Adrian Mateos Wins 2017 GPI Player of the Year Award
The race for the Global Poker Index Player of the Year title came down to the wire but in the end it was Spanish superstar Adrian Mateos edging out Bryn Kenney for the title. A late run in the December at the PokerStars Championship Prague gave him just enough to take the coveted title.
Mateos Clips Kenney in Final Weeks to Win GPI POY
The 2017 GPI Player of the Year race was one of the closest yet with Adrian Mateos and Bryn Kenney battling it out at the end. Kenney had led the race for much of the second half of 2017 but failed to produce a qualifying score in the last eight weeks to pad his lead.
On the other hand, Mateos managed to put together six straight qualifying cashes to take the lead and finish with just a 26.65 point lead. During the last six weeks of the month, Mateos had six qualifying scores, including a victory in the MILLIONS finale at the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party.
Mateos took the lead at the PokerStars Championship Prague event in December after cashing in four events with three final tables. Two of those events, the €50,000 Super High Roller and the €25,500 NL 8-Max, were qualifying events. The 8-Max managed to put him into the lead and Kenney failed to make a qualifying cash in the final month.
Mateos finished 2017 with $5.88 million in live tournament earnings, the most in his live career. Those earnings helped push him over $12.24 million in career earnings. Kenney actually won more money in 2017, winning $8.5 million, but a number of his scores either did not qualify towards his POY score or were in events where players could not earn POY points.
Not surprisingly, Mateos and Kenney currently rank #1 and #2 on the GPI 300. Just behind them are Stephen Chidwick, Dan Smith and David Peters. Peters was the 2016 GPI Player of the Year and has remained in the Top 5 of the GPI all year.
Other Top Honors Announced – Bicknell Wins Female Player of Year
In addition to the overall Player of the Year award, several other country and gender-specific POY titles were also announced. Kristen Bicknell won the 2017 GPI Female Player of the Year after a 2017 season that saw her win $551,906. She made a WSOP final table and won a preliminary event at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December.
Bryn Kenney failed to win the overall POY title but he did win the 2017 GPI American Player of the Year Award. Felipe Ramos took the 2017 GPI Latin American Player of the Year award after earning $762,265 in events around the world.
Pete Chen won both the 2017 GPI Asia/Pacific Player of the Year and Great China Player of the Year. He won the WPT Beijing Main Event in April and finished 2nd in the $5k NL Event at the 2017 World Series of Poker. He finished the year with $1.2 million in earnings, easily his best year in live poker.
Should the GPI decide to hold the American Poker Awards in 2018, many of these winners will receive a trophy at the event. The event was last held in 2017 at the Sofitel in Beverly Hills, CA.