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Eric Baldwin is 2009 Player of the Year

Tournaments, 2009-12-17, by Ozone

With the elimination of Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Cornel Cimpan from the $15,000 buy-in Doyle Brunson Classic, the 2009 Player of the Year race is officially over. No one can mathematically catch Eric "basebaldy" Baldwin for POY honors between now and the end of the year.

Baldwin racked up 6,994 POY points this year after appearing at 17 final tables and winning four events. No doubt his biggest win was in Event #34 of the WSOP, a $1,500 no-limit hold'em event in which Baldwin triumphed over a field of 2,095. A few short days later, Baldwin finished 3rd in the $10,000 buy-in pot-limit hold'em World Championship. Those showings were his two largest of the year in terms of POY points.

For the second half of the year, Baldwin dutifully traveled the tournament trail in quest of POY honors. He all but clinched the award last weekend after winning a $1,000 rebuy preliminary event at the Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

Baldwin's stunning year earned him just shy of $1.5 million in gross tournament cashes.

Unofficially, Cimpan will finish in 2nd place with 5,934 points after winning two WPT events on the year. Timoshenko will take third after winning the WPT Championship and the WCOOP Main Event. Cimpan, Timoshenko and fourth place finisher Vitaly Lunkin all had roughly twice the amount of cash winnings as Baldwin in 2009, but none of them matched the online player's consistency throughout the year.

Baldwin joins 2006 POY Michael "the grinder" Mizrachi as the only players who started their career playing online to go on to win POY honors.

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