Jason Mercier Holds On To GPI 300 Top Spot for Seventh Week

Jason MercierJason Mercier has held on to the Global Poker Index (GPI) 300 top spot for a seventh successive week – having overtaken fellow American Erik Seidel back on February 13 – as early spring saw a lack of scoring events to leave the top 16 unchanged.

Team PokerStars Pro Mercier, of Hollywood, stayed put on 2,980.42 points, with the remainder of the top 10 – including Seidel (2,510.57) in sixth place – also seeing no change in their overall points scores.

That means French Triple Crown winner and Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier stays at number two on the rankings on 2,845.12 points, Canadian Shawn Buchanan retains his third place on 2,751.42, Ukrainian Eugene Katchalov (2,575.42) is still at four and David ‘Doc’ Sands keeps hold of fifth on 2,533.47.

Erik Seidel Sixth as Top 10 Stays Identical

Then comes Las Vegas-based Seidel, followed by Canadian Sorel Mizzi in seventh on 2,427.21 points, American Steve O’Dwyer (2,381.88) in eighth, ninth-placed Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst (2,368.63), of Brooklyn, and Long Island’s Andrew ‘luckychewy’ Lichtenberger in 10th on 2,348.38.

Thereafter, 11th place is retained by Florida’s Noah Schwartz on 2,322.72 points, followed by Ontario’s Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald (12th on 2,305.99), Toronto’s Matt Marafioti (13th on 2,270.91), English Lock Poker Pro Elite member Chris Moorman (14th on 2,261.00), New Jersey’s Chris Klodnicki (15th on 2,251.00) and New York State’s Will ‘The Thrill’ Failla (16th on 2,234.78).

With just two events providing results for the latest GPI rankings list, there isn’t any movement inside the top 20 until reaching American Matt Waxman, who has climbed two spots to 17th on 2,200.88 points, leapfrogging Roger Hairabedian (2,158.00), of Marrakech, and Finnish pro Juha Helppi (2,173.56) – who fall one place each to 19th and 18th respectively.

Ageing Scores Hit Some Pros Hard

While the leading pros in the rankings didn’t make much movement, further down the list things are a bit different as ageing scores did produce a little turmoil for some well-known names – including Simon Ravnsbaek, Rob Akery, Tristan Clemencon and Marc Inizan.

Unfortunately, with two significant holidays approaching, early April will also be fairly quiet as far as major scoring events are concerned, with the PokerStars.it European Poker Tour (EPT) Campione main event the one notable exception for the next GPI 300 list.

Five players inside the top 200 of the GPI should certainly make big moves on the next rankings list after the conclusion of the latest EPT stop for the €5,000+€300 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event in Campione, where New York’s Olivier Busquet (35th on the GPI on 1,941.97 points) finished as runner-up to Danish pro Jannick Wrang.

The other four notable high finishers in Campione were third placed French Team Everest Poker Pro Fabrice Soulier (26th on 2,050.94), Scotsman David Vamplew (136th on 1,402.75), who exited in 10th, 31st placed American Todd Terry (56th on 1,712.07) and Swiss Ronny Kaiser (177th on 1,301.60) – who was eliminated in 22nd.

Matt Waxman Up Two Spots To 17th

Back to this latest GPI, though, and the tournaments supplying results were the $2,200 buy-in Battle at the Beach Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em event in Florida, and the R$9,600 Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) IV No-Limit Hold’em High Roller in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Florida’s Waxman climbed into 17th on the latest GPI after he took third place in the Battle at the Beach for $15,000 at the Isle Casino Pompano Park in Pompano Beach midway through March, so adding 51 points to his total after his third in last year’s Wynn Classic $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event – for $120,814 – aged into Period 3 and his 33rd for $32,560 in the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 buy-in main event dropped into Period 4.

Moving outside the top 20, Argentinian Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez climbed 74 places to 69th on 1,650.84 points after besting a 36-player line-up at the LAPT IV High Roller in Brazil for $71,717.

Leo Fernandez Zooms Into 69th

The Buenos Aires pro added 253 points to his total with that Period 1 score to make the biggest jump of the week, while Bulgarian Rumen Nanev – who finished fifth for $19,382 in the same event – has secured his first appearance on the GPI 300 in 270th on 1,082.15 points.

The Varna-based player was one of just two players to make their debuts, the other being Colombian Mayu Uribe Roca at 285th on 1,061.91 points, while three others –Team PokerStars Pro Jose Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Barbero (297th on 1,048.18), Dana Kellstrom (298th on 1,047.30) and Davidi Kitai (300th on 1,046.39) – returned to the GPI 300.

Agrentinian Barbero was last ranked on January 30, while American Kellstrom last appeared on January 2 and Belgian Kitai was previously on the list back on February 27.

