Juha Helppi Storms Into Ninth Place on the GPI 300

Juha HelppiFinnish star Juha Helppi has broken into the top 10 of the Global Poker Index (GPI) 300 after climbing eights spots into ninth place on 2,328.50 points following a good showing at the recent European Poker Tour (EPT) Berlin.

The Helsinki pro – who won the inaugural Party Poker Premier League Poker title for $125,000 back in 2007 after seeing off former Full Tilt Pro Eddy Scharf, Phil Hellmuth, Liz Lieu, Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren and Ian Frazer at the final table in Maidstone, England – earned 152 points for finishing as runner-up in the €2,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Turbo event at the Spielbank Berlin for $29,493 in mid-April.

But it wasn’t just the 35-year-old Finn who benefited from EPT Berlin, with English Lock Poker Pro Team member Chris Moorman (2,273.09) climbing 13 spots into 12th on the GPI after adding 321 points to his score with his runner-up spot, for $189,824, to Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier in the €10,000 buy-in Eight-Max No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry event.

The London-based Frenchman added $301,992 for his success to close the gap on GPI leader Jason Mercier (2,934.67), of the USA, to just 24 points after upping his overall score by 192.21 to now sit on 2,910.67.

Jason Mercier’s Set To Lose Top Spot

Hollywood’s Mercier will see his 11-week stay at the top of the leaderboard come to an end when the next rankings list is revealed, however, with Grospellier’s third place finish for $819,878 at the PokerStars Grand Final €100,000 buy-in Super High Roller in Monte Carlo adding even more points to his tally.

Vegas-based pro Justin Bonomo, who took down the Super High Roller event for $2,165,217 will undoubtedly return to the GPI 300, while Germany’s Tobias Reinkemeier (second for $1,404,750) and 53rd-placed Canadian Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu (sixth for $409,279) will also break into the top 40 following their cashes.

Additionally, expect to see New York’s Tommy Vedes – who picked up $779,520 for winning the World Poker Tour (WPT) $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Championship event – improve on his 146th place on the rankings.

Now sitting on 1,352.84 points after a fall of 38 places, Vedes will be happy to climb back up on the next list.

Sorel Mizzi Reaches High Point in Third

Meanwhile, Canadian Sorel Mizzi gained four places to move into third on the rankings – his highest placing to date – after winning the WPT Vienna €9,700 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller event for $151,949 just a few weeks ago.

The Las Vegas-based pro added 311.2 points to his score to now hold 2,670.68, although the biggest winner was Belgian Davidi Kitai after he took down the EPT Berlin €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event for $930,816.

The 32-year-old from Antwerp – who became the fifth player to complete the Triple Crown with his success – added 502 points to his total to now hold 1,644.16 for the biggest gain of any player on the latest list, as well as the largest placing jump of 167 spots to 64th.

Vegas-based Steve O’Dwyer finished third in the Vienna High Roller to climb one place into fifth on the GPI with 2,385.82 points, while Canadian Shawn Buchanan (sixth on 2,366.96) dropped 49.23 points and one place into sixth.

David ‘Doc’ Sands Falls Four Spots

Montana’s David ‘Doc’ Sands fell four places into seventh place after losing 200.96 points to now hold 2,343.88, Ontario’s Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald added 26.85 but remained in eighth on 2,332.84, and Quebec’s Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel fell one spot into 10th on 2,288.28.

Long Island’s Andrew Lichtenberger (2,278.62) was the man to make way in the top 10 for Helppi as he lost three places to now sit at 13th after losing 6.62 points.

Two other players, Canadian Andrew Chen and German Mario Puccini, also made that final table in Berlin to shoot up the rankings.

Ontario’s Chen (1,814.76) added 449 points – the second biggest of the week – to his score to climb 97 places into 38th with his runner-up finish for $801,391, while Hamburg’s Puccini (1,174.39), who collected $287,612 for finishing fourth, finally made his GPI 300 debut at 218th.

Marvin Rettenmaier Into 26th

Sticking with Berlin, it wasn’t just Brighton’s Moorman and Team PokerStars Pro Grospellier who made big gains from the Eight-Max Re-Entry tournament, as home player Marvin Rettenmaier (2,005.30 points) climbed eights spots into 26th after taking third place for $112,169.

The Stuttgart pro also pocketed $34,194 for taking fifth place in the WPT Vienna event won by Mizzi to help his overall score.

Another German, Hamburg’s Reinkemeier – who earned $60,398 for taking fifth in the EPT Berlin Eight-Max Re-Entry – leapt 60 places into 78th after adding 233 points to his score for a 1,574.12 total.

London-based Swede Martin Jacobson took eighth place in that same event to move up 10 places into 18th on 2,186.10 points for a return to the top 20 after dropping out in February, while California’s Bryn Kenney (2,261.77 points) moved up one place into 14th following his runner-up finish in the €2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event for $98,049.

