Poker Rankings Update: Kaverman Closing in on Mercier, Zinno

Alex Weldon : September 3rd, 2015

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With the World Series of Poker now over and done with, the top spot in both the rolling Global Poker Index rankings and the GPI Player of the Year are unchanged from last month, yet Byron Kaverman is coming on strong in both, picking up 3rd and 2nd respectively this month. Read on for a deeper look at Kaverman’s ascent and other developments in the rankings world in our monthly update for September.

Global Poker Index

About the rankings: The GPI ranks 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 Jason Mercier – 4,245.59 pts. (#1 last month)
#2 Anthony Zinno – 4,026.49 pts. (#3 last month)
#3 Byron Kaverman – 3,982.06 pts. (#8 last month)
#4 Scott Seiver – 3,917.99 pts. (#2 last month)
#5 Nicholas Petrangelo – 3,817.84 pts. (NEW)
#6 Paul Volpe – 3,700.93 pts. (#9 last month)
#7 Stephen Chidwick – 3,592.90 pts. (#5 last month)
#8 Bryn Kenney – 3590.78 pts.(#7 last month)
#9 Mustapha Kanit – 3580.03 pts. (NEW)
#10 Davidi Kitai – 3,549.00 pts. (#6 last month)

Dropouts

Dan Smith – #4 -> #31
Dario Sammartino – #10 -> #12

The Skinny: Jason Mercier jumped into the lead in the GPI last month with a solid performance at this summer’s World Series of Poker, including a win in Event #32, $5000 6-Handed NLHE, plus a final table appearance at the $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship. Some of his older results were due to expire, however, and he risked losing his place at the head of the table in August if he did not continue to perform. Fortunately for him, a win in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open High Roller was more than enough to cement his spot for the time being, and a small cash in an EPT Barcelona Hyper-Turbo bought him a little more breathing room, even as Anthony Zinno continues to gain ground. Scott Seiver did not have as great a month, however, being displaced from his second-place spot by both Zinno and Kaverman. He’s still doing better than Dan Smith, however, who with only one cash in July and none in August has tumbled all the way from 4th to 31st!

On the Move: Although Anthony Zinno is still the break-out story of the year, Kaverman was the most upwardly-mobile player for August. Although the latter half of his WSOP did not hold up to the promise he’d shown in June, he came roaring back this month with three cashes at the EPT Barcelona, including the €50,000 Super High-Roller and the €10,000 High Roller 8-Max. The GPI system awards a lot of points for these higher buy-in events, so even though his finishes in those events were only 9th and 38th respectively, they were still worth a combined 555.69 points, greater than the difference between Kaverman and, say, Dario Sammartino, who has dropped out of the Top 10 and now sits in 12th. Kaverman is also closing in on Zinno for Player of the Year; if not for him, ZInno would be running away with that honor, as his previously closest rival, Connor Drinan, failed to put up any cashes in August.

Interestingly, we now see Mustapha Kanit making the list in 9th. Kanit is better known as an online player, going by “lasagnaaammm,” and thus someone you’re usually more likely to see in the Pocket Fives rankings than the GPI. Kanit is having a phenomenal year in the nosebleed events on the EPT circuit, however, having won both the Super High Roller in Monte Carlo back in May, and just now the High Roller in Barcelona, leaving his fans on the forums in awe and wondering if he’s for real. Whether he puts up enough volume in future to continue to challenge in the Top 10 is uncertain, but I doubt he cares – he’s made over $2 million in the past four months alone, nearly doubling his lifetime live winnings in the process.

Player of the Year 2015

#1 Anthony Zinno – 4,461.20 pts. (#1 last month)
#2 Byron Kaverman – 4,292.41 pts. (#4 last month)
#3 Nicholas Petrangelo – 4,076.11 pts. (#8 last month)
#4 Dzmitry Urbanovich – 3,955.62 pts. (#5 last month)
#5 Connor Drinan – 3,771.11 pts. (#2 last month)
#6 Jason Mercier – 3,751.99 pts. (NEW)
#7 Paul Volpe – 3,651.76 pts. (NEW)
#8 Scott Seiver – 3,610.29 pts. (#3 last month)
#9 Stephen Chidwick – 3,473.17 pts. (#6 last month)
#10 Steve O’Dwyer – 3,466.74 pts. (NEW)

Dropouts

Domink Nitsche – #7 -> #11
Ivan Luca – #9 -> #12
Joe Kuether – #10 -> #16

BLUFF Power Rankings – no more?

