BLUFF POY: Mustapha Kanit Assumes Lead, Alex Bilokur Enters Top Five

Mustapha Kanit is the new BLUFF Player of the Year leader as he continues his success at the 2014 WSOP. (Drew Amato photo)

Mustapha Kanit is the new BLUFF Player of the Year leader as he continues his success at the 2014 WSOP. (Drew Amato photo)

The 2014 BLUFF Player of the Year race was a two-person race for most of the year as Mike McDonald or Dominik Panka have appeared at the top since the start of the year. That changes this week as Italy’s Mustapha Kanit continued a string of deep runs at the 2014 World Series of Poker to pass McDonald and take the lead.

Kanit made his first appearance on the BLUFF POY leaderboard earlier this year after winning back-to-back events at the Aussie Millions in Melbourne. His next results were in April as he made two final tables in High Roller events at in San Remo and the France Poker Series High Roller in Monte Carlo. Kanit moved into the top five last week with his fifth place finish in Event 19: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em. During the past week, Kanit made two more deep runs, finishing on the final table bubble in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed, following up by finishing fifth in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Handed event to move past Mike McDonald, who joined Kanit as the only players with over 700 BLUFF POY points after cashing in Event 26: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em.

The United Nations-look of the leaderboard as six different countries occupy the top six spots, was bolstered by Russian’s Alex Bilokur making the biggest move over the past week, climbing 12 spots into third. Bilokur’s first WSOP bracelet, earned in the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship, moved him past Dominik Panka, still without a cash since late-March. Keven Stammen and Belgium’s Davidi Kitai were scoreless last week, falling to fifth and sixth respectively.

George Danzer currently has a tight hold on the WSOP Player of the Year race, powered by BLUFF, as he entered the top ten of the BLUFF POY leaderboard with a ninth place finish in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed Championship. Coupled with a mincash in the $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo/Stud Hi-Lo, Danzer moves into ninth place. Danzer will move up once again next week as he’s at the final table in the $10,000 Stud Hi-Lo Championship.

Believe it or not, there are tournaments going on in Vegas outside of the Rio. Joseph McKeehen fell out of the top 20 last week, but he was the highest placing newcomer in the top 20 after he won a $2,200 No Limit Hold’em tournament at the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza to move into tenth place.

Erwann Pecheux makes his debut in the top 20 after a final table appearance at the Venetian and three WSOP cashes to move into 17th place. Pecheux had built up his score earlier in the year with several high placings on the EPT and WPT National events in France. JC Tran’s fourth place in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed nudged him into 18th place while a win the $1,500 Stud Hi/Lo moved Calvin Anderson into 20th position. Anderson is also at the $10,000 Stud Hi-Lo Championship final table which will greatly improve his chances of a lengthy stay in the top 20.

2014 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings (as of June 19):

  1. Mustapha Kanit – 732.10 (+4)
  2. Mike McDonald – 715.08 (-1)
  3. Alex Bilokur – 689.00 (+12)
  4. Dominik Panka – 667.04 (-2)
  5. Keven Stammen – 631.10 (-2)
  6. Davidi Kitai – 583.75 (NR)
  7. Vanessa Selbst – 580.60 (-1)
  8. Ole Schemion – 554.74 (-)
  9. George Danzer – 539.70 (+5)
  10. Joseph McKeehen – 539.34 (NR)
  11. Ami Barer – 533.73 (-2)
  12. Eric Blair – 529.53 (-1)
  13. Mike Leah – 529.49 (-1)
  14. Mukul Pahuja – 525.90 (-6)
  15. Byron Kaverman – 522.56 (+2)
  16. Joe Kuether – 504.60 (-6)
  17. Erwann Pecheux – 504.00 (NR)
  18. JC Tran – 498.70 (NR)
  19. James Carroll – 489.10 (-6)
  20. Calvin Anderson – 460.56 (NR)

Dropped from Rankings: Eugene Katchalov (17th), Justin Bomomo (18th), Simon Deadman (19th), Alexander Condon (20th)

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Kevin Mathers

Widely known by his twitter handle "Kevmath", many consider Kevin a go-to source for news and information in the poker community. Kevin finished on the bubble in the 2014 edition of the BLUFF Power 20.
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