POY: Dominik Panka Extends Lead, Mustapha Kanit Climbs

Dominik Panka returned to the winner's circle just three weeks after winning the 2014 PCA Main Event. (Photo c/o Neil Stoddart/PokerStars Blog)

Dominik Panka returned to the winner’s circle just three weeks after winning the 2014 PCA Main Event. (Photo c/o Neil Stoddart/PokerStars Blog)

The current 2014 BLUFF Player of the Year standings saw Dominik Panka extend his lead over the field courtesy of his EPT High Roller Deauville win. Also, Mustapha Kanit climbed inside the top five spots and Anthony Merulla landed on the list with his WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open title.

Seven new players debuted in the POY race – one of the largest influx of players in the top 20 spots in a week’s time – Sotirios Koutoupas, Dan Shak, Farid Jattin, Eli Heath, Michael Kirchner, Max Altergott and Merulla.

Panka is new to the live circuit has registered just four cashes – albeit he has two outright wins in talented fields in the last month. He claimed the PCA Main Event title earlier this month and returned to the winner’s circle after taking down the EPT Deauville €10,000 High Roller last week. He topped an international final table that had Davidi Kitai finish sixth and Martin Staszko and Alexander Kravchenko  both bubbled the final table.

Altergott has been cashing in live tournaments for less than a year and already has $2.7 million in winnings. He burst onto the scene last year winning the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller. He earned 220 POY points for getting credited with the $25,000 Challenge at Aussie Millions that turned into a turbo event.

Kanit took his PCA momentum – he final tabled the $25,000 High Roller – and turned in back-to-back wins at the Aussie Millions. He first took down Event 1, an AU$955 event for AU$196,000 and 105 POY points. The took down a Six-Max event for AU$91,195 and 70 POY points. Kanit has already booked $779,795 in winnings so far this year.

Just like Panka, Merulla came out of no where to win his title. His WPT win at the Borgata is the only live cash he has recorded – a $842,379 score. He topped a talented field that had David Paredes finish runner-up, Jared Jaffe in fourth and Chris Reslock in tenth place.

Koutoupas has seven cashes dating back to 2011 and most of them have been on EPT stops. He finally broke through and became the first Greek EPT champ in history. He collected his second six-figure cash – his first was at 2012 EPT Prague Main Event where he finished runner-up.

Heath found his way into the standings following a pair of EPT Deauville cashes – he final tabled the Main Event and won a Turbo Bounty event. Kirchner also had a pair of cashes in Deauville – runner-up in a $3,000 event and a smaller Deep Stack event.

Current 2014 BLUFF Player of the Year Top 20

  1. Dominik Panka – 620.00 (-)
  2. Mike McDonald – 340.00 (-)
  3. Vanessa Selbst – 306.00 (-)
  4. Mustapha Kanit – 299.08 (+5)
  5. Jacob Schindler – 282.00 (-1)
  6. Anthony Merulla – 280.00 (NR)
  7. Sotirios Koutoupas – 272.00 (NR)
  8. Fabian Quoss – 264.10 (-3)
  9. Dan Shak – 247.60 (NR)
  10. Farid Jattin – 242.40 (NR)
  11. Eli Heath – 240.68 (NR)
  12. Alex Bilokur – 240.00 (-6)
  13. Joe Kuether – 235.90 (-6)
  14. Tyler Morris – 231.00 (-6)
  15. Isaac Baron – 228.00 (-1)
  16. Michel Kirchner – 227.60 (NR)
  17. Alexander Condon – 226.28 (-7)
  18. Matt Glantz – 225.90 (-7)
  19. Niels van Leeuwen – 220.00 (-7)
  20. Max Altergott – 220.00 (NR)

Dropped from Rankings: Greg Merson (13th), Simon Deadman (15th), Buyanjargal Bold (16th), Tiberu-florian Georgescu (17th), Georgios Karakousis (18th), Mike Leah (19th), Kamel Tir (20th).

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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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