The Global Poker Index (GPI) has officially launched its Player of the Year (POY) race for 2021, as part of its tenth anniversary celebrations. The GPI suspended its rankings in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now they have effectively resumed, with the addition of a new POY category.
The GPI is a poker ranking platform that covers the entire live tournament sphere. It utilizes a calculation system that ranks players across the world based on their finishing positions in various live tournaments. The GPI has three existing POY categories: Global, Female, and National (United States). This year, it’s adding a new Mid-Major POY race which will track results in tournaments with a buy-in of $2,500 and below.
Poker players and fans can keep themselves up to date with the latest standings by checking out GPI’s home page where all the relevant stats appear. All scores calculated retroactively to the beginning of the year will be included in the 2021 POY races.
GPI Maintains Traditional Ranking System
The GPI will also continue to use its traditional ranking system despite launching a new POY category. For all of the four POY races, each player’s top 13 results from a minimum of 32 qualifying events will form as basis for calculating their POY points.
The POY races differ from the GPI live ranking in that they are essentially based on a given calendar year’s results. The GPI live ranking on the other hand utilizes a rolling average to determine the latest weekly standings. For instance, as of this writing, Joseph McKeehen leads the GPI live ranking with around 2,200 points. Meanwhile, Ali Imsirovic is dominating the POY 2021 race, with more than 2,700 points.
In 2020, the GPI decided to terminate its rankings as the live poker scene had been shut down as a result of the pandemic. Georgia’s Giorgiy Skuluhiya dominated the race before it was suspended. Since there was essentially nothing going on in the live tournament scene for the most parts of 2020, the year ended without any declared POY winner.
Former GPI POY Winners
The latest to receive the GPI Global POY award was American poker pro Alex Foxen. He is the first player to secure a GPI POY title back to back, having won the award for two consecutive years, in 2018 and 2019. Foxen’s girlfriend Kristen Bicknell also won the GPI Female POY award for three consecutive years, in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Jason Mercier was the first player to be ranked #1 in the world by the GPI back in June 2011. Apart from Mercier and Foxen, other POY winners include Dan Smith (2012), Ole Schemion (2013), Daniel Colman (2014), Byron Kaverman (2015), David Peters (2016), and Adrian Mateos (2017).
GPI Continues To Grow Despite Challenges
The GPI wouldn’t have gone this far if it did not manage to overcome major challenges during its early years. It was originally founded in 2011 by Federated Sports and Gaming (FS+G) which also created the Epic Poker League (EPL).
FS+G was headed by poker pro Annie Duke and former World Series of Poker (WSOP) Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. However in 2012, FS+G filed for bankruptcy which resulted in the GPI brand being fully acquired by Alexander Dreyfus of Zokay Entertainment. The company later rebranded to Mediarex Enterprises, Ltd.
A year later, Dreyfus acquired the world’s top poker results database The Hendon Mob (THM). Both the GPI and THM are currently working hand in hand in providing the rankings.
The GPI organizes the Global Poker Awards (GPA) each year, which has been successful so far, but it also encountered major bumps along the way, especially in terms of holding its own league, such as the Global Poker League which only lasted for one season.
The GPI team have remained undeterred by these challenges, and now they’ve become the leading source of poker tournament results and rankings, which will undoubtedly continue to be the case in the years to come.