Who Can Catch Gordo?

Alex Weldon : July 10th, 2015
2015 WSOP

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The 2015 World Series of Poker is drawing to a close, and Mike Gorodinsky is well out in front of the GPI WSOP Player of the Year Leaderboard, with over a 200 point lead on his closest competitor, overall GPI leader Anthony Zinno. Ignoring the WSOPE, there just one event left to finish up: the Main Event. With its $10,000 buy-in and huge field, it certainly has the potential to be a game changer, but is there anyone still alive in it who could catch Gordo. And if so, just how well will they have to do?

Correction: The following paragraph originally stated that Gorodinsky had busted in the ME – in fact, he didn’t play.

Unfortunately, Gorodinsky had to sit out the Main Event in order to attend a friend’s wedding, so his Player of the Year points are now set in stone at 2157.19 pts. That’s convenient for us, because we don’t have to worry about relative finishes and can just consider only the people who are still playing.

1st place in the Main Event will award 782.81 points according to the score calculator on the Global Poker Index website. Thus, anyone with at least 1374.38 points has a chance to catch up with Gorodinsky, so long as they’ve got a chip and a chair in the tournament.

Twelve players had the chance prior to the Main Event kicking off: Anthony Zinno, Paul Volpe, Shaun Deeb, Brian Hastings, Ismael Bojang, Ralph Porter, Stephen Chidwick, Eli Elezra, Jason Mercier, Mark Radoja, Olivier Busquet and Byron Kaverman.

That’s a fairly intimidating list of players, any of whom you could imagine running deep, but if Gorodinsky was sweating before the Main Event kicked off, he can relax a little bit now, since only two of them have even made it to Day 3: Byron Kaverman and the ever-controversial Brian Hastings.

Of the two, Hastings is by far the bigger threat, both because he has more chips than Kaverman, and because he’s much closer in points. Hastings is currently in 5th place on the leaderboard with 1564.60 points, meaning he needs only 592.59 points to usurp Gorodinsky. He still needs to finish in at least 6th place to do it, but that’s still six times easier than winning. Meanwhile, he’s in great position to run deep with 367,300 chips – 13th place overall! Ignoring skill edge, his deep stack gives him about a 1.1% chance to finish top-6, though given his talent and the summer he’s been having, I think it would be more fair to give him a 3-4% shot.

Kaverman, by contrast, has only the faintest glimmer of hope to take the top spot. At 1387.42 points, he’s trailing by 769.77, so only a win will do the trick, and then only just barely. He’s also sitting on a stack of only 108,500 chips – almost exactly the average going into Day 3. That being the case, he’s got less than a shot in one thousand if you ignore skill edge, and even as talented as he is, it would likely be too generous to give him even 200-1.

All told, then, Gordo’s looking pretty good, probably somewhere between a 20-1 and 30-1 favorite to remain in the lead for Player of the Year, depending on how you rate Hastings and Kaverman. Still, if either of them was to make it into the November Nine, things could get really interesting.

Alex Weldon (@benefactumgames) is a freelance writer, game designer and semipro poker player from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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