Poker Rankings Update: Holz Dominant, No WCOOP Shakeup

Alex Weldon : September 16th, 2016


As players have begun recovering their energy following the post-WSOP slump, the battle for top spot in the rankings is heating up once more. Fedor Holz continues to look unbeatable, topping every conceivable list, but when it comes to the GPI Player of the Year race, at least, it seems as though Chance Kornuth may end up giving him a bit of a sweat.

Online the this year’s World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) has not caused as much chaos in the online rankings this year as it has in the past. Is it that the usual gang of Swedes is just that good and that consistent, or have changes in the regular weekly schedule at PokerStars diminished the relative importance of the world’s biggest online poker tournament series?

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.

Current Top 10

#1 Fedor Holz – 4,838.07 pts. (#1 last month)
#2 Nick Petrangelo – 4,494.03 pts. (#3 last month)
#3 Steve O’Dwyer – 4,339.03 pts. (#9 last month)
#4 Jason Mercier – 4,304.04 pts. (#2 last month)
#5 Byron Kaverman – 4,270.07 pts. (NEW)
#6 Connor Drinan – 4,215.89 pts. (NEW)
#7 Anthony Zinno – 4,044.62 pts. (#4 last month)
#8 David Peters – 4,029.39 pts. (#5 last month)
#9 Bryn Kenney – 3,992.68 pts. (#6 last month)
#10 Adrian Mateos – 3,876.73 pts. (#10 last month)


Thomas Marchese (#7 -> #15)
Dominik Nitsche (#8 -> #12)

Although the months following WSOP are often a quiet time for live poker, there have been a surprising number of changes to the picture at the top of the GPI rankings. One thing that hasn’t changed is the dominance of Fedor Holz, despite his having announced his “retirement” following his WSOP One Drop High Roller win. Towards the end of August, he took down the Super High Roller at EPT Barcelona for €1.3 million and enough GPI points to move his total up another 110, keeping him head and shoulders above anyone else.

Jason Mercier has been quiet since the series ended, and is now focused on WCOOP. That’s left room for Nick Petrangelo to squeak into the runner-up position with a win of his own at EPT Barcelona, in Event #7, €10,300 No-Limit Hold’em.

Steve O’Dwyer, Byron Kavernman and Connor Drinan all had good runs in Barcelona as well, rocketing the three of them back into contention. Drinan fared the best of the three, winning the €10,300 8-Handed High Roller and cashing both the Super High Roller and the Main Event for nearly 950 points combined.

These newcomers naturally pushed the remainder of the Top 10 downwards, but the relative ordering of those other players is mostly unchanged. Only Thomas Marchese and Dominik Nitsche were ejected, and Marchese’s fall was particularly sharp, due to the aging and expiration of older results, a poor WSOP performance, and only a few smallish cashes since.

Player of the Year

#1 Fedor Holz – 3,637.69 pts.
#2 Chance Kornuth – 3,336.54 pts.
#3 David Peters – 3,097.44 pts.
#4 Paul Volpe – 3,095.05 pts.
#5 Adrian Mateos – 3,045.89 pts.
#6 Nick Petrangelo – 3,008.21 pts.
#7 Ivan Luca – 2,992.47 pts.
#8 Jason Mercier – 2,931.51 pts.
#9 Connor Drinan – 2,926.70 pts.
#10 Dominik Nitsche – 2,875.65 pts.

Unsurprisingly, Fedor Holz is on top of the standings for Player of the Year as well, though his competition is both different and closer on his heels. Chance Kornuth is coming on strong in the second half of the year, with three final tables at EPT Barcelona. It’s clear at this point that Holz was not entirely serious about retirement, but it does seem that he intends to play a lighter-than-usual schedule, which could make things close down the final stretch.

As is often the case, things get tighter as we move down the rankings. Roughly 300 points separate Holz from Kornuth, while the latter has a 250 point margin over third-place David Peters, yet the difference between Peters and 10th place Dominik Nitsche is only a little over 200. Thus, while the most likely scenarios have it being Holz or Kornuth on top come January, if neither of them manages to increase his score significantly in the year’s final quarter, the list of possible dark horses is a long one indeed.

Global Poker League

About the league: The Global Poker League is a “sportified” professional poker league which builds on the Global Poker Index. In this first season, 12 teams are competing, divided into two conferences – Americas and Eurasia. Each team’s manager was selected by the league, and the managers then selected a total of 6 players each (including themselves, in most cases), at least 4 of whom had to be in the GPI 1000 and opt in to a formal draft. Each week of the regular season sees two 6-max matches for each conference, played by one representative from each team, followed by two days of heads-up matches during which each team plays one set of 3 games. The 6-max games award from 1 point (for 5th) to 7 points (for 1st), and the heads-up matches award 3 points per win.

