Poker Rankings Update: a Photo Finish for GPI Player of the Year

Alex Weldon : December 17th, 2015


Ordinarily, PartTimePoker’s Poker Rankings Update goes up at the beginning of the month, but I decided to hold this one back till mid-month to see how the GPI Player of the Year race looks heading into the closing stretch. It’s going to be a close one!

Last month, it was Anthony Zinno in the lead, but only by a hair, with only seven points separating him from overall GPI leader Byron Kaverman. Early last month, however, Kaverman managed a small cash in the WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble Main Event in Jacksonville to put him ahead. Meanwhile, Steve O’Dwyer has had a killer November and December, with a combined six cashes to move himself from sixth place up into a virtual tie with Zinno.

Very little time remains for Zinno to recapture the lead or O’Dwyer to overtake it, but it’s not over yet. The most significant remaining event of the year is the WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas, which kicks off tomorrow. Zinno doesn’t seem to play a lot of Super High Rollers, so he may not be participating, but O’Dwyer very well could be.

Global Poker Index

About the rankings: The GPI World Poker Rankings rates the top players in the world according to a system which awards points for tournament cashes based on buy-in, field size and finish position. Tournaments over the past three years are considered, but the weight accorded to older results diminishes with time.

The current Top 10

#1 Byron Kaverman – 4,308.16 pts. (#1 last month)
#2 Anthony Zinno – 4,155.82 pts. (#3 last month)
#3 Jason Mercier – 4,071.96 pts. (#2 last month)
#4 Steve O’Dwyer – 3,990.01 pts. (#10 last month)
#5 Nicholas Petrangelo – 3,789.29 pts. (#5 last month)
#6 Bryn Kenney – 3,678.41 pts. (NEW)
#7 Kevin MacPhee – 3,657.01 pts. (NEW)
#8 Martin Finger – 3,655.92 pts. (NEW)
#9 Stephen Chidwick – 3,628.48 pts. (NEW)
#10 Jonathan Duhamel – 3,589.22 pts. (NEW)


Scott Seiver – #4 -> #33
Mustapha Kanit – #6 -> #18
Davidi Kitai – #7 -> #12
Paul Volpe – #8 -> #23
Mike McDonald – #9 -> #22

The Skinny: The Top 5 have remained fairly consistent since last month, and also overlap quite heavily with the Top 5 for Player of the Year. Kaverman is ahead in both, while Zinno, O’Dwyer and Petrangelo are likewise near the top of both lists.

The only big change there is the fall of Scott Seiver, whose lack of cashes since October and expiring older results have combined to cause him to plummet all the way from 4th place to 33rd – a reminder of just how fickle GPI rankings can be at times.

It’s not surprising that as the year draws to a close, the Player of the Year race and overall rankings should start to converge. Early in the year, results from the previous year still factor heavily into the rankings, while each cash earned by a player propels them way up in the Player of the Year race. As the year rolls on, the previous year’s results are given less weight for the rankings, while most Player of the Year contenders will have hit their 13-result cap and will need to beat their previous 13th-best score of the year in order to improve further. Thus, it’s mostly the same recent big performances which have the greatest impact on both lists.

On the Move: Seiver’s place in the Top 5 has been taken over by Steve O’Dwyer, whose solid recent performances have not only put him within spitting distance of Player of the Year, but also moved him up from 10th place to 4th in the overall GPI rankings.

Meanwhile, the entire bottom half of the list has been switched up. Mustapha Kanit, Davidi Kitai, Paul Volpe and Mike McDonald have all dropped off along with Seiver, replaced by Bryn Kenney, Kevin MacPhee, Martin Finger, Stephen Chidwick and Jonathan Duhamel.

Player of the Year 2015

#1 Byron Kaverman – 4,736.90 pts. (#2 last month)
#2 Anthony Zinno – 4,649.05 pts. (#1 last month)
#3 Steve O’Dwyer – 4,640.17 pts. (#6 last month)
#4 Nicholas Petrangelo – 4,406.04 pts. (#3 last month)
#5 Dzmitry Urbanovich – 4,233.71 pts. (#4 last month)
#6 Jason Mercier – 4,175.44 pts. (#5 last month)
#7 Connor Drinan – 3,996.08 pts. (#7 last month)
#8 Dominik Nitsche – 3,848.66 pts. (NEW)
#9 Fedor Holz – 3,834.30 pts. (NEW)
#10 Scott Seiver – 3,834.10 pts. (#8 last month)


Erik Seidel – #9 -> #11
Barry Hutter – #10 -> #17

The Skinny: The most significant changes here are of course Kaverman overtaking Zinno, and O’Dwyer jumping up into contention. Both train Kaverman by fewer than 100 points. The remainder of the top part of the list is basically unchanged, except for everyone being shifted down one spot due to O’Dwyer’s leapfrogging them.

