Global Poker League Awards and Factoids

[SS] “The GPL didn’t give out any awards, so I thought I’d help them out”, Stan the Stat announced.

[LL] “Do your awards come with a trophy or cash?” Leroy the Lion jested.

[RR] “You can’t put a price on eternal fame”, Roderick the Rock contributed.

[SS] “The winners shall cherish these prestigious honors for the rest of their lives.

Best Six-Max Player

  • Runners-Up: Anton Wigg (San Francisco Rush) and Tyler Kenney (New York Rounders). Both scored 32 points in eight matches for a 4.0 average. Fedor Holz (L.A. Sunset) matched them in points but played one more time.
  • Winner: Liv Boeree (London Royals). The team captain racked up 35 points in eight matches for a 4.4 average (almost a 2nd place average!).

Best Heads-Up Player

  • Runner-Up: Jason Lavallee (Montreal Nationals). The wild card scored 36 points in five matches for a stellar 7.2 average (almost two and a half wins out of every three-game match!).1
  • Winner: Randy Lew (Hong Kong Stars). His 69 points led the league by a full 18 points over Olivier Busquet.

Best Two-Way Player

  • Runner-Up: Olivier Busquet (L.A. Sunset): The second round pick scored 51 Heads-Up points and 14 Six-Max points for an average of 5.0 points, the highest of any player who played at least ten matches.
  • Winner: Anatoly Filatov (Moscow Wolverines). The team captain was the only player to finish in the top ten in both Six-Max and Heads-Up points.

Best Draft Pick

  • Runner-Up: Mike Leah (Paris Aviators): The fourth round pick (#38) tied for eighth in regular season points.
  • Winner: Anton Wigg (San Francisco Rush): The fourth to last pick in the draft finished sixth in points.

Best Wild Card Pick2

  • Runner-Up: Anatoly Filatov (Moscow Wolverines). The unranked Russian finished third in total points.
  • Winner: Randy Lew (Hong Kong Stars). The American led the GPL in regular season points.

Regular Season MVP

  • Runner-Up: Randy Lew (Hong Kong Stars). Nanonoko played in a league-high fifteen matches, winning a record nine times.3
  • Winner: Olivier Busquet (L.A. Sunset). The Cornell graduate scored the second most points and won the second most matches behind Lew but scooped up a much higher percentage of the available points. Anatoly Filatov and Anton Wigg were also deserving but Busquet had the best combination of quantity and quality.

Playoff MVP

  • Runner-Up: Brian Rast (Berlin Bears). The Stanford dropout was a perfect 5-0 in their Eurasia Semifinals and Finals upsets, and finished with six wins in nine matches, which was the most wins and the second most matches.4
  • Winner: Pascal LeFrancois (Montreal Nationals). The Canadian won five out of six matches, the highest winning percentage of any player who played at least three times,5 taking three out of four in the finals, including the decider.”

[RR] “Sounds like most of the picks were fairly clear except Regular Season MVP.”

[LL] “Only the most important award, right?”

[SS] “Controversy generates ratings.”

[LL] “Wait, is this being videocast?”

[SS] “Maybe next year…

I also have some regular season factoids that I split into Six-Max and Heads-Up. Starting with the Six-Max events:

  • Three players won back-to-back six-player matches: Anton Wigg, Brian Rast, and Liv Boeree. Boeree also won three out of four.
  • Anton Filatov and Felipe Ramos (Sao Paulo Mets) both finished first or second in four straight matches, while Fedor Holz finished in the top three in seven straight matches.
  • Chance Kornuth (L.A. Sunset) was the only player to bust out of a match on the first hand (Match 44). Kevin MacPhee (Hand 5 of Match 13), Max Pescatori (Hand 5 of Match 127), and Jonathan Little (Hand 6 of Match 74) also did not survive the first orbit.
  • Raiden Kan (Hong Kong Stars) won the longest match, the second of the season, outlasting Walter Treccarichi (Rome Emperors) in 147 hands. After 92 hands, six more than the average match, four players still had chips. Tyler Kenney (New York Rounders) won the second longest match (Match 24) in 137 hands.
  • Fedor Holz (L.A. Sunset) won the shortest match (Match 73) in 56 hands, two hands shorter than Joao Pires Simao (Sao Paulo Mets) needed for Match 139.

