Lewis Murray Wins Gpi Australian Player of The Year 2021

The Global Poker Index is a worldwide poker rankings system focusing on live tournaments. Each year then ends with a list of players ranked by points on a global basis, by gender, and by country/nation. The rankings system set aside 2020 because live poker was nearly impossible in many places around the world for much of the year. But they restarted it in 2021, and GPI announced the winners last week.

How GPI Ranks Players

The Global Poker Index uses the Hendon Mob Database for tournament results. And when those results meet certain criteria, players earn points and climb the rankings.

The GPI rankings update the rankings weekly and then annually. Qualifying tournaments help players move up and down the ranks, with the latest results being worth the most and the latter end of the 36-month qualifying period worth the least. Tournaments must show 32 or more players (but capped at 2,700) and a buy-in of US$1 or more (capped at $20K) to warrant points, and they must be open events, not seniors-only or satellites, for example.

Points for every in-the-money finish takes the size and buy-in of tournaments into consideration, as well as the finishing position of the player in the money. Combined with the aging factor, GPI determines the rankings. There are full details on the GPI website.

Player of the Year rankings, however, are limited to the calendar year. The same qualifiers help calculate the POY scores, with the exception of the aging factor. GPI then adds the points for each players’ top 13 scores during the calendar year to come up with the final score. The finishing percentage factor multiplied by the buy-in factor gives the POY points score for each qualifying event.

Ali Imsirovic Tops All

For the 2021 calendar year, the Global Poker Index closed the points on 4 January 2022. And when the rankings closed, Almedin – known to most as Ali – Imsirovic of Bosnia won the 2021 Player of the Year award. The final point totals for the top 10 were:

  • Ali Imsirovic of Bosnia & Herzegovina (3478.55 points)
  • Chance Kornuth of USA (3225.11 points)
  • Shannon Shorr of USA (3141.45 points)
  • Uri Reichenstein of Israel (3138.32 points)
  • Sergio Aido of Spain (3090.55 points)
  • Johan Guilbert of France (3020.66 points)
  • Chad Eveslage of USA (3006.84 points)
  • Sean Perry of USA (2997.08 points)
  • Brock Wilson of USA (2981.38 points)
  • Jason Koon of USA (2969.76 points)

Imsirovic earned more than $6 million in live tournaments in 2021. And his range of wins spanned the year, staying on top from the beginning to the end. He earned some points by playing the high roller events, but he earned more by being willing to play a wide range of buy-ins, from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands.

Mzareulov Leads Mid-Majors

The Mid-Major Player of the Year category was a new one in 2021. GPI started it to recognize players who play only $2,500 buy-ins or lower. It gives those players a chance to qualify for a rankings list without having to play the high roller circuit, which most players cannot afford to do. The inaugural winner in this category was David Mzareulov, originally of Azerbaijan but currently living in the USA.

  • David Mzareulov of Azerbaijan (2361.21 points)
  • Logan Hewett of USA (2327.65 points)
  • Michael Rossitto of Italy (2313.97 points)
  • Jesse Lonis of USA (2302.33 points)
  • Nick Pupillo of USA (2242.76 points)
  • Justin Zaki of USA (2175.43 points)
  • Aaron Massey of USA (2164.22 points)
  • Michael Wang of USA (2160.94 points)
  • Raminder Singh of USA (2138.57 points)
  • David Jackson of USA (2116.34 points)

As a resident of the state of Texas, Mzareulov traveled in both directions to play in a variety of cities throughout 2021. He did win an event in Texas in June at a card club called Prime Social, and he made final tables from Nevada to Florida. And he capped off the year by winning an event at the World Series of Poker Circuit stop in Southern California. It was the most profitable year of his career with more than $524K in earnings.

Magnus Wins Women POY

The GPI also recognizes women in poker. Considering the ratio of women to men is so low and always has been, the GPI wants to recognize women’s contributions to the game and how they fared in their own category. This year, it was Russian native Nadya Magnus, who now lives in America, who dominated the rankings. She even finished in 59th place globally.

  • Nadya Magnus of USA (2435.43 points)
  • Kyna England of USA (2097.27 points)
  • Katie Lindsay of USA (1961.73 points)
  • Sonia-Veronika Shashikhina of Russia (1739.32 points)
  • Vanessa Kade of Canada (1632.92 points)
  • Gloria Jackson of USA (1539.18 points)
  • Kristen Bicknell of Canada (1519.19 points)
  • Kathy Liebert of USA (1517.58 points)
  • JJ Liu of Taiwan (1432.48 points)
  • Kitty Kuo of Taiwan (1415.69 points)

As with the other two POYs, Magnus also had the best year of her poker career so far. She earned more than $426K in 2021. She lives in Florida, so many of her top finishes took place there, but she spent a solid amount of time in Las Vegas this year as well.

Murray Mastered Australian POY

The Australian GPI Player of the Year rankings included some familiar names – Vincent Huang, Gary Benson, Michael Addamo – but featured Lewis Murray as the number one player. The points totals for Australia alone were:

  • Lewis Murray (1813.42 points)
  • Sean Ragozzini (1810.60 points)
  • Vincent Huang (1735.89 points)
  • Ehsan Amiri (1602.21 points)
  • Michael Maddocks (1578.14 points)
  • Gary Benson (1443.43 points)
  • Michael Addamo (1309.81 points)
  • John Perry (1307.50 points)
  • Sam Adams (1285.59 points)
  • Josh Norvock (1211.05 points)

One might ask why Addamo, who won two WSOP bracelets in Las Vegas this summer, in addition to a number of high roller titles, finished in seventh place in the rankings. This is because many of the events had fields too small or buy-ins too high to qualify for POY points. His career earnings now top $17.7 million, and he is the top player on the all-time Australian money list, far past Joe Hachem and his $12.7 million. But he didn’t do the type of work required to be the POY in 2021.

So, Lewis Murray took the 2021 Australia POY title. There is little in the way of biographical information online about Murray. The Hendon Mob lists his residence as Sydney. A 2015 PokerNews snippet described Murray as an Australian backpacker financing his trip through Europe by playing in poker events.

His Hendon Mob listing of tournament results shows his first results in 2015 in Australia and the Czech Republic. He primarily played in Australia to mid-2018, at which point his results paused. He reappeared in February 2021 to play events like the WPT League Gold Coast and WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast. And in Sydney at the Royal Festival, he won a Super High Roller tournament. He then trekked to Las Vegas, where he cashed in numerous events at the Wynn Fall Classic and the World Series of Poker.

GPI shows that Lewis earned more than $131K in 2021, making that his best year to date in live tournaments.

Global Poker Awards

The Global Poker Awards is a partnership between the Hendon Mob and GPI that seeks to honor the best in poker. They held Global Poker Awards ceremonies in Las Vegas in 2019 and 2020, the latter just days before the American pandemic lockdowns began. Obviously, the lack of live poker through most of 2020 prompted the cancellation of a ceremony in 2021, but they are returning this February.

The Third Annual Global Poker Awards will honor the best of the industry from the 2021 year. It will take place at the PokerGO Studio at the Aria on the Las Vegas Strip on Friday, 18 February. For those around the world who can’t be there, however, PokerGO will livestream the festivities for free.

Imsirovic, Magnus, and Mzareulov will accept their POY awards – either live or virtually. Those will be just a few of the 20+ awards bestowed on members and entities in the poker community on 18 February.




Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.

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