Nick Petrangelo, Brian Altman & Marc-Étienne McLaughlin Rise in POY Ranks

Brian Altman's WPT Lucky Hearts win was the biggest of his career - and it also put him in the top 10 of the 2015 BLUFF POY race. (Photo c/o World Poker Tour / Joe Giron)

Brian Altman’s WPT Lucky Hearts win was the biggest of his career – and it also put him in the top 10 of the 2015 BLUFF POY race. (Photo c/o World Poker Tour / Joe Giron)

We’re only seven weeks into 2015, and while the crazy shifts in the BLUFF Player of the Year race have slowed down for the time being players are still putting themselves on the map with big results at major events.

Nick Petrangelo reached lofty heights this week, moving up four spots to third after his third big final table of the year. Having already won an eight-handed turbo event and final tabling the $10,000 High Roller to kick off the year at the PCA, Petrangelo added a fourth place finish in a big prelim event just before the start of the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic.

Marc-Étienne McLaughlin won that tournament in Niagara Falls, helping his cause tremendously in debuting in ninth this week. McLaughlin also made a final table at the PCA – he finished third in a $5,300 turbo. One spot ahead of McLaughlin in eighth is Brian Altman, who scored the biggest win of his career by far in taking down the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event for $723,008.

Ognyan Dimov managed to hold on to his spot in 10th despite all of the movement ahead of him, thanks to results finally coming in from WPT National Cyprus in late January. With the exception of Tom Marchese and Scott Seiver in the top two spots, no other player managed to hold on to the same spot for two consecutive weeks.

Rounding out the group of three debuts in this week’s top 20 is an old familiar face. Joe Kuether has seemingly been somewhere in the BLUFF POY top 20 for four years running, and after a few weeks of being outside that familiar position in 2015 he returned this week with a pair of cashes at the WSOP Circuit’s stop at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

Kuether’s big points came at the very end of the 2015 PCA, when he finished second in the $10,000 High Roller. His rise, along with the big jumps from Altman and McLaughlin, meant Ramin Hajiyev, Dzimitry Urbanovich and Josip Simunic each fell out of the top 20.

Smaller tours dominate the tournament calendar over the next couple of weeks, and they’ll likely leave their mark, but March brings some serious tournament action to the table. Between the WPT’s California Swing and the EPT’s debut trip to Malta, there’s a lot of money and, subsequently, a lot of POY points to be won.

2015 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings (as of February 18)

  1. Tom Marchese – 470.00 (-)
  2. Scott Seiver – 402.16 (-)
  3. Nick Petrangelo – 371.74 (+4)
  4. Kevin Schulz – 360.00 (-1)
  5. Alexander Trevallion – 331.60 (-1)
  6. Steve O’Dwyer – 329.86 (-1)
  7. Manny Stavropoulos – 296.00 (-1)
  8. Brian Altman – 287.20 (NR)
  9. Marc Etienne McLaughlin – 287.00 (NR)
  10. Ognyan Dimov – 284.20 (-)
  11. Ilkin Garibli – 282.00 (-3)
  12. Phil Ivey – 279.60 (-2)
  13. Bryn Kenney – 277.38 (-2)
  14. Aaron Mermelstein – 275.38 (-2)
  15. Josh Kay – 266.00 (-2)
  16. Joe Kuether – 265.60 (NR)
  17. Tony Gregg – 258.00 (-3)
  18. Roger Sippl – 252.55 (-3)
  19. Diego Ventura – 252.00 (-3)
  20. Richard Yong – 250.00 (-3)

Dropped from Rankings: Ramin Hajiyev (18th), Dzimitry Urbanovich (19th), Josip Simunic (20th)

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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