LAS VEGAS (21 June 2017) – Australian star James Obst has moved to the top of the Kings Casino Rozvadov Player of the Year leaderboard with roughly half of the 2017 World Series of Poker in the books. Obst became the first player to top the 500-point plateau in this year's chase by continuing his hot run at this year's WSOP.

Obst was in seventh place as of our last update a week ago, but has since added two deep tourney runs to nearly double his points total. Obst captured his first career WSOP bracelet in Event #26, the $10,000 Razz Championship, which concluded just a few hours too late to be included in last week's POY update. Obst then followed up his bracelet win with a seventh-place showing in Event #36, $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed, where he bubbled that event's final table.

The WSOP's proprietary POY formula is designed to reward both excellence and consistency and Obst has epitomized that so far. His latest two cashes gave him six overall for the series, including his runner-up result in Event #13, $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw.

Despite Obst's great start, however, his current lead is far from secure. Mike Leah and Pablo Mariz are less than 50 points behind Obst, while John Racener, Daniel Negreanu, and Ryan Hughes have also topped the 400-point plateau.

Canada's Leah added four more solid points-producing cashes during the last week to move up to second in the POY chase. The largest of the four was his 17th-place run in Event #36, $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed. Leah is tied for the cashes lead with Hughes through the 2017 WSOP's schedule at this checkpoint; both have made the money nine times to date.

Just behind Leah is his countryman Mariz, who's taken a different route to the top of the charts. Over 300 of Mariz's points came from his triumph in the massive Millionaire Maker tournament, and most of the rest came from his second-place finish in Event #10, $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold'em. Mariz has four cashes so far this summer.

Moving up from 11th a week ago to fourth in this latest recap is John Racener. Racener won Event #17, the $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship, and in the past week added four more cashes to his own running total of eight, just behind Leah and Hughes.

Daniel Negreanu also moved up and is now fifth after being 13th a week ago. Negreanu cracked the top five in the POY race with three more cashes, bringing his own total to date to seven. Negreanu's latest cashes include a sixth-place showing in Event #30, the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship, and a 13th in Event #38, the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship.

The Kings Casino Rozvadov Player of the Year race offers over $20,000 worth of prizes. The player leading the POY chase after July's WSOP Main Event will receive a free buy-in into the €10,000 Main Event at 2017 WSOP Europe, to be held at King's Casino this fall. The overall 2017 POY winner, not to be determined until WSOP Europe's 11 bracelet events are in the books, then wins a $10,000 seat into the 2018 WSOP Main Event.

All “open” WSOP events are included as part of the POY chase. Not part of the POY battle are this summer's Ladies, Casino Employees, Seniors, Super Seniors and Global Casino Championship events.

All POY point totals remain unofficial and are subject to change. Listed totals may not reflect the entirety of POY points awarded in any ongoing event.

Current Player of the Year Top 10:

1. James Obst 509.01
2. Mike Leah 469.55
3. Pablo Mariz 459.41
4. John Racener 442.28
5. Daniel Negreanu 435.58
6. Ryan Hughes 411.52
7. Raymond Henson 395.78
8. Aditya Agarwal 387.99
9. Igor Sharaskin 384.11
10. Alex Foxen 379.54