Jason Mercier Leads New Poker Rankings System

Jason MercierEpic Poker League creators Federated Sports and Gaming have come up with poker’s first ranking system after launching the Global Poker Index (GPI).

The “revolutionary” new system ranks and follows the performance of 300 of the world’s leading poker players, giving points for performances in eligible events, with scores decided by a “combination of finishing-place, buy-in and aging factors for each tournament in which the player records a result”.

Epic Poker League commissioner Annie Duke reckons “this system is revolutionary for poker and will provide a clear-cut, statistically definitive means for comparing the live tournament accomplishments of top players”.

Duke – who won a bracelet in the 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP) $2,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Event – felt there was a desperate need for this ranking system, pointing out that “many of the world’s best players are not well known outside of the avid fan base”.

The 45-year-old added that “the Global Poker Index will not only create excitement around the rankings of the more established players, but will also put a focus on a new generation of young players”.

Probably the most important result of this new system is that it will be utilised to determine the seedings for the heads-up section in the upcoming Epic Poker League.

Of course, no system is perfect, but there can be little argument to see Hollywood’s Jason Mercier and Frenchman Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier top the table right now.

The GPI employs a system to provide a score that relies on each player’s top results (by field size, buy-in, and freshness of results within a three-year period), and this latest ranking sees Ukrainian Eugene Katchalov in third, Sam Stein, of Los Angeles, in fourth and Frenchman Fabrice Soulier sitting in fifth place.

New York-based Katchalov, who had been ranked an No.1 when the WSOP began on May 31 in Las Vegas, solidified his place in the GPI with his $1,500 Seven-Card Stud win, although that wasn’t enough to stop Mercier from taking top spot.

Team PokerStars Pro Mercier took over at the top of the GPI after cashing five times at this WSOP. He has make two final tables and won his second bracelet in the $5,000 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha event.

London-based Parisian Grospellier moved above Katchalov after picking up his first WSOP bracelet from the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship, as well as a third place finish in the $10,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship.

Meanwhile, Nevada-based Stein – who has not yet accumulated three years of live event results – blasted into the top five after winning the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event and finishing third in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship at this summer’s WSOP, while Avignon’s Soulier moved into fifth on the GPI by winning the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship.

Of the pre-WSOP top five, Vegas-based Erik Seidel – who has recorded five cashes with 13th his best from the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship – dropped 16 places to 18th, while Indian-American Vivek Rajkumar, who gave this year’s WSOP a miss, fell from fifth to 14th.

There will certainly be more than a few players to keep an eye on over the next few months, including 25th-placed Englishman Jake Cody, who became the youngest player ever to win poker’s triple crown following his triumph at the WSOP $25,000 Heads-Up Championship.

Another Vegas pro, Eric Froehlich, has quietly earned $531,594 at this WSOP to rise five places to 39th, while online stars Mike Sowers (41st), of North Carolina, and David Sands (44th) – also from Sin City – have posted strong live results to move up 34 and 33 places respectively.

But Wisconsin superstar Phil Hellmuth, who has recorded three runner-up spots at this WSOP to fall just short of a record-breaking 12th gold bracelet, has blasted up the rankings from 187th to 29th.

Another player faring well is Canadian star Daniel Negreanu, although he has dropped from sixth place to 12th in the rankings, while Juha Helppi, of Finland, has moved up two spots to 15th, Erik Seidel, of Vegas, sits in 18th, Englishman Sam Trickett holds the 24th place, and Irish-born American Phil ‘The Unabomber’ Laak has shot up 107 places to 68th.

Top 10 Global Poker Index (GPI) rankings and points accumulated:

1. Jason Mercier (USA) – 2459.89

2. Bertrand Grospellier (France) – 2446.83

3. Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) – 2350.38

4. Sam Stein (USA) – 2157.85

5. Fabrice Soulier (France) – 2133.87

6. Sorel Mizzi (Canada) – 2097.41

7. Tom Marchese (USA) – 2023.70

8. Tobias Reinkemeier (Germany) – 2017.54

9. John Juanda (Indonesia) – 2013.63

10. Vanessa Selbst (USA) – 2011.05

You can see the top 300 at Global Poker Index.