We’re entering the final six weeks of 2023, and tournament poker’s two Player of the Year races appear to come down to two men. Both men have been in the top five, if not top two, for most of the year, so it’s no surprise that they’re vying for the crown. It will be interesting to see if anyone in the top ten can pull ahead, especially with some important events on the horizon, and edge out our top two performers to steal the crown from us at the end of the year.
Bin Weng leads “Nacho” Barbero at CardPlayer POY
In the race for CardPlayer Magazine’s Player of the Year, Bin Weng continued to hold the top spot on the leaderboard. For most players, cashing in 47 times in a year would be unthinkable, but Weng has wreaked havoc on the tournament poker world over the last twelve months. In this mix of cash winnings, Weng captured a World Poker Tour title, won the WPT’s EveryOne for One Drop, and made the final table of another WPT tournament. All of these efforts have resulted in Weng being the only player with more than 10,000 points on the CardPlayer leaderboard (10,180 to be exact), which would have surpassed previous POY champions (defending champion Stephen Chidwick, for example, scored en route to victory 6,499 points). 2022).
Still, Weng has no lock on the CardPlayer title.
Right behind Weng was Jose “Nacho” Barbero, a constant nemesis. Barbero doesn’t have the resume of Weng, but he has done well with 37 cashes through 2023. Two runner-up finishes in the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series – one in August in London, one in October in Monte Carlo – have booked over $5.6 million for Barbero alone. As we near the end of 2023, he is within striking distance of Weng, has 9,492 points and is just one tournament win away from overtaking Weng.
The other men in the top five are hot on Barbero’s heels. Isaac Haxton (9467), Chris Brewer (9305) and Chidwick (8775) are contenders for the POY crown. However, they may need a little more than just a win to take the POY lead, just like anyone else ranked in the top ten rankings.
With only six weeks left in the 2023 tournament poker season, here’s how CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year Race sizes larger:
1. Bin Weng, 10,180 points
2. Jose ‘Nacho’ Barbero, 9492
3. Isaac Haxton, 9467
4. Chris Brewer, 9305
5. Stephen Chidwick, 8775
6. Ren Lin, 8685
7. Danny Tang, 8108
8. Alex Foxen, 6973
9. Jason Koon, 6620
10. Jeremy Ausmus, 6112
Weng, Barbero fight for GPI POY
The song remains the same in the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race, as the top three men are all the same. The difference is that because of the way the GPI calculates the points for their race, they are much closer together and a cash of any kind can be enough to move someone up or down the leaderboard. However, it’s still better to be the lead dog, and Weng is that here too.
Weng has compiled 4485.16 points to that mark in 2023, but he’s starting to run out of low-hanging fruit to grab. Since only thirteen appearances count toward the GPI POY, you’ll need to look at the “low end” of Weng’s appearances. A cash Weng earned in May at the Lodge’s High Roller event in Round Rock, TX (152.3 points) and a place in the Potomac Poker Open Main Event in August (163.74 points) are the two bad marks, which could be tough for Weng to beat unless it’s a big result.
Surprisingly, it could be Barbero who is in a more difficult situation here than Weng. Of Barbero’s thirteen placings, all are between 210.22 and 556.72 points. That’s a lot of points to top, especially considering that the number of tournaments, their size and their player numbers are important parts of the GPI calculations.
Haxton faces a very similar situation to Barbero. Haxton’s score range is between 232.15 and 583.57 points, meaning Haxton would have to win one of the remaining major events to even increase his point total. Therein lies the problem for Haxton – there aren’t as many events left that would earn him as many points.
As the calendar says, there are still six weeks until the end of 2023. Here are the top ten Global Poker Index Player of the Year Ranking:
1. Bin Weng, 4485.16 points
2. José “Nacho” Barbero, 4387.82
3. Isaac Haxton, 4168.62
4. Danny Tang, 4047.65
5. Chris Brewer, 4013.23
6. Ren Lin, 3978.52
7. Stephen Chidwick, 3904.93
8. Jesse Lonis, 3695.39
9. Jason Koon, 3673.79
10. Daniel Dvoress, 3571.33
There are some monster events coming up over the next six weeks that could impact both races. Of course, there’s the WPT World Championship at Wynn in December with its guaranteed $40 million Main Event that’s sure to attract a crowd of players. There’s also the World Series of Poker trying to get into this game with its trip to the Bahamas for the WSOP Paradise. For those Europeans who don’t want to hop on a plane to play poker, the European Poker Tour’s hugely popular stop at Prague’s Hilton Hotel may be just the ticket. In addition (although it may not qualify for the POY races), the PokerGO Tour offers a number of tournaments culminating in the PGT Championship at the end of the year (limited entries could result in disqualification). It’s going to be an entertaining battle as the best poker players try to see who will emerge victorious in 2023’s most important Player of the Year races.