The second biggest points gain belongs to Russian Dmitry Vitkind, who climbed 28 places in to 96th on 1,556.74 after picking up 88 points as three results aged positively.

Phil Hellmuth Now Just Outside Top 50

Meanwhile, 11-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth has shot up 12 spots into 51st on 1,748.27 points, although that is still some way behind his highest placing of 15th back on December 19 last year.

The 47-year-old from Wisconsin – who has not made a great start to 2012 – has seen his ranking drop steadily since as his fabulous set of results from last year’s WSOP have aged into Period 2.

However, Hellmuth picked up 65 points on the latest ranking to close in on the top 50 following his 19th place – for $7,712 – at last year’s Wynn Classic $5,100 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event ageing into Period 3.

Having had no results scoring in Period 3 and far too many to be included in the points scoring system in Period 2 – because of his amazing WSOP – that Wynn result has now been counted to give him his points boost.

Alexander Kravchenko Climbs 66 Places

Also among the biggest points movers were Moscow’s Alexander Kravchenko (up 66 points and 16 places to 59th on 1,693.96) – another Team PokerStars Pro – and Philadelphia’s Eric Froehlich (up 52 points and 26 places to 184th on 1,289.08).

Additionally, Italian Salvatore Bonavena moved up 20 places to 139th on 1,390.74 points, while Florida-based German Giuseppe Pantaleo (up 16 to 274th on 1,080.84) and Russell Carson (up 13 to 259th on 1,101.22) also enjoyed positive movement.

But, of course, five players dropped off the leading 300 – and they are New York State-based Frenchman Yorane Kerignard, Vegas-based duo Justin Bonomo and Dan Fleyshman, Louisville’s Brian Powell and Panama’s Bolivar Palacios.

While Hellmuth enjoyed a points boost as one of his events aged, others found that to be a problem as scores fell into lower-weighted periods with Ravnsbaek losing 184 points to fall 47 spots to 135th on 1,413.51 and Clemencon also dropping 47 places – and 184 points – to 130th on 1,434.14.

Simon Ravnsbaek Drops Down to 135th

Dane Ravnsbaek’s third place for $241,263 at last March’s €3,200 buy-in WPT Vienna No-Limit Hold’em main event and his 34th for $9,640 in the EPT Snowfest €3,500 buy-in NL Hold’em event in Hinterglemm aged into Period 3.

Frenchman Clemencon also saw several scores age to result in his drop, with his 19th place for $1,914 at the EPT Snowfest’s €1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event at the Alpine Palace Card Casino ageing into Period 3, his fifth place for $55,029 at September’s WPT Malta €3,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event falling into Period 2, and his 14th place for $10,751 at the WSOP Europe (WSOPE) £2,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha in London from September 2009 dropping into Period 6.

However, it was another French pro, Inizan, who suffered the biggest placings hit as he fell 55 spots to 192nd on 1,276.29 points after dropping 142 points when his 29th place in last year’s WPT Vienna main event for $14,701 slipped into Period 3 and his ninth place in the 2010 WSOPE £10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event for $107,609 aged into Period 4.

Pierre Neuville Falls 11 Places

The other big points fallers included German Pierre Neuville (down 152 points and 11 places to 46th on 1,808.45), Englishman Akery (down 150 points and 35 places to 137th on 1,397.91) and Vegas native Isaac Haxton (down 142 points and eight places to 52nd on 1,734.57).

Additionally, Belgian Lock Poker Pro Elite member Kevin Vandersmissen fell 47 places to 252nd on 1,114.69 points, while Italian PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano (down 41 to 181st on 1,295.11), another Belgian, Koen De Visscher (down 39 to 224th on 1,173.76) – who took fifth for $162,641 in the EPT Campione main event – German Andreas Wiese (down 37 to 265th on 1,091.40) and Australian Daniel Neilson (down 31 to 261st on 1,100.38) also saw significant falls

The Global Poker Index Top 10

1. Jason Mercier (USA) – 2,980.42 (no change)

2. Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (France) – 2,845.12 (no change)

3. Shawn Buchanan (Canada) – 2,751.42 (no change)

4. Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) – 2,575.42 (no change)

5. David ‘Doc’ Sands (USA) – 2,533.47 (no change)

6. Erik Seidel (USA) – 2,510.57 (no change)

7. Sorel Mizzi (Canada) – 2,427.21 (no change)

8. Steve O’Dwyer (USA) – 2,381.88 (no change)

9. Vanessa Selbst (USA) – 2,368.63 (no change)

10. Andrew ‘luckychewy’ Lichtenberger (USA) – 2,348.38 (no change)