By Sean Chaffin
The WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble brought about a bit of movement in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race with WPT Legends of Poker winner Aaron Van Blarcum jumping up from the second-place sport and now alone at the top of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year standings.
While Van Blarcum was previously tied with WPT Borgata Poker Open winner Donald Maloney, both with 1,200 points. However, Maloney was in the top spot because he led in total money earned. After finishing 15th for $16,843 in Jacksonville, Van Blarcum earned an additional 75 points for the outright lead and is now the only player in the Top-10 with two cashes. He has made it a mission to compete for the title and spoke about battlers against players who may have more experience on the major tournament stage.
“I think coming and playing in all these is giving me a little more experience in tournaments because I haven’t played in a whole lot of them,” he says. “It’s a little bit of a different gear switching from cash games to this. As it keeps going along, I think I should get a little better each time.”
Just behind those two is Simon Brandstrom in third, who won the WPT UK for $330,000, and also has 1,200 points. WPT Borgata Poker Open runner-up Uke Dauti now sits in fourth place with 1,000 points and $410,787 in winnings. WPT Gardens Poker Festival winner Roger Teska is in fifth with 1,000 points ($368,475).
Josh Adkins becomes a new addition to the Top-10 after winning the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble and earning 1,000 POY points. He earned $331,480 for taking the title and moves into the sixth-place slot.
Sitting in seventh is Nitis Udornpim with 1,000 points, after taking down the WPT Maryland for $319,415 and sliding down one spot. Rounding out the Top-10 are:
8th – Gueorgui Gantchev, WPT Legends of Poker runner-up (900 points, $306,265
9th – Ryan Mandara, WPT UK runner-up (900 points, $221,650)
10th – Kevin Albers, Borgata third-place finisher (900 points, $303,903)
What Can You Win in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year Race?
As the official timekeeper and official watch of the World Poker Tour, Hublot is once again the presenting sponsor of the WPT Player of the Year award for Season XVIII. The company will be awarding a custom Hublot timepiece to the winner of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. In addition, the Season XVIII winner receives $15,000 in WPT tournament buy-in credits and complimentary accommodations at all WPT Main Tour events in Season XVIII.
Prizes will also be awarded for the second- and third-place finishers in the race. The runner-up will receive $7,500 in WPT tournament buy-in credits and third place will receive $2,500 in buy-in credits. Credits can be used in any global WPT event, including the Main Tour, WPTDeepStacks, WPT500, and WPT Special Events.
Next Stop on WPT Main Tour – WPT Montreal
The next stop on the Main Tour is in the Great White North, as the WPT rolls into Quebec for WPT Montreal. The event features a CAD$3,300 buy-in and a CAD$3 million guaranteed prize pool. The entire schedule offers plenty of action for players with numerous buy-in levels. That includes not only the Main Tour championship event, but also a WPTDeepstacks event with plenty of qualifiers available on WPT partner partypoker.
Following Montreal, the WPT returns to South Florida for the WPT Seminole Rock’N’ Roll Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock in Fort Lauderdale. The $3,500 event features a $2 million guarantee and should once again make for a great stop with great weather and plenty of action.
Both events are expected to have at least 1,200 points awarded to first place.
The WPT closes out 2019 once again at the Bellagio for the historic WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Players can expect a big field and hefty prize pool in this $10,400 event. Winners of the event, which runs from December 16-21, include a Who’s Who of poker elite including Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem, Eugene Katchalov, and Chino Rheem. Dylan Linde took down the title last season for more than $1.6 million. There should be plenty of big names in the field once again and 1,400 Hublot WPT Player of the Year points awarded to the winner.
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.