EPT10 Prague: Ole Schemion pips Daniel Negreanu to GPI Player of the Year title

Ole "wizowizo" Schemion has snatched the Global Poker Index Player of the Year title away from Daniel Negreanu with a heroic last-gasp performance in the EPT Prague Main Event. The German wunderkind has had an incredible year, despite not yet being old enough to play in Las Vegas and therefore not notching up a single WSOP cash. And he could yet win the last EPT of 2013.

Negreanu and Schemion are poles apart. While Negreanu is a hyper-talkative North American small-ball specialist, Schemion tends to let his chips do the talking - and they speak largely in three- and four-bets. German players have been enjoying phenomenal success over the last two years and Schemion, alongside the Philipp Gruissems and Niklas Heineckers of this world, has been at the forefront of that surge.


Ole Schemion at the EPT Barcelona TV table

While Negreanu is a player that likes targets, aims and objectives, Schemion just seems to like to play. Presumably he likes to win, too; he certainly does it a lot. While Negreanu had been tracking his results carefully - see below's Tweet for evidence of that - Schemion wasn't even sure how close he was to taking the GPI title. Officially it isn't over until the end of the year, but really what's left to play? Well, the High Roller is still live but GPI sources have confirmed for us that no one in that can catch the German.

"I was aware that I could win it today, but I just heard about this information yesterday. I mean I was pretty sure that I could overtake him (Negreanu), but I didn't know that it was just 17th place that I needed," said Schemion.

Schemion has the relaxed nonchalance afforded by a heady mix of youth and rampant success. Who can blame him if he seems a little nonplussed by it all?

"I had a pretty good year last as well. I actually don't feel that this year is better than last year. Last year was pretty good for me, I think, but this year was pretty amazing with so many deep runs in tournaments. It worked out pretty good," he said.

This year? You should see my other year
'Pretty good' equates to $1,353,533 this year (plus up to €889,000 from tomorrow's final table) and $2,070,613 in 2012. That success has not crept up on PokerStars Blog unannounced. We took a look at the rise of Schemion a few months ago and even 'spotted' him at the beginning of last year before he started tearing the live game up (he was already bossing it online).

Negreanu's year has also been 'pretty good'. Dual wins in the WSOP APAC Main Event and WSOPE High Roller helped him to become the first player to win two WSOP Player of the Year titles. Add to that final tables in the EPT Grand Final and WPT World Championship, within two weeks of one another. Yeah, that's definitely a pretty good year.


Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu

Schemion won three side events at the EPT Grand Final this year, a feat that was matched by Dan Smith the previous season. Strangely enough Smith won the first ever GPI Player of the Year race in 2012. So, if you see someone win three spades in Monaco next year then lump on them for the GPI POY title.


One of three for Schemion at the EPT Grand Final

Click through to live coverage of the EPT Prague Main Event. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the EPT action.

is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour