Daniel Negreanu has led the World Series of Poker Player of the Year race all summer. He established his lead in April by winning the WSOP Asia Pacific Main Event, and has held onto it ever since. Several challengers have arisen since the beginning of the World Series in Las Vegas: Dan Kelly, Tom Schneider, Mark Radoja, and more. But Negreanu has always been able to continue cashing in WSOP events enough to maintain his lead. Now, however, he can surely feel a challenger on his heels, as David “Bakes” Baker trails Negreanu by less than half a point.
Bakes is in the midst of an incredible World Series run. He hasn’t won a bracelet this year, but he’s done just about everything else. He has eight cashes, including four final tables, most notably a second-place finish in Event #43: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball. In the past week, he finished 10th in Event #48: $2,500 Limit Hold'em (Six Handed) and 15th in Event #52: $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em (Six Handed) to bring his POY point total to 475.35. Negreanu, meanwhile, has 475.84 points, and did not cash in any WSOP event during the past week.
WSOP PLAYER OF THE YEAR TOP 10 (through 54 events)
|2||David (Bakes) Baker||475.35|
Tom Schneider also has not cashed within the past week. Baker passed him to take second place, but Schneider is still in third thanks a strong first half of the series that included two bracelets. Marco Johnson has also been having a strong series, but he’s flown under the radar for much of the past month. That changed when he won Event #48: $2,500 Limit Hold'em (Six Handed), besting a field of 343 players to win the first bracelet of his career. It was the sixth cash and third final table of the 2013 WSOP for Johnson, and it catapulted him to fourth in the POY race with 430.63 points.
Event #47: $111,111 One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold'em featured the highest buy-in at this year’s WSOP and had a major impact on the POY standings. Chris Klodnicki finished second in the tournament, worth 228 POY points. With his other two final tables, Klodnicki now has 400.80 points and sits in fifth place. Right behind him is the man who beat him heads-up in the One Drop High Rollers event, Anthony Gregg. That was Gregg’s only cash on the summer so far, but the 390 points he earned for it puts him in sixth place on the POY leader board.
One of the biggest fallers in the rankings over the past week was Dan Kelly. Two weeks ago, Kelly was in third place, and with his consistent deep runs he looked as though he might threaten for the lead. However, Kelly hasn’t cashed since then, and has now fallen to 10th place.
Steve Sung (seventh), Jared Hamby (eighth), and David Vamplew (ninth) round out the top 10. Hamby dropped from fourth a week ago; he hasn’t cashed since then, and his point total remains the same. Sung won Event #52: $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em (Six Handed) for his fourth cash of this year’s WSOP and his second career bracelet. Vamplew had two cashes in the past week, including his second runner-up finish of the series.
The 2013 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is nearing its end. Only eight more bracelets will be awarded. Two of them are among the most prestigious events in tournament poker, Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, and of course, the World Series Main Event. POY points will also be awarded at the WSOP Europe in October, so plenty of points are still available. Come back to PokerNews.com for weekly updates on the POY race, Baker, Schneider, and the rest of the field try to finally take the lead from Negreanu.