By Kevin Taylor
The ending of the Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Festival means that we have the first full leaderboard for this season’s Hublot WPT Player of the Year competition. Of course, Simon Lam, the winner of the WPT Gardens Main Event for $565,055 and a new car, leads the way with 1,200 points. High-rolling regular Jake Schindler is second with 1,000 points.
Hublot Season XVII WPT Player of the Year Top 10 (as of July 27, 2018)
1st: Simon Lam – 1,200 points
2nd: Jake Schindler – 1,000 points
3rd: Men Nguyen – 900 points
4th: Craig Varnell – 800 points
5th: Saya Ono – 700 points
6th: Jared Griener – 600 points
7th: Jesse Yaginuma – 500 points
8th: Tuan Phan – 400 points
9th: Steve Sung – 300 points
10th: Kitty Kuo – 200 points
Click here for full standings.
Lam only plays part-time, balancing poker with owning a business, and he said after his win that he’s not sure if he will chase the Hublot WPT Player of the Year title or continue with his part-time playing schedule. Lam is already almost halfway to matching the 2,450 points that Art Papazyan scored last year on his way to winning the title. Papazyan won two WPT Main Tour events, first the WPT Legends of Poker and then the WPT Maryland at Live! Casino, and also cashed at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Florida.
READ: Art Papazyan Wins Hublot WPT Player of the Year for Season XVI
Schindler could go either way in terms of playing many or few WPT events in Season XVII. One event we are fairly certain we’ll be seeing him at is the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic coming up in December. The $10,400 price tag attracts some of poker’s most elite talent, and Schindler is one of those players. Over the three most recent seasons on the World Poker Tour, Schindler has done quite well for himself at Bellagio, where the event takes place. In Season XIV, Schindler finished 34th in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic from a field of 639 for $31,611. In Season XV, he placed third in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic from a field of 791 for $736,579. Last season, Schindler cashed in the WPT Bellagio Elite Poker Championship, taking 15th for $15,889 in a field of 126 entries.
Jared Griener, currently in sixth place, is likely to make a run given his recent success on the WPT stage. Griener has reached the top 10 in a WPT Main Tour event at all three major casinos in Southern California. He finished third at the Season XV WPT L.A. Poker Classic and eighth in the Season XVI WPT Legends of Poker, with the latter event being the one that was won by Papazyan. In Season XVI, Griener would also cash in the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event and the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, placing 27th and 109th, respectively. Griener has repeatedly expressed his desire to win a WPT title, and we expect that desire to fuel his schedule on the World Poker Tour for Season XVII.
The season has just begun, so players have plenty of time to add his or her name to the leaderboard above. Be sure to stay tuned to WPT.com for continued coverage of the World Poker Tour, including updates on the Hublot WPT Player of the Year competition.
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 and will be awarding a custom Hublot timepiece to the winner of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. Additionally, the Season XVII winner will receive $15,000 in WPT tournament buy-in credits and complimentary accommodations at all WPT Main Tour events in Season XVIII.
Prizes have been added for the second- and third-place finishers in the race, too. The runner-up will receive $7,500 in WPT tournament buy-in credits and third place will receive $2,500 in WPT tournament buy-in credits. WPT tournament buy-in credits can be used in any global WPT event, including the WPT Main Tour, WPTDeepStacks, WPT500, and WPT Special Events.
The WPT Main Tour Continues with WPT Choctaw
The next WPT Main Tour stop is in Durant, Oklahoma, for WPT Choctaw. The $3,700 buy-in WPT Choctaw Championship kicks off on August 3, 2018, for the first of two starting flights. The event has a $1 million guarantee on the prize pool. If history is any indication, the WPT Choctaw $3,700 Championship will attract one of the largest fields of the season.
After WPT Choctaw, the World Poker Tour hits the East Coast for back-to-back events in September. First up is the WPT Borgata Poker Open starting September 16, then it’s down to Maryland for WPT Maryland at Live! Casino starting September 21.
Looking to win your way to a World Poker Tour event for your shot at becoming a WPT champion? Play for your chance on ClubWPT.com, where eligible VIP Members can play for over $100,000 in cash and prizes each month, including seats to WPT events, no purchase necessary.