Eric Blair Climbs 2014 POY Rankings with WSOP Circuit Final Table

Eric Blair was the only player to move in the rankings. (Photo courtesy of WSOP)

Eric Blair was the only player to move in the rankings. (Photo courtesy of WSOP)

The tournament schedule has been relatively light the past two weeks and as a result the Top 20 players in the 2014 BLUFF Player of the Year race have remained the same for the past two weeks. Only Eric Blair improved his standing after making a final table run in the season-ending World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah’s New Orleans main event.

Mike McDonald holds the lead heading into the 2014 WSOP with Dominik Panka and Keven Stammen just one cash within reach with both players over 600 points. Just two players, Ole Schemion and Ami Barer have scores in the 500s while ten players have scores in the 400s.

Blair is in the middle of a hot streak heading into to largest poker festival in the world. He has three wins in four final tables since mid-March and netted over $300,000 during his streak. He picked up two wins in Las Vegas – the first was a Wynn Classic event and the second was a Venetian DSE main event.

Then he took his talents to the WSOP Circuit and won the Black Hawk, Colorado event for $116,325 and 143 POY points. Two weeks later he made his way south to the New Orleans stop. He made a final table run, ultimately finishing in fifth place for $44,307 and 62.70 POY points. His recent results have put him $66,500 short of $1 million in career live earnings.

Surprisingly, McDonald doesn’t have a win yet on the year. But the blow has been softened by earning $4.3 million – nearly half of his career live earnings. Furthermore, since May of 2013 McDonald has 11 cashes and had just one cash outside the final table – a 24th place finish in an EPT Vienna Bounty event.

The WSOP always re-writes the rankings in a few short weeks. But just three of the players in the Top 20 have won a WSOP bracelet – Stammen, Eugene Katchalov and Scott Seiver. But Katchalov figures to be a non-factor after announcing he would be missing most of the WSOP with plans to participate in a Ukrainian television show.

2014 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings (as of May 21)

  1. Mike McDonald – 690.88 (-)
  2. Dominik Panka – 667.04 (-)
  3. Keven Stammen – 613.50 (-)
  4. Ole Schemion – 554.74 (-)
  5. Ami Barer – 509.53 (-)
  6. Eric Blair – 492.33 (+7)
  7. Mustapha Kanit – 473.68 (-1)
  8. Alex Bilokur – 471.10 (-1)
  9. Mukul Pahuja – 470.22 (-1)
  10. James Carroll – 467.60 (-1)
  11. Mike Leah – 453.55 (-1)
  12. Byron Kaverman (-1)
  13. Joe Kuether – 433.70 (-1)
  14. James Calderaro – 403.20 (-)
  15. Eugene Katchalov – 401.40 (-)
  16. Oliver Price – 392.02 (-)
  17. Dmitri Ponomarev – 390.95 (-)
  18. Joseph Mckeehen – 386.79 (-)
  19. Eric Afriat – 380.60 (-)
  20. Scott Seiver – 378.18 (-)

Dropped from Rankings: None

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join PokerNews.com. After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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