field of 8,569 total entries (the second largest in the tournament’s history) to capture the championship bracelet and the top prize of $10,000,000. He also earned 3,300 points for the win. This was his first POY-qualified score of 2019, but winning the biggest poker tournament in the world was enough to catapult him into 11th place in the POY race standings.
13th – Joseph Cheong
Less than a month after winning his first WSOP bracelet in a $1,000 no-limit hold’em Double Stack event, Joseph Cheong made his eighth final table of the year in the $3,000 pot-limit Omaha six-max event at the series. Cheong finished sixth for $64,722 and 456 points, and in the process moved into 13th place in POY rankings. The 2010 WSOP main event third-place finisher has accumulated more than $1 million in live cashes so far in 2019.
20th – Brandon Adams
Brandon Adams closed out the WSOP in style, making three final tables in the last two weeks of the series. Adams started his run with by taking down the $3,200 online no-limit hold’em high roller event. He took home his first bracelet, the top prize of $411,561 and 1,260 points for the win. Just a week later he placed fourth in the $50,000 ‘Final Fifty’ high roller, adding another $500,282 and 561 points. He closed out the series with a fifth-place showing in the $100,000 high roller event, cashing for $611,258 and 450 more points. As a result of his high-roller spree, Adams now sits in 20th place.
Here is a look at the current top 20 in the standings:
|Rank||Player||POY Points||2019 Titles||2019 Final Tables||Year-to-Date Earnings|