Current Top 10 GPL players by GPI Ranking

#1 Fedor Holz (Los Angeles Sunset)
#2 Jason Mercier (New York Rounders)
#3 Byron Kaverman (Sao Paulo Mets)
#4 Anthony Zinno (Las Vegas Moneymakers)
#5 Bryn Kenney (New York Rounders – MANAGER)
#6 Dominik Nitsche (Berlin Bears)
#7 Davidi Kitai (Paris Aviators)
#8 Thomas Marchese (New York Rounders)
#9 Chance Kornuth (Los Angeles Sunset)
#10 Justin Bonomo (London Royals)

The GPL has been on its mid-season, post-WSOP break since our last update, so nothing has changed in the standings: the Montreal Nationals still lead the Americas conference with 145 points, while it’s the Moscow Wolverines on top in Eurasia with 122.

Meanwhile, most of the movement in the GPI rankings has come from players not drafted to the GPL, so the league’s Top 10 players are essentially unchanged. The one notable exception is Byron Kaverman, who was not even in the Top 10 a month ago, and has rocketed into third. The player ejected by his ascent is Dzmitry Urbanovich of the Moscow Wolverines, leaving them no representation in the Top 10 players, despite holding the top spot in their conference’s standings.

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. This year’s system is different from previous years’, but still differs dramatically from GPI’s in that its honors are largely awarded based on the number of important titles and final tables had by a player, rather than their consistency of cashing in high buy-in events. Comparing the two often provides interesting insight into players’ performance.

Player of the Year

#1 Fedor Holz – 6,758 pts. (#1 last month)
#2 David Peters – 4,891 pts. (#3 last month)
#3 Connor Drinan – 4,512 pts. (NEW)
#4 Justin Bonomo – 4,470 pts. (#2 last month)
#5 Chance Kornuth – 4,374 pts. (#6 last month)
#6 Ari Engel – 4,369 pts. (#10 last month)
#7 Ivan Luca – 3,958 pts. (NEW)
#8 Tony Dunst – 3,740 pts. (#4 last month)
#9 Joseph McKeehen – 3,739 pts. (#5 last month)
#10 Nick Petrangelo – 3,711 pts. (NEW)


Paul Volpe (#7 -> #11)
Dan Smith (#8 -> #12)
Cary Katz (#9 -> #16)

While GPI’s Player of the Year race is still very much up for grabs, I think we can pretty safely declare at this point that Card Player’s will go to Fedor Holz. His lead is so large at this point that even if he did not play a single tournament in the next three months, and 2nd place contender David Peters continued on the pace he’s set so far, Holz will still end up winning by more than 250 points. It would be unfair to call Holz’s dominance unprecedented, in that this is the first year Card Player is using its current scoring system, yet it feels like the sort of margin that will be repeated rarely, if ever.

The race for second is much, much tighter. David Peters, who has displaced Justin Bonomo over the past month, now holds a 379-point lead on the rapidly-rising Connor Drinan, but Bonomo, Chance Kornuth and early frontrunner Ari Engel are all close behind as well.


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 C Darwin2 – 7,833,73 pts. (#1 last month)
#2 lena900 – 7,558.50 pts. (#5 last month)
#3 joaosimaobh – 7,494.92 pts. (#8 last month)
#4 joaomathias – 7,450.46 pts. (#7 last month)
#5 alexd2 – 7,181.50 pts. (NEW)
#6 1_conor_b_1 – 6,850.32 pts. (#2 last month)
#7 Pot4teUS – 6,816.86 pts. (#6 last month)
#8 NoPlanB – 6,797.92 pts. (#4 last month)
#9 Greenstone25 – 6,736.43 pts. (#10 last month)
#10 r4ndomr4gs – 6,705.61 (NEW)

We’re now a little more than halfway through the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and ordinarily that would mean massive changes to the PocketFives rankings, due to the number of high stakes tournaments running. However, it seems that WCOOP is not as critical a time as it once was, probably due to the increased number of high stakes offerings on PokerStars’s regular tournament schedule; whereas once the Super Tuesday was the only $1000 tournament on the weekly schedule, there are now the Thursday Thrill and Sunday Grand as well, and the Sunday Schedule has been beefed up in general.

So, instead of a massive shakeup, what we’re seeing so far is more a tightening of the race. Simon “C Darwin2″ Mattsson continues to hold the top spot, but fellow Swede and perennial leaderboard fixture Niklas “lena900″ Åstedt is hot on his heels, less than 300 points behind. Overall, Swedes make up half of the top 10, while the two Joaos from Brazil – Simao and Mathias – have moved up in tandem, from eighth and seventh respectively, to third and fourth.

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