Aussie Kahle Burns is having a breakout year, and for that, he’s now the 2019 GPI Player of the Year leader with just over a month remaining. The race is tight and a handful of talented pros, including Sean Winter and Stephen Chidwick, are right on his heels.
Although he’s played exceptionally well in 2019, defending POY Alex Foxen is all but out of contention to repeat. He’s currently in 16th place, well off the pace. Barring a miraculous heater in December, we’ll have a new champion.
Burns Making Home Country Proud
Australia isn’t known for having many legendary tournament poker players. Joe Hachem, the country’s most famous poker pro, won the WSOP Main Event in 2005. There are other solid pros from Down Under as well, such as James Obst and former WSOP Player of the Year, Jeff Lisandro.
Still, it’s been awhile since a player from Australia has accomplished big things on an international level. Burns, who has been the top tournament player in the world for the past month, is changing that, and has as good a shot as anyone to win GPI Player of the Year.
Burns’ hot streak began at the WSOP Europe series in October in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. He won two bracelets, one in a low-stakes event and another in a high-stakes event, and also cashed a third time during the series.
The young Australian pro then traveled to Las Vegas for the Poker Masters series, where he won Event #9 ($25,000 no-limit hold’em) for $416,500, finished second in Event #5 ($10,500 big bet mix) for $109,200, and scored a fourth-place finish in Event #7 ($25,000 pot-limit Omaha) for $85,000.
This week at the Partypoker Millions World Bahamas, Kahle Burns won another $400,000 for third place in a $50,000 no-limit hold ’em high roller.
For the year, Burns has $4,191,366 in cashes from around the world, compared to the $3.5 million in cashes he accumulated between 2009 to 2018.
The Race Isn’t Over Yet
The GPI Player of the Year race is as close as it can possibly get. Burns is in the lead with 3,548.08 points, but Sean Winter is just behind him with 3,523.43. Stephen Chidwick is also close to the top, sitting in third place at 3,428.36.
While those three talented grinders are neck and neck, they aren’t the only ones still in the hunt. Each player in the top 10 still has a realistic shot of becoming 2019 GPI Player of the Year. Ali Imsirovic, arguably the best under-30 player in the world, is in 10th place with 3,206.78 points. That’s only 221 points off the lead. One tournament victory could move Ali from 10th place to first place.
It should be an exciting month of December. We anticipate the upcoming WPT Five Diamond series at Bellagio in Las Vegas will determine a winner.