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Global Poker Index: Brenes, Affleck, & Chow Crack the list

Humberto Brenes

The Global Poker Index releases a list of the top 300 tournament poker players in the world each and every week, bringing poker fans an up-to-date ranking on the best in tournament poker. Last week, the largest shake-up in the GPI’s short history occurred when the inaugural Epic Poker League Main Event concluded. Erik Seidel’s second-place finish and Jason Mercier’s third meant the former jumped to second on the GPI while the latter claimed the top spot.

With another week in the books, things have settled a bit with the top ten essentially staying the same. The only exception was that Tom Marchese moved from the eighth spot to seventh, while Sorel Mizzi switched places with him. Here's a look at this week's GPI's Top 10. For a look at the entire list of 300, visit the official GPI website.

The Top 10 as of August 22, 2011

RankPlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank from Last Week
1Jason Mercier2,644.140
2Erik Seidel2,575.260
3Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier2,502.840
4Eugene Katchalov2,363.110
5Fabrice Soulier2,185.260
6Samuel Stein2,120.000
7Tom Marchese2,117.52+1
8Sorel Mizzi2,115.12-1
9David “Bakes” Baker2,027.320
10John Juanda2,013.630

Welcome to the GPI

There were six new additions to the GPI this week, which seems to be about par for the course. Humberto Brenes barely cracked the list in the 299th spot, the beneficiary of others falling off the list. Even though Brenes hasn’t had any results in the past month, he had seven cashes in 2011 including three at the World Series of Poker and a fifth-place finish in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller event for $200,000. His consistency has allowed him to hold steady at just over the 1,000-point mark, which proved good enough to get him on the GPI. If he hopes to stay there, though, he’ll need to add some results sooner rather than later.

The highest debut this week came from Ronald Lee, who premiered in the 261st spot with 1,082.12. Lee’s third-place finish in the $1,850 Parx Open Classic Main Event not only earned him a $38,977 payday, but enough points to make the GPI. Rounding out the newcomers were Michael Chow, Yuval Bronshtein, Matt Affleck, and Keven Stammen. None of them had overly impressive finishes the past week, but each benefited from a combination of others falling off the GPI and having results move from one period to another, often picking up results that were not counted the previous week (remember, only three per period are counted).

New Additions

PlayerTotal GPI ScoreGPI Rank
Ronald Lee1,082.12261st
Michael Chow1,049.41278th
Yuval Bronshtein1,033.88289th
Matt Affleck1,025.72297th
Keven Stammen1,024.32298th
Humberto Brenes1,017.75299th

Ups and Downs

There weren’t any drastic movers this week, but David “ODB” Baker was able to improve his position by 52 spots, making him the biggest mover of the week. If you look at Baker’s résumé, you’ll see that he has no shortage of results. While he hasn’t had any post-WSOP, he did have some big scores move into different periods, thus freeing up other results to count toward the GPI. One such result was his third-place finish in the $5,100 8-Game Championship event at the L.A. Poker Classic in February. That finish fell out of the first period into the second, freeing up another of his impressive six WSOP cashes. Add a few more movements in the other five periods, and it is no surprise to see Baker climb the rungs.

One man who did benefit from a recent result was Micah Raskin, who finished sixth in the Epic Poker $1,500 Pro-Am event in early August for $22,780. With no shortage of cashes, including a couple of first-place finishes and numerous final tables, a recent cash was all it took to vault Raskin 44 spots to 226th.

Biggest Gains

RankPlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank from Last Week
26thAlessio Isaia1,772.14+30
94thNikolay Evdakov1,453.34+27
107thDavid Vamplew1,407.02+31
140thChristopher Bell1,312.30+20
160thVanessa Rousso1,277.40+21
172ndDavid “ODB” Baker1,258.80+52
186thSteven Kelly1,226.99+20
212thMen “The Master” Nguyen1,169.40+25
222ndSteve Billirakis1,156.02+23
226thMicah Raskin1,151.71+44
238thJosh Brikis1,127.54+36

Unfortunately, not everyone can improve on the GPI. The player who dropped the most this week was Tyler Cornell who was the victim of having multiple scores fall into the same period. While Cornell has had 14 cashes over the past three years, not all are currently being counted toward his GPI ranking. Likewise, Darryll Fish had a big drop this week due to the same reasons as Cornell. However, Fish is a consummate tournament grinder and won’t see any of his results fall off until January 2012. With that said, Fish should hold steady toward the back end of the GPI, meaning a few decent cashes in the coming months could push Fish back in the right direction.

Biggest Drops

RankPlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank from Last Week
49thDavid “Doc” Sands1,637.42-21
52ndDavid Benyamine1,624.66-25
118thEric Haik1,373.26-22
145thAlexander Dovzhenko1,302.63-22
173rdJon Turner1,254.08-51
182ndDavid Paredes1,243.62-46
232ndAndrew Chen1,142.41-42
242ndJohn O’Shea1,120.74-57
253rdJonathan Karamilikis1,097.25-24
285thDarryll Fish1,036.69-59
300thTyler Cornell1,017.00-67

What's In Store?

Now, in that we’re in the latter half of August, the GPI will no doubt see some changes. With the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event set to kick off Thursday, followed by the conclusion of APPT Queenstown Snowfest and start of EPT Barcelona, there ought to be some major movers and shakers. Add to the fact that the EPL’s second Main Event is scheduled for Sept. 6, and you can rest assured that the GPI will be getting even more competitive from here on out.

As a reminder, for a look at the entire list of 300, visit the official GPI website. While you're at it, follow the GPI on Twitter and its Facebook page.

To stay on top of the GPI and other happenings in the poker world, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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