Fernando Brito Poker Player of the Year: Season 7 EPT

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Fernando Brito Poker Player of the Year:  Season 7 EPT

Portuguese poker sensation Fernando Brito is about to be named Poker Player of the Year at the Season 7 EPT Awards, PokerStars.com has revealed. 

They noted that Brito's steady march through Season 7 - winning or cashing in event after event - has been utterly remarkable. The 52-year-old father-of-four has managed to totally dominate this season's POY race. Even Martin Jacobson - runner-up in two Main Events - or Konstantin Puchkov, who has cashed in ten events - haven't been able to muster enough points to counter Brito's brilliant and prolific achievements at virtually every stop.

His 6th place finish in London last October propelled him to the top of the Player of the Year table.  Among the businessman’s Season 7 achievements, Brito has won four €1,000 NL Turbo Random Bounty events, come second in another one, won back-to-back €10k events and finished fifth in the last €10k in San Remo. He has cashed everywhere except Tallin and Berlin and, POY title aside, he's also made a lot of money - well over $700,000 in EPT tournament winnings this season. And we're still counting actually because, at the time of writing this, Brito is through to Day 2 of the EPT Grand Final €25,000 High Roller event, albeit one of the shorter stacks.

What makes Brito's success is even more astonishing is that he has fewer than two years' experience in playing big poker tournaments. His first ever recorded cash was only 18 months ago - at EPT Vilamoura in Season 6 - for a relatively paltry €690 after finishing eighth in a €300 turbo. At his very next event - last season's EPT Grand Final - he made it to 53rd place for €30,000, the first of many five-figure cashes.

Jacobson, now lying 1,500 points behind Brito in POY, can comfort himself with the knowledge that he is still well ahead in the EPT Online Qualifier of the Year race. The 23-year-old Swede has qualified for six EPT events this season and final-tabled three, earning more than €1 million in the process. The only realistic threat to his chances of picking up his own trophy this season is from Friend of PokerStars and current Qualifier of the Year Pierre Neuville. Neuville has already qualified for the Grand Final Main Event and is closing in on Jacobson. But he would need to finish third or better in the final to repeat his EPT6 achievement.

There's still everything to play for in the Heads-Up, Omaha and Mixed Game Awards however. With no Heads-Up and Omaha events in San Remo, there's been no changes in points since Berlin - so it's still Diogo Veiga leading Heads-Up (slightly ahead of Richard Gryko) and Dario Alioto ahead of John O'Shea in Omaha. The ranking in the EPT Mixed Games Award also remains constant - with Matthew Ashton narrowly ahead of Alioto - although Finnish player Kimmo Kurko, who won the EPT San Remo NL/PLO event, has earned 500 points and a seventh place slot in the overall ranking.

In the Best EPT Country Award, Ireland has managed to hold on to the lead but has dropped from 23% to 22%. Israel has also dropped 1% and handed the second place slot to Spain who, with the EPT Grand Final being on home soil, now (possibly) have an advantage, and a chance to win the title.

The Season 7 EPT Awards ceremony is taking place next Thursday, May 12, at Pacha nightclub at 9pm. Shuttles will run from the casino and the Intercontinental & Westin Hotels. A total of eight EPT Awards will be presented - six based on points accumulated in Main Events and $1,000+ Side Events plus two awards - EPT Achievement of the Year and Players' Choice - which will be voted on by EPT players. All individual award winners receive a full prize package for the first event of EPT Season 8. See http://www.ept.com/awards for full details.