Dan Smith Fourth on GPI Player of the Year

Dan smithDan Smith zoomed into fourth place on the Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year standings after winning two €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em events at the recently completed PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final in Monte Carlo.

Actually, the Las Vegas pro picked up a record-setting hat-trick of titles at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort after also securing the €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Six-Max side event, although that last score won’t count towards his points total until next week.

While most poker fans were concentrating on what was happening in the main event, Super High Roller and High Roller tournaments, Smith was quietly picking up points to climb 151 spots into fourth on the PoY leaderboard on points.

American Not Far Behind Top Spot

Those first two victories, in the Six-Max Turbo and a side event, saw Smith add 247.05 points to his score for him to now sit at 418.40 – just 36.44 points behind third-placed Frenchman Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier and 64.42 in arrears of Andrew Badecker in second, while he has closed the gap on leader Jonathan Duhamel to 177.28 points, before his third score from Monte Carlo is included on next week’s PoY list.

That’s already four live tournament wins this year for Smith, following on from his $1,041,828 pay day from the Aussie Millions $100,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Challenge.

Incredibly, he’s already bagged $1,748,943 after just four months of 2012, so expect to see Smith challenge Triple Crown winner Grospellier for third place on the PoY very soon.

Jonathan Duhamel Still in Charge

Notably, French-Canadian Duhamel – who held a 253-point advantage over Quebec’s Erik Cajelais at the top of the rankings as recently as the start of last month – has seen that lead shrink to just 112.86 after American Andrew Badecker surged into second place with a series of cashes over the past few weeks.

The Connecticut pro picked up $14,755 for taking 19th place in the Irish Open €3,200 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event at the start of last month, before collecting $15,559 with 14th at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Vienna main event.

Then, last week, Badecker secured second spot on the PoY list with his 96th place finish for $9,902 at the EPT Grand Final €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event while his 12th place – for $87,797 – in this week’s €25,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max High Roller has narrowed the gap even further.

Bertrand Grospellier Enjoys Incredible April

Just 27.98 points separates Badecker (482.82) from third placed Grospellier (454.84) after the London-based Frenchman climbed one spot after a fantastic April, in which he won the EPT Berlin €10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Re-Entry event for $301,992, as well as $819,878 for taking third in the EPT Grand Final €100,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Super High Roller Reload in Monte Carlo.

That’s an incredible five final tables already this year for the 31-year-old, following on from his fourth place for $72,550 in the $25,000 buy-in No-Limit High Roller at the LA Poker Classic (LAPC) at the end of February, another fourth in the €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Rebuy in the EPT Madrid in mid-March for $35,945, and third for $17,482 at the €2,700 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the French Poker Series (FPS) SnowFest in the Rhone-Alps a week later.

Montreal’s Sam Chartier dropped two spots into fifth on 396.50 points, while Russian Vyacheslav Igin (up 20 places to sixth on 382.19 points), Sweden’s Martin Jacobson (up 10 to seventh on 366.35), American duo Jason Koon (up 14 to eighth on 360.30) and Steve O’Dwyer (down four to ninth on 358.93), and Italy’s Sergio Castelluccio (up 67 to 10th on 358.24) complete the top 10.

Vyacheslav Igin Up Into Sixth

Igin notched third place for $100,065 in the EPT Grand Final €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max Turbo and then followed that up with 20th in the €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em for $14,523 at the same Monte Carlo festival to see him make great strides forward from his 28th placing on the PoY at the start of last month.

London-based Jacobson has, meanwhile, cashed five times in Europe this month – including two at EPT Berlin and two more in Monaco, while Vegas’ Koon, who had been ranked as high as 11th at the start of last month, finished in 21st place for $25,056 at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Championship event in Hollywood last week to break into the top 10.

Castelluccio also zoomed up the rankings with his fourth place for $528,102 in the EPT Grand Final main event as the PoY standings saw some big movers and fallers.

However, May will almost certainly see things quiet down as thousands of players gear themselves up for the 43rd staging of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) at The Rio All-Suite & Casino in Vegas.

GPI Player of the Year Top 10

1. Jonathan Duhamel (Canada) – 595.68 points (no change)

2. Andrew Badecker (USA) – 482.82 (no change)

3. Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (France) – 454.84 (up one place)

4. Dan Smith (USA) – 418.40 (up 151 places)

5. Sam Chartier (Canada) – 396.50 (down two places)

6. Vyacheslav Igin (Russia) – 382.19 (up 20 places)

7. Martin Jacobson (Sweden) – 366.35 (up 10 places)

8. Jason Koon (USA) – 360.30 (up 14 places)

9. Steve O’Dwyer (USA) – 358.93 (down four places)

10. Sergio Castelluccio (Italy) – 358.24 (up 67 places)