Through the first eight WPT Main Tour events of Season XVI, Art Papazyan has a commanding lead in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. His 2,400 points are double that of anyone else on the leaderboard, with fellow WPT champions Guo Liang Chen and Jay Lee sitting in second and third places, respectively, with 1,200 points each.
Papazyan’s success during Season XVI of the World Poker Tour has been the headline of the season thus far, as the high-stakes cash game player from Southern California has taken the tournament scene by storm. Papazyan has won two World Poker Tour titles this season and collected more than $1 million in the process.
First, it was Papazyan topping a field of 763 entries to win the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event for $668,692. That victory included denying WPT Raw Deal host Phil Hellmuth his first-ever WPT title. Shortly after that victory, Papazyan was back in the winner’s circle with a win in the WPT Maryland at Live! Casino Main Event, scoring $389,405.
Hublot Season XVI WPT Player of the Year Top 10 (as of November 29, 2017)
1st: Art Papazyan – 2,400 points
2nd: Guo Liang Chen – 1,200 points
3rd: Jay Lee – 1,200 points
4th: Josh Kay – 1,100 points
5th: Zachary Donovan – 1,050 points
6th: Gregory Weber – 1,000 points
7th: Jeb Hutton – 1,000 points
8th: Phil Hellmuth – 1,000 points
9th: Paul Petraglia – 1,000 points
10th: Maxime Heroux – 1,000 points
Speaking of Hellmuth, his lone WPT cash this season was the aforementioned runner-up finish to Papazyan in the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event. In addition to the $364,370 in prize money, the finish earned Hellmuth 1,000 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. Heading into the final WPT Main Tour event of 2017, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Hellmuth sits in eighth place on the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard.
Ahead of Hellmuth in fifth place on the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard is Zachary Donovan with 1,050 points. At the time of our last update, Donovan was in 10th on the leaderboard, but a 25th-place finish in the WPT Montreal Main Event scored him 50 more points and bumped him up a handful of spots.
In the same WPT Montreal Main Event, Maxime Heroux emerged victorious atop the field of 606 entries. Heroux took home the C$403,570 ($311,717) first-place prize and 1,000 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. The cash and points combined to put Heroux in 10th place overall in the race.
In the top 10 of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race, only three players have multiple cashes this season. Papazyan, Josh Kay, and Donovan are the three with multiple, and they each have two cashes. Kay is currently in fourth place in the race.
Players on the Come
Outside of the top 10, four players have three or more cashes this season. DJ Alexander ranks the highest among them in 12th place with 1,000 points from three cashes, and it’s Dean Baranowski and his four cashes this season that lead the way with the most in-the-money finishes on the WPT Main Tour in Season XVI. For Baranowski, the cashes haven’t been huge results, totaling $31,386 for the four, but it feels like only a matter of time before his deep runs lead to a huge final table score. Baranowski’s four cashes have him at 200 points for 75th position in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race.
Then there’s Darren Elias and Jeffrey Chang, each with three WPT Main Tour cashes this season. Elias has 800 points for 22nd place on the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard, and Chang is in 63rd position with 200 points.
Again, all of these numbers come as of November 29, 2017, before the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic closes out the 2017 leg of Season XVI.
It is highly expected that the Season XVI WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event draws a prize pool of more than $4 million. In that case, the winner will receive 1,400 Hublot WPT Player of the Year points and could very well be passing or challenging Papazyan depending on who it is.
As always, stay tuned to WPT.com for continued coverage of the World Poker Tour, including coverage of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race.
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