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2018 has been an eventful year for many but for Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell, who are in a steady relationship, the year was just as hectic as it was remarkable in terms of live tournament poker. End of the year, Foxen has topped the overall 2018 Global Poker Index (GPI) rankings and been conferred with the honor of the Player of the Year (POY) among the men. Matching Foxen’s stellar run was Bicknell who closed out the year with the title of 2018 GPI POY in the women category.
GPI that annually assesses the live poker tournament performances of players announced the 2018 GPI global, regional and national winners on its site and Twitter on January 3. The list runs down to 45 winners headlined by Foxen and Bicknell.
? Congrats again to all GPI Global, Regional & National winners. 45 highlighted winners can be found in our article & all the other winners on our ranking page. TY for the massive support! ?
?PoY article: https://t.co/n0X8dUG0xU
? Rankings: https://t.co/DyFwtFxY8x#GPIPoYhttps://t.co/ZVqb1gvRBo
— Global Poker Index (@gpi) January 3, 2019
Two-time WSOP bracelet and one-time WSOP gold ring winner Nipun Java has been adjudged the undisputed topper at the 2018 GPI POY India rankings.
Java climbed up the charts with a total of 24 scores through the year that include eight scores at the 2018 WSOP alone. Though he missed on claiming a live tournament title this year, his annual winnings last year touched $193,255 (₹1,34,36,053). Overall, Java has belted total lifetime earnings to the tune of $2,483,794 (₹17,26,85,777). This performance saw Java secure the maximum i.e. 1,782 points to win the 2018 GPI POY India.
With 1,724 points, Raghav Bansal stands second to Java and Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal is ranked third, with 1,679 points.
Other top rankers this year were Kunal Patni (4th with 1,476 points), Kalyan Chakravarthy (5th with 1,433 points) and Aditya Sushant (6th with 1,390 points).
2018 GPI POY India – Top 10 Rankings
If Alex Foxen could only manage a 12th place on the GPI POY leaderboard last year, 2018 saw Foxen topping an elite list of poker superstars to win the POY honors in the men’s category. He collected 4,095 points that got him ahead of other top runners Stephen Chidwick (3,787 points) and David Peters (3,776 points).
Foxen has not only won the overall 2018 GPI POY, but he also leads the POY U.S. rankings. Chidwick topped the GPI POY Europe rankings.
Winning the 2018 GPI POY race was not easy, as Foxen had to ensure consistency all through the year. With over $6.6 Million in live tournament winnings in 2018 alone, Foxen’s total lifetime tally has skyrocketed to $8.8 Million. His best live cash to date came in December when he finished runner-up in the $300K buy-in NLHE Event at the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB) V for $2.16 Million.
Canadian pro Kristen Bicknell has claimed the Female GPI Player of the Year distinction for the second year in a row with a total of 3,071 points. Maria Lampropulos stands second in the GPI Rankings with 2,418 points and Loni Harwood placed third with 2,252 points.
“I’m honored to win female POY again,” Bicknell said. She had fallen short of the title in 2016 but has more than made up for it by completing back-to-back wins. “I sincerely hope that my presence in tournament poker is able to make a positive impact on the public perception of women in poker. A large part of what motivates me to compete at the highest level is to represent women and prove that men and women are even competitors in the game.”
Bicknell primarily played online till 2013, with only a few live tournaments. This changed when she claimed her maiden World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in the 2013 WSOP Ladies Event. By 2015, Bicknell had transitioned to being a full-time live tournament player. She picked up her second WSOP bracelet at the 2016 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty event. In 2017 Becknell beat Maria Lampropulos in the Female POY race by scoring 28 cashes that earned her $551,906.
2018 has been the best year for Bicknell so far and she traveled a lot more to play live poker. Her year began with the HK$80,000 Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) National High Roller that she won for $270,549. Bicknell followed it up with a fourth-place finish in the HK$100K High Roller for 194,081. Later, she added 20 more scores to her tally and closed out the year with a score sheet reflecting seven-figures i.e. $1,095,611.
“I had a lot of deep runs, though definitely a ton of disappointing finishes,” Bicknell said of her year. “I feel that I have improved drastically throughout the past year, and am so grateful for all the opportunities and experiences that I had. I got to play numerous high roller events that I haven’t played in before, and I really enjoy playing at that level.”
For Bicknell, Foxen’s win of the 2018 GPI POY was very much in the cards. She felt that they had a good influence on each other and it reflected in their live tournament performances.
“Alex had an incredible year,” she said, “It seems that the two of us have had a positive impact on each other. We share a true passion for the game, and having a relationship with someone who shares that passion amplifies it and has allowed us both to further immerse ourselves in the game. We’re both very competitive people and want to perform our absolute best, and we both naturally support and encourage each other to do so.”
Among the notable players topping the GPI rankings for 2018, Michael Soyza has won the 2018 GPI POY Asia title. Soyza stood out for his performances across tournaments in Las Vegas, Macau, Korea, Manila and Barcelona.
Joao Simao snagged the POY Latam award for his various final table cashes, most recent of which was his title win at the 2018 Brazilian Series of Poker inSau Paulo. Timur Margolin has been declared POY Israel. David Kitai topped the Belgium GPI POY rankings, while Adrian Mateos was declared the Spanish POY and Mustapha Kanit POY Italy.