Jason Mercier on Cloud Nine After Taking Another GPI Record

Jason Mercier has set a new record for successive weeks at number one on the Global Poker Index (GPI) 300 rankings after remaining on top for a ninth week.

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Jason MercierAmerican poker star Jason Mercier has set a new record for successive weeks at number one on the Global Poker Index (GPI) 300 rankings after remaining on top for a ninth week.

The Team PokerStars Pro from Hollywood – who has 2,990.94 points – took over at the pinnacle on February 13 when replacing fellow States player Erik Seidel after the eight-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner had set the previous record at eight consecutive weeks on top during October and November of last year.

However, Las Vegas-based Seidel has since slipped to sixth place on 2,476.58 points as the top six spots on the GPI remain unchanged due to the Easter period slowing the poker calendar down, meaning just four events reported results for ranked players.

Mercier – who already holds the record for most weeks at number one – has increased his lead over second placed fellow Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (2,794.27) to 196.67 points, even though the Frenchman was one of just four ranked pros to post a new result for this latest rankings list.

Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier Stays Second

Triple Crown winner Grospellier took third place for $17,482 in the €2,700 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the France Poker Series (FPS) SnowFest in the Rhone-Alps, but actually lost 51 points.

How is this possible? Well, the 31-year-old’s latest cash can’t be added to his overall GPI score because he already has four higher scores counting towards his Period 1 allowance.

With that score excluded, the London-based Grospellier actually lost 51 points due to his fifth place for $70,803 at last October’s £10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max High Roller Turbo event at the European Poker Tour (EPT)/UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) London festival ageing into Period 2.

Even though the Frenchman hasn’t lost his grip of second spot, he now has just a 42.84-point lead over third placed Shawn Buchanan, who remains in third on 2,751.43 points.

Eugene Katchalov Unchanged in Fourth Place

Eugene Katchalov stayed fourth on 2,576.69 points, while American duo David Sands (2,533.47) and Seidel held on to fifth and sixth respectively.

There was, however, some notable movement in the bottom half of the top 10, with American duo Steve O’Dwyer (at seventh on 2,424.36) and Noah Schwartz (ninth on 2,322.72), as well as Canadian Mike McDonald (10th on 2,305.99), climbing three spots respectively to shove Brooklyn’s Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst down eight places to 17th and Fabrice Soulier down six to 13th.

The 27-year-old American and Team Everest Poker Pro Soulier suffered their falls due to ageing results, with the Frenchman losing 174 points mostly down to his 11th place for $51,235 at last April’s EPT Berlin €5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event dropping into Period 3.

Vanessa Selbst Falls Out of Top 10

Selbst, meanwhile, lost 149 points after seeing three results fall into lower periods – the two most significant coming from her back-to-back victories in the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) Mohegan Sun No-Limit Hold’em main event in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The one-time WSOP bracelet winner picked up $450,000 for her success in the $5,000 buy-in event last April, while she collected $750,000 from her victory back in 2010, when the buy-in was set at $4,700. But these incredible scores have now aged into Period 3 and Period 5 respectively to damage her GPI ranking.

Her third ageing cash – fourth place for $226,910 in the EPT London £20,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel in October of 2010 – fell into Period 4 to see Selbst exit the top 10 for the first time since the end of last year.

Steve O’Dwyer Up Three Places Into Seventh

Canadian Sorel Mizzi held on to eighth spot on 2,360.06 points, but Vegas-based O’Dwyer actually enjoyed the opposite effect to Selbst as his eighth place for $32,330 in last year’s Mohegan Sun main event aged into a vacant spot in Period 3 to boost his score.

The American’s steady progress up the rankings continued as that ageing score benefitted his Period 2 score, as well, as he still has the full complement of results in that level.

Just three pros – Englishman Andrew Teng (down 15 places 245th on 1,127.71 points), Canadian Mike Leah (new entry at 242nd on 1,132.54) and American Micah Raskin (up 11 to 146th on 1,365.26) – posted new results that count towards their overall scores.

Andrew Teng Hit By Ageing Scores

Incredibly, London’s Teng lost those places and 55 points after picking up $4,483 for finishing sixth at the Palm Beach Big Game £1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event at the start of this month, only to see his score suffer due to the ageing of two other earlier scores.

