Young Gun Urbanovich Hard Pressed to Hold POY Lead Through WSOP

Dzmitry Urbanovich leads Bluff POY heading into the WSOP but won't play any bracelet events. (Photo courtesy of PokerStars)

Dzmitry Urbanovich leads POY heading into the WSOP but won’t play any bracelet events. (Photo courtesy of PokerStars)

The 2015 World Series of Poker opens its doors Wednesday and Dzmitry Urbanovich holds a record-high points total in the 2015 Player of the Year race but is too young to play in Las Vegas. Urbanovich has 888.53 POY points, the highest anybody has had through May over the last three years.

Steve O’Dwyer is also ahead of the pace set the last three years, but his limited WSOP schedule may keep him from taking over the lead. But 2014 BLUFF POY winner Dan Colman wasn’t even on the radar in 2014 until after the WSOP and proved anything can happen during the seven weeks at the Rio.

Nick Pupillo jumped ten spots in the last two weeks after picking up his 20th cash in 2015. The BLUFF POY formula factors only the ten highest scores and his last four cashes had POY values of 84, 27.5, 52.8 and 143 points. The largest was from his win in the Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago Main Event for $120,537.

Since the start of the year, Pupillo has 13 final tables and seven five-figure scores. He picked up valuable POY points on the WSOP Circuit this year – including his first WSOPC ring from a $580 event in St. Louis.

Scott Seiver sits fifth overall and may be the most dangerous player in the rankings heading into the WSOP. He’s earned all of his POY points this year in world-class events like the Aussie Millions, the PCA, the LA.. Poker Classic and the EPT Grand Final. The average buy-in across his ten cashes is $62,253, which includes eight final tables.

Seiver also has the most WSOP experience among the top ten, he’s averaged five cashes a year since 2010 and the four events he cashed in during the 2014 Series had buy-ins of $5,000, $10,000, $50,000 and $1,000,000. A run like that this summer could easily propel into contention.

But when it comes to WSOP success amongst POY contenders, Erik Seidel is in a class by himself – he has eight bracelets, 88 cashes and 38 final tables. He’s in the POY mix this year thanks to his six cashes this year, four of them were either in high roller or super high roller events which put him in 11th place. His most recent win came at the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller event where he bested Urbanovich heads-up at a final table which included Igor Kurganov, Fedor Holz and Seiver.

2015 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings (as of May 27)

  1. Dzmitry Urbanovich – 888.53 (-)
  2. Steve O’Dwyer – 726.66 (-)
  3. Anthony Zinno – 665.70 (-)
  4. Nick Petrangelo – 611.09 (-)
  5. Scott Seiver – 606.76 (-)
  6. Nick Pupillo – 566.25 (+5)
  7. Taylor Paur – 524.14 (-1)
  8. Atanas Kavrakov – 517.99 (-1)
  9. Joe Kuether – 503.68 (-1)
  10. Ivan Luca – 495.25 (-1)
  11. Erik Seidel – 494.86 (-1)
  12. Tom Marchese – 470.00 (-)
  13. Mustapha Kanit – 457.96 (-)
  14. Stephen Chidwick – 447.88 (-)
  15. Asher Conniff – 444.98 (-)
  16. Dan Heimiller – 441.37 (-)
  17. Charlie Carrel – 431.15 (-)
  18. Jose Montes – 427.25 (-)
  19. Connor Drinan – 421.50 (-)
  20. Jean Montury – 421.32 (-)

Dropped from Rankings: None

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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 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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