With the start of a new calendar year comes a new tournament poker season for the poker world. All over the world, players will compete to win massive sums of money (of course), but some of these fighters will also compete to determine the mythical “best player in poker.” The two big Player of the Year races answer some of these questions or at least give rise to a lot of discussion.
David Coleman takes over as director of Early CardPlayer Magazine POY
The year 2024 is barely a month old and two players have already stood out from the crowd. David Coleman treated the Kickoff of the 2024 PokerGO Tour as his own personal playground, winning two tournaments and reaching a total of four final tables, but one of those events did not earn him any POY points. There is a reason for this, and one of the rankings introduced it to maintain some integrity in its leaderboard.
In the CardPlayer POY rankings, there is a minimum number of participants that must be reached for the tournament to count towards the POY rankings. To be eligible for POY points, a tournament must have 45 participants to be eligible. One of the tournaments Coleman won at PGT Kickoff, a $5,000 tournament, received only 41 entries and therefore did not count toward Coleman's total score.
Coleman made up for it by (ironically) starting the year with the CardPlayer Poker Tour stop at the Venetian to start the year. In her DeepStack Extravaganza $1600 tournament (with a guarantee of $400,000), Coleman emerged as champion, securing a tidy win of $115,989 and 720 POY points. That was the trigger for him to rise to the top of the race for CardPlayer Player of the Year starting in 2024.
Raminder Singh leads the chase
If Coleman hadn't had that CPPT win under his belt, the winner of one of tournament poker's major “non-tour” events would have taken first place. Raminder Singh battled Daniel Martin and Jesse Lonis for the title of the 2024 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event. This victory, along with another SHRH Lucky Hearts final table, gave Singh a massive win of almost $500,000 and enough points from the two tournaments to collect 1440 POY points.
The international poker world is also getting involved. At the 2024 Merit Poker Western Series in Cyprus, the $1.5 million guaranteed Main Event (purchase price of $3,000) attracted a stellar field of 672 entrants to beat that guarantee. In the end, Mohammed Mokrani emerged victorious, and another member of that final table, Nichan Khorchidian, also made it into the CardPlayer POY race.
Here is the status as of January 27th CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year Race top ten:
1. David Coleman, 1564 points
2. Raminder Singh, 1493
3. Mohammed Mokrani, 1260
4. Daniel Martin, 1200s
5. Max Deveson, 1128
6. Jesse Lonis, 1104
7. Alex Foxen, 1065
8. Nichan Khorchidian, 1050
9. Daniel Butler, 1020
10. William Berry, 1010
No current GPI POY statistics…
This is where we would normally provide the Global Poker Index POY race information, but the criteria for 2024 have not yet been determined. Additionally, there were not enough events for the GPI to compile a list – a player's top thirteen (13) results are used in the calculations for the GPI board, and even Coleman only has five results to consider at this point could become. Therefore, the GPI waits for players to get some results – and gives them extra time to optimize their computer formulas – before releasing their first POY ratings.
If there's one thing we can be sure of, it's that the leader at the start of the year will likely NOT be there at the end. In 2023, players like Aliaksandr Shylko, Max Menzel and Michel Dattani were at the top of the leaderboard at the end of January. By the end of 2023, only one player from January's top ten – eventual Player of the Year Bin Weng – was still in the top ten; Shylko eventually turned 72nd place, while Menzel (116th)Th) and Dattani (184Th) were outside the top 100.
It's a marathon, not a sprint, so many of the names you see on the POY leaderboards at the start could be long gone by the end of the year. However, a good start is important, so these players have already ticked a box on their 2024 poker tournament journey.