November 28 2019, by Eric Danis

2019 GPI PoY: Can Burns hold onto slim lead?

Down the stretch they come in the GPI Player of the Year race as Australia’s Kahle Burns has managed to hold onto first place despite partypoker MILLIONS Bahamas success from some of those chasing him.

Burns has been red hot the past few months and took over the PoY race just last week. Amazingly, his first posted result in 2019 didn’t come until May!


While Burns does hold the lead, he’s far from having a comfortable lead with Sean Winter just 18 points behind. In fact the race this year is so tight that a big result from anyone chasing Burns and co. could make their way to the top spot.

A few things to highlight regarding the GPI PoY race. A player’s Top 13 qualifying scores from the season count for PoY points. Most players have hit the 13-score mark by this point of the season, meaning that any result going forward will need to count for more points than a player’s lowest current score to count for points … for example, should Burns collect 300 points in Prague, that would only count for about 100 extra points to his total.


Currently sitting 9th in the PoY, Bryn Kenney has a serious advantage over his opponents in the race. Kenney is the only player ranked in the PoY Top 20 that hasn’t scored in 13 qualifying events this season. In other words, whenever Kenney scores next, he’s going to receive full points in the race … a big score and Kenney could be in the pole position.

The only issue remains Bryn’s schedule. The former American Player of the Year has played a limited schedule so far in 2019 – we’ll have to see if he decides to put in a full effort down the stretch, of if decides to continue to live life to the fullest, off the felt.


WSOP Main Event runner-up Dario Sammartino, GPI PoY #13, is the member of the Top 20 with the lowest replacement score. In other words, with 118 points as his 13th score, Sammartino has an opportunity to rocket up the ranks a little faster than his PoY opponents should he earn a big score.


The main takeaway remains that it’s anyone’s race to win. Judging by last year’s numbers, the winners of the EPT Prague Main Event and WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic will collect well over 600 points – a Top 10 finish will garner a score in the mid 300’s – should a winner of these two Main Events come from those in the lead group could clinch them the PoY for 2019 … one thing is for sure, this year’s race is far from over.

Here’s a look at the GPI PoY Top 20 …

2019 GPI PoY TOP 20

#1 Kahle Burns AUS 3,599.67 13 200.78
#2 Sean Winter USA 3,581.45 13 200.03
#3 Stephen Chidwick UK 3,499.40 13 175.56
#4 Rainer Kempe GER 3,425.66 13 177.03
#5 Manig Loeser GER 3,327.95 13 192.82
#6 Anthony Zinno USA 3,306.67 13 170.61
#7 Sam Greenwood CAN 3,294.67 13 183.50
#8 Shannon Shorr USA 3,269.37 13 150.14
#9 Bryn Kenney USA 3,254.17 12
#10 Joseph Cheong USA 3,253.96 13 146.21
#11 Almedin Imsirovic BIH 3,243.10 13 183.50
#12 Alex Foxen 2018 PoY USA 3,236.71 13 190.41
#13 Dario Sammartino ITA 3,186.18 13 118.24
#14 Kristen Bickenell ‘17, ’18, FPoY CAN 3,171.97 13 171.82
#15 Jeremy Ausmus USA 3,169.24 13 143.45
#16 Daniel Tang HKG 3,143.31 13 185.39
#17 James Romero USA 3,140.03 13 170.03
#18 Ben Heath UK 3,134.14 13 149.61
#19 Daniel Dvoress CAN 3,102.56 13 180.25
#20 Nick Pupillo USA 3,065.05 13 148.65

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About the author

Eric Danis’ passion for poker came at a very early age but it’s when writing about and covering the game he loves that Danis is most in his element. Danis is better known for creating where he spent a few years covering poker events. Danis is also known for having worked on the poker shows Poker Eh! and The Pulse on the Quad Jacks Network.