After one of the best individual years in tournament poker history – one in which he won over $22.4 million and four major titles, including the $1 million Big One for One Drop – Dan Colman earns 2014 BLUFF Player of the Year honors.
“Colman did this year what poker players dream of – he burst into the tournament scene with multiple million dollar scores and seemed to make final tables at will,” said BLUFF Editor-in-Chief Lance Bradley. “The BLUFF POY is about recognizing excellence and on the felt Colman was certainly the model of that this year.”
Colman grabbed the lead in July and, despite several challenges and late pushes from Mike Leah and Dan Smith, among others, he never dropped from that top spot. Along the way, Colman put together a year in 2014 that rivals almost any career’s worth of accomplishments.
It started out almost too slowly for Colman, who earned just over a min-cash in the PCA High Roller in January and didn’t post another result for over three months; the following four months will go down in history.
Colman closed out Season 10 of the European Poker Tour with his first win of the year, taking home over $2.1 million and the Grand Final Super High Roller title. He made another final table in Monte Carlo, but he saved the biggest fireworks for the 2014 WSOP. The first big splash of the summer saw Colman make the semifinals of the $10,000 Heads-Up championship, and the next two weeks would alter the course of his year and his life.
He made the last three tables of a $5,000 event, lasting until Day 3, and started the Big One for One Drop the very next day. Within three more days, Colman had beaten defending BLUFF Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu heads-up to take down his first career World Series of Poker bracelet and $15.3 million.
Colman was done for the WSOP, but headed down the strip to the Aria to round out his Las Vegas trip with a third place finish in a $100,000 Super High Roller. This would be the tournament that gave Colman the lead for good. August brought two more seven-figure cashes, with Colman finishing second to his good friend Olivier Busquet in the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller before heading down to Florida.
It was there that Colman got a close-up look at the guy who’d be his biggest competitor in this race. He and Leah got heads-up for the title in the $10 Million Guaranteed Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship, with Colman getting his third big win and $1.44 million for the victory. After beating some of the best the world has to offer in High Roller after High Roller, Colman beat out 1,499 in a $5,300 unlimited re-entry event – proving himself on an entirely different stage.
For his part, Leah wouldn’t let up easily. After a WPT Fallsview prelim win and two WSOP Circuit rings earned in the same day, Leah also had a second place finish at the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza in the lead-up to his runner-up in Florida. Things got tightest in October as Leah headed down to Australia and got a WSOP bracelet of his own in the APAC High Roller, but Colman had a couple more tricks up his sleeve.
After a WPT Alpha8 London win that netted him almost $1 million and didn’t even count for POY, Colman went to Macau for the Asia Championship of Poker. In that Super High Roller Colman made his ninth final table of the year, finishing seventh. That also gave him a record high point total in the history of the BLUFF Player of the Year race and all but sealed Colman’s victory.
Other Highlights: Smith earned his second BLUFF POY top-three finish in three years; he took second to Marvin Rettenmaier in 2012. In finishing fifth, Ole Schemion earned his third consecutive top-10 finish in the BLUFF Player of the Year race; Schemion took seventh in 2013 and ninth in 2014 – with most of those results coming before his 21st birthday. WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson finished sixth.
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