Global Poker Index: McDonald Leads Team Canada and Negreanu Absent
Each week, the Global Poker Index releases a list of the top tournament poker players in the world using a formula that takes into account a player’s results over six half-year periods. For a look at the entire list, visit the official GPI website. Here’s a look at the rankings as of March 2, 2016.
GPI Top 10 Canadians
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Canada's top two players have been jostling for the No. 1 spot on Team Canada all year, and this week settles with Mike McDonald back on top after he concluded 2015 as the best Canadian player in the world. Jonathan Duhamel isn't far behind in No. 2, and Sam Greenwood is right on his tail in No. 3.
Duhamel hasn't added a new score to his GPI ranking since mid-January when he finished ninth in a $2,650 tournament at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open in Hollywood, Florida. Greenwood's fifth-place finish in the $100,000 Challenge at Aussie Millions in late January is his most recent. He won a side event during EPT Dublin, but the 248.03 GPI points he earned were not enough to replace any of his five best results in the past six months, which is a testament to how much he has accomplished lately.
It's also worth noting that the all-time money leader is absent from this list. The (arguably) best-recognized player in the game, Daniel Negreanu, has slipped outside of Canada's top 10. He is currently ranked in No. 11, just six points behind Andrew Chen. Negreanu hasn't cashed a tournament yet this year, and we likely won't see a lot from him until the World Series of Poker gets underway in Las Vegas this summer.
GPI Player of the Year
We continue to await the first report on the 2016 GPI Player of the Year to start this this year’s race. To calculate the POY, the GPI looks at a player’s best 13 results (in terms of GPI POY points earned) from January 1 to December 31. You can read more here about factors considered by the GPI when calculating scores for the GPI POY.
We’ll move on, then, to look at latest changes to the GPI’s overall rankings.
GPI 300 Top 10
Steve O’Dwyer — who along with Dzmitry Urbanovich is currently in Tbilisi, Georgia to participate in the World Series of Poker International Circuit event getting underway there — remains the overall top-ranked tournament player in the world this week, his eighth-straight week at No. 1.
Speaking of Urbanovich, last week the Polish pro and 2016 European Poker Tour Dublin Main Event champion made his career debut in the GPI top 10 at No. 8, but this week dropped out again (slipping to No. 22) after some of his earlier scores were affected by the aging factor.
Meanwhile there are three new names in this week’s GPI top 10, including Connor Drinan who, after going from No. 12 to No. 8, makes his debut inside the overall top 10. With more than $8.6 million in career tournament winnings, Drinan has been steadily climbing up the rankings after first entering the top 300 in June 2013.
Erik Seidel also returns to the list, jumping from No. 17 to No. 9 this week. Seidel was one of the first players to be ranked No. 1 in the GPI, last leading the rankings in February 2012.
Sean Winter likewise moves into the top 10 this week — his first time ever on the list — after ascending from No. 15 to No. 10. Winter was helped by several recent final-table finishes in high roller events, including the World Poker Tour Alpha8 Las Vegas (where he finished fourth), the 2016 PCA High Roller (where he took second), and one of the ARIA High Roller events in January (where he cashed in fifth).
Welcome to the GPI Top 300
There were a dozen players climbing up into the GPI top 300 this week, most finding spots at the very bottom of the list. The highest-ranked among this group is Jordan Cristos who moved up from No. 314 to No. 210.
Cristos’s last two cashes came from first-place finishes in the just completed Deep Stack Extravaganza series at the Venetian. After topping a field of 223 in a $600 buy-in no-limit hold’em event for a $15,000 cash, Cristos then won a $1,600 event in which 509 entered to collect a $132,480 first prize.
Also among those joining the top 300 this week is Xuan Liu who sits at No. 295 this week after picking up a cash at WPT Fallsview where she finished 39th. Liu is also one of the four players who were drafted to Canada's only GPL team, The Montreal Nationals, by team manager Marc-Andre Ladouceur. She was the penultimate draftee for the entire league. Joining her in the top 300 is fellow Canadian Jean-Pascal Savard who cashed in 56th place in the Aussie Millions Main Event in January.
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Cristos also tops this week’s “Biggest Gains” list highlighting players inside the top 300 who made the most significant upward moves over the last seven days.
Like Cristos, Eric Blair, and Salvatore Dicarlo earned cashes in that Deepstack Extravaganza series at the Venetian to earn GPI points. Meanwhile, Goran Mandic cashed in the CAPT Seefeld Main Event in Austria and Keith Johnson earned three cashes and made two final tables at EPT Dublin to help them improve their rankings.
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Finally, looking only at players still ranked in the top 300, 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up Felix Stephensen tumbled the furthest this week, going from No. 176 to No. 272.
What to Expect Next Week
The final table of the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event plays out today, with Anthony Spinella (ranked No. 851) the current chip leader with six players left. Farid Jattin (No. 53) and Dietrich Fast (No. 182) are the highest-ranked of Spinella’s opponents still with a chance in that one.
Other series including the 2016 Wynn Classic, Mid-States Poker Tour Jacksonville, and the Hollywood Poker Open in Toledo are in action this week. The EUREKA 6 is also playing out in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, as is that aforemention WSOP International Circuit event at the Tbilisi Sports Palace in Georgia.