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2014 Player of the Year Race Excites Poker Professionals

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Dominik Panka increases his point lead in the 2014 Player of the Year standings as others struggle to catch up.

The first month of 2014 has been pretty eventful for poker professionals. Besides the obvious money rewards players are also competing in the prestigious 2014 Player of the Year race hosted by Card Player in full compliance with American gambling laws.

Events at the 2014 EPT Deauville High Roller tourney

Dominik Panka took the honors in the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $10,300 Main Event. He grabbed over $1.4 million and 2,400 Player of the Year (POY) points, taking the much-deserved lead. And just two weeks later he was already participating in another renowned event.

The Polish pro enrolled in the 2014 EPT Deauville HLHE High Roller tourney, and won that competition too besting a field of 115 hopefuls, taking home $371,498 with 600 POY points to go with it. He is now leading the table 900 points ahead of Mike McDonald.

The 2014 EPT Deauville Main Event

2014 Player of the Year race is on

• Dominik Panka is leading the standings
• Mike McDonald is 900 points behind the Polish pro
• A host of tournaments will be held in American poker rooms in February

We already know that Sotirios Koutoupas become the first Greek to win an EPT Main Event title beating 671 contenders. Koutoupas earned $839,670 for his troubles and 1,680 points to the POY collection, placing him third behind Panka and McDonald.

Eugene Katchalov had a chance to win a Triple Crown (WSOP bracelet, as well as WPT and EPT Main Event titles) in Deauville, something only five players before him managed to do. However, the Ukrainian was denied by Koutoupas, settling for second place winning $518,981 and 1,400 POY points, placing him in eight spot.

Katchalov grabbed a WSOP bracelet for his win in a $1,500 seven card stud event, and also took the honors in the 2007 WPT Doyle Brunson Classic Main Event. He will still have plenty of opportunities this year to grab that elusive EPT Main Event win he need to complete the Triple Crown.

2014 WPT Borgata Poker Open

The 2014 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event had a whopping field of 1,229 poker enthusiasts contesting the prestigious title. The event had a nice $3,000,000 guaranteed prize pool and an affordable $3,500 buy-in. Thanks to the large number of qualifiers from online poker sites in the United States and direct buy-ins, the final pool has grown to an even bigger figure: $4,055,700.

It was Anthony Merulla prevailing in the end, and taking home giant $842,379 first place cash along with 1,440 POY points, which have put him in the sixth place in the current standings.

The final table at one of the renowned American poker rooms at Borgata was a pretty tough challenge. Merulla was up against David Paredes and Jared Jaffe among other pros. Paredes went on to win the 2nd place with $499,549 and 1,200 POY points ensuring 11th spot in the table.

2014 APPT Aussie Millions

The extremely popular poker tournament Down Under is still under way. However, some of its events have already finished making a big impact on the POY race. The biggest winner so far was Mustapha Kanit, beating 1,301 participants of the AUD 1,100 buy-in NLHE starting event. He took $172,000 and 480 point for the race.

The Melbourne success didn’t stop there for Kanit, who went on to participate in Event No. 4 – the AUD 1,100 buy-in six-max no-limit hold’em. Mustapha won that tourney too, with $91,416 for the first lace and another 360 POY points to his tally.

Previously, Kanit finished fourth in the $25,000 buy-in no-limit High Roller event at the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. His overall winnings of $756,016 and combined result for the three tournaments has earned him enough POY points to occupy fifth place for now.

What’s next?

February will perhaps be less eventful in terms of live poker tournaments, but the Aussie Millions is still on, with more POY points up for grabs there. Additionally, there’s a giant poker festival going on in California: the 2014 L.A. Poker Classic, 2014 Paris Open of Poker is yet to complete, and the WSOP Circuit kicks off tonight at Palm Beach Kennel Club.

A range of other live poker tournaments are to be hosted under American gambling laws and worldwide. Most of them will be awarding points counting towards the 2014 Player of the Year race. Tune in for our extensive coverage of these events.

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