Nadya Magnus, Ali Imsirovic Win Female, Male GPI Player of the Year
For the first time since 2016, Kristen Bicknell wasn't the top performing female in tournament poker last year, according to the Global Poker Index.
Nadya Magnus will be awarded with the 2021 GPI Female Player of the Year at the Global Poker Awards in Las Vegas on February 18. Ali Imsirovic, already one of the top high rollers before the year began, will receive the GPI Player of the Year trophy. Both poker pros were on top of their game throughout the year, especially in live poker tournaments.
Top Female Performer
When 2021 began, Bicknell was the heavy favorite to win Female POY for the fourth consecutive year (there was no winner in 2020). With $246,000 in cashes, she had her worst year on the felt in live tournaments since 2015. As a result, Magnus parlayed her best year ever into a major award.
Magnus cashed for $426,161 over the course of the year, her fifth consecutive year hitting six figures. Although she didn't win any tournaments, she had a plethora of solid cashes, most notably a second-place finish in a $2,200 buy-in no-limit hold'em event at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open in South Florida last January. That impressive performance paid the newest GPI Female POY $93,566.
Magnus finished the year with 2,435 points in the POY standings. In second place was Kyna England, one of the top up-and-coming female tournament players in the world. England, a Chicago-area resident, cashed for nearly $750,000 during 2021 after entering the year with just over $20,000 lifetime.
The GPI Player of the Year runner-up ended with 2,097 points. England came up just short in this race, but she did claim the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Player of the Year award for 2021. The full GPI Female POY standings are as follows:
Top Overall Performer
Over the past year, there was simply no stopping Ali Imsirovic on the high roller circuit. The Bosnian poker star claimed just about every major individual tournament award and won more than twice as many high rollers as any other player. Not even two-time defending champ Alex Foxen, Bicknell's future husband, could slow him down.
Last month, Imsirovic wrapped up the first ever PokerGO Tour presented by Guaranteed Rate Player of the Year. And now he's officially the 2021 Global Poker Index Player of the Year, but he had some tough competition from Chance Kornuth, who nearly pulled it out.
Kornuth, who won his third World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet this past fall, ended the year with 3,225 points, 84 more than Shannon Shorr. But it wasn't quite enough to top Imsirovic, who racked up 3,478 points.
2021 GPI Player of the Year Standings
Imsirovic ended the 2021 campaign having won 14 high roller events, which is eight more than anyone else (Michael Addamo and Sean Perry each had six). The 26-year-old cashed for over $6 million overall, the second consecutive full year, excluding 2020 due to the pandemic, he surpassed the $5 million mark.
Imsirovic enters 2022 with over $15 million in live tournament cashes, and although he won't be eligible for the Poker Hall of Fame until 2035, he doesn't have much left to prove in this game.