A jaw-dropping late season move by Adrian Mateos allowed him to surpass the great year Bryn Kenney has had in 2017 to win the Player of the Year race. To be more specific, Spanish poker pro Mateos did a stunning move reminiscent of what happened in 2016, riding a wave of success at the tables in order to go beyond Bryn Kenney who has virtually led the proverbial leaderboard in 2017,
On the CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year leaderboard, Mateos was in 4th place while Kenney was ranked in 1st place. Mateos has a pretty slim chance of unsettling Kenney as he had to leap past the number three and number two ranked players first before challenging Kenney. To do this, Mateos had to earn 2,000 points in December which was a tall feat as it would require the Spanish poker pro to have a phenomenal time at the felt.
The Dark Horse Mateos
In a turn of events worthy of a typical Hollywood sports film, Mateos did what was needed in order to secure the top spot, using the final PokerStars Championship event to win enough points to secure the CardPlayer Player of the Year award. After he won the $5,000 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold’Em at the Caribbean Poker Party back in November, the Spaniard went on a warpath all throughout December that was nothing short of amazing. Starting at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic, he succeeded in reaching three final table finishes that were incredible in their own right.
He then flew all the way to Europe for the PSC Prague and put in another stellar performance to cap a great 2017 for the young poker pro. He had a great in Prague winning two events and reaching three final tables, which earned him quite a lot in terms of POY points. By the end of December, he acquired a sum of 2,118 points in order to pass the leader Kenney, taking over 1st place in convincing fashion to finish 2017 on a high and start 2018 with full of confidence.
Kenney attempted to maintain his lead as he saw Mateos closing the gap and having a great run. He managed to pick up 05 points for a 7th place finish in WPT Five Diamond’s $25,000 No Limit Hold’Em. However, it wasn’t enough to stop the momentum his Spanish rival had gained as an invading poker armada on the leaderboard. As the year came to a close, Mateos had 7220 points on the leaderboard while Kenney had 7,173 points to finish in second place.
Rest Of The Top Poker Players
The battle for the CardPlayer leaderboard was always going to be between Kenney and Mateos because the rest of the players were far behind. Finishing the year in third place was Germany’s Fedor Holz who ended up with 5,875 points. In fourth place, was Koray Aldemir from Vienna who had 5,510 points and in fifth place was American Justin Bonomo who finished on 5,144 points. The top 20 players on the leaderboard came from a number of countries with Americans players being the most prominent.
Mateos Late Season Surge Also Affected GPI Race Outcome
The Global Poker Index (GPI) also has a leaderboard that determines the poker player of the year. Adrian Mateos’s late surge in December not only helped him topple Kenney from the CardPlayer Player of the Year race but also from the GPI Player of the Year race.
Like in the case of the CardPlayer leaderboard for Player of the Year, Mateos was in 5th place to start December on the GPI leaderboard as well, with plenty of improvement needed when it came to his numbers. Under GPI rules, only the 13 best finishes for a player are counted in its rankings through a complex calculation system. Of the seven cash outs that Mateos got, five of them improved his 13-tournament total (which was also valid under GPI ruling). This resulted in a whopping 1,051.36 increase, which also pushed him at the top of the GPI POY rankings as well. Mateos won the GPI Player of the Year accolade by earning a grand total of 3,504.71 points.

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