Jason Mercier crowned WSOP POY, Naoya Kihara tops Asian contingent

The GPI is now undeniably the greatest authority on poker rankings, and as such, is the appointed system by which WSOP Player of the Year award is decided. The factors involved in these calculations include the field size, buy in and final placing. Players accumulate points through the summer series, and we gain a fascinating insight into who has been the outstanding player each year. Although crunching the numbers always helps, this year wasn’t overly close, and it was quite clear which player had excelled beyond the achievements of his peers.

Jason Mercier crowned GPI 2016 WSOP Player of the Year

Jason Mercier (Photo PokerStars)

Jason Mercier was in unstoppable form in the early part of the series, as he took 1st in the $10K 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship, followed immediately by 2nd in the $10K Razz Championship. His very next cash brought him another bracelet, as he took 1st in the $10K HORSE Championship, and from that moment, he always looked unstoppable in this race. He accumulated 11 cashes in total, and won Player of the Year with 2,195.57 points.

Paul Volpe – Runner-up

In the end, Paul Volpe was the only man to come anywhere near chasing down Mercier, as he cemented an excellent year with a very deep run in the Main Event. After kicking off his series with a 4th place, he quickly added a bracelet in the $1,500 8 Game Mix. Volpe did not add any further final tables, but his 9th cash of the summer was 29th place in the Main Event, bringing his points tally up to 1,923.66.

James Obst is another player who made a late surge up the leaderboard thanks to a very deep run in the Main Event. The Australian pro picked up a 7th and a 2nd in the early weeks of the series, before adding several more cashes, that last of which was a 13th place finish in the Main Event. He collected 8 cashes through the series to take 4th on the Player of the Year rankings with 1,648.12

Chris Ferguson is a controversial figure, but upon arriving at the world series he claimed he was “just here to play poker”. He certainly did that, racking up 10 cashes in what was his first WSOP outing since 2010. His best result this year was 4th place in the $10K NLH 6 Handed Championship, which helped him claim 10th on the leaderboard with 1,469.57 points.

The standings (Top 10)

1 Jason Mercier 2,195.57
2 Paul Volpe 1,923.66
3 Max Silver 1,687.67
4 James Obst 1,648.12
5 John Edward Monnette 1,591.35
6 Martin Kozlov 1,539.10
7 Justin Bonomo 1,515.94
8 Michael Gathy 1,505.31
9 David Vamplew 1,496.22
10 Chris Ferguson 1,469.57

Naoya Kihara: Number one ranked Asian player

Naoya Kihara has a habit of doing well at the WSOP, and in 2016 he has once again shown the world why he is talked about as one of the greatest talents in Asia. He put together 11 cashes during the course of the series, and if he had managed to turn one deep run into a bracelet, he would have been threatening the top few spots. He can still take pride in his consistent show of form, which earned him 79th on the leaderboard with 1,001.21. He was the number one ranked Asian player at the 2016 series.

Park Yu “Sparrow” Cheung also had an excellent series, with 9 cashes in total. His best result was 6th place in the $1,000 Online event, which helped him reach 934.37 points, and 99th place on the leaderboard. He ranked 2nd in Asia.

Raghav Bansal picked up 7 cashes this year, along with an 11th place in the $3,000 NLH 6 Handed event, which helped him to 107th place overall, and 3rd in Asia.

Terry Fan also picked up 7 cashes, including a 6th place in the $1,000 Turbo Holdem event. This helped him to reach 158th on the rankings.

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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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