An overview of the GPI Asia Top 10 players

The Global Poker Index (GPI) has been relied upon as a basis for gauging a player’s live tournament performance over a three year period. Currently leading the overall ranking is Stephen Chidwick followed by Justin Bonomo. Down the line, Malaysia’s Michael Soyza is wedged in 14th rank; he leads GPI Asia with nearly 400 points ahead of second ranked Daniel Tang.

Here’s a closer look at the current top 10 GPI Asia players:

#1 Christopher Michael Soyza – 3,137.78 points

Michael Soyza
Michael Soyza

Currently ranked 1st in GPI Asia and 14th GPI overall, Malaysian pro Soyza is having a fantastic year at the felt with victories in Macau, Korea, Philippines, USA, and Spain. His largest win was in June at the Deepstack Championship Poker Series held at The Venetian in Las Vegas taking home a pot of over half a million dollars. Prior to that, Soyza won the APPT Korea Incheon Main Event to capture a PSPC Platinum Pass and his first six-figure payout of the year. Last month, he also claimed his first-ever victory in Europe at the EPT Barcelona No Limit Hold’em event. He now sits with over $2.3 Million in live earnings.

#2 Daniel Chi Tang – 2,751.23 points

Daniel Chi Tang

Hong Kong’s Daniel Chi Tang may not be pulling in wins like Soyza but his consistent deep runs in big events has earned him the second rank. In December 2017, Tang earned a large number of GPI points by winning the PokerStars Championship Prague High Roller event. Another big lot was in July at the 2018 WSOP Main Event for his 31st finish, and most recently, at the EPT Barcelona Main Event for finishing in 13th place. Tang is currently ranked 39th at GPI overall.

#3 Yan Shing “Anson” Tsang – 2,528.76 points

Yan Shing “Anson” Tsang
Yan Shing “Anson” Tsang

Yan Shing “Anson” Tsang has one of the most diverse portfolios among the players. Out of his seven cashes at the 2018 WSOP are deep runs at PLO, 8-Game Mix, and Lowball Draw. The highest number of GPI points he earned this year was for his 10th place finish at the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship event. He accrued another bulk for runner-up at the EPT Barcelona €10,300 PLO event.

#4 Pete Yen Han Chen – 2,420,72 points

Angelica Hael - Pete Chen - Tony Dunst
Angelica Hael – Pete Chen – Tony Dunst

Every year, Taiwanese pro Pete Yen Han Chen rakes in a large volume of cashes and this year is no different with 35 ITMs already to his name. 9 of those were earned at the WSOP and 5 at the recently concluded EPT Barcelona where he won two events – €5,200 No Limit Hold’em Turbo and €2,150 Hyper Turbo. Another title awarded to Chen this year was the WPT Player of the Year Asia for his victory at WPT Beijing in 2017 along with his numerous cashes at WPT events in Korea and India that followed after. He adds this achievement to his PokerStars Asia POY 2014 title.

#5 Yang Zhang – 2,320,72 points

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Yang Zhang – Photo PokerStars

China’s Yang Zhang entered 2018 on a high note earning a large number of GPI points for his 2nd place finish at the PCA 2018 $3,315 No Limit Hold’em event in early January. At the end of that month and into February, he landed another two runner-up finishes, one at the Aussie Millions and the other in Las Vegas. In the summer, Zhang returned to Las Vegas and cashed in an impressive 12 events, 10 of which were at the WSOP. By the rate he’s going, Zhang will likely surpass his highest of 28 total cashes in 2017 with 27 already in the bag.

#6 James Chen – 2,307 points

James Chen - Photo Joe Giron Courtesy of
James Chen – Photo Joe Giron Courtesy of

Whenever James Chen reaches the money, it always seems to be huge. The Taiwanese pro has only accrued 8 ITMs this year but four of them were in the five-digit range and one at an enormous six-figure. That large payout in particular was for his win at the APPT Macau High Roller event besting the 195-entry field to take home over $500,000. Another one of his best performances was at the 2018 WSOP where he finished 5th out of 901 at the $3,0000 PLO 6 Handed event.

#7 Xixiang Luo – 2,249,90 points

Xixiang Luo 1
Xixiang Luo

Chinese pro Xixiang Luo is one poker globetrotter with earnings accrued in various destinations. At nearly $1.5 Million in live tournament wins, his biggest success this year was earning his second career title in Monaco. Luo overcame a field of 358 entries at the EPT Monte Carlo €1,100 No Limit Hold’em event for $67,700.

#8 Mike Takayama – 2,019.52 points

Team Philippines
Mike Takayama

This is another explosive year for Mike Takayama. The Filipino pro kicked it off with a near victory at the Baby Dragon event in Macau finishing in a brutal 2nd place. He then returned to home turf where he won the PokerStars Manila Super Series 5 Main Event to claim a PSPC Pass. In the summer, Takayama etched his name in history becoming the first homegrown Filipino to win a WSOP bracelet. That victory remains to be his largest, taking home nearly $200K at the $1K Super Turbo Bounty event. In August, he went head-to-head against Soyza for the APPT Manila NLH High Roller Shot Clock title and took runner-up.

#9 Nipun Java – 1,970,50 points

Nipun Java 9 1499843065 81569
Nipun Java – Photo WSOP

India’s Nipun Java is a WSOP double bracelet winner both earned in 2017. His first win was with Aditya Sushant at the Tag Team event and his second at the Online Championship. Java plays poker regularly in the USA and has over $2.4 Million in live earnings.

#10 John Juanda – 1,969.25 points

John Juanda
John Juanda

Out of all the players in this lineup, Indonesia’s John Juanda is the most highly decorated and the most highly recognized. Juanda is a living legend. He has been in the game for decades with over $24 Million in live tournament earnings throughout his career. Last year, he captured his first Triton Super High Roller Series by taking down the Main Event and around $2.8M to go with it. This year, he finished 7th at the APPT Macau Main Event in March and 9th at the EPT Barcelona Main Event last weekend. Juanda’s all-time highest GPI ranking was 9th position.

Article by Tricia David

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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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