Art Papazyan and Pete Chen win WPT top honours
The World Poker Tour (WPT) began Season XVI of its Main Tour over a year back, in April 2017. After several tournaments and various stops, the season ended with USA poker player Matt Waxman shipping the WPT Tournament of Champions at the Esports Arena in Las Vegas and walking away with quite a few prizes.
Since it's the end of the season, WPT also honoured the best players in the circuit throughout the year, with the WPT Player of the Year Award and the WPT Asia-Pacific Player of the Year Award. Joining an elite group that consists of the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand Grospellier and others, is Art Papazyan, who was awarded the WPT Player of the Year 2018!
It was a thrilling year-long points race among some of the best players in the circuit. Papazyan had the top spot but the WSOP 2015 ME Champion Joe McKeehen was close behind him. His elimination in third place at the recent Bobby Baldwin Classic ensured the top place to Papazyan.
Papazyan earned over $1 million throughout the year and gained a majority of his points for winning the WPT Legends of Poker in September 2017, followed by the WPT Maryland just over a month later. "It's really nice. I wasn't planning on playing more tournaments. I'll have to play more because of the perks that come with winning player of the year," said Papazyan after winning this prestigious award.
WPT Player of the Year Top 10 (with year's earnings and POY points):
- Art Papazyan - $1,064,173 - 2,450
- Joe McKeehen - $588,570 - 2,350
- Darren Elias - $622,833 - 1,850
- Derek Wolters - $569,995 - 1,850
- Eric Afriat - $732,374 - 1,750
- Phil Hellmuth - $469,245 - 1,600
- Sam Panzica - $480,211 - 1,450
- Zach Donovan - $340,859 - 1,450
- Ryan Tosoc - $1,958,065 - 1,400
- Dennis Blieden - $1,000,000 - 1,400
The competition was much less for the WPT Asia-Pacific Player of the Year Award and it was given to Pete Chen, with just 5 events comprising the points calculation for this award. Chen won the first event of the season - WPT Beijing in April 2017, and then cashed thrice in side events in WPT Korea and WPT India. That was enough for him to win the title.
"I'm happy but it's not a big competition. I want to be a really good player. I want to be something special. If I get lucky and bink something, my goal will be WSOP Player of the Year. I think you should always have a goal that's not easy to get," commented Chen after knowing he was the Player of the Year for this region.
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