Global Poker Index: Jason Mercier Starts 2012 in No. 1 Spot

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Each week, the Global Poker Index releases a list of the top 300 tournament poker players in the world, using a formula that takes a player’s results over six half-year periods. For a look at the entire list of 300, visit the official GPI website.

As of last week, there was a change made to the GPI scoring system. Federated Sports + Gaming Chief Information Officer Eric Faulkner informed PokerNews of the change last week:

"This week marks the six-month anniversary of the Global Poker Index. As promised at the outset, the GPI model will be reviewed every six months and adjusted where necessary to reflect the changing landscape of live tournament poker. The first of these reviews occurs this week.

"One of the key features of the GPI is the cap on results that count towards a player’s score in each of the six half-year periods that the GPI scores. This cap is necessary to control for a player getting a high GPI score merely due to playing a higher than average number of tournaments. For the first six months of the GPI, there was a cap of three results that could count toward a player’s GPI score per period. The cap of three was determined by evaluating the average number of results per half-year period for the group of professional players defined as the individuals who qualified for The Epic Poker League.

"Now that the GPI has been operating for six months, the group of professional players has been redefined from the Epic Poker League qualifiers to the players in the GPI Top 300. Week to week, this group constitutes the most active players on the tour, so they are the most representative set to evaluate the cap on results. This redefinition of the consideration set of professional live tournament players, along with a general increase in live tournament play, resulted in an increase in the cap on results in Periods 1, 2 and 3 from the three highest scores to the four highest. The cap on results in Periods 4, 5 and 6 remains at three. The cap of the four highest scoring finishes for the most recent three periods, Periods 1 through 3, and the cap of the three highest scoring finishes for the three periods most distant, Periods 4 through 6, reflects the average number of cashes for the players in the GPI 300 across the entire 36 month period that the GPI measures."

How does the change affect the top ten?

The Top 10 as of January 2, 2012

Rank Player Total Score Change in Rank from Last Week
1 Jason Mercier 3,015.08 0
2 Erik Seidel 2,851.80 +1
3 Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier 2,805.75 -1
4 Eugene Katchalov 2,656.33 0
5 Sam Trickett 2,582.47 0
6 Vanessa Selbst 2,441.15 +5
7 Will "The Thrill" Failla 2,432.32 +1
8 Shawn Buchanan 2,430.85 -2
9 Matt Waxman 2,395.23 +1
10 Sorel Mizzi 2,374.73 -3

With the new scoring system, Jason Mercier enjoys a bigger lead atop the GPI. As arguably the most consistent tournament player in the world over the last three years, Mercier’s first three periods benefit nicely from having a fourth score. As he told PokerNews on the way to the Bahamas Wednesday, it "would be cool if I stayed No. 1 for the whole year."

Welcome to the GPI

Ten players entered the GPI this week, led by Jacob Bazeley at the No. 248 spot. One of Bazeley’s WSOP cashes in a $1,500 no-limit hold’em event aged into Period 2 and had not previously counted in Period 1. Now, with a full complement of Period 1 scores along with three in Period 2, Bazeley is comfortably within the GPI.

New Additions

Player Total GPI Score GPI Rank
Jacob Bazeley 1,129.41 248th
Brian Powell 1,081.56 277th
Andrea Benelli 1,080.02 278th
Maksim Kolosov 1,066.87 288th
Dana Kellstrom 1,066.81 289th
Humberto Brenes 1,062.05 291st
Ted Forrest 1,061.53 292nd
Denys Drobyna 1,058.52 293rd
Jason Wheeler 1,053.64 296th
Faraz Jaka 1,047.60 300th

Those falling from the GPI this week were Brian Hawkins, Brian Rast, Daniel Idema, Jesse Martin, Josh Arieh, Matt Matros, Max Pescatori, Michael Pesek, Morten Mortensen, and Nick Grippo. Rast, winner of the Poker Player’s Championship this summer, saw his GPI standing fall more than 100 places in the last few weeks as both of his bracelet wins fell into Period 2.

Ups and Downs

The biggest rise of the week belonged to Sean Getzwiller. His 35th-place finish in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max Championship at the 2011 WSOP fell into Period 2, giving him two scores in that period to go along with a full slate of Period 1 scores.

Biggest Gains

Rank Player Total Score Change in Rank From Last Week
129th Matt Stout 1,392.51 +41
150th Sean Getzwiller 1,337.10 +61
163rd Brandon Meyers 1,292.81 +50
175th Eric Baldwin 1,267.66 +23
177th Barny Boatman 1,261.79 +24
179th Per Linde 1,260.34 +23
180th Daniel Neilson 1,260.31 +23
181st David Parades 1,258.32 +23
197th Vivek Rajkumar 1,229.76 +24

Barry Greenstein, Mike Binger, and Owais Ahmed took the biggest tumbles down the GPI ranks. Each was the victim of an aging score as the Poker Player’s Championship is now six months old. Greenstein (15th) and Binger (14th) don’t have any Period 1 scores now, while Ahmed (fourth) still has one.

Biggest Drops

Rank Player Total Score Change in Rank From Last Week
206th Daniel Alaei 1,211.30 -86
214th Justin Bonomo 1,204.51 -83
216th Jesse Alexis Cohen 1,201.83 -81
217th Thorsten Schafer 1,201.06 -75
218th Daniel Reijmer 1,198.79 -92
219th Barry Greenstein 1,196.84 -126
244th Mike Binger 1,134.98 -120
264th Russell Carson 1,102.48 -79
269th Jon Spinks 1,097.94 -87
298th Owais Ahmed 1,048.34 -110

What’s In Store?

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure kicked off Thursday and will no doubt have an impact on the GPI over the next two weeks. The $100,000 Super High Roller tournament will wrap up Saturday, so expect movement from a notable player or two come next week’s GPI.

To look at the entire list of 300, visit the official GPI website. While you’re at it, follow the GPI on Twitter and its Facebook page.

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