Steve O’Dwyer Moves Up To Fifth on Global Poker Index

Steve O'DwyerAmerican Steve O’Dwyer made the most notable move inside the top 10 of the Global Poker Index (GPI) 300, moving up three spots into fifth place, as the poker world took a well-earned break before thousands of players converge on Las Vegas for two massive festivals.

Of course, the 43rd World Series of Poker (WSOP) begins on Sunday, May 27, in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, but – even before event #1, the $500 buy-in Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em tournament, starts – the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship in The Bellagio will have ended just the day before the biggest poker tournament of all.

Having started on Saturday, the WPT World Championship also includes the three-day $100,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Super High Roller and the $25,500 buy-in Championship event.

Massive Las Vegas Festivals Will Shake Up Rankings

So, although the index is relatively quiet right now, it is more than likely we will see some huge changes in the rankings over the next few weeks – particularly with so many GPI-ranked players sure to be in Nevada until mid-July.

Returning to this latest ranking list, the calm before the storm comes as a result of very few new results being reported – although event ageing has caused some movement inside the top 20.

Incredibly, though, just one player, Florida’s Vitor Coelho – at 196th on 1,231.66 points – made their GPI 300 debut, and only half-a-dozen pros returned to the GPI 300.

Those six were Paul Berende (at 214th on 1,183.33 points), of the Netherlands, England’s Stuart Fox (274th on 1,074.68), Swede David Sonelin (296th on 1,041.11), former Full Tilt Pro David Pham (298th on 1,039.43), of California, London’s Max Silver (299th on 1,039.01) and Connor Drinan (300th on 1,038.97), of Illinois.

Brandon Cantu Drops Out of Top 300

That means seven players dropped off the GPI 300. They were North Dakota’s Tom McCormick – from Fargo, no less, for all you fans of the Cohen Brothers’ movies – as well as Vegas’ Michael Binger, Finland’s Markus Ristola, Frenchman Lucien Cohen, New York State’s Kyle Bowker, Danyel Boyaciyan, of the Netherlands, and Washington State’s Brandon Cantu.

French Triple Crown winner Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier remains at number one on the list for a third successive week, even though he lost 42.05 points to now hold 2,885.26. That drop would have been enough to see second placed American Jason Mercier take over at the top, had he not also lost 47.44 points to sit at 2,861.95.

Still, the gap between the top two is still small, standing at just 23.31 points as the busiest time of the poker calendar approaches.

David ‘Doc’ Sands Remains Third

A second American, David ‘Doc’ Sands, remains in third place behind the Team PokerStars Pro team-mates, having stayed steady at 2,581.70 points, while Canadian Sorel Mizzi lost 8.41 points to also see no change to his ranking in fourth place.

But Vegas-based O’Dwyer just squeaked inside the top five, enjoying the positive effects of ageing scores. The Pennsylvanian’s fifth place for $26,715 at the Five Star World Poker Classic $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event back in May of last year aged into Period 3 after not being counted in Period 2 on the previous list.

With four higher scoring events counting in that period, O’Dwyer’s performance in Vegas was excluded – only to then provide him with a 77.67-point boost as it joined two other Period 3 scores.

Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald Climbs Five Spots

Canadian Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald – like O’Dwyer – benefits from ageing scores to join the top 10 in ninth place after climbing five spots on to 2,332.42 points.

Ontario’s McDonald took fifth place in last May’s European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Turbo event in Madrid for $44,527 – and sees that score age into Period 3 for an 86-point boost to his overall score.

As with O’Dwyer, that result was excluded from his Period 2 score, but now joins just one other Period 3 result to see the 22-year-old climb back into the top 10 after a two-week absence at the expense of fellow Canadian – and Team PokerStars Pro – Daniel Negreanu, who falls one place into 11th on 2,280.75 points.

Ukrainian Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov (sixth on 2,439.03), American duo Dan Smith (seventh on 2,430.18) and Noah Schwartz (eighth on 2,414.38) and French-Canadian Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel (10th on 2,288.28) all see their points scores stay steady but drop one spot each respectively.

Bryn Kenney and Juha Helppi Drop Down

As with the top 10, there’s not a lot to report from places 11 to 20 as no new results counted for any of these players.

However, California’s Bryn Kenney and Finland’s Juha Helppi did lose ground after suffering the negative side of ageing scores.

Kenney dropped four spots and 71 points into 20th on 2,173.53 after his 47th place for $11,000 at the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) Los Angeles $4,750 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event back in mid-November 2010 fell into Period 4 but was excluded by the four-event cap, having previously counted in Period 3.