Meanwhile, Dominik Nitsche and Fedor Holz have crept onto the bottom end of the list, displacing Erik Seidel and Barry Hutter, but it’s far too late at this point in the year for any of these players to have a shot at claiming the crown.

Card Player

About the rankings: Card Player unfortunately does not have a rolling leaderboard to compete with the GPI’s, but it does provide an alternative Player of the Year leaderboard. Compared to GPI’s, Card Player’s system gives greater consideration to large field sizes than to high buy-ins, and to deep runs and wins much more than to frequency of smaller cashes.

Player of the Year

#1 Anthony Zinno – 6,632 pts. (#1 last month)
#2 Joe Kuether – 6,070 pts. (#2 last month)
#3 Nicholas Petrangelo – 5,526 pts. (#3 last month)
#4 Byron Kaverman – 5,342 pts. (#4 last month)
#5 Benjamin Zamani – 4,561 pts. (NEW)
#6 Steve O’Dwyer – 4,400 pts. (#9 last month)
#7 Rainer Kempe – 4,392 pts. (NEW)
#8 Jason Mercier – 4,294 pts. (#5 last month)
#9 Taylor Paur – 3,984 pts. (NEW)
#10 Dzmitry Urbanovich – 3,978 pts. (#7 last month)


Mustapha Kanit – #6 -> #12
Kevin MacPhee – #8 -> #14
Ivan Luca – #10 -> #15

The Skinny: Although the GPI and Card Player have been in agreement on Player of the Year for the last couple of months, that’s no longer the case. While Kaverman overtook Zinno in GPI’s estimation, according to Card Player he’s just holding steady in 4th. O’Dwyer is also held in considerably lower regard by Card Player, having only moved up from 9th to 6th and nowhere close to equalling Zinno.

The race is also overall considerably less close by Card Player’s reckoning. Second-place contender Joe Kuether – who doesn’t even figure in the GPI’s Top 10 due to playing mostly smaller buy-in events – is more than 550 points behind Zinno and would need a miracle to catch him, but enjoys a similar lead over Petrangelo in 3rd. Some reshuffling is possible further down the list, but it seems like the winner and runner-up are all but set in stone at this point.

Pocket Fives

About the rankings: Pocket Fives rankings are the equivalent of the GPI for the online poker world. It considers only the past year’s worth of results, with older results decaying in value and only the best 40 results for each player being counted. Needless to say, this system and the fast pace of online play make this leaderboard quite volatile.

The current Top 10

#1 eisenhower1 – 7,847.26 pts. (#1 last month)
#2 veeea – 7,469.65 pts. (#10 last month)
#3 lena900 – 6,624.33 pts. (#8 last month)
#4 SvZff – 6,573.80 pts. (NEW)
#5 C Darwin2 – 6,525.10 pts. (#6 last month)
#6 AnteSavante – 6,475.30 pts. (NEW)
#7 IgorK – 6,448.09 pts. (NEW)
#8 jbrown8777 – 6,429.63 pts. (#9 last month)
#9 cswami – 6,254.92 pts. (#7 last month)
#10 aguskb – 6,175.25 pts (NEW)

The Skinny: Christian “eisenhower1″ Jeppsson continues to hang on to his #1 spot, mostly thanks to his breakout performance in September, which put him on top in the first place. That lead is no longer as ironclad as it once was, however, with his score slipping below the 8000 mark and Uruguay’s Artem Vezhenkov aka “veeea” closing in rapidly. Jeppsson will need to put up some more big results soon if he’d like to avoid being displaced by this time next month.

Also doing well is Jeppsson’s fellow Swede, Niklas “Lena900″ Astedt, who has recently managed a High Roller win on Winamax, plus a Thursday Thrill final table and $215 Turbo win on PokerStars to propel himself from 8th into 3rd.

Other familiar names in the Top 10 include C Darwin2, jbrown8777 and cswami who have all held roughly steady, and AnteSavante, IgorK and aguskb who are all back into the Top 10 after having recently fallen off the list. Out this month are Christopher “NigDawG” Brammer, “prebzzz,” Martin “Tiny_molester” Kozlov, and “Yaya24.”

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