After a banner year at the tables, Stephen Song was named Global Poker Index Player of theYear on Wednesday. He surged to the top of the standings in December after winning the World Poker Tour Prime Championship in December for $712,650.
“Song was the last player standing in one of the most entertaining races in history,” GPI officials noted in announcing the 2022 winners. “Several players would hold on to the top player of the year rank throughout the year but Song waited until the very end to take the lead.”
The GPI also released winners from other competitions as well including the female and mid-major players of the year.
A look at Song’s rise to GPI Player of the Year
Song, from Connecticut, put together an impressive year at the tables. The Prime Championship was one of the final tournaments of the season and vaulted him past his friend, Adam Hendrix, who remained at or near the top of the standings for most of the year.
The year brought several nice finishes for Song including consistently cashing in tournaments. In June, he finished runner-up in a $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the World Series of Poker for $476,990.
Just a few weeks later, Song followed that up with a fourth-place finish in a $2,400 event at the Venetian for $139,000. September brought a string of final table finishes. That included two seconds and a third on the PokerGO Tour for a total of almost $230,000.
At the online poker tables, Song found some nice finishes in October in the WSOP Online at WSOP.com. He took sixth in the $7,777 Lucky 7s for $139,000 and fourth in a $5,300 High Roller for $40,800. The same month he also took down a $5,200 event at the Wynn for $85,995.
The WPT victory capped the year and helped Song finish just 17.2 points ahead of Hendrix. He also finished just 46.3 points ahead of Jeremy Ausmus, who grabbed the early lead in the POY race. Here’s a look at players who topped the standings
2022 GPI Player of the Year
- Stephen Song
- Adam Hendrix
- Jeremy Ausmus
- Chad Eveslage
- Farid Jattin
Song also scores GPI mid-major POY title
If winning the overall GPI title wasn’t enough, Song also took the mid-major POY title. The competition recognizes players involved in events with buy-ins of $2,500 and below. Song now becomes the first person to ever win a pair of GPI titles in a single year.
“Song had such an impressively strong year overall, excelling in events with wide-ranging buy-ins,” the GPI noted.
Angela Jordison also battled well in the race, holding the lead heading into December. She then dropped to third before finally ending up as runner-up. Here’s a look at the final standings.
2022 GPI Mid-Major POY
- Stephen Song
- Angela Jordison
- Julien Sitbon
- Jared Ingles
- Donovan Dean
Charish Andrews tops women’s race
The overall POY race wasn’t the only GPI competition to conclude right at the end of 2022. The race for the female POY also saw some late-year shuffling.
Cherish Andrews arrived at the WPT World Championship Festival trailing Jordison for the lead. The Pennsylvania-based grinder locked up the title after three final table appearances that included a win, runner-up, and sixth-place finish.
The runner-up came in the $10,100 High Roller, which brought her $259,200. She then won a $1,100 event for another $131,912. The run earned her the WPT Player of the Festival honors as well.
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) December 20, 2022
Consecutive three-time GPI Female POY Kristen Bicknell finished third in the standings. Here’s a look at the top five finishers.
2022 GPI Female POY
- Cherish Andrews
- Angela Jordison
- Kristen Bicknell
- Jessica Vierling
- Christina Gollins
Global Poker Awards coming soon, players also receive international recognition
Both Song and Andrews will be invited to accept their trophies at the Global Poker Awards ceremony. The annual event is held at the PokerGO Studio at the Aria in Las Vegas and will be streamed by PokerGO. An official announcement on the date for the 4th Global Poker Awards is expected next week.
Along with the three major overall competitions, 79 players received GPI National Player of the Year honors. Some of those included Mikita Bodyakovsky, Davidi Kitai, Farid Jattin, Koray, Aldemir, Sergio Aido, Stephen Chidwick, and WSOP Main Event Champion Espen Jorstad. Here are all the international winners.
|Algeria||Omar Lakhdari||Lebanon||Gabriel Akiki|
|Argentina||Jose “Nacho” Barbero||Lithuania||Vladas Tamasauskas|
|Armenia||Aren Bezhanyan||Luxembourg||Felix Michel Weis|
|Australia||Yita Choong||Malaysia||Paul Phua|
|Austria||Daniel Rezaei||Mexico||Jose Andres Guzman|
|Azerbaijan||David Mzareulov||Moldova||Pavel Plesuv|
|Belarus||Mikita Bodyakovsky||Montenegro||Vlado Banicevic|
|Belgium||Davidi Kitai||Morocco||Mehdi Chaoui|
|Brazil||Yuri Martins Dzivielevski||North Macedonia||Ilija Savevski|
|Bulgaria||Simeon Spasov||Netherlands||David Hu|
|Canada||Mike Watson||Norway||Espen Uhlen Jorstad|
|Chile||Nick Yunis||Panama||Jorge Hou Huang|
|China||Sen Mu||Philippines||David Erquiaga|
|Colombia||Farid Jattin||Poland||Jakub Michalak|
|Croatia||Sverko Gregor||Portugal||Pedro Marques|
|Cyprus||Yiannis Liperis||Puerto Rico||Ricardo Velasco|
|Czechia||Roman Hrabec||Romania||Danut Chisu|
|Denmark||Henrik Hecklen||Russia||Artur Martirosyan|
|Dominican Republic||Francis Cruz||Serbia||Aleksandar Tomovic|
|Ecuador||Pablo Valdivieso||Singapore||Andy Xueyan Li|
|Egypt||John Adel Fouad Basta||Slovakia||Marek Blasko|
|Estonia||David Comeron Carrasco||Slovenia||Rok Gostisa|
|Finland||Toni Kauka||South Africa||Ahmed Karrim|
|France||Julien Sitbon||South Korea||Jinho “YellOw” Hong|
|Georgia||Giorgiy Skhuluhiya||Spain||Sergio Aido|
|Germany||Koray Aldemir||Sweden||Anton Wigg|
|Greece||Symeon Alexandridis||Switzerland||Alexandre Vuilleumier|
|Hong Kong||Daniel Chi Tang||Taiwan||Pete Chen|
|Hungary||Laszlo Bujtas||Thailand||Punnat Punsri|
|India||Ankit Ahuja||Tunisia||Maher Nouira|
|Iran||Milad Oghabian Langar||Turkey||Koray Korkmaz|
|Ireland||Stephen Kehoe||Ukraine||Andrey Lyubovetskiy|
|Israel||Yuval Bronshtein||United Arab Emirates||Basel Khabazeh|
|Italy||Michael Rossitto||United Kingdom||Stephen Chidwick|
|Japan||Tamon Nakamura||USA||Stephen Song|
|Jordan||Sultan Khair||Uruguay||Francisco Benitez|
|Kazakhstan||Dauren Zhaparov||Uzbekistan||Aleksandr Pak|
|Kyrgyzstan||Kubanychbek Abakirov||Venezuela||Dorian Rios Pavon|
|Latvia||Aleksejs Ponakovs||Vietnam||Tony Tran|