Thomas Marchese Named 2010 Card Player Player of the Year

If you’ve been watching Card Player‘s leaderboard this year, then you know that the Player of the Year race was a tight one, but one pro slowly but surely pulled ahead. With the last major tournament of 2010 behind us, Card Player finally announced who that pro was. This year, Tom Marchese beat his nearest leaderboard competitor by more than 1000 points to decisively earn the Player of the Year award. His final tally was 6,738 with Dwyte Pilgrim coming in a distant second with 5,576 POY points and the rest of the top ten players sitting well below 5,000 points each.

Marchese has been winning all year, but he didn’t really clinch his front place position in the POY race until November when a third place finish in the WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals Main Event earned him a hefty 960 points. The win was enough to propel Marchese ahead of Pilgrim, who had established his lead back in September with a first place finish in the WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event. That win not only earned Pilgrim almost three-quarters of a million dollars, it also subsidized his POY standings with 1800 points.

Pilgrim tried to regain his lead, finishing in the money at another Foxwoods event, at the WSOP Main Event and in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event, but none of his finishes were good enough to earn him anymore points. Meanwhile, Marchese succeeded in widening the gap between himself and the rest of the POY field. His fifth place finish at the NAPT LA Bounty Shootout earned him another 160 points while his Event 3 win at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic just last month practically put his name on the POY title.

Marchese has been cashing at the larger online poker tournaments since 2007, but this year marked the first that the young pro forayed into the live tournament scene. And what a year it was! Marchese made himself an obvious Player of the Year contender all the way back in February when his third place finish in Event 20 of the Borgata Winter Open earned him $190,027 and his first POY points – all 960 of them.

Only two weeks later, Marchese bagged the biggest win of his career – top honors at the NAPT Venetian Main Event – for an $827,648 payout and 1920 more POY points. From then on, Marchese has been cashing at tournaments all over the world, with the WSOP, WPT, EPT and NAPT all writing him checks. If you include Marchese’s online exploits, then he’s posted cash finishes in at least two dozen poker tournaments this year, earning titles at two live tournaments and taking more than $2 million to the bank.

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