Grospellier Ends Mercier’s Reign Atop the Global Poker Index

Bertrand GrospellierFrench superstar Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier has ended Jason Mercier’s record-setting stay at the top of the Global Poker Index (GPI) 300 at 11 weeks – with the Triple Crown winner recording two brilliant High Roller cashes in Europe to take over as number one on the rankings.

The London-based 31-year-old – who had not been top since December 12 – scored big in European Poker Tour (EPT) Berlin, taking down the €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller for $301,992, before adding another $819,878 to his bankroll with third place in the €100,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Super High Roller at the EPT season-ending Grand Final in Monte Carlo.

Hollywood pro Mercier – who, of course, dropped just one place to second on 2,898.03 points – lost 36.64 points to see his lengthy reign from February 13 end, while Grospellier added 71.75 as he eclipsed the American to now hold 2,982.42.

Monte Carlo and Berlin Results Prompt Big Changes

Of course, with results coming in from Berlin, as well as seven big buy-in tournaments closing in Monte Carlo and the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event reporting, there has been lots of movement inside the GPI – although not much within the top 10, strangely enough.

The result is nine pros inside the top 20 adding new results to their Period 1 scores, while a huge 21 players fall out of the top 300.

Apart from Team PokerStars Pros Grospellier and Mercier switching places, the other most notable change was Swede Martin Jacobson’s climb of nine spots into ninth place on 2,298.84 points.

Martin Jacobson Breaks Into Top 10

The London-based player surges up following his seventh place finish for $25,877 in the EPT Grand Final €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max Turbo at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.

Jacobson – who was initially ranked at 57th when the GPI debuted back in June of last year – had been as high as 11th in the rankings on September 19 and has remained in the top 50 since to now reach a new high with his first top 10 appearance.

Canadian Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald is the man to fall out of the top 10, with a slide of eight places into 16th – dropping 119.44 points to now have 2,213.40 – while another Canuck, Sorel Mizzi, holds on to third spot on 2,553.66, even though he lost 117.02 points.

However, Toronto’s Mizzi is now only just 2.56 points ahead of fourth-placed Ukrainian Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov (2,551.10), who also holds on to his previous ranking.

David ‘Doc’ Sands Climbs Two Spots Into Fifth

American David ‘Doc’ Sands completes the top five, adding 131.47 points to his score to climb two places into fifth on 2,475.35 after picking up $26,405 for finishing in 64th at the EPT Grand Final €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event.

A second Canadian, Shawn Buchanan, stayed steady on 2,366.95 points to remain sixth, while American Steve O’Dwyer (2,363.78) fell two places into seventh after losing 22.04 points, Finn Juha Helppi (2,328.50) moved up one place into ninth and French-Canadian Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel (2,288.28) held at 10th.

Eight-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) champ Erik Seidel staged something of a recovery on this latest GPI, climbing back up 15 spots into 12th after his dramatic fall from grace over the past few weeks.

Erik Seidel Recovers Some Lost Ground

The Las Vegas pro – who had stayed inside the top 10 for months, mostly as number one – saw his ranking slip from sixth in mid-April to his lowest spot of 27th on the last list, but has now recovered some ground after picking up $33,006 for finishing 46th in the EPT Grand Final main event.

The 52-year-old – who enjoyed an incredible 2011 – had struggled recently, failing to add any new scores this year to have no results counting towards Period 1. In fact, his last live tournament in-the-money finish came back in mid-October, when he took 21st for $49,427 in the €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event at the WSOP Europe in Cannes.

Brooklyn’s Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst also returned to the top 20, gaining three spots to now be at 18th on 2,190.06. However, with two new names in the top 20, two had to drop out – and they are French Team Everest Pro Fabrice Soulier and New Jersey’s Chris Klodnicki.

Fabrice Soulier Drops Down to 21st

Vegas-based Soulier (2,115.71) dropped 10 spots into 21st after his 48th place for $25,506 at last May’s EPT San Remo €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event aged into Period 3 and his victory for $129,134 at the EPT Grand Final €2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event back in April of 2010 fell into Period 5.

Soulier lost 84 points with the San Remo event ageing, while that very drop also hit his Period 3 score as the Frenchman’s 64th place for $11,899 at the EPT Prague €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event December from 2010 has been excluded due to the capping system as it is a lower scoring event than the San Remo result.

In total, Soulier lost 160 points after his sixth place for $8,948 at the Megazon Poker Million No.2 in El Jadida, Morocco, was excluded from Period 5 because of his success at the 2010 EPT Grand Final main event ageing into that cetegory.

