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Global Poker Index: Steve O’Dwyer Still On Top, Jason Mercier Moves Up to Second

Steve O'Dwyer (left) and Jason Mercier (right)


  • Steve O'Dwyer enjoys a second week as the top-ranked tournament player in the world.

  • Jason Mercier climbs to second place in the worldwide Global Poker Index.

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 January 20, 2016.

GPI Player of the Year

The Global Poker Index has already begun tabulating totals for the 2016 GPI Player of the Year as players collect their first cashes here in January. Soon in this space we’ll begin to share how that race is shaping up as the first contenders emerge to try to follow 2015’s winner Byron Kaverman as the next GPI POY.

Meanwhile, let’s examine this week’s overall rankings.

GPI 300 Top 10

RankPlayerGPI ScoreChange
1Steve O’Dwyer4172.11-
2Jason Mercier4044.06+3
3Nick Petrangelo4030.13-1
4Byron Kaverman4022.13-1
5Anthony Zinno3953.59-1
6Fedor Holz3872.02+1
7Bryn Kenney3861.26-1
8David Peters3714.78-
9Stephen Chidwick3662.81+6
10Kevin MacPhee3659.44-1

After taking over the lead in the GPI rankings for the first time last week, Steve O’Dwyer enjoyed a second week at No. 1 as there wasn’t a great deal of movement among those at the top.

There is a new No. 2 this week, however, as Jason Mercier charged up three spots from No. 5 to get back close to the lead once again. Mercier has been ranked No. 1 before in the GPI, most recently leading the rankings for 10 weeks from mid-July through September of last year. Mercier earned a couple of cashes at the recently completed PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, including a 20th-place finish in the Main Event won by Mike Watson.

Stephen Chidwick also moved up this week to reenter the top 10, going from No. 15 to No. 9 after also going deep the PCA Main Event where he finished 14th. Chidwick has continued his strong play as well, having just yesterday won the $2,500 8-Game Mixed Event at the 2016 Aussie Millions.

Welcome to the GPI Top 300

RankPlayerTotal Score
138Andy Philachack2182.93
187Chance Kornuth1956.71
209Alexander Lynsky1875.13
222Josh Beckley1836.48
225Andrey Zaichenko1832.13
227Anthony Gregg1827.54
260Matt Affleck1763.71
272Rocco Palumbo1728.02
274Dylan Linde1716.41
277Michael Rocco1708.86
284Craig Varnell1678.55
290David Nicholson1665.28
293Josip Simunic1661.90
295Greg Merson1655.34

Largely thanks to results from the PCA, there are 14 newcomers joining this week’s GPI top 300. That said, the top-ranked among this group, Andy Philachack, picked up points elsewhere by winning the World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw Main Event where he topped a huge 1,565-entry field to win a $393,188 first prize.

PCA Main Event runner-up Anthony Gregg is also among the latest top 300 list after moving up from No. 498 to No. 277. Gregg also finished second in the PCA Main Event in 2009, and finished sixth in the same event in 2012. Gregg’s previous highest GPI ranking was No. 85 in July 2013, just after he won the $111,111 One Drop High Roller at the 2013 World Series of Poker.

Biggest Gains

RankPlayerTotal GPI ScoreChange
222Josh Beckley1836.48+463
227Anthony Gregg1827.54+271
295Greg Merson1655.34+228
225Andrey Zaichenko1832.13+218
138Andy Philachack2182.93+200

Gregg was one of the biggest gainers this week, as was 2015 WSOP Main Event runner-up Josh Beckley after taking fourth-place in the $25,000 High Roller at the PCA won by Nick Maimone.

Greg Merson and Andrey Zaichenko also went deep in that $25K High Roller, with Merson making it to 13th and Zaichenko all of the way to sixth, thereby helping both players make big gains in the rankings this week as well.

Biggest Drops

RankPlayerTotal GPI ScoreChange
283David Vamplew1680.35-87
203Ivan Soshnikov1906.89-50
297Rajaee Wazwaz1653.99-28
299Vyacheslav Stoyanov1652.13-27
194Mihails Morozovs1935.82-24

Finally, among players still in the top 300 David Vamplew dropped the most this week after going from No. 196 to No. 283.

What to Expect Next Week

The focus has turned to Melbourne, Australia this week as the 2016 Aussie Millions is already well underway. The PokerNews live reporting team is providing comprehensive coverage of all of the events from the Aussie Millions, with the several high rollers and Main Event still to come.

Also worth keeping an eye on is the WSOP International Circuit Marrakech Main Event which kicked off today. Follow live updates from Morocco as well by clicking here.

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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