With the start of August and the end of the 2014 World Series of Poker, some serious tournament action will return to several regions that have laid dormant during the summer months.
The summer of 2014 has had its effect on the BLUFF North American Player of the Year race, to be clear. Between the WSOP and other events happening throughout Las Vegas in June and July, the change has been dramatic. The start of a new season of the World Poker Tour should continue to shape the outcome of in the region that should continue to see the highest volume.
Jacob Schindler had one of the strongest finishes to the summer of any tournament player. After finishing third at his lone WSOP final table of the summer, Schindler won a $10,000 at Bellagio, took third in a $100,000 Super High Roller at the Bellagio and wrapped it all up with a third third place finish in less than a month in the Venetian DeepStack Main Event. Schindler’s run towards the top of the Overall BLUFF Player of the Year race has been fueled almost exclusively through his results in North America – which also include a win in the $25,000 High Roller at the PCA back in January.
An already strong year that saw Joe McKeehen win a Venetian Deep Stack and a big Borgata Winter Poker Open side event took a massive leap late in the WSOP. McKeehen’s second place finish in the Monster Stack earned McKeehen the biggest cash of his tournament career, and also pushed him to second in North America and sixth in the Overall POY race.
Brandon Shack-Harris is third after a WSOP to remember – one that has him on top in the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year race. Shack-Harris had a win, two seconds and two third place finishes, narrowly missing out on a second bracelet in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. That puts him third, ahead of two guys who have spent the last few months tightly holding on to a spot in the top five in Mike Leah and Keven Stammen.
- Jacob Schindler – 758.95
- Joseph McKeehen – 744.42
- Brandon Shack-Harris – 672.90
- Mike Leah – 670.54
- Keven Stammen – 623.55
With a big chunk of the European contingent spending seven weeks or more in Las Vegas, the demand for big tournament action was virtually non-existent over the last few . The top five remained almost identical to what it was at the start of the summer, with one exception. Eugene Katchalov was able to sit on his hands and film a reality show through the summer, but he’ll have some challengers over the next few months.
Erwann Pecheux stayed in Europe a few extra days at the start of the summer and made it coulnt, taking third in the WPT National Cannes Main Event. That result put him in fifth place going into the busiest time of the year in Europe.
- Eugene Katchalov – 386.40
- Bryan Paris – 369.56
- Ole Schemion – 365.68
- Oliver Price – 362.02
- Erwann Pecheux – 354.20
There’s similarly been very few points accumulated over the last few months in Australasia, with the top five players holding serve. Two tours will have events throughout the rest of the year, but with the APPT and ANZPT holding several major events. The biggest factor in this race, however, will very likely be the second edition of WSOP Asia-Pacific, which moves into the fall this year with 10 bracelets and a lot of money on the line at the Crown.
- Mike McDonald – 300.00
- Ami Barer – 296.00
- Dean Blatt – 288.75
- Yevgeniy Timoshenko – 250.00
- Phil Ivey – 250.00
South America is the one region other than North America where we see serious movement among the top five players. New players occupy the top two spots because of one big tournament from late May – the LAPT Sao Polo Main Event in Brazil. While the nation was prepping for the 2014 World Cup, the Sao Paolo Parque Anhembi hosted a $1,965 buy-in event that drew 1,167 players and created a prizepool just shy of $2 million.
Carlos Hey took home the first place prize of $357,295 and enough BLUFF POY points to take over the lead in this region. Victor Sbrissa, who won the LAPT Brazil Main Event in 2013, finished second to Hey and is now second in the South American POY race. The final two spots belong to the two biggest winners in the LAPT Sao Paolo High Roller. Richard Dubini took down the title and currently sits fourth, while runner-up Joao Simao rounds out the top five.
- Carlos Hey – 220.00
- Victor Sbrissa – 178.80
- Mario Lopez – 176.00
- Richard Dubini – 172.00
- Joao Paulo Pires Neffa Simao – 148.50
Africa’s the region with the least recorded results, and while there’s no change here there are two events that are likely to play a big part in determining this regional winner. The WPT National series in Marrakech takes place in mid-October, while the WPT Emperor’s Palace Classic happens a month later in Johannesburg, South Africa. For now, however, Olivier Paris can rest easy with his lead intact.
- Olivier Paris – 140.00
- Abdessamade El Mzdadi – 121.00
- Diogo Miranda – 120.00
- Davor Dadic – 120.00
- Bart Lybaert – 98.00
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