The 2015 GPI WSOP Player of the Year title race appeared to be all but over after the series concluded this summer in Las Vegas.
As it turns out, the race is just beginning to heat up.
It was a magical summer for one of poker’s brightest young stars. Mike Gorodinsky won a bracelet, finished at the final table 4 times, and cashed 7 times, leaving him with a big lead on the Player of the Year standing entering WSOP Europe.
Gorodinsky’s lead remains, but he still needs to hold off a few competitors thanks to a 4th quarter comeback. Shaun Deeb, Brian Hastings, and Anthony Zinno are right on his tail with 3 WSOP Europe events remaining. Paul Volpe sits in 5th place in the standings, but isn’t competing.
As it stands, Gorodinsky has 2,157.19 points, holding a 100.79 point lead over Deeb.
All players in the top 5 are within 300 points, meaning they could still unseat Gorodinsky with a strong performance in the remaining WSOP Europe events.
A Dream Summer
Mike Gorodinsky has more than $2.5 million in live tournament earnings since 2008. He’s been knocking on the door of greatness for the past few years.
The 2015 WSOP was his coming out party.
Gorodinsky won a bracelet in 2013 in the $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo event and had 6 cashes in the series prior to 2015, but it wasn’t until this past summer where Gorodinsky showed he is among the top players in the world.
“Gordo” began the series with a few close calls. He finished 2nd in a $10,000 Razz event, losing heads-up to the great Phil Hellmuth. Soon after, Gorodinsky took 3rd in $5,000 No-Limit Hold ‘em and 9th in $10,000 Seven Card Stud.
After coming so close to winning his second career bracelet, Gordo took down the difficult $50,000 The Players Championship, winning $1,270,086. Gorodinsky dominated the colorful Jean-Robert Bellande heads-up. Following the match, Bellande admitted he was outclassed.
Gorodinsky had a magical summer, but he has yet to wrap up the coveted GPI WSOP Player of the Year award.
The Best of the Best
The 2015 Player of the Year winner will be in elite company. This award has been presented since 2004, with some of the top players of the 21st century having previously won the award.
In 2004, Daniel Negreanu won the award after winning a bracelet and achieving the final table 5 times. He also claimed victory in 2013 and is the only two-time winner.
Other players to claim this prestigious award include Allen Cunningham (2005), Jeff Madsen (2006), Tom Schneider (2007), Erick Lindgren (2008), Jeff Lisandro (2009), Frank Kassela (2010), Ben Lamb (2011), Greg Merson (2012), and George Danzer (2014).
Gorodinsky is close to joining some elite company, but he’ll have to hold off stiff competition to seal the deal.