French superstar Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier has made the most significant move on the Global Poker Index (GPI) Player of the Year standings by climbing 12 places into 14th.
The London-based Team PokerStars Pro how holds 263.32 points – just 23.77 behind 10th placed Mexican Jose Manuel Nadal (287.09) – after enjoying a profitable March, when he secured two final table slots.
Grospellier zoomed up 49 places last week, before adding another 45.42 points this week to continue his charge towards the top 10.
The one-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner pocketed $17,482 after finishing third in the €2,700 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller event at the France Poker Series (FPS) Snowfest at Casino Evian in the Rhone-Alps after also earning $35,945 for filling fourth place in the €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Rebuy tournament during the European Poker Tour (EPT) Madrid.
Additionally, the 31-year-old won $11,938 for taking 61st spot in the €5,000 No-Limit Hold’em main event of the EPT Campione in Italy just two weeks.
Jonathan Duhamel Still On Top
However, the top 10 remained unchanged on the GPI PoY standings, with Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel (595.68 points) maintaining his healthy lead over fellow Canadian Erik Cajelais (342.88) in second place.
French rapper Bruno ‘Kool Shen’ Lopes (third on 337.28 points), Toronto’s Eui Woong Kim (fourth on 327.08), American duo Noah Schwartz (fifth on 326.06) and Faraz Jaka (sixth on 308.35), Montreal’s Sam Chartier (seventh on 305.80), Australian Oliver Speidel (eighth on 300.53), States star Steven O’Dwyer (ninth on 290.18) and Nadal round out the top 10.
Duhamel – who has enjoyed a fantastic start to 2012 – took hold of the GPI PoY top spot back in January and has refused to release his grip since, with the number one pro’s huge 252.8-point lead over fellow Quebec native Cajelais actually greater than the latter’s 237.25 advantage over Argentinian Jose Ignacio Barbero in 300th place.
Canadian Unlikely to Lose Lead Any Time Soon
It is also very likely that the 24-year-old Canadian will retain his place atop the leaderboard until at least the 43rd staging of the WSOP is completed in Las Vegas this summer – mainly because the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino series contains a high proportion of big buy-ins and huge fields.
However, even if Cajelais were to win a $10,000 buy-in tournament with 400 entrants, Duhamel would still retain his place at the top of the PoY standings.
The leader managed to cash four times – for a $1,205,970 total – in January’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), starting with a fourth place for $313,600 in the $100,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Super High Roller, which he followed up with a fifth for $17,990 in the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Turbo.
But it got even better for Duhamel in the PCA as he then pocketed $239,830 for victory in the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max event, before completing his extremely profitable journey to Paradise Island with a runner-up finish for $634,550 in the $25,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Eight-Max High Roller.
PoY Leader Way Ahead of the Pack
Thereafter, the French-Canadian took eighth place for $18,281 in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Deauville €2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em side event at the start of February, and followed that up with another second place in the LA Poker Classic (LAPC) $5,100 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event a few weeks later and 13th place in the $9,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Championship Bounty tournament during the World Poker Tour (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Stars in San Jose early last month for $25,620.
As the PoY chase only counts six cashes during the first half of the year and five thereafter, Duhamel is the sole contender to have a result excluded, with his Bay 101 cash knocking out his fourth place in the PCA Super High Roller.
Cajelais, meanwhile, gained the second spot on the PoY rankings early last month after his fourth place for $256,300 at the Bay 101 Bounty tournament was added to his earlier trio of cashes in January.
The Canuck picked up $37,500 for taking 43rd in the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event on Paradise Island, as well as third for $38,020 in the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight-Max tournament at the Atlantis Resort & Casino, before adding another $9,826 for 43rd in the $3,300 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Championship Event at the Borgata Winter Open in Atlantic City early in February.
Rajesh Vohra Climbs 235 Spots Into 110th
However, there was very little movement, besides Grospellier’s climb, inside the top 100 placings, although Florida’s Rajesh Vohra – who took fourth place for $40,500 in last month’s $3,300 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event of the 2012 Battle of the Beach in Pompano Park – climbed an astonishing 235 places to sit in 110th on 154.16 points.
Other notable upwards movers outside the top 100 include Russian Yury Kerzhapkin (up 557 places to 123rd on 146.83 points), New York State’s Micah Raskin (up 247 to 146th on 138.06), New Jersey’s Eugene Fouksman (up 431 to 148th on 137.29), London’s Andrew Teng (up 191 to 230th on 115.99), Swiss Diego Zeiter (up 397 to 232nd on 115.65) and London-based Pole Michal Polchlopek (up 513 to 484th on 84.46).
Meanwhile, the highest new entry on the rankings list is New Hampshire’s Nick David at 431st on 89.79 points, while the other newcomers are Salem’s Charles Davis (at 548th on 79.31), Massachusetts quartet Ryan Methia (at 641st on 73.19), Chien Vo (at 733rd on 68.84), Paul Applebaum (at 811th on 65.47) and Brendan Wiley (at 862nd on 62.71), as well as London’s Guy Bowles (at 671st on 71.81), Australian Grant Levi (at 692nd on 70.72), Frenchman Albert Bernardo (at 770th on 67.09) and Vermont’s Nick Bennett (at 965th on 58.37).
Milestone Reached on Rankings
A landmark was also reached on the GPI PoY this month as Italian Federico Cipollini required 57 points to fill the last place on the 1,000-strong rankings table.
Now, with Arben Zenuni at 1,000th on 57.17 points, any player hoping to gain a place on the list will have to either secure multiple cashes or take down a $1,500 buy-in event with no less than 300 players registered to overtake the Swiss pro on the rankings that honours the player who collects the most impressive set of results during the calendar year.
You can find out more information on the Global Poker Index on our GPI page.
GPI Player of the Year Top 10
1. Jonathan Duhamel (Canada) – 595.68 (no change)
2. Erik Cajelais (Canada) – 342.88 (no change)
3. Bruno ‘Kool Shen’ Lopes (France) – 337.28 (no change)
4. Eui Woong Kim (Canada) – 327.08 (no change)
5. Noah Schwartz (USA) – 326.06 (no change)
6. Faraz Jaka (USA) – 308.35 (no change)
7. Sam Chartier (Canada) – 305.80 (no change)
8. Oliver Speidel (Australia) – 300.53 (no change)
9. Steven O’Dwyer (USA) – 290.18 (no change)
10. Jose Manuel Nadal (Mexico) – 287.09 (no change)