Matt Marafioti zooms into top 10 of Global Poker Index (GPI)

It’s been a good week for Canadian players on the Global Poker Index (GPI) with Matt Marafioti and Sorel Mizzi breaking into the top 10.

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Matt Marafioti in Top 10 of Global Poker IndexIt’s been a good week for Canadian players on the Global Poker Index (GPI) with Matt Marafioti and Sorel Mizzi breaking into the top 10.

While Las Vegas-based Sorel Mizzi (2,075.93 points) returned to the top 10 in ninth place after one week down at 14 in the rankings, Matt Marafioti (2,069.71 points) leapt up an impressive 35 spots from 45th to number 10.

Toronto’s Marafioti enjoyed a great week at the start of December, picking up $90,068 for his runner-up spot at the $5,000 buy-in Texas Hold’em poker event at the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Vegas on the third, before following that up with 15th place in the $10,000 buy-in main event three days later for $39,806.

Mizzi, meanwhile, saw his points total improve by 186.37 after he had dropped a huge 217.16 the week before after his ninth place finish from last year’s WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic moved into Period 3.

However, Mizzi – who left France with $338,225 for lifting the World Poker Tour (WPT) Rendez-Vous à Paris €15,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Event in September – broke back into the top 10 when one of his ageing Period 1 scores from this summer’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) boosted his Period 2 points.

Mizzi only had one result in that second period before this change, so giving his points total a much-needed improvement.

Soulier and Waxman Drop Out of Top 10

The duo exiting the top 10 were Frenchman Fabrice Soulier (2,019.80), who dropped down four spots to 13th when losing 10.85 points, and American Matt Waxman (2,014.06), whose points total fell by 38.17 to see him sit in 11th.

But American David Sands climbed five spots into 16th on 1919.89 points following his success at the $5,000 buy-in Texas Hold’em event at the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $158,644.

French star Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier – who returned to the top of the GPI last week after four months – remains on top with 2,501.75 points, although that is 32.7 down on last week.

American Erik Seidel is just 31.35 points back in second place on 2,470.40, while another States star in Jason Mercier (up 26.41 points to 2,441.73) and Ukrainian Eugene Katchalov (up 31.89 to 2,436.92) are nipping at the heels of the London-based Grospellier.

Mercier will most likely climb higher in the next GPI top 300 as he finished seventh at the just completed $20,000 main event #3 in the Epic Poker League (EPL) for $89,680 at the Palms Resort and Casino in Vegas.

That finish might not be enough to take Mercier to the top of the GPI rankings, but Seidel could well be knocked down to third.

Look out For Christian Harder to Make Big Move

Other players to look out for this week – as they will definitely move up the rankings – include Christian Harder, who sits down in 21st on 1852.38 points, 27th placed Joe Ebanks (on 1784.69), Nick Schulman (who climbed 69 spots this week to 28th on 1766.47), Dwyte Pilgrim (in 51st on 1607.35), and Chris De Maci (in 82nd on 1502.78).

Nottingham-based Sam Trickett (up 155.12 points to 2,320.02), meanwhile, moved up two spots to fifth after two qualifying results dropped into older periods, while American Sam Stein – whose points stayed the same at 2,317.85 – fell down a spot to sixth.

Incredibly, a third Canadian in Shawn Buchanan (2,313.16) sits in seventh spot, although he did drop one place while actually gaining 93.76 points after 25-year-old Trickett’s rise.

A second Englishman, Chris Moorman, remained in eighth place on 2,133.35, although he also picked up 81.78 points.

Andrew Lichtenberger Moves up to 55th

New York State’s Andrew Lichtenberger (on 1,580.99 points) showed the biggest climb in the latest rankings as he moved up 152 places to 55th following his fourth place – for $218,933 – at the main event of the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

With close to a third of cash finishers at the WPT event at The Bellagio already within the GPI’s top 300, 25 players saw their points totals increase, with Broolyn’s Vanessa Selbst moving up an noteworthy eight spots to 12th place on 2046.00 following her third-place finish.

Other notable climbers included Justin ‘Boosted J’ Smith, who moved up 108 places to 175th on 1,247.27 points after his 53rd place at the WPT event, as well as William Reynolds (up 100 places to 56th on 1,580.19 points after finishing 13th at the same event), Jason DeWitt (up 96 to 139th on 1,320.67 following his 28th place at the Brunson Five Diamond), Joe Cassidy (up 88 to 161st on 1,278.42), Amit Makhija (up 79 to 100th on 1,425.88), Vitaly Lunkin (up 70 to 154th for 1,292.87), Matt Stout (up 67 to 177th on 1,240.30), and David Steicke (up 63 to 97th on 1,434.88).

