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Global Poker Index: Rainer Kempe Jumps Out to Player of the Year Lead

Rainer Kempe
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  • Rainer Kempe has won three tournaments already in 2019, making him the early @GPI POY leader in 2019.

  • Global Poker Index: Rainer Kempe the early POY leader, while Alex Foxen still tops overall rankings.

Each week, the Global Poker Index releases a list of the top tournament poker players in the world using a formula that takes into account a player's results over six half-year periods. For a look at the entire list, visit the official GPI website. Below we look at the 2019 Player of the Year race and overall GPI rankings as of February 6.

2019 GPI Player of the Year

RankPlayer2019 GPI POY Score
1Rainer Kempe1610.25
2Jack Salter1463.21
3Toby Lewis1435.53
4Danny Tang1207.81
5David Rheem1160.97
6Bart Lybaert1046.17
7Sam Greenwood997.32
8Farid Jattin970.31
9Pete Chen951.92
10Sean Legendre944.00

It's a new year, and with it comes the launch of a new Global Poker Index Player of Year Race. Thanks to a hot start to 2019 that includes three first-place finishes already, Rainer Kempe has vaulted into first position to begin February.

Kempe cashed three times at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, taking fourth in a $25,000 Single Day High Roller won by Sean Winter, then capturing two titles by winning the $50,000 Single-Day High Roller then topping the field in a $10,200 Knockout Turbo event a few days later.

Kempe has continued collecting hardware at the Aussie Millions, taking first after chopping the AU$25,000 Challenge in Melbourne, then adding another fourth-place showing in the AU$100,000 Challenge won by Cary Katz.

All of that helped Kempe keep ahead of Jack Salter who currently occupies the No. 2 position after cashing three times at the PCA and another five times at the Aussie Millions, with four final tables among those finishes.

Toby Lewis was one of the players who chopped that AU$25,000 Challenge with Kempe, and he added other cashes and a title of his own in the AU$50,000 Challenge to help him earn enough POY points to place third currently.

Danny Tang amassed several in-the-money finishes at the PCA and the Aussie Millions (including one title) to reach No. 4 in the rankings, while PokerStars Caribbean Main Event champion David "Chino" Rheem (also the third player to chop that Aussie Millions event with Kempe and Lewis) is at No. 5.

Looking at the rest of the Top 10, Bart Lybaert (No. 6) won one event in the Bahamas and another in Melbourne; Sam Greenwood (No. 7) cashed four times at the PCA including winning the $100,000 Super High Roller; Farid Jattin (No. 8) final-tabled events at both the PCA and Aussie Millions; Pete Chen (No. 9) cashed nine times between the two stops; and Sean Legendre (No. 10) cashed five times in the Bahamas and a couple more times at the 2019 Lucky Heart Poker Open in Florida.

Overall GPI Top 10

RankPlayerOverall GPI Score
1Alex Foxen4028.31
2David Peters3662.88
3Rainer Kempe3653.81
4Steve O'Dwyer3482.70
5Stephen Chidwick3460.96
6Jake Schindler3346.76
7Adrian Mateos3326.70
8Ryan Riess3298.84
9Dominik Nitsche3273.59
10Benjamin Pollak3264.14

Alex Foxen retained his hold on the No. 1 spot in the overall rankings throughout the first month of the year. After cashing three times at the PCA and once at the Aussie Millions (including making three more final tables), Foxen has extended his streak at the top of the GPI to 18 weeks.

The rest of the Top 10 largely looks similar to what it was a month ago, with a couple of exceptions. A month ago Rainer Kempe was No. 16 in the overall rankings, but thanks to his great start to 2019 he's moved all of the way up to No. 3.

Meanwhile Justin Bonomo who was No. 6 at the start of January is now at No. 19 despite having won a $25,000 event at the PCA and finished fourth in another $50,000 one. Those two cashes give Bonomo just over $530,000 in earnings so far for the year, meaning he has a long way to go to match his unprecedented $25 million year in 2018.

Also worth noting, former GPI No. 1 Bryn Kenney made a big move last week from No. 67 to No. 14 after winning the Aussie Millions Main Event following a three-way deal.

To view the GPI overall rankings in their entirety, visit the official GPI website. While you're at it, follow the GPI on Twitter and its Facebook page.

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