Belarus player and EPT Barcelona champion Mikalai Pobal is still leading the EPT Player of the Year Awards but already the race is proving an exciting one - with a whole host of new names showing great promise with two events now under our belts.
The sheer scale of the EPT Barcelona Main event - with 1,082 runners - gave Pobal a very good start for Season 9 - and the 28-year-old from Minsk added to those 1,300 points with a tenth place in the EPT Sanremo €10k for another 120 points, and €20,600.
Finnish pro and EPT Barcelona runner-up Ilari Sahamies also maintains his second place slot in the Awards table but a new name - and definitely a force to be reckoned with over the coming months - is that of EPT Sanremo champion Ludovic Lacay, now in third place with 1,000 points.
Hot on the French pro's heels is EPT regular Jan Bendik from Slovakia. Bendik is proof that multiple successes in side events can be very useful Awards-wise. Bendik, who has already made two EPT Main Event finals, added to his 390 Barcelona points with 375 points for third in the EPT Sanremo €990 NL event and 180 points for ninth in the epic EPT Sanremo €2k NL event.
Another new name in the POY top ten is Keven Stammen, now in seventh place The young American had a terrific time in Sanremo, winning the €2k NL Turbo for €92,900 and 500 points, and runner-up to EPT London champion Benny Spindler in the €10k High Roller for €200,000 and 360 points. Also making a top ten showing for the first time is Canadian Jason Lavallee, runner-up in the EPT Sanremo Main Event for €538,089 and 850 points.
High Roller Player of the Year
This is a new Award for Season 9 and set to be fiercely contested. Joel Nordkvist is the current leader after a great showing in both the High Roller events held during at EPT Sanremo. He was third in the €10k for 300 points and €98,900 and fourth in the IPT High Roller event for 280 points and €36,000. €10k winner Benny Spindler jumps into fourth place and IPT High Roller winner Marc-Andre Ladouceur is in fifth place.
Omaha Player of the Year
Miltiadis Kyriakides is still leading with Rumen Nanev in second, but new names Chris Sly and Philippe Boucher have entered the fray after victories in the EPT Sanremo €2k PLO Double Chance and €900 PLO respectively.
Heads-Up Player of the Year
Jorma Nuutinen, Martin Finger and Terje Augdal retain the rankings gained in Barcelona for the Heads-Up race but EPT Sanremo Heads-Up winner Roger Hairabedian is now in fourth place. Marc-Andre Ladouceur, still in seventh place is another name to watch in this, and many other races.
Online Qualifer of the Year
EPT Sanremo runner-up Jason Lavallee from Canada is leading this race now, ousting Barcelona finalist Anaras Alekberovas from the top spot.
Germany has nipped from second place up to first following a steady showing in Sanremo while former leader Romania, boosted in Barcelona by great performances by finalist Sinel Anton and others, have dropped right down to tenth place.
For more details, see the EPT Awards page.