May 2013 Player of the Year Rankings

The 2013 BLUFF Player of the Year race is just now heating up for real. After Paul Volpe put together back-to-back World Poker Tour final tables to soar to the top spot, other players have stepped up to form a fairly hungry chase group. Mike Watson, known for strong performances in high roller events, has grouped together a bunch of final tables and now poses the biggest threat to Volpe’s lead. Here’s how the biggest movers and shakers from the last month.

2. Mike Watson

Points: 453.20
(Last Month: 8th)

Mike WatsonThird, first, third, second, second. Those are the five consecutive finishes that Mike Watson managed to rattle off over the course of two months between the PCA and EPT London. After his massive score in the $25,000 High Roller at Atlantis, Watson has been crushing side events all over the world. Watson’s most recent success came in the form of back-to-back second-place finishes at EPT London.

The first came in a £2,000 No Limit tournament, where he was the runner-up to John Eames, at a buy-in level that Eames manages to win tournaments at so often they’ve started to nickname them “The John Eames Invitational.” He padded his stats with another second-place result to Ognjen Sekularac, which earned him almost $70,000 and pushed his earnings to more than $730,000 for the year. Watson tacked on a cash in the inaugural event of WSOP Asia-Pacific to push his score even higher, putting him in the best position to challenge Paul Volpe going forward.

12. Alexander Lakhov

Points: 311.68
(Last Month: 32nd)

Alexander Lakhov is a Russian pro who burst onto the scene in November with a win in the Merit Poker Fall Open Main Event in Cyprus for more than $144,000. Lakhov then went to Prague and took second in the WPT Main Event there to add almost $280,000 to his career earnings. His 2013 campaign began in Deauville, where he final tabled a six-handed side event before heading back to the Czech Republic.

It was there, in the European Poker Festival Main Event, where Lakhov earned yet another title and another $166,000. He moved up 20 spots this month by finishing third in the WPT National  Main Event in Venice. Lakhov will be part of a strong Russian contingent at the World Series of Poker this summer, and with the way he’s running, his name is likely to pop up quite a few times.

13. Stephen Bokor

Points: 310.45
(Last Month: N/A)

The majority of the players that are this high in the Player of the Year standings have one or two significant results that buoy their scores. That’s not the case with Stephen Bokor, who has already managed seven qualifying cashes in 2013. It all started with a side event cash at the PCA, and it’s snowballed ever since.

Bokor’s tournament cashes took him to Biloxi, Mississippi, Hollywood, Florida, Los Angeles and San Jose, California, Las Vegas, and finally back to Florida for the Battles at the Beach Main Event at The Isle. He won the $500,000 Guaranteed Main Event for more than $155,000, the most significant factor in his debut at the number 13 spot.

18. Fabian Quoss

Points: 296.88
(Last Month: N/A)

Fabian Quoss is part of a contingent of German players who are absolutely tearing it up right now on the circuit. Quoss started his year with a solid run in the PCA Main Event, but the Aussie Millions was where his year really started to heat up. He’d join fellow German pro Tobias Reinkemeier in the money in the $250,000 Challenge, finishing third for $750,000.

Quoss followed that up with a fifth-place finish just days later in the $25,000 Challenge to wrap up a strong series. Quoss enters the top 20 this month after finishing third in the £10,000 High Roller at EPT London. That tournament had a dramatic effect on the POY standings, with Paul Volpe (fourth) extending his lead, Talal Shakerchi (first) debuting and, of course, Quoss’ jump into contention.

29. Talal Shakerchi

Points: 276.00
(Last Month: N/A)

Talal Shakerchi is a regular on the High Roller circuit, first emerging onto the tournament circuit in 2008 with a third-place finish in the Grand Prix de Paris. The finance manager from England earned the first live title of his career in 2012 by winning a €10,000 six-handed side event at the EPT Grand Final for $223,000.

Shakerchi scored the biggest win of his career by a longshot in London late in March. The £10,000 High Roller at EPT London drew a field of 137 of the strongest players in the game, with Shakerchi standing tall in the end to claim a first-place prize worth more than $650,000. It’s his lone qualifying cash in terms of POY points this year, but with numerous opportunities on the EPT and during the WSOP for him to utilize his skillset in High Rollers, we may not have heard the last of Shakerchi.

1. Paul Volpe 564.42
2. Mike Watson 453.20
3. Dimitar Danchev 448.45
4. Paul Klann 425.85
5. Mervin Chan 393.00
6. James Anderson 377.51
7. Dani Stern 368.38
8. Vanessa Selbst 336.00
9. Scott Seiver 322.38
10. Dejan Divkovic 312.30
11. Vladimir Troyanovsky 312.20
12. Alexander Lakhov 311.68
13. Stephen Bokor 310.45
14. Ole Schemion 308.77
15. Remi Castaignon 306.00
16. Andy Hwang 303.70
17. Joel Micka 299.25
18. Fabian Quoss 296.88
19. John Dibella 295.90
20. Christopher Robin Frank 290.37
21. David Tuthill 289.80
22. Ruben Theo Visser 289.00
23. WeiKai Chang 289.00
24. Joe Cabret 288.75
25. Jeffrey Fielder 287.22
26. Tobias Reinkemeier 286.58
27. Ian Simpson 283.95
28. Shannon Shorr 283.88
29. Talal Shakerchi 276.00
30. Sam Trickett 275.00
31. Vojtech Ruzicka 261.80
32. Ravi Raghavan 258.35
33. Kent Lundmark 257.88
34. Aaron Massey 257.30
35. Dan Shak 253.43
36. Bryn Kenney 248.52
37. Ryan Eriquezzo 248.23
38. David “Doc” Sands 247.30
39. Blake Bohn 237.90
40. Oleg Suntsov 237.60
41. Ana Marquez 233.30
42. Tyler Reiman 232.68
43. Rocco Palumbo 231.53
44. Steve Tripp 231.36
45. Matt Giannetti 230.20
46. David Gonia 229.61
47. Walid Bou-habib 228.65
48. Ismet Sahin 228.00
49. Jonas Lauck 227.28
50. Tim Reilly 226.13

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May 2013