1998 World Championships
Player of the Year Info
Jon Finkel and Randy Buehler Earn Honors
Jon Finkel winning the title of Pro Tour player of the Year is no surprise to anyone on the pro circuit. Finkel has been on fire this whole season, the only player to finish in top 32 at every Pro Tour this year.
"There has never been a player more universally respected than Jon Finkel," says level 4 judge and Andon organized play coordinator Jeff Donais. Finkel’s long list of accomplishments this season includes winning Pro Tour - New York, finishing third in Chicago, 20th in Mainz and 23rd in Los Angeles. Finkel also finished 4th in U.S. Nationals, won Grand Prix - Rio and finally placed third at Worlds this year. With an unprecedented winning streak like this, Finkel truly deserves the title after collecting the total of 87 pro tour points this season, counting the 16 he received for his third-place performance here today.
Finkel’s closest rival for the title is Randy Buehler, finishing the season with 70 Pro tour points including 8 for twelfth place at this year's Worlds. Buehler’s winning streak is nearly as impressive as Finkels as it includes winning Pro Tour - Chicago, 16th place in Los Angeles, 39th in Mainz, 41st in New York. Buehler also won Grand Prix - Atlanta and the Extended Nationals this year.
The two competitors as well as several other pro players to do well this year have fought hard for this title. They have traveled to Grand Prix events around the world in hopes to score an extra point or two. Finkel has also been traveling around the country this year to playtest with various groups of top players in order to prepare for upcoming events.
Even though Buehler did not win the coveted title his work was not in vain. Buehler, whose first Pro Tour appearence was in Chicago, is this years Yahoo! Rookie of the Year, Both players have been well awarded for their efforts; Finkel has won over $63,000 this season and Buehler $36,000 (not counting the money drafts).
Jon Finkel is about to return to school this autumn, having enrolled in Rutgers University. It will be interesting to see whether he is able to maintain his winning streak during the next season.