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Daily 3-Bet: GPI WSOP POY, #HeroScore Countdown, Poker v. Faith
The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a glossy 8x10, a flair for SnapChat and a heart-fluttering audition for the role of afternoon poker news hero.
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Today in the 3-Bet the GPI and WSOP team up to name the 2015 POY, Nic Levi counts down our poker heroes and Ari Engel reconciles Orthodox Judaism with poker.
1) GPI Powers 2015 WSOP POY
That's a lot of acronyms, yes. But if you're in touch with the poker scene at all you're well aware of the power of those 10 letters.
The Global Poker Index, headed by poker entrepreneur supreme Alex Dreyfus, announced this week it will now officially "tabulate, power and sponsor" the WSOP Player of the Year Award.
That means the GPI's unique ranking algorithm will now allocate the points accumulated by cashes/wins and determine the player who performs best over the 74 gold bracelet events at WSOP Vegas and WSOP Europe this year.
The 2015 POY will also get a specially-designed trophy, a ceremony during the Nov. 9 and a permanent banner "displayed prominently" at the host venue.
The multi-year agreement also includes a few other notable initiatives like a GPI WSOP Player Party and exclusive content during the Main Event/final table. Fantasy Poker Manager also returns.
2) Who Has Poker's Highest #HeroScore?
Speaking of complex algorithms ... the Nic Levi-driven RankingHero website has been around for about 18 months now and is a very fun tool to dig around on.
Its objective is pretty cool as well. Instead of just ranking performances in the world's biggest poker events, it makes a hero out of the average everyday poker player.
Part schedule, part social media and part rankings it takes into account every level of poker - including home games - to create a wholly unique ranking system.
Its latest innovation is called #HeroScore and, much like the site itself, is an interesting combo of data and community input used to determine overall "impact" on the poker world at large.
Three dimensions - results, popularity and contribution - are used to calculate the HeroScore.
So who's #1? The Top 10 are being revealed over this week and they're up to #6, the big-in-France Patrick Bruel. Also in the Top 10:
7. Antonio Esfandiari
8. Dan Bilzerian
9. Chris Moorman
10. Michael Mizrachi
It's a fun idea and a great way to bring less "rankable" attributes like personality and contribution to the poker community into play. Much like, say, our own Spirit of Poker Awards. Read more about it and see the latest reveals here.
3) "Reconciling my profession with my faith was a little harder"
We touched on this in our feature with devout Christian Nick "FU_15" Maimone this week and found it again in a new post on Toronto Life.
How exactly do you reconcile a life as a poker player (aka "gambler") with a life of religious faith?
Renowned live and online pro Ari Engel (aka "BodogAri"), who spoke to us about the same subject last year, expounded on his ideas about faith and poker in a self-submitted memoir.
Among the topics Engel delves into are his early encounters with gambling in Jewish sacred texts, his first stab at professional poker, his meteoric rise and epic crash after his first Main Event and his ongoing reconciliation of his faith and career.
As you might expect from a guy who's ranked #17 in the world and grossed over $5m, it's pretty illuminating. An excerpt:
"I spent hours debating the subject with scholars and friends. The ancient rabbis admonished the greed of betting high stakes, the laziness of playing instead of working, the flippancy of devoting your livelihood to luck.
"I argued that poker is less a game than a profession. That it was just like buying stocks or real estate: a precise calculus of smarts, aggression and risk."