Since Panka and McDonald finished first and second in the PCA Main Event back in January, their years have been tied together. McDonalds’s second and third seven-figure cashes just over a month’s time in Melbourne earned him just enough BLUFF POY points to edge past Panka, but the favor was returned this week in Vienna.
Panka’s first two tournament cashes of the year resulted in victories – first the PCA Main Event, and then the EPT Deauville High Roller. His third cash wasn’t quite as strong, but also resulted in a final table appearance in the Eureka Vienna High Roller. He was the first player to go out at the final table, but Panka still earned enough points to push past McDonald into first.
McDonald and Panka are still very close to each other and a fair bit ahead of the pack, but the field is slowly drawing itself closer. James Carroll continued to climb this week, recording his third final table appearance in the month of March. Carroll debuted in fourth last week by winning the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Classic, and moved himself another rung higher in the BLUFF POY race by heading back to Vegas and finishing sixth in the Wynn Classic Main Event.
There were widespread changes throughout the top 20, including five debuts, making this an even more significant week in the 2014 BLUFF POY race. Eugene Katchalov found himself in a familiar spot, as the 2011 BLUFF POY cracked the top five by winning the Eureka Vienna High Roller. James Calderaro debuted just behind him in sixth after taking second in the WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open.
Nipun Java won the WSOP Circuit Main Event at The Bike in Los Angeles this week, and it earned him enough points to jump to 15th in the BLUFF POY race – along with $226,785 and an automatic bid in the WSOP National Championship. Joseph Mckeehen has put together some results in the Northeast so far this year at Parx and Foxwoods, with his Foxwood Poker Classic Main Event victory pushing him into the top 20 this week.
The Queen City Classic Main Event at Harrahs Cincinnati gave us the fifth and final debut of the week, as Keven Stammen’s second place finish gave him just enough POY points to put him in 19th.
More changes seem to be on the horizon, with two more major events in Vienna and a big WPT National event in Montreal in the next week alone. It will only get busier as the calendar turns to April, with the WPT Championship and EPT Grand Final rapidly approaching, and we’re only nine weeks out from the beginning of the 2014 WSOP.
2014 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings (As of March 26)
- Dominik Panka – 667.04 (+1)
- Mike McDonald – 640.00 (-1)
- James Carroll – 467.60 (+1)
- Mike Leah – 443.55 (-1)
- Eugene Katchalov – 401.40 (NR)
- James Calderaro – 371.00 (NR)
- Dylan Wilkerson – 365.05 (-)
- Jacob Schindler – 364.20 (-3)
- Fabian Quoss – 359.10 (-3)
- Simon Deadman – 341.75 (-2)
- Joe Kuether – 336.70 (-2)
- Sotirios Koutoupas – 336.25 (-1)
- Jonathan Gaviao – 327.73 (-3)
- Ami Barer – 321.65 (-1)
- Nipun Java – 320.70 (NR)
- Alexander Condon – 318.04 (-4)
- Joseph Mckeehen – 311.49 (NR)
- Oliver Price – 309.00 (-4)
- Keven Stammen – 306.75 (NR)
- Vanessa Selbst – 306.00 (-5)
Dropped from Rankings: Chris Moorman (16th), Mustapha Kanit (17th), Matt Glantz (18th), Andrea Dato (19th), Anthony Merulla (20th)
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