English poker star Jake Cody made the most significant movement around the top 20 of the latest Global Poker Index (GPI) 300 rankings as the leading 10 remained unchanged.
The Triple Crown winner from Rochdale climbed four spots in the rankings after two weeks outside the top 20 to claim that final spot – just 5.24 points ahead of American John Eames, who sits in 21st on 2141.67.
Team PKR Poker Pro Cody – who burst on to the poker scene back in April of 2009 with sixth place in the £200 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event on the Manchester leg of that year’s Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) – holds 2,146.91 points after adding 22.33 from his 17th-place cash at the PokerStars Russian Poker Series Riga’s €1,850 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event in August of 2010 for $4,757.
Following his showing in Manchester, the 22-year-old Englishman won the European Poker Tour (EPT) Deauville main event in January 2010 for $1,213,194, before taking the World Poker Tour (WPT) main event title in London just seven months later to add another $425,492 to his growing live tournament winnings.
Team PKR Pro is a Star on the Rise
Cody continued his meteoric rise by becoming the youngest player to complete the Triple Crown when securing event #2, the $25,000 buy-in Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship, at last summer’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) for $851,192 on June 4.
That Riga score has now aged into Period 4 for Cody, but boosts his overall GPI total, resulting in him replacing Juha Helppi at 20th after the Finnish star fell 19 places to number 39 following the loss of 254.4 points.
Helppi has ‘enjoyed’ a rollercoaster past few weeks on the GPI, having climbed 18 places the week before to make the top 20 for the first time in three months.
The Helsinki star saw his points rise last week following his runner-up spot, which netted him $94,296, at the Euro Finals of Poker (EFOP) €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller event on January 29 in Paris.
However, two other scores aged into Period 2 on the latest rankings, so seeing Helppi’s total drop considerably.
Ageing Scores Hit Juha Helppi Hard
The Finn made it to successive EPT final tables in August last year, taking fifth place in Tallinn’s €5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Turbo tournament for $13,671, before following that up with sixth from the €2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event for $9,858 two days later.
But, while those events falling into Period 2 alone would not affect his overall total by that much, they have now joined four better scoring results to leave just two Period 1 scores for Helppi after he failed to add any replacement tournament placings recently.
The top 10 did not provide any thrills or spills this week, with no movement whatsoever to note. However, we had better record here what little there is to mention.
Erik Seidel Holds on to Top Spot
Therefore, it will come as no surprise to read that American Erik Seidel – an eight-time WSOP bracelet winner – held on to his number one spot on the GPI for a fourth successive week with 3,069.84 points.
The New York pro remained the same 83.77 points ahead of second-placed fellow American Jason Mercier as the previous week, with the Hollywood-based star staying put on 2,986.07.
The third spot on the rankings is still in the grasp of Frenchman Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier as the Triple Crown winner also neither gained nor lost points to sit at 2,839.23.
Ukrainian Eugene Katchalov (fourth on 2,760.52 points), Canadian ex-Team Full Tilt Poker Pro Shawn Buchanan (fifth on 2,672.49), English pro Sam Trickett (sixth on 2,436.82), American trio Will ‘The Thrill’ Failla (seventh on 2,429.74), Matt Waxman (eighth on 2,400.18) and Vanessa Selbst (ninth on 2,397.30), and Canadian Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald (10th on 2,337.53) complete the unchanged top 10.
Incredibly, just New York State’s Failla managed to add any points to his overall total – and the 44-year-old could only put on 6.52 with one score ageing slightly!
Stephen O’Dwyer Takes Over in 17th
As I also mentioned above, there wasn’t much going on through places 11 to 20 on the GPI 300 either, with just Las Vegas-based pro Stephen O’Dwyer (2,228.77 points) swapping places with Frenchman Roger Hairabedian (2,214.84).
O’Dwyer – the only other top 20 player to see any points change – moved up to 17th by adding 18.48 when his win, for $43,810, at the inaugural Epic Poker League (EPL) $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Pro-Am tournament in Vegas last August aged into Period 2.
