The points are in. Eric Danis has put his calculator down. We have the results of the 2017 Global Poker Index Player of the Year awards, and there are pats on the back for the likes of Adrian Mateos, Kristen Bicknell, and Felipe Ramos.
Mateos, who replaced Bryn Kenney as the most prolific poker player in the world a few weeks before Santa got his sleigh out of the garage, managed to pip the New Yorker to the title of POY thanks to a late flurry of results. Card Player Magazine also heralded Mateos as their POY, making him the first European to ever win the award.
The Spanish star cashed 37 times earning $5,881,228 in the process. Only six people won more. It’s his best tally since he began racking up results in 2012, and more than double last year’s previous best of $2,499,220.
Four titles went the way of the 23-year-old:
1. €50k Eight-Max Shot Clock Event, PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo, for €908,000.
2. $10,000 Heads-Up Championship at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) for $336,656.
3. HK$80k Mini-High Roller at the Asian Championship of Poker (ACOP) for $297,927.
4. $5.3k MILLIONS Finale at partypoker’s Caribbean Poker Party for $250,000.
Mateos is currently appearing at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in the Bahamas.
Kristen Bicknell Wins the Female POY
The same form rang true in the female side of the GPI equation with the World #1, Kristen Bicknell, also nabbing the POY crown. The partypoker Ambassador beat Maria Lampropulos to the title. Lampropulos won the Argentinean award. World #2 Maria Ho won the American Female POY award.
Bicknell won $551,906 in 2017, her most significant haul to date. The Canadian won two titles this year.
1. $1.1k Side Event at PokerStars Championship Panama for $3,880.
2. $5.2k Side Event at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond Championship for $199,840.
Only eight females have ever made it to the top of their respective rankings dominated by Vanessa Selbst’s 209 weeks as World #1. The GPI Rankings began in 2011, and Selbst led for the next four-years before Loni Harwood knocked her off her perch. Selbst is currently ranked 9,408! Somehow I don’t think poker is high on her agenda.
Bicknell’s run at the top will never hit those heights, but it’s still impressive. Cate Hall led for 27 consecutive weeks, and Liv Boeree hit 17-weeks. Bicknell is on the verge of beating Boeree’s record to make her the third most successful female #1 ever.
The Best of the Rest
Despite losing out to Mateos in the primary categories, Kenney still ended the year as the POY for the Americas, America, and the man to earn the most money in 2017. The New Yorker banked $8.5m, Close to $3m more than Mateos, and more than the 2017 WSOP Main Event Champ, Scott Blumstein.
2017 was also a fine vintage for PokerStars Ambassador, Felipe Ramos. The Brazilian ended the year as the POY for Latin America, won the Brazilian POY award for the second successive season, and also earned the most Hendon Mob flags picking up wins in 13 different nations. The German, Manig Loeser, was runner-up with 11.
Sticking with the Germans and Koray Aldemir ended Fedor Holz’s two-year POY reign after a sterling year. Stephen Chidwick (ranked #3 in the world) won the UK title. Pete Chen finished the year as POY for Asia. And Ari Engel picked up the award for the highly competitive Canadian POY.