His seventh place for $27,539 at last April’s EPT Berlin €2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament aged into Period 3 while his ninth place for $9,233 at the EPT London £1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event dropped into Period 4 – resulting in his fall on the index.

Raskin, of New York State, and Quebec’s Leah, meanwhile, cashed at the Foxwoods Poker Classic $2,325 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Championship in Mashantucket, with the former taking 20th for $5,967 and the latter earning $11,603 in 11th place.

With those results counting towards their respective Period 1 scores, Leah was able to return to the GPI 300 for the first time since March 5, while Raskin climbed 11 spots into 146th.

Anton Wigg Enjoys Huge Points Gain

Similar to Selbst, Sweden’s Anton Wigg saw several of his scoring events age. However, unlike the New Yorker, the Stockholm star secured the biggest points gain of 144 to take him to 126th after zooming up 46 spots – the second largest on the index – to 1,445.56 points.

The Swede saw four results drop into lower periods, with his 11th place finish for $17,671 at last year’s WSOP Europe (WSOPE) €2,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max tournament in Cannes and his ninth place for $6,252 at the EPT/UKIPT £1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event in London ageing into Period 2.

However, as Wigg – who now has the full complement of Period 2 scores – had too many results for Period 1, he still holds the maximum four to boost his score significantly.

Additionally, with Wigg’s fourth place finish for $78,276 in the EPT Berlin €2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event from April last year ageing into Period 3 and his runner-up spot for $8,310 in the EPT London £300 buy-in No-Limit Turbo tournament back in October of 2010 falling to Period 6, he has enjoyed a notable climb up the rankings.

Casey Kastle Zooms Up 51 Spots

However, the most impressive movement was made by Slovenia’s Casey Kastle, with his ninth place for $23,765 in last year’s WSOPE €2,500 buy-in Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em dropping into Period 2 to give that level a healthy boost through adding a second result.

The Ljublana pro – who still has four scores counting in Period 1 – shot up 51 places to 133rd by adding 122 points to now sit on 1,406.63.

Other notable climbers were Florida’s Raj Vohra (up 47 places to 211th on 1,203.47 points), German Thorsten Schafer (up 32 to 214th on 1,192.82), Englishman Jon Spinks (up 29 to 225th on 1,167.33), Colombian Mayu Uribe Roca (up 26 to 266th on 1,090.42), Germany’s Benny Spindler (up 26 to 164th on 1,310.95), Latvian Mihails Morozovs (up 23 to 215th on 1,189.86), England’s Stephen Chidwick (up 23 to 83rd on 1,574.07) and Frenchman Tristan Clemencon (up 21 to 108th on 1,494.95).

Marton Czuczor Falls 78 Places

Of course, many pros lost ground on the players around them, including young Hungarian Marton Czuczor, who was hardest hit when falling 78 places down to 288th on 1,060.63 points.

The Budapest native’s sixth place finish for $44,424 in the €2,500 buy-in Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em event at last October’s WSOPE fell into Period 2 to leave him with no Period 1 scores.

But the biggest points loser was German starlet Philipp Gruissem, who slumped 21 places to 50th on 1,786.65 after dropping a massive 219 points.

The Krefeld pro made a huge impact on poker in Europe last year when making six final tables, including victories in the €10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Single Reload event at August’s EPT Barcelona for $337,838 and the £20,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller for $703,657 at the EPT/UKIPT London event in early October.

Philipp Gruissem Drops to Edge of Top 50

Gruissem’s other four final table appearances saw him take fourth place or higher, but his third place for $95,355 at the EPT Berlin €10,000 buy-in Eight-Max Event has aged into Period 3 while his London success has dropped into Period 2 to leave him with just three results in Period 1.

Eleven-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth also suffered from ageing scores, with his seventh place for $32,305 in the same WSOPE event as Czuczor at Le Croisette Casino Barriere dropping into Period 2 to leave the 47-year-old with only one score in Period 1. As a result, Hellmuth loses 205 points and 39 places to now sit at 92nd on 1,543.63.

