GPI India POY: Top 6 Players Of 2019 & Where Were They In 2018?

Poker is growing in India and a constantly increasing number of players and marquee poker events in the country has played key role in the growth of the mind sport. A lot of new faces have taken up poker over the last few years and some of them have been doing exceptionally well. Indian players have been shining, not only in the domestic tournaments but also on the international felts. This year in particular has been amazing as many of our players have been able to perform well and thereby climb up the GPI India POY rankings. While there are many pros who have achieved big this year, we have picked up only top 6 players, who include India’s solo WSOP bracelet winner Abhinav Iyer (1st), two bracelet winner – Nipun Java (2nd), Ankit Ahuja (3rd), Yasheel Doddanavar (4th), Aditya Sushant (5th) and Dhaval Mudgal (6th). Here is how they reached the top positions in GPI POY 2019:

  1. Abhinav Iyer – 2,098.04 Points

Mumbai pro Abhinav Iyer tops the chart with 2,098.04 points. The poker phenom has been leading GPI India POY since his historic win in The Closer at the WSOP (July 2019). He had a fantastic start to the year when he won the APT Vietnam Main Event for or $98,055 (January 2019). He did exceptionally well at the WSOP 2019 by cashing as many as 7 events for $585,548 in cumulative winnings. His biggest score at the series came in the The Closer where he topped a huge field of 2,800 entries to earn $565,346, which happens to be the highest live score by an Indian at the series. His win in The Closer brought enough points for him to move into the top spot in the GPI India.

Post his performances at the WSOP 2019 where he became the first Indian to win a solo gold bracelet by winning The Colser, Iyer continued his great form and went on to final-table four major live tournaments to keep his lead in the GPI India ranking. His last recorded FT score came just last month (November 2019) in the WPT Cambodia Main Event where he finished 20th for $5,885.

  1. Nipun Java – 1,955.17 Points

The two-time bracelet winner Nipun Java holds second position with 1,955.17 points. Originally from Delhi and currently living in the US, Java is one of the top Indian pros with over $2.7 Million in live earnings. Like all serious grinders, Java has been very active on the felts this year and has fared well across various prestigious events. He has scored 3 FT finishes and made plenty of deep runs. Just a few days back, he finished 2nd in the WSOPC Harrah’s Las Vegas Main Event for $118,764, which happens to be his best score in 2019. Java also did well at the WSOP 2019 as he registered five cashes, with his best score coming from the Main Event where he finished 51st for $11,460.

  1. Ankit Ahuja – 1,816.59 Points

Just 138.58 points behind Java is Ankit Ahuja, again a very active poker player with $611,661 in the live earnings till date. Holding 1,816.59 points, he ranks 3rd in the GPI POY India. 2019 has been a break-out year for the talented pro as he has won two major titles, made five final table finishes and scored plenty of deep runs. His first win came in April when he won a tournament at The Norwegian Championships 2019 in Dublin, while his second victory came in the $1,100 MonsterStack event at DeepStack Championship Poker Series in Las Vegas (June 2019) where he won $330,134, his biggest score till date. Ahuja has been putting in a lot of volume and it is showing up in his results. He has been an impressive casher at the casinos in Las Vegas, Dublin, Barcelona and Monte Carlo. His most recent cash came just a few days back in the EPT Prague € 2,150 NLH 6-Handed Event where he finished 7th for € 11,020, which happens to be his best score over the last three months.

  1. Yasheel Doddanavar – 1,529.71 Points

Ranking 4th in the GPI POY 2019 is Yasheel Doddanavar holding 1,529.71 points. Again, Doddanavar had a fantastic year. The UK-based Indian pro has done exceptionally well on the Asian Circuit. He scored as many as 5 final table finishes, which includes a major win in the WPT India 2019 High Roller where he earned a hefty INR 34,64,965, which happens to be his biggest score till date. He was in amazing form all through the year and also came close to winning the PHP 107,500 High Rollers 2 at the 2019 APT Philippines in May this year, finishing runner-up for PHP 1,225,000 (INR 16.34 Lac). Overall, 2019 turned out to be a landmark year for him as he also made his maiden trip to the WSOP this summer, where he posted a total of four scores for a cumulative $40,273 (INR 28.52 Lac).

5.Aditya Sushant – 1,513.57 Points  

WSOP Bracelet winner Aditya Sushant ranks 5th with 1,513.57 points. A prolific casher with $673,297 in live earnings, Sushant is currently ranked 6th on India All Time Money List. He has done pretty really well this year, both live and online. The Chennai pro has won two live titles, made five table finishes and scored plenty of deep runs across prestigious events held in Goa, Manila, Las Vegas, and Melbourne. He cashed as many as seven tournaments at this year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP). His last recorded cash was in the WPT India 2019 Big Bounty Event where he finished 18th.

6. Dhaval Mudgal – 1,495.99 Points  

The veteran player Dhaval Mudgal who was ranked 20th last year has moved up to 6th place in GPI India POY 2019. Like other serious grinders, he has been very active on the felts this year. He ran deep in two marquee events at the 2019 APT Vietnam held last month. He first finished 14th in the APT Vietnam Main Event of the series and then followed up that score with a third-place finish for $31,618 in the Championship Event, which saw him to move into 6th place in the GPI India POY Rankings. Overall, it has been a good year for Mudgal as the musician-turned poker pro made 8 FT finishes and scored many deep runs in prestigious events in Goa, Vietnam, Las Vegas and Manila.

Where Were These Players In The 2018 GPI India POY Rankings? Here Is A Quick Look:

Abhinav Iyer  (9th – 1,169.62 pts.)

Nipun Java   (1st– 1,782.47 pts.)

Ankit Ahuja   (22nd – 609.84 pts.)

Aditya Sushant (6th – 1,390.08 pts.)

Dhaval Mudgal (20th – 658.68 pts.)

Other Notables In GPI India POY 2019

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Kartik Ved (7th – 1,489.36 pts), Sulabh Choudhury (8th – 1,437.74 pts.), Akshay Nasa (9th– 1,423.79 pts), Ashish Ahuja (10th– 1,336.00 pts) are other notables who rank among top 10 in the current POY 2019.