2013 NorCal POY contest underway

By Arnold Warner

Now in its sixth year, the race to be named the 2013 Northern California Poker Tournament Player of the Year officially got underway on Jan. 1. Impressive amounts of points have already been accumulated, but there’s a long way to go until the end of November and the naming of a champion.

There’s a new name at the top of the list as of Feb. 26, and that’s I. Malabanan of South San Francisco. He’s already garnered 2,104 points in less than two months, which puts him on a pace to shatter the record of 10,866 points accrued by 2010 champion Mark Lamb.

However, he’s not the only one. San Francisco’s L. Chow is right behind him at 2,086 points, so this could be the year that he “gets the monkey off his back.” Chow took third place in 2012, second place in 2011, and ninth place in 2010, so it would seem to be just a matter of time before he hoists the trophy at the end of the year.

Also always in contention is two-time reigning champ R. Sigua of San Bruno with 1,638.

Sigua’s notoriety for his wins in 2012 and 2011 are already paying dividends as he’s starting to be approached by potential backers. One in particular he said, “… saw my picture on the front of The Cardroom and approached me about being a backer. Nothing has been agreed on but it’s nice to have options out there to help me move up the ladder and play in bigger and bigger games.”

Currently, points are regularly tallied at Bay 101 Casino in San Jose, Livermore Casino in Livermore, Lucky Chances Casino in Colma, Lucky Derby Casino in Citrus Heights, and Palace Poker Casino in Hayward. The Turlock Poker Room is scheduled to begin sending in points soon. Any Northern California casino regularly advertising in The Cardroom is eligible to send in points, so if your favorite cardroom isn’t listed here and you want to get in on the action for this prestigious title, be sure to let their powers that be know about your interest.

“We’d love to see this contest grow and grow,” said The Cardroom’s editor Randall Rapp. “It’s not a whole lot of extra work for the casinos and gives their players one more thing to compete for and brag about. We have some other special things in mind for the POY contest in the future and once we have them settled you’ll hear about it here first! Obviously, we’d love to have as many of our eligible casinos participating as possible.”

With results in from most of our participating casinos, here is the list of those who’ve received points so far toward the 2013 POY contest:

Name City Points TGP

Malabanan, I S. San Francisco 2,103.85 10

Chow, L San Francisco 2,086.01 7

Sigua, R San Bruno 1,638.25 8

Webster, D San Francisco 798.73 5

Tang, X Foster City 780.07 5

Aquino, J Pacifica 742.05 3

Raines, S Fremont 599.28 6

Serrano, V San Bruno 597.10 4

Saakov, L San Francisco 578.31 3

Tom, B San Francisco 576.32 3

Ciaglo, D Granite Bay 525.70 5

Giva, A Daly City 515.33 3

Velazco, C Pacifica 502.81 3

Dalaig, H San Francisco 484.98 2

Gawad, H El Granada 480.85 3

Kratsas, A San Francisco 478.77 3

Dela Cruz, C Daly City 471.73 2

Kelly, S San Francisco 366.80 3

Cruz, E Daly City 364.14 2

Perez, A San Francisco 363.20 2

Arumugam, T Santa Clara 359.10 1

Rivas, E Hayward 319.00 2

Hicks, J Citrus Heights 300.73 3

Ali, M Albany 291.89 2

Osborne, J San Leandro 259.60 2

Atkins, W Concord 231.72 2

Trujillo, S S. San Francisco 221.85 1

Rodriguez, G Fremont 213.84 2

Yim, C Hayward 211.84 2

Jones, K Antelope 206.25 2

Spruitenburg, T Pacifica 205.42 1

Hankin, P Oakland 198.12 2

Barnes, G Orangevale 192.50 2

Perez, A Merced 182.70 1

Martin, A Castro Valley 180.00 2

Wearing, M San Francisco 176.40 1

Quiambao, R S. San Francisco 172.55 1

Pena, J S. San Francisco 135.58 1

Mai, T San Leandro 132.00 1

Nicholson, R Castro Valley 130.00 1

Alaniz, M Novato 119.63 1

De Los Reyes, A Daly City 108.75 1

Nguyen, T San Francisco 108.00 1

Pincombe, G Redwood City 106.40 1

Antonyan, A North Highlands 105.00 1

Zapanta, O Hayward 96.00 1

Carrion, D Alameda 92.40 1

Cassidy, B Folsom 85.80 1

Dingley, T Sacramento 73.50 1