Helsinki’s Helppi, meanwhile, fell out of the top 20 completely as he dropped 10 places and 128 points to now sit at 23rd on 2,127.79.

Flying Finn Falls Out of Leading 20

Ageing events are also his enemy on this latest list as the 35-year-old sees two tournaments fall into lower periods. Helppi’s runner-up finish for $178,108 at last May’s EPT Grand Final €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max drops into Period 3 to cost him 114 points because of the lower multiplier employed.

If that wasn’t bad enough for the one-time WPT champion, that result also ensures that his fourth place for $21,348 at last April’s EPT Berlin €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max event is now excluded from Period 3 due to the capping system to knock off another 63 points.

Fortunately, the Finnish pro did lessen the blow slightly when picking up 49 points as his fourth place for $5,720 from last June’s Midnight Sun €1,000 buy-in Limit Seven-Card Stud event in his home town now counts in Period 2 after the EPT Grand Final result aged into Period 3.

Still, while it certainly wasn’t a good week for Helppi, New York’s Vanessa Selbst will be happy to secure her return to the top 20 at 19th following a week-long exclusion after climbing two spots, even though the Team PokerStars Pro remained on the same 2,190.06 points.

Matt Giannetti Finally Gets Going

Vegas-based Matt Giannetti – who enjoyed an incredible autumn last year with victory for $276,457 in the WPT Malta €3,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event, as we three more final table appearances – had started this year off slowly to see his ranking slip.

However, he has now moved up 68 places into 167th on 1,311.07 points with his first cash of 2012 – 22nd for $12,124 at the WPT Jacksonville $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event – providing last year’s WSOP main event fourth place finisher with 177 points for the third biggest climb and third largest points gain.

But the latest list’s biggest scorer and second most impressive place climb came from Italy’s Mustapha Kanit, who gained 297 points to move on to 1,670.48 with a 76-place move into 67th following his runner-up spot for $63,048 in the Italian Poker Tour (IPT) San Remo €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Event.

Kent Lundmark Records Biggest Climb

The biggest place gain, however, went to Sweden’s Kent Lundmark, who moved up 82 places into 134th after adding 222 points – the second biggest addition this list – for a 1,400.05 total following his second place finish for $129,287 at the Unibet Open Paris €1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event.

The other big movers were Russian trio Yury Gulyy (up 55 places to 204th on 1,200.94 points), Igor Kurganov (up 40 to 141st on 1,370.22) and Andrey Zaichenko (up 22 to 94th on 1,547.62), Sweden’s Anton Wigg (up 34 to 56th on 1,719.06), Serbian Ognjen Sekularac (up 24 to 102nd on 1,531.01), Romania’s Dan Murariu (up 22 to 222nd on 1,168.16) and Wisconsin’s former Full Tilt Pro Scott Clements (up 17 to 92nd on 1,565.72).

Rob Akery Hit By Largest Fall

Meanwhile, Englishman Rob Akery suffered the biggest drop after he slipped 72 places into 266th on 1,085.42 points when the Bristol player’s runner-up spot for $134,249 in a €2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em side event at last May’s EPT Grand Final fell into Period 3.

The other big fallers were San Francisco’s Galen Hall (down 54 places to 172nd on 1,304.82 points), Nevada duo Justin Young (down 44 to 177th on 1,296.44) and Eric Baldwin (down 37 to 277th on 1,072.13), Ohio trio Joe Ebanks (down 43 to 110th on 1,506.94), David Peters (down 37 to 64th on 1,698.18) and Keven Stammen (down 31 to 171st on 1,306.30), Florida’s Alex Venovski (down 39 to 189th on 1,254.00), Italian Jeff Lisandro (down 36 to 287th on 1,049.91) and Lebanon’s Nicolas Chouity (down 31 to 220th on 1,172.96).

The Global Poker Index Top 10

1. Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (France) – 2,885.26 (no change)

2. Jason Mercier (USA) – 2,861.95 (no change)

3. David ‘Doc’ Sands (USA) – 2,581.70 (no change)

4. Sorel Mizzi (Canada) – 2,545.25 (no change)

5. Steve O’Dwyer (USA) – 2,441.45 (up three places)

6. Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) – 2,439.03 (down one place)

7. Dan Smith (USA) – 2,430.18 (down one place)

8. Noah Schwartz (USA) – 2,414.38 (down one place)

9. Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald (Canada) – 2,332.42 (up five places)

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

Jonathan Duhamel Still Leads Player of Year Chase

Meanwhile, there is no change within the top 10 of the Player of the Year standings – meaning French-Canadian Jonathan Duhamel (595.68) maintains his 61.26-point lead over second placed American Dan Smith (534.42).

