On February 27th Vanessa Selbst was awarded Female Player of the Year at the American Poker Awards in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. Since the Global Poker Index started ranking players in 2013, Selbst has won the title in both 2013 and 2014. In 2013 Kitty Kuo finished as the second best female player in the world, and last year it looked as if Sam Cohen was going to win the race, but when Selbst finished in 14th place in the EPT Prague Main Event in December, she overtook the no 1 spot and Sam Cohen had to settle with second place. It will be interesting to see if Selbst can win the title for the third year in a row or if another player is able to drive her from the throne.
Even though we are only two months into 2015 – and anything can happen over the course of the year – it’s nevertheless exciting to see a couple of new names on top of the rankings. Leading the PoYL race right now is bracelet winner Loni Harwood, who’s had a great start to the year. In late January Harwood made a deep run in the WPT Borgata finishing in 25th place for $14,879. Harwood then decided to late register Day 2 of the Big Stax Championship at Parx Casino, which she ended up winning for $81,312 after a chop with Patrick Chen. Harwood’s success propelled her to the top and she now has 563 points.
In second place we find Kelly Minkin who’s had a very impressive 2015 so far. January 24th Minkin took down a $570 NLH Tournament at the LAPC for $54,630 and just two weeks later she continued her amazing run in the WPT Lucky Hearts, where she was just two players away from becoming the first female WPT Champion in an open international event. Minkin took home $262,912 for her third place finish and now has 525 points in the PoYL.
GPI lists Xuan Liu in third place of the PoYL, but I actually think that Esther Taylor-Brady is third and Xuan Liu fourth on the list. I might be wrong, but Taylor-Brady earned herself 357 GPI points, when she finished in 5th place at the WPT Borgata in January for $174,118. On the current list Taylor-Brady is nowhere to be found and it must be due to some kind of technical error.
888poker might regret not renewing Xuan Liu’s sponsorship deal as the Canadian pro has started the year in style. After a min cash at the PCA Liu continued “down under” to the Aussie Millions, where she finished runner-up in Event 4, a $1,150 Six Max NLH tournament, for AU$71,500. Liu’s got 342 GPI points.
Liv Boeree sits in 5th place (#4 according to GPI) after cashing at the PCA Main Event and in a tournament at the Aussie Millions. Germany’s Jannis Brauer is 6th (#5 according to GPI), Italy’s Isabel Baltazar is 7th (#6 GPI), Elizabeth Bennett-Martin from Canada 8th (#7 GPI), American Ira Schwartz 9th (#8 GPI) and PokerStars pro Celina Lin completes the top 10 (# 9 GPI) with 192 pts.
But unfortunately it seems as there might be another inaccuracy here. At the Aussie Millions Angelina Rich won Event 12, a $1,650 NLH Bounty tournament for AU$34,455. Rich’s win was worth 208 GPI pts, which is enough for a place in top 10 – and sends Celina Lin down to #11 on the PoYL.
With all those new (and old) names in the top 10, it’s going to be super exciting to see, what will happen in the next few months. So stay tuned here to follow your farvorite ladies.
The Global Poker Index has updated PoYL by March 6th. The correct top 15 now looks like this:
1 Lonni Harwood, 563 pts
2 Kelly Minkin, 525 pts
3 Liv Boeree, 446 pts
4 Esther Taylor-Brady, 357 pts
5 Xuan Liu, 342 pts
6 JJ Liu, 321 pts
7 Jannis Brauer, 291 pts
8 Isabel Baltazar, 256 pts
9 Elizabeth Bennett-Martin, 252 pts
10 Gaelle Baumann, 242 pts
11 Krista Gifford, 231 pts
12 Ira Schwartz, 226 pts
13 Angelina Rich, 208 pts
14 Celina Lin, 192 pts
15 Florence Allera, 189 pts
Photo: Loni Harwood, WSOP