WPT Player of the Year Update: Yilmaz Moves Into Lead

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Dylan Linde, Erkut Yilmaz, and Ping Liu
From left to right: Dylan Linde, Erkut Yilmaz, and Ping Liu (photos: World Poker Tour)

The World Poker Tour crowned four champions this week, with three coming from the WPT’s delayed final tables that took place in Las Vegas and another one coming in Northern California. The conclusion of these four events cause a lot of shakeup in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year standings, and it’s now two-time WPT champion Erkut Yilmaz as the frontrunner with only a handful of events to go.

Hublot WPT Player of the Year Top 10

1. Erkut Yilmaz – 2,300 points
2. Dylan Linde – 2,000 points
3. Ping Liu – 1,900 points
4. Tony Ruberto – 1,850 points
5. Jake Schwartz – 1,725 points
6. Tony Tran – 1,500 points
7. David Baker – 1,400 points
8. Vinicius Lima – 1,400 points
9. Steve Sung – 1,400 points
10. Ray Qartomy – 1,350 points

Yilmaz moved to 2,300 points and into the Hublot WPT Player of the Year lead after he won his second title of the season. Yilmaz won WPT Rolling Thunder in Lincoln, California, for $303,920 and 1,000 points. He defeated a field of 280 entries to win. Earlier in the season, Yilmaz topped a field of 1,075 entries in the WPT Borgata Poker Open to win $575,112 and 1,200 points.

Now currently in second place is another player who just had a chance to win his second title of Season XVII, Dylan Linde. Linde won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December for $1.631 million and 1,400 points. At the WPT Rolling Thunder event that Yilmaz won, Linde finished fourth for $95,350 and 600 points.

Entering the recent log jam in the WPT schedule, Ping Liu was in front with 1,900 points. Liu hasn’t won a WPT event in Season XVII, though, and was on top thanks to his six cashes and two final tables. After the happenings over the past few days, Liu is now third in the race.

Rounding out the top five are currently Tony Ruberto and Jake Schwartz. Ruberto had a great start to the season, with a fourth-place finish at WPT Choctaw and a victory at WPT Maryland, but he’s only managed one cash since then. Schwartz has come on nicely in the second half of Season XVII, posting second- and fourth-place finishes at WPT bestbet and WPT Fallsview recently, and then he took 14th at WPT Rolling Thunder.

In addition to Yilmaz, David Baker, Vinicius Lima, and Frank Stepuchin won WPT titles this week. Baker won the WPT L.A. Poker Classic for $1.015 million, Lima won the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $728,430, and Stepuchin won the WPT Gardens Poker Championship for $548,825. Baker is now seventh with 1,400 points, Lima is eighth with 1,400 points, and Stepuchin is 12th with 1,300 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race.

There is a tiebreaker for players who have the same amount of points. In those cases, the player with the most money won in the current season takes the better position.

At the end of Season XVII, the Hublot WPT Player of the Year will win a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-ins to any Season XVIII global WPT event and a Hublot watch. Second place in the race earns a $7,500 WPT Passport and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.