The 29-year-old – who also pocketed $128,063 for his runner-up spot in last December’s €3,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event at the World Poker Tour (WPT) stop in Venice – has shown good longevity on the rankings, having remained inside the top 50 since leaping up to a high of 15th back in early October last year.
Toronto duo Matt Marafioti (2,295.53 points) and Sorel Mizzi (2,273.85) held on to places 11 and 12 respectively, while Sin City’s Samuel Stein (13th on 2,268.94), New Jersey’s Chris Klodnicki (14th on 2,264.34), Swedish star Martin Jacobson (15th on 2,258.73), Jonathan Duhamel (16th on 2,239.66), of Quebec, and Russian Alexander Dovzhenko (19th on 2,181.03) also retained their previous ranking spots.
Vadim Kursevich Enjoys Biggest Rise on List
However, while the leading places on the GPI provided little excitement following the earlier addition of points from last month’s Aussie Millions and PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), there was still plenty happening further down the rankings.
Belarussian Vadim Kursevich – who now has four scores in Period 1 – is the biggest climber of the week, zooming up 160 places to 79th on 1,635.44 points after adding an incredible 486.51 to his score following his $1,150,756 pay day for winning the EPT Deauville’s €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event last Monday.
The next biggest leap came from Russian Mikhail Lakhitov, who climbed the rankings by 147 places to 67th on 1,671.55 points by adding 476.75 to his score with 32nd place in the Deauville main event to follow the Muscovite’s seventh in the €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament that same week.
Lakhitov has been on a recent upward surge, having shot up 40 places on the previous week’s GPI from 254th.
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano Climbs 138 Places
Italian Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano, meanwhile, climbed 138 spots to 108th on 1,511.46 points for his highest ever GPI ranking, while two other most notable movers were Paul Berende (up 133 to 165th on 1,340.16), of the Netherlands, and Belgian Koen De Visscher (up 107 to 163rd on 1,357.67).
That trio also enjoyed deep runs in Deauville’s main event, with Pagano finishing in seventh for $144,666, Berende picking up $11,836 for 94th, and De Visscher pocketing $26,303 for taking 30th.
New York’s Andy Frankenberger – the WPT Legends of Poker $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event winner from 2010 – moved up 35 spots to 152nd by adding 139.7 points to take his total to 1385.43 following his 59th-place finish at the Borgata Winter Open’s $3,300 No-Limit Hold’em Championship event just 10 days ago.
Last year’s WPT Player of the Year certainly enjoyed a good 2011 when also picking up his first WSOP bracelet, as well as $599,153, for taking down event #28 – a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament – in Las Vegas.
However, Frankenberger needed those points gained from Atlantic City to creep back up the rankings after falling from a high of 77th back in late November.
Jeff Papola Zooms Up Rankings to 108th
But New Jersey’s Jeff Papola (1,385.54) was the biggest winner from the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa tournament, with his runner-up spot in the Championship event – for $315,837 – giving him an extra 265.6 points on his GPI to take him up 151 places to 108th for his highest ever placing.
Other notable movers included Ruben Visser (up 89 places to 78th on 1,638.31 points), Marc Inizan (up 89 to 112th on 1,498.70), Andrey Danilyuk (up 89 to 182nd on 1,283.74) and Guillaume Darcourt (up 72 to 197th on 1,256.40).
Fifteen pros either made their debuts or rejoined the top 300 this week, with American Brock Parker – who had dropped out of the rankings in mid-December – another player to perform well at Borgata.
The Maryland player gained his points – to take him to 1262.56 and 193rd place – by finishing seventh at the Championship for $84,223 after two days earlier pocketing $76,387 for winning the $1,650 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Bounty event. These set of results handed Parker his best ranking since early October.
Jacob Bazeley and Ray Qartomy Return to Top 300
Two other pros returning to the top 300 were Cincinnati’s Jacob Bazeley, who came in at 209th on 1,224.06 points, and Texan Ray Qartomy – who took the 254th spot on 1,135.18 – following good finishes in that same Championship tournament.
Bazeley finished in 32nd for $10,996, while Qartomy picked up $14,505 for taking 16th spot.