The most notable upwards movement came from San Jose’s Faraz Jaka, who climbed 18 places into 11th on 367.27 points, although Norwegian youngster Borge Dypvik shot up an impressive 68 spots into 29th on 311.92.

California’s Jaka enjoyed a good IPT San Remo stop at the start of the month, taking fourth place for $26,303 in the €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller and $1,577 after exiting in 16th during the €1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em side event.

Dypvik also did well in San Remo, pocketing $97,149 for winning the High Roller to secure his climb up the GPI PoY standings.

Scott Baumstein Up To 35th

Meanwhile, New Yorker Scott Baumstein gained 51 places to take over in 35th on 300.64 points, while other significant climbers were Igor Kurganov (up 48 to 43rd on 286.52), Andrea Dato (up 52 to 77th on 242.47), Carlo Savinelli (up 86 to 78th on 239.94), Mustapha Kanit (up 251 to 134th on 190.30), Darryll Fish (up 158 to 140th on 187.16), Allen Kessler (up 126 to 147th on 184.55), Zachary Clark (up 55 to 165th on 175.48), Joe Kuether (up 63 to 167th on 175.13), Alessandro Longobardi (up 266 to 172nd on 173.07), Fred Goldberg (up 279 to 189th on 165.13) and Paul Berende (up 118 to 196th on 162.60).

Frenchman David Lichentin flies in at 339th as the highest new entry on 124.10 points after picking up $39,390 for finishing sixth in the €1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event of the Unibet Open Paris
at the start of the month.

Forty-Two Newcomers to PoY Standings

There were 41 other newcomers to the rankings, and – in two groups – they are Anzor Makhtsev (in at 379th on 116.04 points), Vladimir Kochelaevskiy (415th on 111.90), Matthew Schulte (424th on 110.71), David Dean (435th on 108.70), Gianfranco Mazzariello (471st on 104.71), Kemal Sevevi (473rd on 104.52), Maurizio Coppola (485th on 103.57), Graeme Howard Putt (495th on 102.41), Davide Biscardi (524th on 100.31), Barry Hutter (528th on 99.82), Mehdi Sliti (529th on 99.74), Ruggiero Scommegna (531st on 99.41), Andrey Lutsenko (557th on 96.54), Mark Schmid (589th on 94.21), Brian Hastings (594th on 93.49), Antoine Saout (612th on 92.30), Barry Wiedemann (646th on 89.29), Muhamet Perati (647th on 89.18), Philippe Clerc (655th on 88.79) and Donato De Bonis (672nd on 87.83).

Will Nguyen Joins Leading Thousand

The next 21 are Ralph Robinson (693rd on 86.07), Tristan Bain (711th on 84.96), Carter Gill (713th on 84.87), Marco Bognanni (720th on 84.27), Shamil Malaev (723rd on 84.15), Jaroslaw Barglik (734th on 83.48), Rasim Cagiroglu (745th on 82.99), Jakub Michalak (757th on 82.05), Alexandre Viard (768th on 81.52), Daniele Amatruda (775th on 81.12), Sam Macdonald (777th on 80.97), Daniel Hardy (831st on 78.12), Hugo Borst (838th on 78.01), Will Nguyen (840th on 77.82), Mirko Di Tunnariello (857th on 77.27), Frank Calo (859th on 77.08), Hoang Do (895th on 75.16), Kent Lundmark (921st on 73.97), Christer Lagerstrom (929th on 73.56), Minh Phuc Nguyen (970th on 71.93) and Sergey Malyavko (979th on 71.75).

Things should be shaken up a bit more soon enough, however, as the WPT Championship is now in full swing at The Bellagio in Las Vegas, while the 43rd annual WSOP starts on the 27th at the Rio with the Casino Employees event.

GPI Player of the Year Top 10

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

2. Dan Smith (USA) – 534.42 (no change)

3. Andrew Badecker (USA) – 511.97 (no change)

4. Sam Chartier (Canada) – 478.70 (no change)

5. Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (France) – 454.84 (no change)

6. Noah Schwartz (USA) – 444.22 (no change)

7. Martin Jacobson (Sweden) – 412.23 (no change)

8. Vyacheslav Igin (Russia) – 382.19 (no change)

9. Justin Bonomo (USA) – 374.76 (no change)

10. Leonid Bilokur (Russia) – 374.39 (no change)