Araya sits atop Ante Up POY standings, dates announced

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Heading into the end of the first quarter, Abraham Araya has grabbed the top spot in standings for 2012 Ante Up Player of the Year.

The Carrollton, Texas, player earned 1,314 points by virtue of his victory in the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla. That $1,600 tournament saw 978 entries and a $1.423 million prize pool, of which Araya earned $270K.

Other players to enter the top 10 include Matt Juttelstad, winner of the WPT Lucky Hearts event (Page 14), in third place, Joey Chalbaud, the 20-year-old from Lake Mary, Fla., who captured the Heartland Poker Tour event at Daytona Beach Kennel Club, sits in fourth place. John Dolan, our cover boy this month, won the Beau Rivage’s Million Dollar Heater Main Event to land in fifth place.

This month’s Ante Up POY events include:
MARCH 10: WPT Stax Showdown, Seminole Coconut Creek (FL)
MARCH 18: Ante Up Poker Cruise Spring Event 1
MARCH 21: Ante Up Poker Cruise Spring Event 2
MARCH 23: WPT regional main event, Derby Lane (FL)
MARCH 23: Battles at the Beach main event, Isle Casino (FL)
MARCH 24: WSOP Circuit main event, Harrah’s Rincon (CA)
MARCH 30: Spring Fling, Daytona Beach Kennel Club (FL)
MARCH 31: Naples-Ft. Myers (Dog Track) Championships (FL)

For full standings go here.

WSOP: The 43rd annual World Series of Poker has released its schedule and a whopping 61 bracelets are up for grabs this year at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The series runs May 27-July 16 as the main event begins July 7.

Some developments of note: The Rio will add 92 tables this year, which means 470 total tables will be available for events. As a result, the main event will only need three Day 1s.

And because of the presidential election, the November Nine will actually be the October Nine as the main event’s final nine will reconvene Oct. 28, with heads-up play on Oct. 30. For more information, be sure to go to wsop.com.