Nacho is officially topping the Card Player Player of the Year standings.
Jose ‘Nacho’ Barbero has moved into first place on the 2023 POY leaderboard sponsored by Global Poker. The Argentinian has been on fire so far this year, with his most recent big score being a title run in a $10,000 buy-in pot-limit Omaha event at the PGT PLO Series. Barbero defeated a field of 130 entries to secure the trophy, 660 POY points, and the top prize of $234,000.
“You can’t stop the Year of Nacho!” Barbero reportedly asserted as the final river card of this event made his win official.
This was Barbero’s fourth final-table finish and second title of the year. Just a week before this victory, he finished as the runner-up in a $25,000 buy-in turbo no-limit hold’em event at the Triton Super High Roller Series Vietnam for another $460,000. A few days before, he won a $15,000 buy-in event at the same series for $600,000. Barbero’s largest score of the year, though, came when he placed fourth from a field of 1,014 entries in the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship. His deep run in the PSPC saw him earn a career-high payday of $1,551,300.
With 3,976 total points and $2,845,300 in to-date POY earnings, Barbero is now the player to beat in the POY race.
This tournament played out over the course of two days at the PokerGO Studio inside the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Day 2 began with Jonas Kronwitter in the lead and Barbero on the shortest stack of the seven remaining contenders.
Bryce Yockey was the first to fall at the final table. The bracelet winner got all-in with top set facing the middle set and flush draw of Kronwitter. The flush came in on the turn and a blank river saw Yocket eliminated in seventh place ($65,000).
Four-time bracelet winner Josh Arieh was the next to hit the rail shortly after losing a big chunk of his stack with top pair, the nut flush draw and a straight draw to the flopped two pair of bracelet winner Eelis Parssinen. Arieh got the last of his short stack in preflop with AQQJ facing the K1084 of Barbero, who made made a flush on a KJ359 runout to narrow the field to five. Arieh earned $78,000 for his sixth-place showing.
Barbero surged up the leaderboard during five-handed play, scoring two double-ups to approach the upper reaches of the chip counts. Bracelet winner Sam Soverel then got all-in with second pair and a flush draw facing the top pair of Kronwitter. Soverel found no help on the turn and river and was sent home with $91,000 as the fifth-place finisher.
Parssinen’s run in this event came to an end when he got all-in on a nine-high flop with pocket eights and two overcards. Barbero called with a pair of nines and the same overcards. He ended up backing into a club flush to drag the pot and eliminate Parssinen in fourth place ($104,000).
Adam Hendrix got all-in on a K32 flop with AA105. He was up against AJ93 for Barbero. The 3 on the turn gave Barbero trips for the lead. The 9 completed the board, improving Barbero to a full house. Hendrix earned $130,000 as the third-place finisher.
With that, Barbero took more than a 2:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Kronwitter. He stretched the lead to more than 7:1 before Kronwitter found a couple of key double-ups to surge in front. Barbero then won two big pots, the first with two pair and the second with a full house, to re-establish a big chip advantage. In the final hand, all of the chips went in on a J106 flop. Barbero had J985 for top pair and a straight draw. Kronwitter held Q1076 for bottom two pair. The 9 on the turn gave Barbero a higher two pair, but also gave Kronwitter flush and straight draws. The 4 on the end was a blank, though, locking up the pot and the title for Barbero. Kronwitter earned $169,000 as the runner-up.
Barbero’s victory saw him earn 234 PGT points, enough to take the lead in the player of the series race. He also climbed to 21st place in the 2023 PGT points race.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY Points||PGT Points|
Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.