With five events in the books and six yet to be determined at WSOPE Rozvadov, the World Series of Poker Player of the Year race is coming down to the wire. Chris Ferguson is back on top but still has his work cut out for him with a handful of contenders battling it out in Rozvadov, including Ryan Hughes and John Racener, sitting in second and third place and both making a splash.
The winner of POY will receive a $10,000 buy-in for the 2018 WSOP Main Event. Ferguson already locked up his €10,000 WSOPE Main Event seat by winning the summer 2017 POY race. Heading into WSOPE, Ferguson led, closely trailed by Hughes, John Monnette and Racener. Monnette, however, bowed out of the race, deciding not to head to Rozvadov to vy for the title.
In the five events that have concluded in Rozvadov, the race has been intense but not really close. While a few of the top ten who showed up to Europe to chase the POY title have added to their points totals, Ferguson has managed to book four small cashes already to extend his lead in the race.
Hughes took 21st place for €3,184 in Event #1: €1,100 No-Limit Hold'em MONSTER STACK to briefly pull ahead, but Ferguson quickly regained the lead by min-cashing Event #2: €550 Pot-Limit Omaha in 70th place for €800.
Ferguson then took 36th place (€1,302) in Event #3: €1,100 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo Bounty Hunter to extend his lead, though Racener (sixth place for €7,609) and Mike Leah also cashed (10th place for €2,554).
Ferguson and Hughes both cashed in Event #4: €1,675 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed in 26th (€2,771) and 32nd (€2,429), respectively. In Event #6: €2,200 Pot-Limit Omaha, Ferguson grabbed his fourth cash, this time in 29th place (€3,215). His finish was bested by Racener in 19th place (€3,594) as well as Leah in 20th (€3,594), and that brings us to the current standings with Ferguson ahead by 85 points.
Leah in sixth place is a long shot for POY but still in the hunt and firing events in the WSOPE. Leah, known for persistently chasing titles, has cashed in three of the five events so far. Hughes and Racener both have two cashes in the bag, but they all trail Ferguson's four cashes.
After a rough start for Racener, who was recently married before heading to WSOPE, he has managed to stay in the hunt with his two cashes and has at least one healthy stack in Event #5 for Day 2 Wednesday.