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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | The Works

Day 18 Of The WSOP: 2009 Shaping Up To Be Historic

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I've been following the World Series of Poker for a number of years and I don't think I've ever seen a start to the WSOP like this one. Usually there is one, maybe two players, who break through and have a great WSOP and run away with the Player of the Year award but 2009 thus far has been amazing in terms of the number of players having great runs. Let's look at some of the leaders of the Official Player of the Year Standings:

1st – Ville Wahlbeck, 225 points: Wahlbeck has a 13th place finish and 3 final table finishes including a 3rd, a 2nd, and a 1st. All of this in a span of 9 days. His bracelet came in the $10,000 mixed event.

Phil Ivey, 220 points: He's back! After a couple of mediocre, if not poor, WSOP's, Ivey has come back with a vengeance. Just watching him you can see the determination and focus on his face. He has a 18th place finish and TWO bracelets, both in $2,500 events. The first was the No Limit Deuce to Seven and his most recent one, just captured, in the Mixed Omaha 8/Stud 8 event. Despite this, he's still in 2nd, but I wouldn't be betting against Ivey at this point.

3rd Brock Parker, 210 points: I had recently written that Parker was the story of this year’s WSOP thus far, but Ivey made sure to throw that one out of the window. Parker still has had a remarkable series with two bracelets as well in the 6 handed hold em events and two other smaller cashes. Don't look now but Parker has made it to the 3rd round of the $10,000 NLHE Heads Up Championship as well.

4thPete Vilandos, 175 points: Vilandos finished 2nd in the huge field of the $1,000 Stimulus tournament. That wasn't good enough for the retired man who hails originally from Greece as tonight he took down a $1,500 NLHE event for his 2nd lifetime WSOP bracelet (his first was back in the 90's). A 2nd and a 1st in fields of 6,000+ and 2,500+ is quite the impressive feat. Vilandos will have a hard time catching the other three though because he's mainly a hold em player and it's just so hard to make it through the fields in these events (which makes his accomplishment even more remarkable)

Steve Sung, 160 points: Sung won his first bracelet and then took 3rd in the $10,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven event. Sung's still young but to many has shown that he is a poker veteran and he's not afraid to play any game. He could sneak up on some people.

Daniel Negreanu, 155 points: So far it's been a year of close but no cigar for Negreanu as he has finished 10th, 43rd, 4th, and 2nd in four events. However, if there is one player who I think can make a run and overcome the top 5, it's Negreanu. He's very aware of the Player of the Year race as he talks about it constantly in his blogs and video interviews. Couple in the fact that he can play any game and he's as they would say... “a contendah”

7th Jeffrey Lisandro, 150 points: Lisandro won his 2nd WSOP bracelet in a Stud event in the last 3 years and also has a 9th and 17th place finish to his name. A more than capable player, Lisandro is capable of winning another tournament but I don't think he'll be able to do enough to pass every one.

After these top 7, there are 9 players who have more than 100 points (you get 100 points for winning an event) including John Monnette, Jason Mercier, James Van Alstyne, Daniel Alaei, Vitaly Lunkin, and John Juanda. If one of these players can win another bracelet or have another deep run they too could have a chance at winning Player of the Year.

Most cashes so far at this year’s WSOP? David Baker and Darryll Fish with 5 apiece. There are six players with 4 apiece including Barry Greenstein, Tony Cousineau, and Fabrice Soulier.

It's going to be an interesting next few weeks here as we see who emerges from this very tight pack. My money is on Ivey or Negreanu, which means it'll probably be some complete unknown that goes on to win three bracelets in a row.

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