Contenders for WPT Player of the Year in the Mix of Five Diamond Main Event

Ray Qartomy

With just three Main Tour events and one Prime stop remaining in the World Poker Tour’s 20th Anniversary Season, the Player of the Year race is coming down to the wire, with critical points on the line here at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

WPT Player of the Year Season 20 Top Ten Standings

1Ray Qartomy$650,0000221,700
2Mark Davis$1,000,30011111,400
3Alexander Yen$975,2401111,400
4Robert Mizrachi$894,1001111,300
5Chance Kornuth$502,4501131,275
6Anton Wigg$672,9800121,250
7Mike Vanier$624,0000131,250
8Darren Elias$668,8500121,225
9Joshua Pollock$573,3501111,200
10Corey Wade$471,6861111,200

Qartomy’s Title to Lose?

Entering the week, Ray Qartomy is the current POY leader with 1,700 points on the strength of his runner-up finish at the Legends of Poker main event in August and his third-place finish at WPT Choctaw in May. Qartomy is still in the mix entering Day 3 of the Five Diamond with 117,000 chips, and he definitely has his sights set on the POY title.

“It means a lot. I’ve been playing WPTs for so long, I’ve finished at six final tables, and I hope this year will be my turn.”

Qartomy continued, “It’s a dream for everybody. It’s a challenge for all the pros, and I’m an amateur, I’m a businessman. To be Player of the Year means a lot to me.”

The recently married POY leader, who resides in Amman, Jordan, will certainly have to make the most effort travel-wise if he ends up needing more points to lock up the title after this week.

“It means a lot. I’ve been playing WPTs for so long, I’ve finished at six final tables, and I hope this year will be my turn.”

“I flew 45 hours from Jordan to here for this event, so I hope I can make the Hard Rock (Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open), but if I don’t make the Hard Rock, I will definitely be at the Wynn (WPT Championship) for sure.

Vanier In Position to Move Up the Standings

The man in seventh place in the race, Mike Vanier, will be looking to add to his 1,250 points, earned through a second-place finish at WPT Venetian for 1,050, with the rest coming from cashes at the Legends of Poker and WPT Choctaw. Vanier has himself off to a great start at Five Diamond with 1,286,000 chips, the second-biggest stack to start Day 3.

Mike Vanier
Mike Vanier

“(POY) is kind of what I’ve been going for after my second at Venetian. I went down to L.A (WPT Legends of Poker). and got a pretty big stack on Day 1 too. It didn’t quite work out, but I made some gambles (in the first two days of the Five Diamond main event) and got a big stack so hopefully, I can turn it into another final table.”

The One Accolade That’s Eluded Elias

A WPT Player of the Year discussion isn’t a discussion without the mention of multiple WPT record holder Darren Elias.

The four-time WPT Champions Club member and all-time leader in cashes and final tables sits eighth in the race with 1,225 points on the back of his runner-up finish at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown and a cash at WPT Venetian. Surprisingly, despite all his WPT-related accolades, a Player of the Year title has eluded Elias. He came into Day 2 of the Five Diamond main event with 103,000 chips, but was eliminated and will have to earn points at one of the final pair of stops if he's to challenge for the title.

Darren Elias
Darren Elias

PokerNews spoke with Elias before Day 2 and got his thoughts on potentially scoring that one elusive WPT accolade.

“It would definitely be cool. I’ve been close a couple of times. I think the one year (Season 13) I won two events and Anthony Zinno won two it was close and I got pipped out there at the end, so it’s something fun to chase. Definitely, it would mean a lot.”

Don’t Sleep on Wade

While it’s been Vanier making the most noise this week at Bellagio, Corey Wade, who sits 10th in the POY standings is quietly working toward earning himself some more points.

While he entered Day 2 with barely more than a starting stack, he managed to build his stack up to 224,000 for Day 3 which has him in the middle of the pack Friday.

Remaining 2022 WPT Schedule With POY Eligible Points

October 19-23Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main EventBellagio Las Vegas$10,400$5,000,000
November 25-30Seminole Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open Main EventSeminole Hard Rock Hollywood$3,500$2,000,000
December 8-12WPT Prime ChampionshipWynn Las Vegas$1,100$2,000,000
December 12-18WPT World ChampionshipWynn Las Vegas$10,400$15,000,000

PokerNews will be following the WPT Player of the Year race right through its December conclusion at the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas, so stay tuned for all the news and updates.

The WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic is a $10,400 buy-in, $5 million GTD tournament that runs from October 19-23. WPT Five Diamond is the longest-standing recurring WPT tournament, taking place at Bellagio since 2002. It has endured the test of time, and holds unique historical significance as the starting point for the World Poker Tour. PokerNews will be offering daily content from the event, so stay tuned for more big WPT recaps, stories, and more!

*Images courtesy of WPT/Joe Giron.

Did You Know the World Poker Tour is Online?

The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world's largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories around the world.

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Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.

  • Check out the latest from from the WPT Playor of the Year Race at the Five Diamonds World Poker Classic

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