Our APPT Auckland field has just broken another table, leaving five tables and 45 players still in contention for the Main Event title. We thought this might be a good opportunity to take a closer look at the ANZ Player of the Year permutations as the race reaches an exciting conclusion here in Auckland.
There has been no runaway leader this season and the leader board is full of quality players that have had consistent results throughout the year, so it’s great to see it go right down to the wire.
Our number one and two on the leader board were eliminated on day one, meaning that Edison Nguyen and Sal Fazzino have left the door open to be pipped on the line. They are not out of it by any means, and if none of the contenders reach the cash for the top 24 players, then the leader board won’t be changing and Nguyen will be our Player of the Year.
However it seems more likely that one of the contenders is going to make an impact in this event.
One of those with a great chance was the #4 ranked Luke Spano. After a cash in Perth and a fourth place in Melbourne, Spano just needed to cash to take over the lead, but he was eliminated from the tournament a short time ago to end his POTY aspirations.
The #10 ranked Dean Blatt was on the short stack at the start of the day, but he’s still hanging around, determined to make a deep run. The ANZPT Perth runner-up has his work cut out for him as he’ll need to finish in at least third place and have other results go his way to take out the POTY title.
Also needing a big effort is Luke Brabin. He’s sitting at #11 in the ranking and will need to finish in at least second place to jump ahead of Nguyen.
However it seems that the man in the box seat to take over the POTY lead is the defending champion David Lim.
Lim only needs to cash in this event, and if the other players fall short, then he’ll have done enough to grab the POTY honour. It does seem a rather fitting story that the player who won the first event of the season might cash in the last event to win the award. Lim currently has a below-average stack but we’re inching closer and closer to the cash with every elimination.
Can Lim, Blatt or Brabin snatch the lead or will Nguyen hold on? Whatever happens, it’s going to be a photo finish!
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.