Chris Klodnicki Falls 10 Places

Klodnicki, meanwhile, lost 205 points to also fall 10 places into 25th on 2,028.39 because of ageing scores – resulting in his first exit from the top 20 since December 19.

The American saw his seventh place finish for $68,465 at the WPT World Poker Finals $9,700 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event in Mashantucket from last November age into Period 2 to cost him 71 points, while his 15th for $32,305 in the WSOP Circuit Hammond $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Regional Championships from October of 2010 aged into Period 4 to see another 47 points lost.

That WPT result also eliminated his seventh place finish for $13,677 at the Borgata Deep Stack Double Play Open $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament from Period 2 to see another 87 points lost.

Returning to the big climbers on this latest list, Monte Carlo provided numerous big buy-in events at the EPT Grand Final to see some massive moves up the rankings.

EPT Grand Final Winner Mohsin Charania Zooms Into 46th

American Mohsin Charania zoomed up 140 places into 46th on 1,780.86 points after winning the main event in Monaco for $1,782,343 to give him the biggest points gain of 526, as well as the largest climb of any player.

Illinois’ Charania dropped out of the rankings on December 19, but returned in February, before now hitting his highest mark with his first appearance inside the top 50.

Belarussian Vadzim Kursevich took 25th in that same event for $46,209 to climb 104 places into 80th on 1,581.23, while California’s Jason Wheeler (1,497.84) finished 18th for $52,810 and a gain of 94 places into 106th on the GPI, and Italian Sergio Castelluccio (1,490.80) – who debuted on the rankings list just one month back – came fourth for $528,102 to move up 122 spots into 109.

Additionally, Italy’s Andrea Benelli claimed 52nd spot for $26,405 to gain 108 places for 155th on 1,336.45, while Germany’s Torsten Brinkmann (1,230.43) moved up 80 to 199th.

John Paul Kelly Up At 30th

Staying in the Côte d’Azur, Englishman John Paul Kelly enjoyed two good finishes – sixth in the €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max Turbo for $32,346 and fourth in the €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event for $81,856 – to climb 58 places into 30th on 1,922.12 points.

Those cashes garnered the Aylesbury player a huge 382 points, while Russian Vyacheslav – who finished third for $100,065 in that Six-Max Turbo event – also leapt 79 spots into 98th on 1,521.42 for his venture inside the top 100.

New York’s Lock Poker sponsored Melanie Weisner added 202 points to her overall score after a runner-up finish for $51,820 in the €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up competition in Monte Carlo to zoom up 46 places into 60th on 1,702.65 points, while Sweden’s William Thorson benefitted from his second place for $69,181 in the €5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Max Turbo to gain 55 places to now sit on 1,724.09 in 54th.

Tommy Vedes Breaks Top 50

But it wasn’t just European results that enlivened the rankings, with New York’s Tommy Vedes securing the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown main event for $779,520 to rise 99 spots into 47th on 1,778.26 for his best position yet – when adding the second largest score among players of 425 points.

Tallahassee’s former Full Tilt Pro John Dolan – who finished as runner-up to Vedes for $459,360 – debuts on the GPI at 141st on 1,382.08 points, while the third place finisher, New Mexico’s Joe Serock picked up 397 points to also secure his highest placing by climbing 111 spots into 63rd on 1,685.28.

California’s Zach Clark took 16th place in that same event for $29,232 to rise 125 places into 124th on 1,439.84, while David Paredes collected $50,112 from his ninth place finish to climb 100 spots to 186th on 1,259.66.

Justin Bonomo Makes Amazing Return to List

Returning to the tiny European principality, results from the Grand Final’s main event provided the points required for the majority of players bouncing back into the top 300.

Vegas pro Justin Bonomo – who had not been ranked since March 19 – returned at an incredible 74th place on 1,612.20 points after his stellar display in Europe.

He took 28th place for $46,209 in the main event and fourth for $351,188 in the €25,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller. But it was his victory from the Super High Roller tournament for $2,165,217 that truly sent him charging back into the rankings. Expect Bonomo to climb even higher on the next list as that High Roller result won’t be added to his Period 1 score until then.

John Andress Back at 151st

While the American was the only returning player to break into the top 100, other EPT Grand Final main event cashers did show impressive movement, with Pennsylvania’s John Andress leading the way with $52,810 in 24th place to take 151st on 1,350.24 points.