Despite what we said last month, and what’s indicated on the website, it appears that BLUFF’s Power Rankings are no longer being updated in the wake of the closing of the site’s regular activities and the dismissal of its staff, or at least not as regularly as they once were. The website gives August 3 as the date on which the Power Rankings were last updated, coinciding almost exactly with the publication of our last Rankings Update.

Card Player Player of the Year

About the rankings: In past months, we haven’t included Card Player’s rankings because they have only a Player of the Year race and no persistent, rolling rankings like GPI and BLUFF. It’s useful to provide at least one alternative system for comparison to the GPI however, so in BLUFF’s absence, we’ll begin including the Card Player Player of the Year leaderboard. The Card Player system is much more similar to BLUFF’s than to GPI’s, giving greater consideration to field size than buy-in, and rewarding wins and final table finishes much more highly than smaller cashes.

Player of the Year

#1 Anthony Zinno – 6,488 pts.
#2 Nick Petrangelo – 4,504 pts.
#3 Jason Mercier – 4,294 pts.
#4 Joe Kuether – 3,778 pts.
#5 Byron Kaverman – 3,777 pts.
#6 Dzmitry Urbanovich – 3,723 pts.
#7 Ivan Luca – 3,423 pts.
#8 Paul Volpe – 3,275 pts.
#9 Mustapha Kanit – 3,260 pts.
#10 Taylor Paur – 3,144 pts.

The Skinny: Card Player is in agreement with both the GPI and BLUFF’s rankings as last updated when it comes to this year’s best player: Anthony Zinno. However, whereas the GPI has Zinno separated from Kaverman by only a single score, and several other players in contention, Zinno’s status as PoY is much more of a slam dunk in the eyes of Card Player. Whereas 6th place Dzmitry Urbanovich and 2nd place Nick Petrangelo are less than 800 points apart, Petrangelo would need another 2000 to catch Zinno, which seems unlikely at this point unless he pulls a World Series of Poker Europe hat trick, or something of the sort. Kaverman, meanwhile, is only good for 5th in Card Player’s book; as usual, the discrepancy between GPI and other systems comes down to the relative value placed on small cashes in huge buy-in events versus deep finishes in smaller buy-in ones.

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.

#1 StrungOut1 – 7,152.45 pts. (NEW)
#2 aguskb – 7,104.19 pts. (#3 last month)
#3 PokerKaiser – 7,004.43 pts. (#1 last month)
#4 prebzzz – 6,887.42 pts. (NEW)
#5 veeea – 6,672.80 pts. (NEW)
#6 r4ndomr4gs – 6,291.07 pts. (#6 last month)
#7 Sheater – 6,243.64 pts. (NEW)
#8 sifosis – 6,086.38 pts. (NEW)
#9 joaomathias – 6,079.58 pts. (#7 last month)
#10 EV4dGloryOMC – 5,986.68 (NEW)

The Skinny: Canada’s StrungOut1 has surged out of nowhere to grab the top spot on Pocket Fives, thanks to four first place finishes in the month of August, including a win in the Sunday Million. I wouldn’t count on him to hold on to that spot, however, nor for anyone else to remain where they are. Online rankings fluctuate wildly even during a normal month, but this time around we have the World Championship of Online Poker happening, with a total of $45 million guaranteed over the course of 70 events. That’s almost like putting the Super Tuesday and Thursday Thrill on Sunday, and then making every day Sunday for the entire month. Last year’s WCOOP results will meanwhile expire, so the coming month is more or less going to define who is within arms reach of the top spots throughout the coming year.

It’s interesting to note, however, that Mustafa “lasagnaaammm” Kanit has dropped out of the Top 10 for online play even as he emerges in the GPI for live play. He was 9th and 10th in the Pocket Fives rankings for the past two months, respectively. It’s very hard to make both lists at once, of course, especially post-Black Friday, but he came very close. A good performance in WCOOP could put him back on the list; what a story it would be if he could somehow find his way to the top of both.

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