After a photo finish at December's Prague Poker Festival, Dan Smith edged out Marvin Rettenmaier to become the 2012 Global Poker Index Player of the Year, presented by PokerNews.
The final standings of 2012, released on Tuesday, revealed that Smith finished with 1,158 GPI POY points while Rettenmaier ended the year with 1,077. Rettenmaier closed the gap to 20 points in December with his victory at the European Poker Tour Prague High Roller, but Smith countered by winning a $5,000 no-limit hold'em side event a day later to clinch the GPI's inaugural Player of the Year honor.
Smith enjoyed one of the most productive years in poker history, winning six events on the live tournament circuit and cashing for nearly $3.8 million. His biggest score came at the 2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship $100,000 Challenge, where Smith bested a tough field of 22 to earn $1,012,000. He then won three $5,000 buy-in side events at the Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final in four days.
Rettenmaier occupied the top spot in the GPI Player of the Year for one week following his victory at the World Poker Tour Merit Cyprus Classic. That win made Marvin the first-ever back-to-back champion on the WPT, after closing the tour's 10th season by winning the WPT World Championship at Bellagio in May. In all, Rettenmaier won four live events and earned $2,507,480 while traveling the poker tournament circuit in 2012.
Here's a look at the GPI POY qualifying scores for Smith and Rettenmaier during their impressive runs last year:
1. Dan Smith
|Aussie Millions||AUD$100,000 No-Limit Hold'em||1 of 22||AUD$1,012,000|
|EPT Berlin||€5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event||90 of 745||€7,500|
|EPT Grand Final||€5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Max Turbo||1 of 101||€152,980|
|EPT Grand Final||€5,000 No-Limit Hold'em||1 of 175||€250,500|
|EPT Grand Final||€5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Max||1 of 98||€118,000|
|World Series of Poker||$5,000 No-Limit Hold'em (Event #50)||3 of 1,001||$368,943|
|EPT Barcelona||€50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Super High Roller||1 of 55||€962,925|
|EPT Barcelona||€10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Heads-Up||4 of 31||€38,000|
|Partouche Poker Tour||€8,500 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event||7 of 489||€178,496|
|EPT Sanremo||€2,000 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry||17 of 450||€8,900|
|EPT Prague||€5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max||1 of 42||€68,120|
2. Marvin Rettenmaier
|WPT Vienna||€9,700 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller||5 of 26||€25,670|
|EPT Berlin||€10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 8-Max Re-Entry||3 of 66||€85,800|
|EPT Grand Final||€2,000 No-Limit Hold'em||1 of 214||€118,300|
|WPT World Championship||$25,000 No-Limit Hold'em Championship||1 of 152||$1,196,858|
|World Series of Poker||$5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mixed Max (Event #6)||5 of 409||$68,151|
|World Series of Poker||$1,500 No-Limit Hold'em (Event #43)||42 of 2,770||$12,415|
|World Series of Poker||$10,000 No-Limit Hold'em - Six Handed (Event #57)||31 of 474||$24,951|
|World Series of Poker||$10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event||648 of 6,958||$19,227|
|WPT Merit Cyprus Classic||$4,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event||1 of 329||$287,784|
|World Series of Poker Europe||€10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mixed Max (Event #5)||6 of 96||€42,094|
|EPT Prague||€10,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller 8-Max||1 of 108||€365,300|
While Smith and Rettenmaier stole the spotlight in the last quarter of the year, other pros enjoyed success in 2012. Jonathan Duhamel, Phil Ivey and David Baker all stood atop the standings at one point during the year. In fact, Duhamel occupied the top spot for the first 16 weeks before Ivey claimed the lead during the World Series of Poker. Ivey finished the year outside of the top 10 (20th), while Duhamel landed in eighth.
2012 Global Poker Index Player of the Year Standings
The Global Poker Index Player of the Year, presented by PokerNews, honored the player who had the strongest performance in live tournaments during the calendar year, according to the USA Today Global Poker Index point system.
For the full GPI Player of the Year standings, head on over to GlobalPokerIndex.com.