Steve Buckner Is the New Player of the Year Leader in the WPT Season 20 After Overtaking Ray Qartomy

Steve "Cuz" Buckner lost last weekend's Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event to Chad Eveslage in heads-up action. This changed the World Poker Tour (WPT) Player of the Year (POY) leaderboard after Buckner outperformed Ray Qartomy.

Buckner was the runner-up at WPT Choctaw and earned 1,100 points in the latest event. So, he required a fourth place or better finish to beat Ray Qartomy in the POY race. The latter had 1,700 points, but Buckner amassed an extra 1,050 points to lead with 2,150 points.

The poker pro stated in a recent interview that his late mother has been his major source of inspiration to win the WPT title. He has traveled to different places since March 20, 2021, after she passed on. Also, Buckner has made huge cashes several times and participated in the Mike Sexton Champions Cup.

Eveslage is a top contender for the POY award, as he earned 1,300 points after beating Buckner. He garnered 175 points before competing in the Five Diamond and is third in the POY leaderboard.

The player might win the POY title if he has a deep run in the remaining three POY-eligible tournaments. He has two WPT main event titles and is striving to win the POY race.

Corey Wade and Mike Vanier Amass Points

Corey Wade signed up for the Five Diamond, holding the tenth position in the POY leaderboard with 1,200 points. He finished 60th in Saturday's event and earned 75 points, thus improving his POY position to ninth place, with 1,275 points tying with Chance Kornuth. But he got busted on Day 2 after failing to cash.

Mike Vanier had an opportunity to lead in the POY race. Yet, he finished second on the first three days and got busted on Day 4 in the 21st position. Surprisingly, he garnered 150 POY points from the finish and improved his POY position to fourth place, tying with Alexander Yen and Mark Davis.

Top Ten WPT Player of the Year Season 20 Standings

  1. Steve Buckner – $1,038,500 and 2,150 POY points
  2. Ray Qartomy – $615,000 and 1,700 POY Points
  3. Chad Eveslage – $1,060,825 and 1,475 POY points
  4. Mark Davis – $1,000,300 and 1,400 POY points
  5. Alexander Yen – $975,240 and 1,400 POY points
  6. Mike Vanier – $661,800 and 1,400 POY points
  7. Robert Mizrachi – $894,100 and 1,300 POY points
  8. Chance Kornuth – $502,450 and 1,275 POY points
  9. Corey Wade – $492,186 and 1,275 POY points
  10. Anton Wigg – $672,980 and 1,250 POY points

More Opportunities to Win Points

The POY race hasn't ended yet, even if Buckner is leading the pack and Eveslage is a strong contender. The Seminole Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida, will host the next WPT main tour stop in which players will amass more points.

The $3,500 main event will begin on November 25, 2022. The final 2022 series will be the $10,400 WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas, and it will kick off on December 12.

The resort will also host the WPT Prime tour stop of 2022 on December 8, the $1,000 WPT Prime Championship that will award players crucial POY points. Ardent poker fans can visit different news websites to get timely WPT POY news updates.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.