The Heartland Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker Circuit each offer mid-level tournament buy-ins with big prizepools around the United States – and earning a single Main Event title on either tour can make a year for some players.
Jose Montes kicked off his year by winning one of the biggest WSOPC Main Event stops of the year at Choctaw in January, and that $352,669 dwarfed all his previous tournament results. One month later Montes struck again at HPT Golden Gates, in one of that tour’s biggest yearly events.
At Golden Gates, Montes added another title and $240,523, pushing his earnings for 2015 to just shy of $600,000. Those two victories paired together also earned Montes a boatload of points in the 2015 BLUFF Player of the Year race – enough, in fact, to push him all the way up to second in the standings.
He finds himself in some rarefied air, positioned directly between the likes of Tom Marchese and Scott Seiver – and Montes is very much one of the top contenders through the first two months of the year.
The other movement this week is relatively minor in comparison. WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open champion Aaron Mermelstein earned his third cash of the year in the Parx Big Stax, and jumped two spots to 12th. Paul Volpe earned his second side event victory of the year at the LAPC, and his win in the $500 bounty tournament brought him into the top 20 at number 15.
Speaking of the LAPC, the prelims are quickly winding down at the Commerce – and some of the biggest side events are set for the coming days. The LAPC Main Event is set to start on Saturday afternoon, and that kicks off the WPT’s California Swing – a series of tournaments that could have a big impact on the 2015 BLUFF POY race in the weeks to come.
2015 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings (As of February 25)
- Tom Marchese – 470.00 (-)
- Jose Montes – 420.75 (NR)
- Scott Seiver – 402.16 (-1)
- Nick Petrangelo – 371.74 (-1)
- Kevin Schulz – 360.00 (-1)
- Alexander Trevallion – 331.60 (-1)
- Steve O’Dwyer – 329.86 (-1)
- Manny Stavropoulos – 296.00 (-1)
- Brian Altman – 287.20 (-1)
- Marc-Étienne McLaughlin – 287.00 (-1)
- Ognyan Dimov – 284.20 (-1)
- Aaron Mermelstein – 282.53 (+2)
- Ilkin Garibli – 282.00 (-2)
- Phil Ivey – 279.60 (-2)
- Paul Volpe – 277.80 (NR)
- Bryn Kenney – 277.38 (-3)
- Josh Kay – 266.00 (-2)
- Joe Kuether – 265.60 (-2)
- Tony Gregg – 258.00 (-2)
- Roger Sippl – 252.55 (-2)
Dropped from Rankings: Diego Ventura (19th), Richard Yong (20th)
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