The World Series of Poker didn’t feel quite right last year without the presence of Phil Ivey – but he’s returned with a bang for the 43rd staging of the festival.
The 36-year-old former Full Tilt Poker Pro has already recorded three final table finishes at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas – with the first two of those scores sending the superstar zooming back into the top 100 on the Global Poker Index (GPI) 300.
In fact, Ivey – who picked up $34,595 for seventh in the $5,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Split-8 or Better event #15, before adding $275,559 when exiting as the runner-up to Andy Frankenberger in the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em event #17 – stormed back in at 90th on the GPI with 1,620.70 points.
Eight-Time Bracelet Winner On The Up
If that wasn’t impressive enough, the eight-time WSOP bracelet winner will climb even higher – possibly into the top 30 – when the next rankings list is revealed after Ivey also pocketed $136,046 for third spot in the $5,000 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo Split-8 or Better event #24.
Ivey also finished in fifth for $99,739 during the $10,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event #32, so will continue his incredible rise up the rankings over the next few weeks.
Interestingly, Frankenberger, who earned $445,899 for his WSOP success, has climbed 75 spots into 64th place on 1,765.87, although he is not even close to being the highest mover – with Alex Venovski, who picked up $147,345 for exiting fourth in event #17, shooting up 138 places into 76th on 1,692.84.
Phil Hellmuth’s Rio Show Produces Boost
Phil Hellmuth, meanwhile, climbed 19 spots to make 20th on 2135.55 points after enjoying a fantastic first few weeks at the WSOP. The 47-year-old from Wisconsin had already made the money in three events before he added a record-setting 12th gold bracelet – as well as $182,793 – to his collection by winning the $2,500 buy-in Seven-Card Razz event #18.
Hellmuth – who now lives in Palo Alto in California – had dropped down to 63rd on the GPI before the World Series kicked off in Vegas, but his stellar displays have given his Period 1 score a massive boost.
And, much like Ivey, ‘The Poker Brat’ will climb even higher up the rankings once his fourth place finish for $134,056 in event #32 is added to his Period 1 results.
Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier Still Top
But there wasn’t much movement inside the top 10 of the GPI, with Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (2,894.87 points) remaining on top for a seventh successive week to actually extend his lead over second placed fellow Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier (2,702.47) to 192.4 points.
The London-based Frenchman also finished sixth for $68,738 in the $3,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max event #23 at the Rio so will add some handy points to his Period 1 scores on the GPI to extend his lead even further over American Mercier.
John Monnette Zooms back Into Top 300
Ivey, though, is not the only player to return to GPI 300, with John Monnette re-entering at 123rd with 1,487.15 points as one of 24 newcomers. Also making their mark are the likes of Brian Hastings (171st on 1,323.95), Justin Schwartz (232nd on 1,166.93), Brandon Cantu (234th on 1,151.74), Max Pescatori (236th on 1,147.87), Brian Rast (251st on 1,123.58), Antonio Esfandiari (277th on 1,092.03), James Akenhead (291st on 1,058.55) and Humberto Brenes (292nd on 1,057.39).
Incidentally, California’s John Monnette – who has already bagged a bracelet by winning the $5,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud event #10 for $190,826 – took the runner-up spot in event #32 in the Rio for $279,206 and will also see his ranking shoot up again when his score for this tournament is added to Period 1.
Unfortunately, with so much movement further down the rankings, two dozen other pros have fallen off the rankings, including Barny Boatman, Daniel Alaei, Fabian Quoss, Randy Dorfman, Rob Akery, Tyler Bonkowski and Ted Lawson.
The Global Poker Index Top 10
1. Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (France) – 2,894.87 (no change)
2. Jason Mercier (USA) – 2,702.47 (no change)
3. Steve O’Dwyer (USA) – 2,611.89 (up one place)
4. Marvin Rettenmaier (Germany) – 2,554.67 (up one place)
5. Dan Smith (USA) – 2,487.81 (up one place)
6. David ‘Doc’ Sands (USA) – 2,471.19 (down three places)
7. Jonathan Duhamel (Canada) – 2,440.53 (no change)
8. Noah Schwartz (USA) – 2,440.23 (no change)
9. Sorel Mizzi (Canada) – 2,427.06 (no change)
10. Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) – 2,4,25.03 (up two places)