A race to the finish
Angela Jordison was a revelation last year. The Oregonian ended 2021 with a flourish and came into 2022 with a fire in her belly. On the cusp of a famous double, in November she was atop the Global Poker Index (GPI) rankings for both Mid-Major and Female Player of the Year. Despite posting some big results in December, however, her kick finish was no match for those of the exceptional Cherish Andrews and Stephen Song.
$470,000 in prize money and almost 1,000 GPI points to snatch victory from Jordison
An extraordinary trio of side event results for Andrews at the WPT World Poker Championship at Wynn Las Vegas propelled her into top spot. In the space of just five days, she came in sixth in the $3,000 event, second in the $10,000 High Roller, and first in the very last $1,100 event for a combined $470,000 in prize money and almost 1,000 GPI points to snatch victory from Jordison. Unsurprisingly, she also picked up the WPT Player of the Festival title.
Song had an equally remarkable December and he needed it to clinch not one but two GPI leaderboards. In the WPT Prime Championship, he outlasted 5,429 other players, defeating the impressive Lara Eisenberg heads-up to win $712,650, the lion’s share of the whopping $5,267,100 prize pool. The 422 GPI points Song accrued from that result were enough to put him just above Jordison at the top of the Mid-Major leaderboard and Adam Hendrix at the top of the overall Player of the Year Standings.
All guns blazing
An Omaha cash game grinder, Jordison originally learned poker from her father, flying under the radar for much of her poker career. That would change in 2015, when she made headlines at the Spring Poker Round Up in Oregon when she completed an unlikely three-peat, winning the first three events of the festival.
Cut to late 2021 and Jordison took down a Venetian Deepstack, following it up with a fifth place finish in the MSPT Minnesota for a then-career best $48,444. Those results whet her appetite for tournaments, and she went into 2022 all guns blazing.
suddenly put her in the mix in both the GPI Mid-Major and Female Player of the Year rankings
It was a somewhat slow start to the year with a bunch of min-cashes, but a big Las Vegas campaign in June and July culminated in six WSOP cashes and three other scores, including a third-place finish in Event #18, $1,000 No Limit Hold’em, and a Day 5 deep run 175th-place finish in the Main Event. Jordison immediately followed that up with a fifth-place finish in MSPT Iowa, a result which suddenly put her in the mix in both the GPI Mid-Major and Female Player of the Year rankings.
Three more final tables came in August with a third-place result in the WSOP Circuit (WSOPC) Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event, a sixth-place finish in the WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee High Roller, and then a side event win in the WPT Legends of Poker in Los Angeles. Five more cashes came in September and October, but then she had another big result in November at the WSOPC Choctaw Durant, finishing fourth in the Main Event for a new career best $96,595.
A long December
The heater was real and Jordison found herself going into December on defense, enjoying a lead on both leaderboards, but fending off challenges from a chasing pack all playing a jam-packed December schedule. In the end, the last-ditch heroics from Andrews and Song proved too much to withstand and they passed her on each leaderboard during the WPT World Championships.
Andrews was now out of reach, but Jordison had one shot to pull off an unlikely post-Christmas buzzer-beater for the Mid-Major crown. 643 players took their seats at the MSPT Venetian and only a top-two finish would garner enough points to pip Song.
Extraordinarily, with her back to the wall, Jordison made the final table. With seven left, her pocket kings did a huge hold versus Richard Alati and for a moment it seemed like it could be a fairytale story. Sadly, it wasn’t to be as she crashed out in fifth position for $31,355 and 204 GPI points, 41 fewer than required to overtake Song.
The winner does not take it all
Speaking exclusively to VegasSlotsOnline News, Jordison reflected on the year that was:
“I began 2022 as a cash game player. I ended it flying from stop to stop, grinding tournaments, fighting for player of the year. I pushed myself more than I ever thought possible. I came up short on some goals but soared past others,” she said.
I didn’t think I had it in me to compete at that level, but I surprised myself”
“With every deep run I felt more confident,” Jordison added. “There were times when I laughed and times when I cried. My family supported me 100% and my friends rallied in my corner, pushing me every step of the way. I didn’t think I had it in me to compete at that level, but I surprised myself and I can’t wait for 2023!”
Unlike in other endeavors, in poker, the winner does not take it all. There is plenty of prize money to go around and while Jordison may feel like she came up short on some goals, she still had a marquee year which nobody can take away from her. She cashed 29 times on the live circuit for almost $600,000, tripling her lifetime tournament earnings.
When it comes to leaderboards, however, it is normally only the winner that gets remembered. Andrews and Song both did something very special to win the Female and Mid-Major leaderboards, respectively. Song’s accomplishment was so great, in fact, that it earned him that most coveted prize, the GPI Player of the Year, normally reserved for the highest of high rollers.
According to the GPI, both Andrews and Song will be invited to accept their trophies at the Global Poker Awards ceremony at the PokerGO Studio at ARIA in Las Vegas – broadcast exclusively on PokerGO. There will be much fanfare for those two players in the coming weeks and rightly so. They are two of the game’s most luminous rising stars.
I would suggest, however, that when it comes to the 2022 GPI Breakout Player Award, it is double-bridesmaid Jordison who should find herself in the winner’s circle. Once in a while, great poker ambassadors emerge, and she is one of them. Her wit, her tenacity, her warmth and her infectious enthusiasm for the game beguiles everyone she meets. She represents the best of us and such an honor would be apt recognition of a most conspicuous and eye-catching year on the live felt.
It also feels apt to give Jordison the final word:
“2022 was a whirlwind. I learned so much about myself and the game this last year. I am very grateful for the experiences. I love poker and the poker community and I’m proud to be a part of it. I think I made my dad proud.”