GPI Asian Player of the Year 2015

December is a time of year when Player of the Year titles are handed out, and champions are applauded. While some have links to certain tours, the GPI Player of the Year award spans almost all live events. The GPI is a well established and respected ranking system, and gives a clear reflection of the best players, either across the world, or within continents, such as Asia. 

1st: Nipun Java – 2774.66 points

Born in India, but currently residing in the USA, Nipun actually started the year quite slowly, with no five figure scores until March. WPT Bay101 saw him take 4th place for USD$43,170, but it was another 3 months before he banked a major score, finishing runner up at an Omaha event at the WSOP for over $270,000. From there, he hit another 10 five figure scores through the year, gaining momentum in the final months, and claiming the GPI Asian Player of the Year award.

Nipun Java

Nipun Java (photo Twitter)

2nd: Yingui Li – 2470.06 points

Chinese national, Yingui Li, has had a memorable year in terms of the 2015 Player of the Year race. Surprisingly, it wasn't until May, that Yingui notched a notable score, picking up USD$95,130 for 12th place in an EPT High Roller. Later in the year, he put together a run of four and five figure scores, in addition to USD$164,407 which he won when he took victory in the WPT National Paris Main Event.

Yingui Li

Yingui Li (Photo

3rd: Raiden Kan – 1863.94 points

Raiden Kan is a poker pro from Hong Kong, who was already well known on the Asian circuit before his excellent run of results in 2015. He started this year strongly, taking a 7th and a 10th place at the Aussie Millions, for USD$159,841. He put together a good run of four and five figure scores through the rest of the year, which was good enough to give him 3rd place in the Player of the Year standings.


Raiden Kan (Photo kenneth Lim Courtesy of PokerStars)

4thNaoya Kihara – 1778.38 points

 As one of the most recognisable poker pros from Japan, it is no surprise to see WSOP bracelet winner Naoya Kihara among the top names in the GPI Asian Player of the Year race. He began the year with a USD$27,700 cash at the PCA, and picked up two more small five figure scores in Los Angeles the following month. If he had continued such form, he may have won this title, but his results stalled a little. He did pick up two more good results towards the end of the year at the ACOP festival though, which was enough for 4th spot.


Naoya Kihara (Photo kenneth Lim Courtesy of PokerStars)

5th: Diwei “Bryan” Huang – 1774.51 points

Bryan Huang is an established professional player from Singapore, who has put together a very solid year of results, to finish 5th place in the Asian Player of the Year race. There were no huge scores this year for Bryan, but a regular supply of four figure scores, with a few five figure ones sprinkled in, is an excellent year by most standards.

Bryan Huang

Bryan Huang (Photo kenneth Lim Courtesy of PokerStars)

6th Ping Lin – 1542.00 points

Chinese national, Ping Lin, had a good year in 2015, mostly due to three scores in the low five figure range, picked up during tournaments in the USA.

7th Li Ta “Leon” Hsu – 1535.61 points

Leon is a poker pro from Taiwan, who has had a very good year, with Australia in particular proving fruitful. He also fared well at the ACOP festival in November.

8th John Juanda – 1467.65 points

John Juanda needs no introduction, the 5 time WSOP bracelet winner has just 4 qualifying cashes this year. When your cashes include 1st in the EPT Barcelona Main Event, 2nd in an ACOP Super High Roller, and 8th in an EPT Super High Roller – That's more than enough to make the top 10.

9th Andrew Gaw – 1447.21 points

Andrew Gaw was born in the Philippines, and is an established regular on the Asian tournament circuit. In 2015, he has added another strong collection of results to his list of career accomplishments, including USD$109,000 for a 3rd place at the WSOP, and USD$25,475 for winning the APT Cebu High Roller. He picked up another USD$24,000 for 2nd place in the APT Finale Main Event.

10th Terry Fan – 1445.23 points

Taiwan national, Terry Fan, finished his year well, having not picked up any cashes in the first half of the year. The turning point came at the WSOP, where Terry took a 16th place and a 5th place, which brought in USD$130,000.

Article By Craig B.


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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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