WSOP 2010 Player of the Year Race Heats Up

John Juanda
Juanda may be the favorite - but the race is still on.

With nearly 50 World Series Events in the bag, the 2010 WSOP Player Of The Year race is shaping up to be the closest contest in many years.

John Juanda and Frank Kassela are tied at the top of the leaderboard with 225 points and Juanda has incredibly got there without winning a bracelet, courtesy of making four World Series final tables in 2010.

"[If I win Player of The Year] ... it will make me feel a bit better about not winning a bracelet. But every year I go without a bracelet, it's disappointing," said Juanda.

Kassela on the other hand has stormed to the top of the Player of the Year rankings on the back of victories in the $10k Stud and $2.5k Razz and is only too aware of how tight it is at the top.

"I've been playing in a ton of events since I won that last one, just because I knew I had a decent chance at Player of the Year," said Kassela following his second bracelet win.

"It's going to be close."

Neither player can rest on his laurels though. There are a group of players bunched just behind who can overtake them in a single bound should they win a bracelet.

Here are the current standings:

Player Name  Points  Bracelets  Cashes
John Juanda  225 pts  0  5
Frank Kassela  225 pts 2 4
Vladimir Schemelev 210 pts 0 4
Dan Heimiller 200 pts 0 6
Michael Mizrachi  190 pts 1 4
Men Nguyen 180 pts 1 3
Richard Ashby 180 pts 1 3
Jeffrey Papola 180 pts 1 3
James Dempsey 180 pts 1 3
Allen Kessler 175 pts 0 8
David Chiu 170 pts 0 4
David Baker 170 pts 1 4

With just a few events left on the 2010 WSOP schedule, it's too tight to call a Player of the Year winner and the final result may yet hinge on the Main Event outcome in November.

For the latest on how the Player of the Year race is panning out as well as other news, blogs and videos from the World Series, click through to PokerListings' dedicated WSOP 2010 section.

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