Just one week stands between most poker players and the 2015 World Series of Poker, but Dzmitry Urbanovich won’t be joining them in Las Vegas this time around. The 19-year from Poland has to sit this one out due to his age, but he’ll still be the player everyone else will be chasing heading into the WSOP.
That’s thanks to a tremendous five month stretch so far in 2015, one that’s put Urbanovich on a record pace in the BLUFF POY race. He’s accumulated a significantly higher amount of POY points at this juncture than the leader has had in any of the last three years, and while Urbanovich will almost certainly be looking up at someone by the time the 2015 WSOP is done he’ll have less ground to make up thanks to his efforts so far.
Urbanovich’s 888.53 points by May 20 in 2015 dwarfs the totals that Mike McDonald (690.88, 2014), Paul Volpe (638.32, 2013) and Jonathan Duhamel (713.30, 2012) had at this same point as the leader over the last few years. It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances for Steve O’Dwyer, whose 726.66 points also outpaces any of those three players through the first five months of the year.
Looking at the historical record for the BLUFF POY race for this week, half a dozen names appear in the top 20 leading into the WSOP more than once. O’Dwyer, Daniel Negreanu, Ole Schemion and Mustapha Kanit have each been in contention in the BLUFF POY twice heading into the WSOP, while Scott Seiver and Joe Kuether have ranked that high three times, including 2015.
Only one of the aforementioned players added any points to his total this week. O’Dwyer finished 31st in the WPT Amsterdam Main Event and tacked on an extra nine points, but he was an outlier this week to be sure. It’s always been a quiet week in the leadup to the WSOP, to be fair, as most players either get set to travel to Las Vegas or head somewhere outside of the United States to play PokerStars SCOOP events.
Aside from O’Dwyer, just one other player in the top 20 accumulated even a single POY point this week. Fresh off an HPT title in East Chicago, Nick Pupillo headed to the FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek Michigan and final tabled the MSPT Main Event there. He’d finish sixth, and that result was enough to push Pupillo up five spots into 11th just one week after that HPT win first put him in the top 20.
It’s the right time of the year to catch fire, but he’ll have to stay on that kind of roll in the weeks to come. With one more week, the POY race will enter the most exciting and volatile period of the year – and, as Dan Colman proved in 2014, the WSOP can be a launching pad to becoming the player of the year.
2015 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings (as of May 20)
- Dzmitry Urbanovich – 888.53 (-)
- Steve O’Dwyer – 726.66 (-)
- Anthony Zinno – 665.70 (-)
- Nick Petrangelo – 611.09 (-)
- Scott Seiver – 606.76 (-)
- Taylor Paur – 524.14 (-)
- Atanas Kavrakov – 517.99 (-)
- Joe Kuether – 503.68 (-)
- Ivan Luca – 495.25 (-)
- Erik Seidel – 494.86 (-)
- Nick Pupillo – 475.51 (+5)
- Tom Marchese – 470.00 (-1)
- Mustapha Kanit – 457.96 (-1)
- Stephen Chidwick – 447.88 (-1)
- Asher Conniff – 444.98 (-1)
- Dan Heimiller – 441.37 (-1)
- Charlie Carrel – 431.15 (-)
- Jose Montes – 427.25 (-)
- Connor Drinan – 421.50 (-)
- Jean Montury – 421.32 (-)
Dropped from Rankings: None
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