There are only three months left in the current poker season before someone is crowned the Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year (POY). The race couldn’t possibly be any tighter, as Stephen Chidwick is barely hanging onto a lead over this year’s winningest poker player, Justin Bonomo. If Chidwick wants to take the accolades, he’s going to have to bear down and find his poker magic.
Chidwick currently holds 3,691.67 points—just over 30 points more than Bonomo, who has 3,660.28. Tapping at both of their backs is Jake Schindler, who has picked up $7 million this season and currently has 3,625.15 points. David Peters and Adrian Mateos round off the top five players, with 3,561.52 and 3,364.20 points, respectively.
It may seem a little odd that poker’s all-time winningest player, Bonomo, would not be in the lead. He’s coming off a year that has seen him collect $25 million, over four times the amount earned by Chidwick. However, the GPI only awards points in tournaments that have at least 32 players, regardless of tournament standing.
Bonomo, who picked up two WSOP bracelets this year, has a number of cashes in events that attracted fields less than 32 players, including the $1 million buy-in WSOP Big One for One Drop, for which his first-place finish put an additional $10 million in his pocket. Chidwick’s cashes, on the other hand, have mostly been at tournaments with the requisite number of players to make the cut.
Chidwick has three seven-figure wins to his credit from this year. On March 20, he earned $1,298,521 when he finished sixth at the HK$2,100,000 NLHE tournament at the Super High Roller Bowl in Macau and followed it up on April 10 with a second-place finish at the €101,000 NLHE Super High Roller tournament at the partypoker MILLIONS series in Barcelona, where he added $1,352,531 to his stack.
Not ready to take a break, he pocketed $1,233.654 the next day when he took third at the €10,300 NLHE event at the MILLIONS series. Chidwick also has a number of final table appearances and first-place finishes at major tournaments throughout the United States.
The one player who is almost certainly out of the running this year is last year’s GPI POY, Bryn Kenney. He is currently in 28th place with just 2,687.21 points.