Dan Colman

Daniel Colman Nabs Every 2014 POY Crown

It seemed like a foregone conclusion for much of the year, but the end of December finally closed the books on the various poker player of the year races and officially made Daniel Colman the king of the 2014 poker world (though World Series of Poker champ Martin Jacobson might beg to differ). Colman swept the major Player of the Year (POY) races, putting a stamp on one of the hotter tourney runs we have seen in a while, though it wasn’t as easy as we all might have thought.

Colman set the record for most live tournament winnings in one calendar year, capturing $22,389,481 across eleven cashes (the exact dollar amount may vary based on the source used, but it probably has to do with currency conversion – I used TheHendonMob.com for my number). The highlight of his year, of course, was winning the WSOP Big One for One Drop event and over $15.3 million. He was also the source of great controversy as he was extremely reluctant to grant an interview after the tournament, not looking very happy that he just won a king’s ransom. He later wrote (and I am paraphrasing very liberally) that poker was not a good pastime because people are hurt by it and that he doesn’t owe anything to poker.

But no matter, Colman won and that was that. Before the One Drop win, he took the title in the €100,000 European Poker Tour Grand Final Super High Roller Event and later in the year won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event and WPT Alpha8 London Main Event. He also logged three other top-three finishes for huge cashes.

What made his year so impressive was that he didn’t just win all of his money in the One Drop Event – he won another $7 million the rest of the year. He would have been the third-highest money winner for the year without the One Drop, and the two players who would have been ahead of him – Martin Jacobson and Daniel Negreanu – earned the bulk of their money in the WSOP Main Event and One Drop tournaments, respectively.

CardPlayer Magazine awarded Daniel Colman 5,408 points in its 2014 Player of the Year rankings, which four titles and eight final tables in tournaments that qualified for the POY race. CardPlayer has a number of criteria it uses to determine if a tournament qualifies for POY scoring:

  • Buy-in must be at least 400 of the local currency, as long as it is relatively close in value to the U.S. dollar. Otherwise, the buy-in must equate to at least $400.
  • Must have at least 50 entrants or a prize pool of $250,000.
  • Events must be open to the public (not ladies or seniors events, for example). Invitationals must have a prize pool of at least $500,000.
  • Player must make both the final table and the money to earn points, except for tournaments with at least 2,000 entrants (27 players earn points in this case). Point values are determined by place of finish, buy-in, and number of entrants.

Ami Barer was second in CardPlayer’s POY standings with 5,042 points, but never really gave Colman a serious push.

Over at Bluff Magazine, Colman garnered the most points in the publication’s history, 1,447.70. Mike Leah, who came in second with 1,149.64 points, looked like he was poised to make a run with a win at the WSOP Asia Pacific High Roller, but he wasn’t able to make one more big, late-year score to overtake Colman.

Bluff uses a similar structure to CardPlayer, using finishing position, buy-in, and number of entrants to determine points. Depending on the type of tournament, a player’s finishing position sets the base point value. This is then increased by certain multipliers that are determined by buy-in and field size. Unlike at CardPlayer, invitationals are never counted at Bluff.

Then there is the Global Poker Index (GPI), which has quickly become the industry standard in poker player rankings. It was an extremely close race in the GPI, with Colman edging out Ole Schemion 4,141.91 points to  gpi4,125.39. Davidi Kitai was also over 4,000 points with 4,096.10. All eleven of Colman’s 2014 cashes counted towards his point total with his Seminole Hard Poker Open win actually being the top points earner, not the One Drop win, as one would likely assume. It wasn’t even close between those two, either, as the Seminole win earned Colman 585.23 points versus 448.04 for the One Drop. The Super High Roller victory at the EPT Grand Final was also more valuable than the One Drop, getting Colman 494.73 points.

As noted, Ole Schemion nearly overtook Colman. In December, he finished sixth in the EPT Prague High Roller event, earning 420.01 points. Had he finished just one spot higher, he would have earned 439.44 points, enough to beat Colman by about three points.

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