POY: Esfandiari Cracks Top 10 with WPT Five Diamond Final Table

Andrew Lichtenberger made his fourth major final table of 2012 at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

The 2012 BLUFF Player of the Year race is quickly winding towards a close, with one of the final major events of the year having a definitive impact on the top 20 but falling just short of adding another serious contender.

The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic had one of the most pro-heavy fields deep in the tournament and at the final table, and that’s pretty clearly reflected in this week’s top 20. For the third consecutive year Antonio Esfandiari made the final table of this tournament, and though he failed to win it for the second time he did finish fourth. That cash capped a career year for one of the most established pro’s in the game, adding to two bracelets and three WSOP final tables including the Big One for One Drop.

It’s pretty clear how top-heavy this year’s POY race is that this finish only brought Esfandiari up to ninth. Four spots behind Esfandiari in 13th place is Andrew Lichtenberger, who finished right behind Esfandiari at the Five Diamond final table. Lichtenberger’s fifth place result there capped a year in which Lichtenberger managed multiple major final tables, including three between the WSOP and WSOP Europe.

The rest of the top 20 remained the same, with Mohsin Charania and Oliver Speidel dropping from this list to accommodate Esfandiari and Lichtenberger. To put things a little more into scope, ten players in the top 60 of the BLUFF POY race finished in the money at the WPT Five Diamond to improve their standing. Here’s the top 20 after the conclusion of that tournament.

  1. Dan Smith – 1,261.01 (-)
  2. Greg Merson – 1,157.55 (-)
  3. Marvin Rettenmaier – 1,090.52 (-)
  4. Joseph Cheong – 961.42 (-)
  5. Phil Hellmuth – 915.64 (-)
  6. Phil Ivey – 904.17 (-)
  7. Michael Mizrachi – 855.07 (-)
  8. Ole Schemion – 848.05 (-)
  9. Antonio Esfandiari – 833.54 (NR)
  10. Jonathan Duhamel – 800.50 (-)
  11. Brock Parker – 759.56 (-)
  12. Kyle Julius – 738.00 (-)
  13. John Juanda – 724.11 (-)
  14. Will Failla – 720.85 (-)
  15. Sam Razavi – 713.15 (-)
  16. Matt Salsberg – 712.95 (-)
  17. Andrew Lichtenberger – 712.20 (NR)
  18. Vanessa Selbst – 706.50 (-)
  19. Keven Stammen – 699.02 (-)
  20. Dominik Nitsche – 692.48 (-)
Dropped From Rankings: Oliver Speidel, Mohsin Charania
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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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