Germany’s Heinz Kamutzki returned at 116th on 1,329.54 points after exiting in 36th during the EPT Deauville main event to ensure that he now has four Period 1 scores, while David Sonelin (at 186th on 1,277.33 points), Kevin Vandersmissen (191st on 1,270.40), Mohsin Charania (229th on 1,181.40), Jan Bendik (260th on 1,128.69), Josh Brikis (271st in 1,107.62), Ognjen Sekularac (275th on 1,101.52), Anton Ionel (276th on 1,100.42) and Christophe Benzimra (279th on 1,096,43) also re-entered the top 300.
Three Newcomers Make Mark on GPI
The three debutants on the list are New York-based Frenchman Yorane Kerignard (at 251st on 1,142.08 points), Belgian Matthias De Meulder (278th on 1,087.76) and Bruno Lopes (285th on 1,091.21) – who is also from France.
All three did well in Deauville, with Kerignard taking fourth place in the main event for $341,939, De Meulder scoring victory for $178,860 in the €1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, and Lopes sneaking into the top 300 with a 73rd place exit in the main event following on from his success at the EFOP €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Diamond Championship for $127,514 in Paris a few days earlier.
With 15 players coming in, that means 15 more had to make way as Tennessee’s David Daiz suffered the biggest fall from grace after last week holding the number 212 spot on the rankings.
The others dropping out were Vojtech Ruzicka (from 230th), Nicolas Cardyn (from 231st), Jani Sointula (from 231st), Tamas Lendvai (from 254th), Jose Ignacio Barbero (from 262nd), Jon Spinks (from 290th), Yuliyan Nikolaev Kolev (from 291st), Maksim Kolosov (from 292nd), Stephen Chidwick (from 293rd), Daniel Shak (from 294th), Mark Radoja (from 296th), Will Molson (from 297th), Jason Wheeler (from 299th) and New Hartford’s Kevin Calenzo (from 300th) – who picked up a cheque for $197,451 after winning the WSOP Circuit Caesar’s Palace $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event back on January 30.
Jason Wheeler Set to Bounce Back
However, with Wheeler taking seventh place and $33,683 at the WPT Venice main event – which was won by Russian Rinat Bogdanov – the Californian will almost certainly return to the GPI after just one week outside.
Additionally, look out for Italy’s Andrea Dato (1092.17 points) to move up the rankings from his current position of 283rd – a fall of eight places – after he finished third for $95,003 in that same event, while Denmark’s Simon Ravnsbaek (1259.03), who fell 12 spots this week, should also enjoy a solid rise from 195th after his fourth-place finish for $69,095.
Rome’s Nicolo Calia (1,124.22 points) suffered the most spectacular drop of the week as he fell 73 places to 262nd – mainly due to his 43rd place in last year’s WPT Venice main event ageing in to Period 3 and the fact has no Period 1 scores.
Latvian Mihails Morozovs fell 72 spots to 290th on 1,088.51 points, while Ronny Kaiser (down 72 to 288th on 1,090.39), Jesse Alexis Cohen (down 50 to 253rd on 1,136.13), Sami Kelopuro (down 45 to 235th on 1,171.28), Cristiano Guerra (down 44 to 270th on 1,108.87), Daniel Chevalier (down 34 to 198th on 1,251.79), David Vamplew (down 34 to 188th on 1,273.15), Gavin Smith (down 28 to 106th on 1,513.54) and Joe Ebanks (down 25 to 82nd on 1,617.24) also all suffered significant drops on the rankings list.
The Global Poker Index Top 10
1. Erik Seidel (USA) – 3,069.84 (no change)
2. Jason Mercier (USA) – 2,986.07 (no change)
3. Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (France) – 2,839.23 (no change)
4. Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) – 2,760.52 (no change)
5. Shawn Buchanan (Canada) – 2,672.49 (no change)
6. Sam Trickett (UK) – 2,436.82 (no change)
7. Will ‘The Thrill’ Failla (USA) – 2,423.22 (no change)
8. Matt Waxman (USA) – 2,400.18 (no change)
9. Vanessa Selbst (USA) – 2,397.30 (no change)
10. Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald (Canada) – 2,337.53 (no change)