It was just announced today that David “The Dragon” Pham has won the Card Player’s POY race. It was determined he had clinched the title when Jonathan Little was eliminated from the WPT Doyle Brunson Classic, as he was the only player who could have passed him in points for the remainder of the year.
The Card Player POY race is always exciting each year, but was especially close in 2007. If you had been following the action, JC Tran pulled out an early lead with his amazing start to the year. However, players such as David Pham , Bill Edler, Tom Schneider, and Jonathan Little (just to name a few) would not be counted out easily. If you have never heard of the Card Player Player of the Year race before, you probably don’t follow much poker! That is because this is one of the most prestigious titles in the poker world today. It has been won by the pokers best, including Michael Mizrachi in 2006, Men Nguyen in 2005, and Daniel Negreanu in 2004.
This title is calculated by various tournaments throughout the year, with strict scoring guidelines. It isn’t just every tournament that gets counted, the criteria includes: tournaments with at least $750,000 prize pool, events with 60+ players, at least $300 buy-in, international events with at least $1,500,000 prize pool, online tournaments with $5,000,000+ prize pool, and more. Scoring is calculated based on the buy-in, number of entrants, and place finished at the final table. Large scale events award points for placing in the money. Basically, it is the tournaments with the toughest fields today.
2007 was a good year for David, to say the least. During the year at qualifying events, he had 11 final tables, 4 wins, and 1 runner up finish. His total winnings for the year exceed $1.8 million, and his lifetime winnings are over $6.5 million. His final points tally ended at 6,562, which was only 814 points ahead of runner up finisher JC Tran. Just to show how clutch his victory was, David was behind by a sizable amount of points going into December. It looked as if JC Tran would be the 2007 champ until Pham took first place in the $2500 Five Diamond WPT Classic event held on December 5th. This win was worth $279,845 and gave him 1,152 points, enough to pass Tran. Pham’s largest cash this year was in the 2007 WPT Legends of Poker in August, where he finished 2nd and took home just over $800,000.
David “The Dragon” Pham has always been a respected player among his peers, but now he is held in a special category of the very elite players. This isn’t the first time David Pham found himself being called the player of the year. In fact, he won this same title in 2000 and joins a very elite group of only 3 people with multiple POY titles (with Men Nguyen and TJ Cloutier.) Congratulations to Pham and everyone else who had a good year on the tournament circuit!