The 2015 edition of the WSOP is in the books, and it’s time to take a look at the GPI Players of the Year Ladies in the light of the series. Last year saw some major changes in the rankings before and after the series, and that’s definitely the case this year as well.
When we last looked at the PoYL top 15 we were only two months into 2015, and bracelet winner Loni Harwood was leading the way with 563 points (March 6th). I must admit that I was expecting to see Harwood in the top spot at this point as well, considering the fact that she just won her second bracelet at the WSOP National Championship. Then it dawned on me that the WSOP National Championship is an invitation-only tournament and therefore not eligible for GPI points. Harwood now sits in third place after a great summer where she besides winning her second bracelet, finished 10th in Event #3,000 Shootout NLH and cashed in two other events. Harwood’s got 1,182 GPI points.
Kelly Minkin, who was second in the rankings in March, is the new leader of the PoYL after an incredible year so far. Minkin’s merits have been covered in details elsewhere on the blog, but just to sum up: Minkin won an event at LA Poker Classic in January, she final tabled WPT Lucky Hearts in February (3rd place), and in July she was last woman standing in the Main Event (29th place). She also went deep in the Millionaire Maker (38th) and cashed in two other WSOP events, which has secured her 1,450 GPI pts.
But hot on Minkin’s heels is Esther Taylor-Brady (E-tay) in second place with 1,401 points (she was #4 back in March). Taylor-Brady, who seems to go deep every time she plays a WPT Main Event, final tabled WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open (5th) and went deep in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown (45th) and WPT Choctaw (52nd) this month. At the WSOP she took 25th place in a HORSE event, and she finished in 5th place of the Hollywood Poker Open Main Event.
New in top 15 is Nancy Nguyen in 4th place with 1,103 pts. Nguyen has been doing very well on the WSOP Circuit this year. She took 4th in Choctaw Durant and 3rd in West Palm Beach, besides going deep in several other circuit events. At the WSOP she cashed in four events, among them the Lucky Sevens, where she finished in 12th place.
The adventurous poker player Rachel Kranz is new on the list as well in 5th place. Kranz, who seems to have been grinding non-stop this year, has had several deep runs, and in April she won an event at WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. Kranz got 1,030 pts.
Entering top 15 are also Elizabeth Montizanti in 7th place and Natasha Barbour in 8th. The two American players both had a great WSOP; Montizanti final tabled the $1,500 Shootout NLH, where she finished in 5th place, and Barbour was runner-up in Event #20: $1,500 NLH. It’s no surprise either to see that Angelina Rich has moved up a couple of spots to 9th place after winning The Mid-States Poker Tour Main Event at the Venetian in June. Even though North American players dominate the rankings, Brazil’s Renata Teixeira has made it into the top 15 in 11th place. Teixeira has done extremely well this year, grinding the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP) and the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT). Among her accomplishments are winning the Ladies Event of BSOP in May and finishing runner-up in LAPT Chile.
With Kranz, Nguyen and Teixeira climbing up the ladder, others have disappeared. 2014 Female Player of the Year Europe Liv Boeree, who was 3rd in the rankings in March, has dropped to 19th place. As far as I know, Boeree only played a couple of events at the WSOP, and she only cashed once. I expect to see her start climbing the rankings once the EPT season 12 kicks off in Barcelona on August 18-30.
German poker player Jannis Brauer must be the biggest mover. Unfortunately for Brauer it has been in the wrong direction: From 7th place in March and all the way down to 63rd now. Out of top 15 are also Isabel Baltazar (#18), Elizabeth Bennett-Martin (#38) and the two French players Gaelle Baumann (#27) and Florence Allera (#37).
GPI Player of the Year Lades: The Top 15 as of August 13
1 Kelly Minkin, 1,450 pts
2 Esther Tayor-Brady (E-Tay), 1,401 pts
3 Loni Harwood, 1,182 pts
4 Nancy Nguyen, 1,103 pts
5 Rachel Kranz, 1,030 pts
6 JJ Liu, 965 pts
7 Elizabeth Montizanti, 770 pts
8 Natasha Barbour, 767 pts
9 Angelina Rich, 744 pts
10 Maria Ho, 729 pts
11 Renata Teixeira, 682 pts
12 Louise Francoeur, 673 pts
13 Haixa Zhang, 666 pts
14 Xuan Liu, 648 pts
15 Celina Lin, 612 pts
Source: The Global Poker Index