Meanwhile, Lithuanian Dominykas Karmazinas came in at 178th on 1,276.15 for finishing 32nd for $46,209, Belgium’s Team PokerStars Pro Matthias De Meulder (217th on 1,181.20) took 34th for $39,608, Jesse Martin (235th on 1,148.45), of Massachusetts, exited in 17th for $52,810, Germany’s Giuseppe Pantaleo (276th on 1,084.48) collected $19,804 for 91st, California’s Maria Ho (282nd on 1,074.48) – who hadn’t been ranked since January 23 – earned 79th for $19,804, and Team PokerStars Pro duo Jose Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Barbero (291st on 1,049.72), of Argentina, pocketed 93rd for $19,804, and Richard Toth (293rd on 1,046.62), from Hungary, picked up $39,608 for 37th.

Norwegian Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden (214th on 1,189.54) also returned to the rankings after finishing third place in the Grand Final’s €5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Max Turbo for $40,268, while New York State’s Kyle Bowker (281st on 1,074.67) claimed 281st spot on 1,074.67 points following his sixth place for $122,496 in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown main event in Florida.

Ben Vinson Debuts at 192nd

While there were 11 players returning to the rankings, another 10 scored results to see them debut on the GPI 300. Following Dolan were London’s Ben Vinson (in at 192nd on 1,246.37 points), Moscow’s Mikhail Petrov (198th on 1,232.96), Romanian Ignat Liviu (210th on 1,192.59), Frenchman Basil Yaiche (231st on 1,158.36), St Petersburg’s Anatoly Gurtovy (242nd on 1,132.21), fellow Russian Yury Gulyy (262nd on 1,105.61), Bulgarian Dimitar Danchev (270th on 1,095.15), Orlando’s Mark Rose (284th on 1,067.57) and Colorado’s Pratyush Buddiga (288th on 1,055.73).

Those newcomers joining also meant several players dropped out of the GPI 300 – and they are Xuan Liu, Tom Middleton, Taylor von Kriegenbergh, Sami Kelopuro, Russell Carson, Mike Leah, Mickey Petersen, Massimo Mosele, Mads Wissing, Lucien Cohen, Khiem Nguyen, Justin ‘Boosted J’ Smith, Josh Bergman, Jake Bazeley, Ivo Donev, Dobromir Nikov, Christopher Lastiwka, Bernard Lee, Andrew Teng and Andreas Wiese.

Hoyt Corkins Tumbles Down to 206th

Alabama’s Hoyt Corkins suffered the second biggest fall as he tumbled 74 places into 206th on 1,201.36 points after his most recent score – 10th place at the WPT World Poker Finals main event for $34,676 last November 1 – dropped into Period 2 to leave him without a score in Period 1.

The other notable losers on this latest GPI list were Frenchman Alain Roy (down 78 places to 263rd on 1,104.80 points), Muscovite Vitaly Lunkin (down 64 to 268th on 1,097.37), Englishman Rupert Elder (down 54 to 121st on 1,447.09), Swiss pro Stefan Huber (down 51 to 189th on 1,254.04), Ohio’s Keven Stammen (down 51 to 140th on 1,383.48), Maryland’s Dan Kelly (down 50 to 250th on 1,119.43), Florida’s Mike Beasley (down 49 to 248th on 1,119.96), England’s Rob Akery (down 48 to 196th on 1,237.82) and Lock Pro Elite member Matt Stout (down 47 to 160th on 1,318.21), of New Jersey.

Noah Schwartz Could Climb Into Top 10

The next GPI 300 should see some more significant changes, with the High Roller in Monte Carlo being applied to players’ scores. Expect to see Florida’s Noah Schwartz – who is currently ranked 15th on 2,214.88 points – move up, possibly into the top 10, after his sixth place for $219,162, while Toronto’s Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu (1,800.59) will definitely improve on his 43rd position following his runner-up finish for $790,304.

Bonomo, meanwhile, will also climb the rankings after capping a wonderful stay in Monaco with his fourth-place finish – ensuring that the American will charge into the top 60 after not even being ranked two weeks ago.

The Global Poker Index Top 10

1. Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (France) – 2,982.42 (up one place)

2. Jason Mercier (USA) – 2,898.03 (down one place)

3. Sorel Mizzi (Canada) – 2,553.66 (no change)

4. Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) – 2,551.10 (no change)

5. David ‘Doc’ Sands (USA) – 2,475.35 (up two places)

6. Shawn Buchanan (Canada) – 2,366.95 (no change)

7. Steve O’Dwyer (USA) – 2,363.78 (down two places)

8. Juha Helppi (Finland) – 2,328.50 (up one place)

9. Martin Jacobson (Sweden) – 2,298.84 (up nine places)

10. Jonathan Duhamel (Canada) – 2,288.28 (no change)