Player of the Year Race Begins at PokerListings

Bertrand Grospellier
Grospellier gets off to a good start in '08.

As we get set to enter another exciting poker tournament year, is tracking players from around the world with the PokerListings Player of the Year race.

Because poker is a worldwide game in the 21st century, PokerListings will take into account tournaments from around the world regardless of buy-in, unlike other magazines and Web sites. The only criterion for inclusion into the PL POY race will be that the tournaments have a prize pool of more than $150,000 USD (standard conversion rates will apply for foreign events).

For tournaments that break the $150k mark, the final three tables will be given points and the final nine will also earn a "final-table appearance" mark along with their results (adjusted to eight for Stud and mixed-game events). Qualifying tournaments will garner players points according to the following breakdown:

  • 1st - 320 points
  • 2nd - 210
  • 3rd - 110
  • 4th - 90
  • 5th - 70
  • 6th - 60
  • 7th - 50
  • 8th - 40
  • 9th - 30
  • 10th - 20
  • 11th-12th - 18
  • 13th - 15th - 12
  • 16th - 18th - 6
  • 19th - 21st - 4
  • 22nd- 24th - 2
  • 25th - 27th - 1

If a tournament doesn't have 27 cashers, then points will be given as far down as the cash-out list goes.

There are five multipliers that will apply to all tournaments, and the above-mentioned final three tables and final-table criteria apply. If a tournament breaks the $250k prize pool mark, it will get a 2X qualifier (making first place worth 640 points). A 3X qualifier is applied to tournaments over $500k, 4X for tournaments over $1 million and the maximum qualifier of 5X (with 1,600 points available for first place) for tournaments over the $2 million mark.

Exceptions to the general criteria include:

  • All championship event tournaments on the World Poker Tour, the World Series of Poker and its Circuit events, and the European Poker Tour will, regardless of prize pool, be placed in the 5X qualifier list.
  • All preliminary tournaments on any WPT, WSOP or EPT schedule will count toward the POY rankings, regardless of whether they make the $150k minimum, taking into account multipliers if the preliminary event breaks into a higher prize pool.
  • Seniors or women-only tournaments will not be counted toward the rankings, although there will also be a PL POY ranking for women that will, if the tournaments reach the qualifying mark (or are a part of one of the above-mentioned tour schedules), be counted toward the Women's POY.
  • Invitational events, such as the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

The PL POY will be updated twice per month and tournaments that have qualified will be annotated along with each update.

The race is already heated after only the first two weeks of January. Let's take a look at how the year is shaping up so far.

Grospellier Leads Field with PCA Win

Most of the focus so far has been outside of the United States, with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas and the tournament schedule at the Crowne Casino in Australia and the Aussie Millions. There has also been significant action in Europe.

With his European Poker Tour championship at the PCA, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier has emerged as the leader at the current moment. He is not alone, however, as professional poker player Howard Lederer's victory over the star-studded field in the $100,000 buy-in event at the Aussie Millions puts him tied with ElkY atop the POY leaderboard.

The gentlemen who finished second to these two in those respective events, Hafiz Khan (PCA) and Mark Teltscher (Australia), are currently tied for third behind them.

The two men who've been able to get into the Top 10 in the fifth-place spot made their mark in European poker events. Jude Ainsworth rode the spirit of his hometown crowd at the PartyPoker Irish Poker Championship to earn himself a tie with J.R. Lampila, who was the champion of the Main Event at the Helsinki Freezeout.

The seventh-place slot is a logjam of players who have won titles in one of the two current stops in Tunica (the World Poker Tour schedule at the Gold Strike and the World Series of Poker Circuit roster at the Grand Casino) or in preliminary tournaments at the Aussie Millions.

This is how the Top 10 currently stands:

Place Name Country Points
1st Bertrand Grospellier France 1,600
  Howard Lederer United States 1,600
3rd Hafiz Khan United States 1,050
  Mark Teltscher United Kingdom 1,050
5th Jude Ainsworth Ireland 960
  J.R. Lampila Finland 960
7th Matt Culberson United States 640
  Marlon Goonawardana Australia 640
  Rami Jradeh United States 640
  Michael Pedley Australia 640
  Wade Townsend United States 640
  Vincent Wan Australia 640
  Lee Watkinson United States 640

Completed qualifying tournaments: 2008 Hollywood Park Poker Derby (Event 1); PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (EPT Main Event); PartyPoker Irish Championship; Helsinki Freezeout Championship Event

Qualifying tournaments in progress: 2008 Aussie Millions (Events 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 with championship event left); WPT World Poker Open (through Event 10); WSOPC Tunica (through Event 13)

Golin's WSOPC Ladies' Championship Puts Her atop Ladies POY Race

After her come-from-behind victory at the WSOPC Tunica's Ladies Event, Nashville, Tenn.'s Jennifer Golin has assumed the early lead in the PokerListings Ladies Player of the Year race.

However, "Poker Pixie" Anna Wroblewski has been working hard in the action Down Under. Wroblewski has been able to make two final tables during the events at the Aussie Millions, earning a fourth-place and a seventh-place finish. Those two final tables have her sitting in the third-place slot after two weeks in 2008.

Other women have done well in open events during the tournament schedules in Tunica. Heather Escuin finished sixth in Event 2 at the Gold Strike, earning 120 points, and Kimberly Robertson's fourth-place finish in Event 1 at the WPT World Poker Open at the Gold Strike has her sitting behind Escuin in seventh place.

The Ladies Top 10 looks like this:

Place Name Points
1st Jennifer Golin 320
2nd Shelia Carwile 210
3rd Anna Wroblewski 190
4th Heather Escuin 120
5th Jo Cain 110
6th Peggy Ledman 90
  Kimberly Robertson 90
8th Darlene De Jesus 70
9th Sandra Chalkey 60
  Sherry Hollis 60
  Renea Mahaffey 60

Both of these POY lists will be completely different by the time we reach the end of January, let alone further into 2008. These players are off to a good start though as PokerListings looks to settle (or potentially fuel!) the argument of who the best player is during 2008.

As we continue with the 2008 season, check back frequently to find out where your favorite players, or even you yourself, are in the rankings.

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