Frederick Brink Jensen Climbs 39 Places

Denmark’s Frederick Brink Jensen managed seventh place for $22,878 in that same tournament to move up 39 places into 103rd on 1,510.47 points, while Japan’s Kunimaro Kojo (1,295.08) added 126 points to his total to climb 39 places into 170th, and the Czech Republic’s Martin Staszko (1,369.69) exited in 29th for $5,883 and a 32-spot leap into 142nd on the GPI when adding 107 points to his score.

The other most notable climbers were Ukrainian Yevgeniy Timoshenko (up 133 places to 93rd on 1,533.66 points), German Sebastian Winkler (up 117 to 181st on 1,267.72), West Virginia’s Kenny Hicks (up 116 to 163rd on 1,303.23), Russian Andrey Zaichenko (up 116 to 150th on 1,339.10), the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Vinklarek (up 107 to 151st on 1,329.63), Germany’s Heinz Kamutzki (up 100 to 117th on 1,459.51), Californian Taylor Paur (up 79 to 143rd on 1,367.84) and Orlando’s Tristan Wade (up 76 to 137th on 1,386.46).

Konstantin Tolokno Makes GPI Debut At 256th

Puccini wasn’t the only player to debut on the GPI 300, however, with six more new entrants breaking in. Russian Konstantin Tolokno debuts at 256th on 1,100.78 points following his second place – for $255,412 – at the WPT Vienna €3,200 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event, while Germany’s Marko Neumann took 13th in the same tournament for $15,559 and a debut at 245th on 1,117.61 points.

The other four debutants were American Paul Lieu (at 262nd on 1,095.41 points), Latvia’s Agris Klaise (268th on 1,084.59), German Torsten Brinkman (279th on 1,060.83) and Jasper Wetemans (284th on 1,048.01), of the Netherlands.

A quartet of pros also returned to the GPI 300, with American Kevin Iacofano (in at 215th on 1,180.42 points) and Canadian Will Molson (238th on 1,131.57) also cashing in the Berlin main event at 58th and 42nd respectively.

Germany’s former Full Tilt Pro, Fabian Quoss (228th on 1,148.89) – who picked up $8,498 for finishing 15th in the €2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em side event in Berlin – and Australian Grant Levy (267th on 1,084.63) also returned.

Tyler Bonkowski Exits Top 300

However, that means 11 players exited the top 300, with Nova Scotia’s Owen Crowe, Frenchman Yorane Kerignard, Florida’s Harrison Gimbel, Italian Cristiano ‘crisbus’ Guerra, London-based German Alexander Debus, Saskatchewan’s 888 poker Pro Team member Tyler Bonkowski, Parisian Manuel Bevand, Team PokerStars Pros Johnny Lodden, of Norway, and Vegas’ Chad Brown, Bulgaria’s Rumen Nanev and Sean Getzwiller, of Arizona, the unfortunate ones.

Meanwhile, there were 10 big fallers, including Vegas-based Michael Benvenuti, whose runner-up finish for $564,200 at the 2010 WPT Festa Al Lago $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Championship event at The Bellagio aged into Period 4, so seeing him fall 77 places – the most of any player on the GPI – into 253rd on 1,106.43 points.

The other nine significant fallers were Cincinnati’s Jake Bazeley (down 74 places to 282nd place on 1,052.89 points), The Hendon Mob’s Barny Boatman (down 73 to 265th on 1,086.84), Muscovite Vitaly Lunkin (down 70 to 204th on 1,201.23), Swede Michael Tureniec (down 65 to 210th on 1,188.08), Italian Mustapha Kanit (down 65 to 161st on 1,309.20), the Czech Republic’s Vojtech Ruzicka (down 54 to 195th on 1,222.91), Denmark’s Mickey Petersen (down 53 to 185th on 1,046.96), Georgia’s David Bach (down 53 to 166th on 1,299.49) and Parisian Jean Thorel (down 51 to 118th on 1,458.21).

The Global Poker Index Top 10

1. Jason Mercier (USA) – 2,934.67 (no change)

2. Bertrand Grospellier (France) – 2,910.67 (no change)

3. Sorel Mizzi (Canada) – 2,670.68 (up four places)

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

5. Stephen O’Dwyer (USA) – 2,385.82 (up one place)

6. Shawn Buchanan (Canada) – 2,366.96 (down one place)

7. David ‘Doc’ Sands (USA) – 2,343.88 (down four places)

8. Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald (Canada) – 2,332.84 (no change)

9. Juha Helppi (Finland) – 2,328.50 (up eight places)

10. Jonathan Duhamel (Canada) – 2,288.28 (down one place)