Mid-year update on GPI Asia’s top 10: Daniel Tang takes the lead

With the summer’s biggest poker event all wrapped up, it’s time for a mid-year review on the Global Poker Index Asia rankings. Since our last update significant changes have taken place; only six players secured their top ten standing and Hong Kong’s Daniel Chi Tang overtook Malaysia’s Christopher Michael Soyza for the top spot.

#1 Daniel Chi Tang – 3,183.88 points

Danny Tang
Danny Tang

Daniel Chi Tang is the new GPI Asia frontrunner with 3,183.88 points. Prior to his trip to Las Vegas, Tang trailed previous leader, Christopher Michael Soyza, by around 860 points. After his stunning success this summer where he triumphed at the WSOP 2019 50K High Roller, finished 10th at the WSOP 2019 100K High Roller, and took 9th at the DeepStack Championship Series $3500 No Limit Hold’em event, he accrued nearly 900 points to surge ahead by a small margin. Tang became the first-ever player from Hong Kong to seize a WSOP bracelet in Las Vegas. He is currently ranked 12th in GPI overall and 11th for GPI Player of the Year 2019.

#2 Christopher Michael Soyza – 3,156.21 points

Michael Soyza
Michael Soyza – Photo Triton Poker

GPI Asia POY 2018 winner Christopher Michael Soyza had a foothold on the #1 spot for some time but dropped to second rank after the WSOP 2019. While Tang experienced a very successful run, Soyza only cashed in a few events earning points that were too low to compute into his overall GPI ranking. Still, the Malaysian pro’s past achievements – prior to the series – were substantial to keep him poised right on Tang’s heels. A few of Soyza’s largest point-generating events were his victories at the EPT Barcelona 2018 No Limit Hold’em, Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Jeju 2019 No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed, and APPT Korea 2019 Super High Roller.

#3 Yan Shing “Anson” Tsang – 2,491.68 points

Anson Tsnag WSOP 2019
Anson Tsang – Photo WSOP

Ranked third is Yan Shing “Anson” Tsang with 2,491.68 points. Tsang has held this spot since last year. He was the first player from Hong Kong to clasp a WSOP bracelet after reigning at the WSOPE 2018 €2,200 Pot Limit Omaha 8-max. To maintain position, Tsang picked up nearly 900 points this summer. His deepest run and largest point-generating event was at the WSOP 2019 $10K Short Deck where he finished 3rd.

#4 Pete Yen Han Chen – 2,482.94 points

Pete Chen
Pete Chen – Photo PokerStars

Alike Tsang, Pete Yen Han Chen is also parked in the same spot as our last update. Once again he cashed in double digits at the WSOP. Out of all the Asians, he posted the most deep runs with fourteen cashes. His best finish was 11th at the $5K No Limit Hold’em event. Prior to that, in May, Chen placed 3rd at the EPT Monte Carlo €1,100 No Limit Hold’em. Another event earning him over 200 points was his 3rd place finish at the APT Taiwan TWD 50,000 Championships Event in late February. Chen is the only Taiwanese player currently in the GPI Asia top ten.

#5 Seng Yee Leow – 2,416.49 points 

Ivan Leow and Team Malaysia
Ivan Leow and Team Malaysia

Well-known Malaysian high roller Seng Yee Leow aka Ivan Leow is a newcomer to the GPI Asia top ten list and is ranked 5th with 2,416.49 points. Leow was on fire last year finishing deep in numerous high roller and super high roller events around Asia and Europe. This year, Leow seems less active, posting only a handful of cashes. His largest points were earned at the Six Handed events of the Triton Series in Jeju and Montenegro.

#6 Yang Zhang – 2,300.07 points 

mpc24 Yang Zhang 1483611028 61802
Yang Zhang – Photo PokerStars Live

China’s Yang Zhang slid down one spot to 6th rank with 2,300.07 points. Unlike last year, his cashes this year are significantly less however the year is not yet over. His best run was right after the WSOP. He took on APPT Jeju where he placed 2nd out of 362 entries at the Main Event. This earned him nearly 300 points.

#7 Sean Yu – 2,200.60 points 

sean yu
Sean Yu

Sean Yu is another new entry in the GPI Asia top ten. Based in the USA, his achievements were mostly earned in events held in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Back in 2017, Yu was the first player to capture a WSOP bracelet for Korea. He did so by winning a unique event called the Global Casino Championship where he overcame a field littered with WSOP top performers of that year. Yu is decorated with a long list of WSOP Circuit victories. His most recent win was in March at the WSOP Circuit LA $1700 Main Event. He is also ranked #1 in Korea’s All Time Money List with over US$ 2.3 Million in live tournament earnings. 

#8 Phachara Wongwichit – 2,137.34 points 

2019 APPT Korea Phachara Wongwichit Wins the Short Deck Event 4
Phachara Wongwichit – Photo PokerStars

GPI POY Thailand 2018 Phachara Wongwichit joins the top ten list in 8th rank with 2,137.34 points. Wongwichit cashed seven times in Las Vegas this summer with his furthest at the DeepStack Championship Poker Series – US$ 1,1000 Monster Stack event – finishing 6th out of 2,232 players. Another impressive run was at The Wynn Summer Classic US$ 1,100 No Limit Hold’em event taking 4th out of 447 entries. He is currently ranked #1 in Thailand’s All Time Money List. 

#9 Iori Yogo – 2,108.79 points 

Iori Yogo

One of Japan’s more well known pros is Iori Yogo with over US$ 1.4 Million in live tournament earnings. A large bulk of Yogo’s recent winnings were claimed at Asian Poker Tour events around the region. In April, he won the APT Philippines High Rollers and placed 2nd at the APT Championships Event. Then on his trip to Las Vegas, he cashed 8 times. His most impressive finish was 6th out of 717 at the WSOP 2019 US$ 1,500 Omaha Mix event. 

#10 Xixiang Luo – 2,096.05 points 

Xixiang Luo
Xixiang Luo

Another Chinese pro in the lineup is Xixiang Luo holding 10th position with 2,096.05 points. Luo continues to be one of China’s strongest competitors. He cashed 8 times in Las Vegas, playing in a majority of events with fields seeing thousands of players. Luo accrued the largest number of points at the WSOP 2019 US$ 10K buy-in Main Event finishing 178th out of 8,569. Among his deep runs in the smaller events was 35th out of 564 at the US$5K buy-in Card Player Poker Tour Main Event.

Article by Tricia David