Joe McKeehen tops first GPI rankings of 2021

Joe McKeehen tops first GPI rankings of 2021
Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: July 02, 2021 08:01 PDT

Former WSOP Main Event champ takes GPI No. 1. spot for the first time in his career

Live tournament poker is back in a big way in the U.S. Along with the return of major tournament series across the country comes the revival of the gold standard in poker tournament rankings.

The Global Poker Index rankings were frozen for the majority of 2020, but the GPI reinstated its points-based system for 2021. The first set of those rankings retroactively include all eligible 2021 events, and a familiar name sits at the top.

The No. 1 spot belongs to Joe McKeehen, who takes the honor as the top-rated player in the GPI Global Rankings for the first time in his career. McKeehen becomes the 20th player to take the GPI Global No. 1 spot in its ten-year history.

Best known for winning the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event, McKeehen has put on a clinic across several 2021 events so far. The 30-year-old American pro claims four top-three finishes in major events this year, all yielding six-figure cashes.

McKeehen’s 2021 highlights include the WPT Venetian $5,000 Main Event (2nd - $491,960), which saw him come up just short of adding a WPT title to add alongside his WSOP Main Event Championship.

Other big scores for McKeehen in 2021 include the $10,000 Wynn Spring Classic High Roller (1st - $224,100), a win in U.S. Poker Open Event #3 $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em (1st - $200,020), and another deep run in U.S. Poker Open Event #5 $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em (3rd - $102,000).

McKeehen’s 2021 results bring his career live earnings to $17,683,464. He currently sits at No. 37 on the Hendon Mob all-time tournament earnings list.

The GPI Global Rankings take all eligible tournaments from the past 36 months into account, and the top five finishes for a player in each six-month period count toward the score. Recent results are weighted more heavily than older finishes.

Here’s a look at the first GPI Global Rankings of 2021:

GPI Global Rankings (as of July 2, 2021)

Ranking Player Name Score
1 Joe McKeehen 2,220.88
2 Qing Liu 2,144.34
3 Nick Pupillo 2,096.06
4 Brian Altman 2,077.90
5 Brock Wilson 2,057.71

The GPI Player of the Year rankings incorporate results from 2021 only. Not surprisingly, Ali Imsirovic tops the current POY 2021 standings at the GPI.

The high-stakes tournament specialist has crushed just about everything he’s entered this year. Imsirovic’s 2021 resume includes six wins, resulting in $2,485,283 in overall earnings for the year.

The GPI also reinstated the 2021 GPI Female Player of the Year, and introduced rankings for a new 2021 Mid-Major Player of the Year category.

Here’s a look at the top five in all four GPI races:

The second half of 2021 could shake up the GPI rankings quite a bit in those four races. Several mid-major and major tournament festivals remain on the 2021 calendar, including the 2021 WSOP (Sept. 30 through Nov. 23).

Featured image source: Global Poker Index