On Tuesday, Eric Danis of the Global Poker Index announced the winners of the GPI National Player of the Year in the Americas. These are the players who ranked the highest in each given country in the Americas, ranging from the USA and Canada all of the way south through Mexico and other Central/South American countries. The players were ranked by their GPI PoY scores.
Winning the GPI National USA Player of the Year was none other than Paul Volpe. Currently ranked No. 9 on the GPI, Volpe held the lead in the overall PoY race throughout the World Series of Poker last summer. He finished the year with a victory-earning 1,042.38 points. Propelling Volpe this high were his back-to-back final table appearances at the L.A. Poker Classic and the Bay 101 Shooting Star tournaments. Volpe ultimately came out ahead of the other front-runners that included Bryn Kenney (986.26), David Peters (983.67), Steven Silverman (901.41), and Shannon Shorr (929.10).
A familiar face and the GPI's Player of the Decade, Daniel Negreanu, earned himself the GPI National Canada Player of the Year title. Negreanu was actually the front-runner for the overall GPI Player of the Year, but was defeated by Ole Schemion who had a late surge toward the year's end. Negreanu, who won both the WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event and the WSOP Europe High Roller, finished the year with 1,130.87 points.
Rounding out the top three for Canada were Mike Watson and 2010 WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel. Following a bit behind those two in points were Griffin Benger and Sorel Mizzi.
Brazil found a heated race toward the end of the year that featured both Nicolau Villa-Lobos and Ariel Bahia. In the end, the former was able to squeeze out Bahia and earn himself the title of GPI National Brazil Player of the Year. In fact, the race was so close that Villa-Lobos finished less than one point higher than Bahia. Villa-Lobos's final score came to 514.36 while Bahia was forced into the runner-up position with 514.23 points. Villa-Lobos, of course, was known for finishing runner-up to Negreanu in the aforementioned WSOPE High Roller.
Team PokerStars had a stellar showing in the GPI National PoY race, as three more of their pros were able to clinch titles from their respective countries. Angel Guillen, who the High Roller event at the Latin America Poker Tour Columbia, edged out a victory in Mexico. Jose "Nacho" Barbero earned himself a total of 487.07 points, which easily snatched him the victory for Argentina. Rounding out the Team PokerStars success was Humberto Brenes, who scored a total of 312.02 points over the years, which netted him the title of GPI National Costa Rica Player of the Year.
For an in-depth look at the National PoY races throughout the Americas, be sure to check out Danis' write-up here.