2021 was a big relief for the poker world with live festivals allowed to take place in numerous countries. Now that the year has ended, the Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year winners have been announced. Topping the charts were Almedin “Ali” Imsirovic (Global), Nadya Magnus (Female), and David Mzareulov (Mid-Major). Each one will be awarded trophies at the Global Poker Awards ceremony which takes place on February 18th at the PokerGO Studio in Aria Las Vegas. Also recognized were GPI National Player of the Year winners with South Korea’s Sung Joo Hyun and Taiwan’s Ting Yi “Eric” Tsai as Asia’s top scorers. The full list is posted at the bottom of the page.
GPI Global Player of the Year: ALMEDIN “Ali” IMSIROVIC – 3,478.55 points
Almedin “Ali” Imsirovic became the first player from Bosnia & Herzegovina to win the esteemed 2021 GPI Global PoY title, consequently putting an end to USA’s Alex Foxen’s back to back (2018 & 2019) reign. Imsirovic’s incredible live performance run was jam-packed with 45 cashes of which 32 were final table appearances and 14 resulting in victories. He amassed over US$ 5.9 Million to cross into the US$ 15 Million mark in total live earnings. Among his biggest wins were:
- World Poker Tour Rock N’ Roll Poker Open $25,500 NLH for US$ 695,355
- Merit Poker Super High Roller Bowl $50,000 NLH (Cyprus) for US$ 598,000
- Aria High Roller – PokerGO Tour $50,000 NLH for US$ 529,000
- Aria High Roller – PokerGO Tour $50,000 NLH for US$ 344,910
In addition, he placed 6th at the 52nd World Series of Poker $50,000 NLH High Roller for US$ 278,840. Imsirovic closed the year with 3,478.55 points, which was a substantial 253 points ahead of second ranked player Chance Kornuth.
GPI Female Player of the year: NADYA MAGNUS – 2,435.43 points
A new winner was also crowned under the GPI Female Player of the Year category with USA’s Nadya Magnus ending the three-year streak held by Canada’s Kristen Bicknell. Although Magnus did not produce any victories this year, she cashed in 24 events of which four were final table finishes. Her biggest score and point generator was in January at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open $2,200 NLH where she placed 2nd for US$ 93,566. Three months later, Magnus took 3rd at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $1,100 NLH Deepstack for US$ 63,320, then in August she reached the final table of the $25,500 NLH The Big 4 High Roller for US$ 67,430. She closed out the year with 2,435.43 points.
GPI Mid-Major Player of the Year: DAVID MZAREULOV – 2,361.21 points
The first ever GPI Mid-Major Player of the Year title was awarded to Azerbaijan’s David Mzareulov who pulled off the win after securing a load of points on the final stretch. The newest GPI PoY category accounts for select open events with buy ins up to US$ 2,500. Mzareulov kicked off the year with small scores until summer hit, securing five figure payouts and bigger points. Among his deep runs was a victory at the $1,100 Prime Social Summer Series PLO Championship for US$ 42,425 then he placed 6th at The Wynn Summer Classic’s famous $1,600 NLH Mystery Bounty event for US$ 40,408. In late September, Mzareulov banked his first ever six digit payout of US$ 205,000 for finishing runner up at the Millionaire Mayhem Poker Series $1,125 NLH Main Event. To close out the year, he took 6th at the WSOPC North Carolina $1,700 NLH Main Event for US$ 71,480 and won his first ever circuit ring at the $1,125 NLH event.
2021 GPI Player of the Year: Asia – Pacific region (by points)
Along with the main categories were GPI PoY winners per nation. 56 players were recognized of which 11 were from the Asia – Pacific region. South Korea’s Sung Joo Hyun earned the most points for his stunning performance, amassing nearly US$ 1 Million across 23 events. Among his achievements were three victories: WPTDS Venetian Deepstack $1,600 NLH, The Wynn Spring Classic $3,500 NLH Championship, and WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,000 NLH High Roller. Another star performer was Ting Yi “Eric” Tsai who topped Taiwan’s rankings. Tsai’s most notable achievement was placing 4th out of 604 entries at the WSOP $5,000 NLH 6-Handed.
South Korea: SUNG JOO HYUN – 2,921.24 points
Taiwan: TING YI “Eric” TSAI – 2,113.44 points
Australia: LEWIS MURRAY – 1,813.42
Japan: JUN OBARA – 1,801.09 points
Vietnam: TONY TRAN – 1,713.89 points
India: ABHINAV IYER – 1,646.17 points
China: SEN MU – 1,486.61 points
Thailand: PUNNAT PUNSRI – 1,148.52
Philippines: MIKE TAKAYAMA – 1,120.71 points
Hong Kong: CHAN LOK MING – 1,080.80 points
Singapore: FENG ZHAO – 1,012.17 points
2021 GPI National Player of the Year list