Additionally, following the WPT event, David Williams moved up 38 spots to 79th on 1507.79 points after finishing in 10th, while Tyler Reiman (up 51 to 77th on 1509.2 after ending in 17th), David Steicke (up 63 to 97th on 1434.88 dollowing his 19th place finish), Scott Clements (up 33 to 145th on 1310.77 after a 34th place), Randy Dorfman (up 35 to 75th on 1512.65 after cashing in 97th), and Will Molson (up 59 to 153rd on 1294.17 after exiting in 99th) also enjoyed positive moves.

Ali Eslami and Jesse Martin take big hits

Some big-name pros suffered huge drops, of course, including Los Angeles-based Ali Eslami and Jesse Martin, of Massachusetts, who both saw two WSOP cashes fall into Period 2 to leave them with just one result in the heavily-favoured Period 1.

Eslami fell 144 places to 292nd on 1,045.40 points, while Martin experienced an even greater fall of 152 spots to 294th on 1,043.64 points.

Other prominent fallers included Jeff Papola (down 94 to 296th on 1,041.99 points), Alessio Isaia (down 90 to 115th on 1,395.62), Jean-Philippe Rohr (down 86 to 259th on 1,093.45), Matt Matros (down 85 to 283rd on 1,061.07), Fabian Quoss (down 78 to 235th on 1,139.36), George Lind (down 71 to 267th on 1,076.19), and Jeff Lisandro (down 69 to 196th on 1,203.41).

James ‘Flushy’ Dempsey breaks into top 300

An impressive 17 players broke into the top 300, with one-time WSOP bracelet winner James ‘Flushy’ Dempsey (1,250.20 points), from England, making the biggest impact by taking the 173rd spot.

The Brighton native is ending this year in some style, having won the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic main event for $821,612 to add to his third place finish at the $5,000 buy-in preliminary tournament just a few days earlier for $56,782.

The other 16 new entries are Jesse Alexis Cohen (on 1,231.18 points for 182nd place), Anton Ionel (on 1,202.45 for 197th), Eric Baldwin (on 1,175.17 for 215th following his 63rd place at the WPT event), Brandon Cantu (on 1,139.83 for 234th), Maurizio Sepede (on 1,127.38 for 239th), Allen Cunningham (on 1,127.32 for 240th after cashing in 46th place at The Bellagio), David Diaz (on 1,120.66 for 244th), Alexander Debus (on 1,103.04 for 253rd following his 61st place finish at the WPT tournament), Lars Bonding (on 1,102.77 for 254th), David Chiu (on 1,097.16 for 257th), Justin Schwartz (on 1,088.13 for 261st), Koen De Visscher (on 1,078.57 for 264th), Kyle Loman (on 1,054.40 for 287th), Hans Winzeler (on 1,052.65 for 289th), Mohsin Charania (on 1,052.21 for 190th), and Isaac Haxton (on 1,039.52 for 297th).

Seventeen players fall out of rankings

The 17 players to drop out of the GPI’s top 300 were Youcef Benzerfa, Ville Haavisto, Vadim Kursevich, Tyler Smith, Tyler Kenney, Steve Landfish, Seth Fischer, Robert Suer, Richard Lyndaker, Nicolas Chouity, Mike Sexton, Mihails Morozovs, Michael Chow, John Duthie, James Calderaro, Chris Bjorin and Amnon Filippi.

However, New Yorker Filippi’s 12th place finish at the EPL main event for $50,920 should see him return to the top 300 this week.

Check back here every week for the latest developments on the GPI, or check our Global Poker Index page for more info.

The top 10 in the Global Poker Index (GPI) 300

1. Bertrand ‘ElkY Grospellier (France) – 2,501.75

2. Erik Seidel (USA) – 2,470.40

3. Jason Mercier (USA) – 2,441.73

4. Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) – 2,436.92

5. Sam Trickett (UK) – 2,320.02

6. Sam Stein (USA) – 2,317.85

7. Shawn Buchanan (Canada) – 2,313.16

8. Chris Moorman (UK) – 2,133.35

9. Sorel Mizzi (Canada) – 2,075.93

10. Matt Marafioti (Canada) – 2,069.71