And for the regular season Heads-Up matches:

  • 124 Heads-Up matches were played, while two scheduled three-game matches were forfeited (the Montreal Nationals were awarded one match from the London Royals 6-0 and gave up one match to the San Francisco Rush 6-0).
  • Six heads-up games were decided on the first hand:
    Match Game Winner Loser Notes
    26 1 George Danzer (Paris Aviators) Igor Kurganov (London Royals) Danzer went on to sweep the match.
    96 2 Brian Rast (Berlin Bears) Kevin MacPhee (New York Rounders) MacPhee struck back by winning the third game in nine hands.
    103 3 Fabrice Soulier (Paris Aviators) Joao Bauer (Sao Paulo Mets) The win decided the match.
    152 3 Timothy Adams (Rome Emperors) George Danzer (Paris Aviators) Adams swept the match.
    163 2 Jonathan Jaffe (San Francisco Rush) Tom Marchese (New York Rounders) The entire match took a record-low 32 hands, over four hands less than the average game. Jason Wheeler (New York Rounders) beat Jake Cody (Las Vegas Moneymakers) 2-1 in 45 hands in Match 68.
    174 3 Kevin MacPhee (New York Rounders) Maria Ho (L.A. Sunset) In the last, meaningless game of the regular season, Ho and MacPhee shoved all-in blind preflop.

    Three games lasted only two hands, two games went three hands and two games went four hands.

  • Match 101 was the longest, as Scott Ball (Las Vegas Moneymakers) beat Dominik Nitsche (Berlin Bears) 2-1 in 210 hands (77, 65, and 68).
  • Game 3 of Match 81 was the longest, as Aaron Paul (L.A. Sunset) beat Fabrice Soulier (Paris Aviators) in 109 hands, a fraction of a hand under the average for a three-game match. The second longest game was the fourth of the season, with Daniel Cates (Berlin Bears) needing 96 hands to defeat Bertrand Grospellier (Paris Aviators).
  • One player won the first two games 66 times in 124 matches. The loser avoided getting shutout 54.5% of the time (36-30). Overall, the player who lost the second game won the third 54.8% of the time (68-56).
  • Jason Lavallee (Montreal Nationals) won his last ten heads-up games, including the decider in Match 40 against Scott Ball (Las Vegas Moneymakers) and sweeps in matches 59 (Darren Elias, Sao Paulo Mets), 79 (Anthony Zinno, Las Vegas Moneymakers), and 134 (Jason Mercier, New York Rounders). Randy Lew (Hong Kong Stars) won nine straight games over four matches during a record nine-match winning streak to end the season.6 Olivier Busquet won his last seven matches.”


  1. Fedor Holz won 88.9% of his Heads-Up games, but he only played three matches.
  2. Even though twice as many players were drafted than selected as wild cards, twelve of the 25 players who participated in the playoffs were wild cards (half of whom were the team captains). But the drafted players did better, going 32 and 27 (54.2%), while the wild cards went 17 and 22 (43.6%).
  3. Appropriately, the master of multitabling also played the most hands, 1,849, more than 400 more than Olivier Busquet.
  4. Mike McDonald of the Montreal Nationals played a playoff-high ten games, winning four.
  5. Phil Galfond went 2-0, but the San Francisco Rush lost in the Americas Semifinals.
  6. On the flip side, Lew had begun the year by losing his first six matches, including a stretch of 13 straight games (4 shutouts). Bertrand Grospellier (Paris Aviators) and Dominik Nitsche (Berlin Bears) both lost seven straight games and four straight matches. Timothy Adams (Rome Emperors) lost six straight matches (all 3-6). Igor Kurganov (London Royals) lost his first five matches but bounced back to win his last three.
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