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Global Poker Index: Byron Kaverman Ends Year Atop POY, Begins 2016 Overall Leader

Byron Kaverman


  • Byron Kaverman ends 2015 with a nine-week streak leading the 2015 @GPI Player of the Year race.

  • Kaverman will start 2016 as the top-ranked tournament player in the world, according to the @GPI.

Each week, the Global Poker Index releases a list of the top tournament poker players in the world using a formula that takes into account a player’s results over six half-year periods. For a look at the entire list, visit the official GPI website. Here’s a look at the rankings as of December 30, 2015.

2015 GPI Player of the Year

RankPlayerGPI ScoreChange
1Byron Kaverman4736.90-
2Anthony Zinno4649.05-
3Steve O’Dwyer4640.17-
4Nicholas Petrangelo4605.26-
5Fedor Holz4260.13-
6Dzmitry Urbanovich4233.71-
7Jason Mercier4175.44-
8Connor Drinan3996.08-
9Scott Seiver3887.88-
10Erik Seidel3875.60-

No tournaments from the last week of 2015 affected the top of the Global Poker Index Player of the Year rankings, as Byron Kaverman stayed at No. 1 for a ninth-straight week to round out the year. Kaverman earned just under $3.5 million in tournaments during the year, a little more than half of his career total.

We’ll await the official announcement from the Global Poker Index regarding the 2015 POY, but for now it appears safe to regard Kaverman the 2015 GPI POY. He joins past GPI POY winners Dan Smith (2012), Ole Schemion (2013), and Daniel Colman (2014). Incidentally, Smith finished No. 35 in this year's POY standings, Schemion ended at No. 115, and Colman at No. 934.

By winning the World Poker Tour Alpha8 Las Vegas event at the Bellagio, Fedor Holz moved up to end at No. 5 in the POY standings. Meanwhile players finishing the year sitting just outside this year’s GPI POY top 10 are Paul Volpe (No. 11), Dominik Nitsche (No. 12), and Stephen Chidwick (No. 13).

Among those finishing in the top 10, Anthony Zinno (No. 2), Dzmitry Urbanovich (No. 6), Connor Drinan (No. 8), and Scott Seiver (No. 9) all spent at least some time at No. 1 in the race this year, with Zinno spending 17 weeks at the top from July to November, the most time of anyone during the year.

Other players who spent at least a week at No. 1 in the 2015 POY standings included Joe Kuether (who finished No. 15), Thomas Muehloecker (who finished No. 32), and Ramin Hajiyev (who finished No. 34).

GPI 300 Top 10

RankPlayerGPI ScoreChange
1Byron Kaverman4238.54-
2Steve O’Dwyer3977.73+2
3Anthony Zinno3955.44-1
4Nicholas Petrangelo3955.15+1
5Kevin MacPhee3766.17+1
6Jason Mercier3749.69-3
7Martin Finger3690.46-
8Bryn Kenney3667.33+1
9Fedor Holz3632.87+1
10Davidi Kitai3594.95-2

Even during a quiet week on the tournament circuit there’s always movement in the Global Poker Index overall rankings from week to week as the aging factor affects points rewarded for past results. Kaverman again remained the frontrunner in final overall GPI list of the year, making it 13 straight weeks at the top for him.

Steve O’Dwyer has moved up a couple of spots to No. 2 in the overall rankings, matching his highest-ever GPI ranking as he spent a single week at No. 2 back in June 2012. Like Kaverman, O’Dwyer wraps up a career year that saw him collect nearly $4.9 million in tournament winnings.

Welcome to the GPI Top 300

RankPlayerTotal Score
239Iliodoros Kamatakis1800.04
248Ben Palmer1781.45
249Walter Treccarichi1779.71
270Je Wook Oh1739.21
276Eric Blair1733.99
281Scott Baumstein1722.30
283Vojtech Ruzicka1714.97
284Kane Lai1714.19
285Josip Simunic1713.53
286JC Tran1711.79
287Simeon Naydenov1708.16
288Kimmo Kurko1703.79
291Felix Bleiker1694.31
293Michael Laake1692.49
295Joseph Couden1691.46
296Charles Chattha1691.43
298JC Alvarado1690.54
300David Tuthill1687.27

A large number of players moved up to be part of the overall top 300 in the last GPI list of the year, including some making their debuts on the list.

Iliodoros Kamatakis of Greece rounded out his year with a couple of cashes at the European Poker Tour Prague stop, including a fifth-place finish in the €10,300 High Roller won by Kenny Smaron. Those scores helped Kamatakis move up from No. 322 to No. 239 this week, his highest career ranking to date.

Others appearing in the GPI top 300 list for the first time include Walter Treccarichi (No. 249), Josip Simunic (No. 285), Felix Bleiker (No. 291), and Michael Laake (No. 293).

Biggest Gains

RankPlayerTotal GPI ScoreChange
172Justin Young1980.77+119
293Michael Laake1692.49+93
207Jens Lakemeier1899.82+88
239Iliodoros Kamatakis1800.04+83
249Walter Treccarichi1779.71+71

The upward moves of Kamatakis and Treccarichi got them both on the “biggest gains” list for the week, with Justin Young topping the list after moving up from No. 291 to No. 172.

Biggest Drops

RankPlayerTotal GPI ScoreChange
199Shaun Deeb1918.36-81
236Phil Hellmuth1804.60-71
206Ralph Porter1899.89-68
299Paul Hoefer1687.36-65
241Ravi Raghavan1798.69-65

Finally, among players still ranked inside the top 300 who endured the largest tumbles during the last week of 2015, Shaun Deeb and Phil Hellmuth head the list. Deeb’s highest career GPI ranking has been No. 72 (in May 2013), while Hellmuth’s peak was No. 4 (in December 2012).

What to Expect Next Week

While there won’t be a lot happening in time to affect next week’s GPI lists, one event that will certainly be earning some notice will be the World Poker Tour National Philippines Festival of Poker $200,000 Super High Roller that starts tomorrow at the Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila. Click here to read about the star-studded list of players who have already announced plans to participate in that one.

After that the tournament action will ramp up significantly with the start of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on January 6. And looking ahead a bit, the 2016 Aussie Millions begins January 13 and will continue through the last part of the month.

To view both the 2015 Player of the Year and GPI overall rankings in their entirety, visit the official GPI website. While you’re at it, follow the GPI on Twitter and its Facebook page.

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