Ryan Laplante Is First on the World Series of Poker Player of the Year (POY) Leaderboard

Through the first 2+ weeks of the 2016 World Series of Poker, Ryan Laplante is atop the leaderboard for Player of the Year. Ryan Laplante is a native of Brainard, Minnesota, though he lives in Wisconsin these days.

It is still early in the 2016 World Series of Poker calendar, with nearly a month of events still left. Laplante surged in the 2nd full week of poker, positioning himself against a strong slate of POY contenders. Only gamblers who play in a lot of events have a shot at the Player of the Year title.

Ryan Laplante’s 7 Finishes in the Money

Twenty-four of the sixty-eight planned events at the 47th World Series of Poker have happened or are ongoing at the moment. Of those events, Ryan Laplante has placed in the money 7 times. His biggest point total was the 266.08 points he collected by winning 1st place in a Pot-Limit Omaha event (#12), which netted him over $190,000. Laplante beat over 2,400 opponents to finish first in the event.

Ryan Laplante collected another 143.17 points for finishing 21st in a Limit Hold’em Event (#22), making it late in a tournament which had 656 entries. Of the other five finishes, four of them were in No-Limit Hold’em events, while the fifth was a H.O.R.S.E. event. The POY leader’s finishes show an ability to do well in multiple variants of poker.

Bart Lybaert in 2nd Place

Belgium-born Bart Lybaert is in 2nd place with 774.83 points. Lybaert has finished in the money in 6 events, including a 2nd place finished No Limit Holdem Top Up Turbo Event (#4) and 7th in an 8-Game Mix Event (#15).

Jason Mercier and Robert Mizrachi Have Strong Showings

GPI #4 ranked player Jason Mercier is in 3rd place on the leaderboard. The Florida native has 761 points for finishing in the money in 3 events. One of those finishes was 1st place in a the 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (#16), as well as 2nd place in the Seven-Card Razz Championship (#20). Jason Mercier has over $16 million in career winnings.

Robert Mizrachi, another Florida resident, is in 4th place in the Player of the Year standings. Mizrachi finished 1st in the Seven-Card Stud Championship (#3), while also finishing in the money in a Pot-Limit Omaha, H.O.R.S.E., and Seven-Card Razz Championship. Like Jason Mercier, Robert Mizrachi is a world famous poker professional, having collected over $5 million in career winnings.

Charania, Volpe, and Zinno

Other famous players sitting on the leaderboard includes Mohsin Charania ($4.9 million in career winnings) in 6th place, Paul Volpe ($4.9 million) in 9th place, and GPI #2 player Anthony Zinno ($6 million+) in 10th place. Former WSOP Main Event winner, Chris Ferguson, who is holding steady in 14th place, while Peter Vamplew is doing a little better, as he sits in 12th place.

Benyamine and Negreanu

David Benyamine, who has $7 million+ in career winnings, is in 16th place with 617 points. Daniel Negreanu, who has over $32 million in career earnings, is in 18th place with 596 points.

What Player of the Year Means

While the winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event receives the lion’s share of the media attention each year, poker professionals see the Player of the Year standings as the best measure of who was the best player at the event. With thousands of players entering the $10,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event, many see that event as a testament to endurance and skill, but also requiring a sizable amount of luck.

No one can say the same about the WSOP Player of the Year standings, because it requires for players to succeed in a whole string of events, showing the ability to sustain excellence over a 6-week period.

The full Top 20 leaderboard can be seen below. Many fine players are poised in the 21 to 50 standings who also might spring onto the top of the leaderboard. It is still early enough that others well out of the standings might vault towards the top of the standings.

Place – Player – POY Points

1st – Ryan Laplante – 839.28
2nd – Bart Lybaert – 774.83
3rd – Jason Mercier – 761.74
4th – Robert Mizrachi – 735.04
5th – Daniel Weinman – 710.97
6th – Mohsin Charania – 702.72
7th – Yueqi Zhu – 691.30
8th – Adam Owen – 666.47
9th – Paul Volpe – 665.44
10th – Anthony Zinno – 651.49
11th – David Vamplew – 650.07
12th – Brian Hastings – 632.83
13th – Peter Eichhardt – 626.91
14th – Chris Ferguson – 619.41
15th – Stephen Chidwick – 618.30
16th – David Benyamine – 617.98
17th – Upeshka Desilva – 597.01
18th – Daniel Negreanu – 596.90
19th – Jean-Pascal Savard – 593.53
20th – Jordan Cristos – 592.32

Once again, this is a snapshot of the standings a little more than one-third of the way through the events calendar. Many would bet on Jason Mercier or even Robert Mizrachi to beat Ryan Laplante at this point.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com

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