Global Poker Index: Kahle Burns Leads Tight POY Race Into Final Month

Kahle Burns

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 December 4.

2019 GPI Player of the Year

RankPlayer2019 GPI POY Score
1Kahle Burns3599.67
2Sean Winter3581.45
3Bryn Kenney3570.84
4Stephen Chidwick3499.40
5Manig Loeser3434.91
6Rainer Kempe3425.66
7Anthony Zinno3319.56
8Sam Greenwood3294.67
9Shannon Shorr3269.37
10Joseph Cheong3253.96

There's just one month left to go in 2019, and according to the Global Poker Index, "the Player of the Year Race has never been so close."

Sean Winter had been hanging onto a slim lead in the 2019 GPI POY race for quite some time, extending his reign at the top to 14 weeks in mid-November before finally slipping to No. 2. That's when Kahle Burns nudged in front of Winter into the top spot, a position he's now occupied for the last three weeks.

While Winter did earn some POY points to close out the month with a couple of final tables at partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas, Burns similarly made two final tables in Baha Mar, capping a successful recent stretch that began with two bracelet wins at World Series of Poker Europe in Rozvadov, Czech Republic in late October — one in Event #8: €25,500 Platinum High Roller No-Limit Hold'em and the other in Event #13: €2,500 Short Deck No-Limit Hold'em.

Burns only leads Winter by just over 17 POY points, and in fact Bryn Kenney at No. 3 is only about 10 points behind Winter. Kenney just made a leap up the leaderboard from No. 9 after winning the $25,500 World Poker Tour Seminole Rock & Roll Poker Open High Roller this week to add another $354,565 to his all-time record tournament winnings (now over $54.3M).

Also well within striking distance are Stephen Chidwick (No. 4), Manig Loeser (No. 5), and Rainer Kempe (No. 6), each of whom could move up to No. 1 by adding just a single qualifying cash.

Note that the GPI POY is calculated using a player's best (as in highest points-getting) 13 cashes of the calendar year. For Kempe — to take an example — his 13th-best cash in 2019 for an eighth-place finish in a $50K event at Baha Mar earned him 177.03 POY points.

Thus if Kempe can earn just one more cash netting him more points than that, he'll vault ahead of Burns and into first place. That will probably require making another final table in a qualifying event. But of course, the same goes for everyone else — so it's probably going to take more than that to secure the POY title!

As it happens, the same players all occupy the top nine POY spots as was the case a month ago, although they've moved around quite a bit including Burns having risen from No. 7 to No. 1.

Anthony Zinno (No. 7), Sam Greenwood (No. 8), and Shannon Shorr (No. 9) have all held steady in the bottom half of the Top 10 over the last four weeks. Meanwhile Joseph Cheong (No. 10) had a runner-up finish in a partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas side event to earn enough points to push back onto the list for the final stretch run.

Overall GPI Top 10

RankPlayerOverall GPI Score
1Stephen Chidwick3687.58
2Alex Foxen3595.96
3Anthony Zinno3387.21
4Sean Winter3379.65
5Manig Loeser3369.95
6Joseph Cheong3339.81
7Rainer Kempe3304.52
8Jeremy Ausmus3277.13
9Danny Tang3211.35
10Kristen Bicknell3185.05

Looking at the overall GPI rankings, Stephen Chidwick has kept his hold on the No. 1 spot for 17 weeks now. Alex Foxen has been at No. 2 for the same period, while Anthony Zinno has been at No. 3 for four of the last five weeks.

The rest of the Top 10 is largely the same as it was a month ago, save a few shuffles. One exception, though, is Sean Winter having now moved up to No. 4 on the list after having fallen out of the Top 10 a few weeks ago.

One other new name is Kristen Bicknell who has been at No. 10 for the last couple of weeks, her big win in the 2019 Poker Masters $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em event having considerably helped her cause. It was right after that win Bicknell made her debut inside the overall GPI Top 10, vaulting to No. 8 before slipping back a couple of spots at present.

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.

  • Kahle Burns, Sean Winter & Bryn Kenney are neck-and-neck-and-neck for @GPI Player of the Year.

  • Global Poker Index: Kahle Burns has slim @GPI POY lead with a month left; Chidwick tops overall.

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