It is getting down to the nitty gritty with lots of exciting activity stirring up the leaderboards of both the Asia Player of the Year 2015 and the Asian Poker Tour Player of the Year 2015. With just a limited number of events left to rake in the points, it has become a very close and heated race for the title.
Asia Player of the Year 2015 (APOY)
In order to get to the top of the APOY leaderboard players have to accumulate as many points as possible throughout the year in the PokerStars Asian Circuit. For 2015, the tallying began at the Beijing Cup on December 17, 2014 and is currently slated to finalize at the end of the 2015 ACOP on November 15, 2015 in Macau. What's up for grabs? The winner will receive a 1-year sponsorship with PokerStars Live, and their name will be permanently engraved in the APOY trophy.
As of last week, Alan King Lun Lau from Hong Kong retook the lead from fellow countryman Ka Cheong Wong. These two players have been playing tug-of-war for the top spot since early October. Lau currently leads with 6,270 points while Wong sits in second with 6,240 points. Now that's only 30 points separating them! In a head-to-head breakdown, these two players have displayed very impressive stats this year.
To date, Wong has reached the final table 18 times, the highest number of appearances overall by any player for the year, and Lau has reached it 13 times. With one more week of events still on deck at the 2015 ACOP, it is definitely anyone's game. Reigning APOY champion Pete Yen Han Chen has also posted some impressive stats this year, cashing in 15 times, but with only 5,077 points accumulated, his run for a repeat will unfortunately be a very difficult one at this point.
KC Wong (Photo PokerStars)
Asian Poker Tour Player of the Year 2015 (APT POY)
Without ever having won an APT Main Event, poker pro Samad Razavi from the UK has impressively dominated the APT POY leaderboard for the past three years. This year finds him currently in the same position, sitting on top of the charts, getting closer to capturing his fourth APT POY title. As it stands, Razavi has 2,649.50 points with 21 cashes and 7 side event titles to boot. But despite being on top, he can't rest on his laurels just yet. Japanese poker pro Iori Yogo is making a run for the title with 2,479 points under his belt, that's only 179.50 points behind Razavi. As well, Yogo has similar stats with 21 cashes and 6 side event titles. Both players are seeking their first APT main event title.
Sam Razvi (Photo APT)
Throughout the year, both Razavi and Yogo have consistently been earning points at almost every APT stop. Razavi, the triple crown APT POY champion, took the lead from Filipino player Lester Edoc in the middle of the year and since then, has maintained his top-ranked standing. He continued to distance himself from the field after four ITM generating points and an incredible four trophies bagged at APT Cebu in mid-August. However, lurking quietly behind him is Yogo who also had an outstanding run in Cebu. Yogo cashed in four events as well, including a third place finish at the main event. Although this brought him up to second rank, he was still very far behind Razavi. Not for long. Yogo returned to the APT felt for the Asian Poker Series Manila and won the PHP2M Guaranteed opening event. Since then, he has inched much closer to the leader after two ITM's at APT Cambodia late last month.
With one more APT event left, the APT Finale on December 9-17, 2015, it is definitely going to be a very exciting final stretch. Will it be Razavi once again or will there be a new APT POY champion? Whoever it is, the APT POY champion will be awarded a slew of big prizes, most importantly, the APT POY trophy plus $10,000 worth of APT and APT Asian Poker Series Main Event buy-ins.
Global Poker Index Asia
Out of all the POY leaderboards in Asia, the most interesting and highly recognized is the GPI. In the current GPI Asia POY 2015 standings, Nipun Java from India holds the #1 spot. Java was ranked 46th in 2013, then jumped to first in 2014, and has since kept his lead. Java accumulated all of his GPI points in the United States.
Since the GPI is now widely accepted by the poker community as the best ranking source for tournaments, players (in the Asian circuit) whose goal is to be in serious contention for this title, must consider devoting a lot of time entering larger events and bigger buy-in events in order to accumulate a high number of points when they cash. As it stands, Asian players based in the US and Europe seem to have the advantage on this with big fields and higher payouts as the norm for those areas.
Still, the GPI Asia POY 2015 has several recognizable Asian circuit notables in the top 20 rankings such as Chinese Taipei nationals Li-Ta Leon Hsu and Pete Yen Han Chen, and Singaporean poker pro Bryan Diwei Huang. These players have displayed consistent results throughout the year and will certainly be looking to raise their standings coming into the new year.
Asia Player of the Year 2015 (APOY)
|Rank||Player||Location||Points||Winnings (HKD)||Final Tables||Titles|
|1||Alan King Lun Lau||Hong Kong||6,270||$812,355||13||2|
|2||KC Wong||Hong Kong||6,240||$842,884||18||4|
|5||Pete Yen Han Chen||Chinese Taipei||5,077||$921,872||15||1|
APT POY 2015
|4||Kai Danilo Paulsen||Norway||2||21||1,620.60|