Global Poker Index: Ari Engel Gains Ground on Fedor Holz Near POY Finish
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 Dec. 7, 2016.
2016 GPI Player of the Year
Last week the top 10 of the 2016 Global Poker Index Player of the Year leaderboard remained entirely the same from two weeks ago, save the upward movement of one player — Ari Engel who had inched forward a spot. This week Engel is again the only player trending upward on the list, this time jumping from No. 7 to No. 4 to climb even closer to the top spot.
When the GPI POY standings for the year were first revealed during the late spring, Engel was ranked No. 1 thanks to a hot start to 2016 that included a victory in the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship Main Event (worth AU$1,600,000), his earning an eighth career World Series of Poker Circuit ring at Harrah's Atlantic City, plus numerous other final tables.
However Fedor Holz rushed past Engel soon thereafter and has remained in the top spot ever since, with this marking his 26th-straight week at No. 1. Holz's year has included numerous highlights, among them no less than four seven-figure scores for winning the World Poker Tour National Triton Super High Roller, the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller, and the World Series of Poker High Roller for One Drop, as well as for his runner-up finish in the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl.
GPI 300 Top 10
Those big scores plus numerous other cashes have kept Holz atop the overall GPI rankings for the last half-year as well, as this marks 26 weeks at the top for him on this list, too — the longest streak at No. 1 for any player in the GPI's history.
Similar to the POY top 10, the overall top 10 also finds the same players all returning for another week, with just one of them making a decent jump upwards — in this case, former top-ranked player Dan Smith who moved up from No. 10 to No. 5.
Smith won the WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic three years ago, and this week he again enjoyed success at the Bellagio as he won a $5,200 buy-in event, topping 171 entries to earn a $257,097 first prize.
Welcome to the GPI Top 300
There are a dozen newcomers in this week's GPI top 300 this week, with Bill Klein the highest-ranked among the group after ascending from No. 306 to No. 202.
Klein has been collecting cashes in those ARIA High Roller events all year — he has five of them in 2016 in the $25,000 buy-in events, and another one in a $50,000 event. Last weekend he took fourth in another $25K , a 43-entry event won by Jack Salter.
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Klein makes it onto this week's "Biggest Gains" top five as well this week, a list headed by Vineet Pahuja who went all of the way from No. 438 to No. 264. Pahuja made his move thanks to a third-place finish in the 968-player World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah's Cherokee Main Event won by Bradford Albrinck.
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Finally, looking solely at players still within the GPI top 300, Jeff Rossiter endured the steepest tumble after falling from No. 162 a week ago to No. 232 this week.
What to Expect Next Week
At the moment, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic series at the Bellagio has most of the attention, with its Main Event entering a third day today.
Meanwhile over the next week the poker world's focus moves back over to the Czech Republic for the European Poker Tour Prague festival, a 12-day, 100-plus event series that kicks off tomorrow off at the Hilton Prague Hotel.
The PokerNews live reporting team will be on hand at EPT Prague to cover numerous events, including the €50,000 Super High Roller, the €25,500 Single Day High Roller, the €10,300 High Roller, and the €5,300 Main Event.