A lot has happened since we last took a look at the GPI Player of the Year Ladies’ (PoYL) race. With just six weeks left of the year, the tension is building up, and nothing is decided yet. Last year it was business as usual with Vanessa Selbst claiming the top spot for the third year in a row. This year though, everything points to a new leader of the pack.
At the end of August Parx Casino ambassador Esther Taylor-Brady (E-Tay) was leading the way with Kelly Minkin hot on her heels, and just a few points separating the two players. Novelist and playwright Rachel Kranz was in third, Canadian poker pro Xuan Liu in fourth and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Loni Harwood in fifth.
About two months – and a very busy poker schedule – later Kelly Minkin has reclaimed the top spot. At the start of September she finished in 5th place in a WPT Legends of Poker event, and in October she took 10th in a WSOP Circuit event at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond. The two deep runs secured Minkin an extra 300 points and the top spot.
Meanwhile Liv Boeree has had a great post WSOP. Mid-August Boeree was sitting in 19th place of the rankings, but as we predicted, this was bound to change as soon as the EPT season 12 kicked off in Barcelona. And it did! First Boeree finished in 3rd place in the €25,500 High Roller for €391,000, then she continued to Isle of Man where she took 6th in the more modest £1,100 High Roller. At EPT Malta she had another deep run, finishing in 3rd place of a hyperturbo event (€38,680), and just a week ago she finished in top 75 of WPT Montreal.
Everything indicates that Boeree will win the European Poker Awards for best female poker player 2015 as she did in 2014. Only 124 points separate Boeree from Kelly Minkin, and with the EPT Prague in December she is certainly within reach of the overall lead.
Esther Taylor-Brady has exchanged 1st place of the leaderboard with a current 3rd place. But with only 176 points between E-Tay and the top spot, it’s wise not to leave her out of the equation yet.
British player Shola Akindele Deadman is currently in 4th place, and a new name on the list. Three years ago Akindele Deadman was playing £20-55 tournaments, but this year she’s had a virtual break through. At WSOP this summer she finished 8th in Event #8 for $43,888, and she continued with several deep runs in WSOPE in Berlin a month ago. She decided to travel on to EPT Malta, which proved to be a great decision as she finished runner-up in the IPT High Roller and collected €96,160 for her efforts.
Just 14 points away we find Loni Harwood in 5th place. Harwood won her 2nd WSOP bracelet this summer, when she took down the WSOP National Championship for $341,599. Unfortunately for Harwood the event was an invitation-only tournament and therefore not eligible for GPI points. Harwood went on to final table WPT bestbest Jacksonville in November, finishing in 9th place for $36k and earning nearly 300 GPI points.
Here are the current PoYL standings (as of November 20) from the Global Poker Index
1 Kelly Minkin 1749 pts
2 Liv Boeree 1620 pts.
3 Esther Taylor-Brady 1572 pts.
4 Shola Akindele Deadman 1496 pts.
5 Loni Harwood 1482 pts.
6 Xuan Liu 1375 pts.
7 Rachel Kranz 1313 pts.
8 Natasha Barbour 1244 pts.
9 JJ Liu 1228 pts.
10 Nancy Nguyen 1178 pts.
Stay tuned as we will follow the race for best female player of the year closely.