Vegas-based Dan Smith, meanwhile, lost 196 points to drop down 55 places to 166th on 1,304.60 after his fourth place for $95,967 in last year’s EPT London £10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max High Roller Turbo aged into Period 2 to knock out another score and leave him with a solitary result in the all-important Period 1,

Liv Boeree Down to 256th

Other players to see big falls included Sweden’s Per Linde (down 64 places to 282nd on 1,070.94 points), Pennsylvania’s Dan Shak (down 48 to 212th on 1,201.79), Toronto’s Peter Jetten (down 37 to 262nd on 1,098.57), Maryland’s Dan Kelly (down 37 to 208th on 1,205.64), Germany’s Khiem Nguyen (down 36 to 229th on 1,154.53), Californian Joseph Cheong (down 36 to 191st on 1,247.91), English Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree (down 34 to 256th on 1,111.57), Cincinnati’s Jake Bazeley (down 34 to 223rd on 1,171.00), Russian PokerStars regular Maksim Semisoshenko (down 33 to 280th 1,072.33), David Rheem (down 33 to 220th on 1,174.32), of Los Angeles, Frenchman Jean-Paul Pierre Pasqualini (down 33 to 163rd on 1,313.93), Nevada’s Eric Baldwin (down 32 to 240th on 1,136.57) and Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso (down 30 to 96th on 1,528.59), of Miami.

Just three players made their debuts on the latest GPI 300, with Vegas pro Brent Hanks (on 1,039.34 points) and Romanian Robert Cezarescu (1,064.16) appearing at 299th and 286th respectively to join previously-mentioned Canadian Leah.

But six pros did manage to rejoin the elite, including three big-name States players in Vegas-based Allen Cunningham, Washington State’s Brandon Cantu and California’s David Pham.

Allen Cunningham Returns to GPI at 297th

Five-time WSOP bracelet winner Cunningham returned to the rankings for the first time since January 9 at 297th on 1,042.10 points, while Vegas-based Cantu – a two-time WSOP winner – is back in at 296th on 1,042.54 after exiting at the same time as Cunningham.

Vietnamese-American Pham, who also has two WSOP gold bracelets to his name, returns at 298th on 1,039.43 points after last appearing on the GPI 300 late last month.

Also rejoining he leading pros were New York State-based Frenchman Yorane Kerignard (at 294th on 1,044.66 points), Finland’s Markus Ristola (295th on 1,043.34) and Connor Drinan (300th on 1,038.97), of Illinois.

Tyler Kenney Drops Off List

The nine players to drop out were Long Beach’s Tyler Kenney, Irishman Mike Graydon, Ontario’s Mark Radoja, Washington State’s Lee Markholt, Lithuanian Kristijonas Andrulis, Argentinian Team PokerStars Pro Jose Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Barbero, German Giuseppe Pantaleo, Uruguayan PokerStars regular Fabrizio Gonzalez and Andreas Wiese, of Germany.

While the live tournament schedule is light for now, the World Poker Tour (WPT) Vienna €3200+€300 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event finished yesterday with Denmark’s Morten Christensen taking the top prize of $410,519.

We can expect to see several other GPI ranked players making moves up the list, with 23rd placed Welshman Roberto Romanello (2,107.25 points) taking 10th place in Vienna, Wigg cashing in 11th, Orlando’s Tristan Wade (148th on 1,358.42) picking up 12th – all $16,898 – Connecticut’s Andrew Badecker (72nd on 1,615.72) finishing 14th for $15,300, Katchalov exiting in 19th and fellow Ukrainian Yevgeniy Timoshenko (233rd on 1,145.76) leaving in 22nd – both for $12,078 – New York’s Andy Frankenberger (143rd on 1,369.16 points) securing in 30th for $10,466 and Kastle falling in 32nd for the same amount.

The Global Poker Index Top 10

1. Jason Mercier (USA) – 2,990.94 (no change)

2. Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (France) – 2,794.27 (no change)

3. Shawn Buchanan (Canada) – 2,751.43 (no change)

4. Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) – 2,576.69 (no change)

5. David ‘Doc’ Sands (USA) – 2,533.47 (no change)

6. Erik Seidel (USA) – 2,476.58 (no change)

7. Stephen O’Dwyer (USA) – 2,424.36 (up three places)

8. Sorel Mizzi (Canada) – 2,360.06 (no change)

9. Noah Schwartz (USA) – 2,322.72 (up three places)

10. Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald (Canada) – 2,305.99 (up three places)