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Global Poker Index: Jason Mercier Starts 2012 in No. 1 Spot

Jason Mercier

Each week, the Global Poker Index releases a list of the top 300 tournament poker players in the world, using a formula that takes a player's results over six half-year periods. For a look at the entire list of 300, visit the official GPI website.

As of last week, there was a change made to the GPI scoring system. Federated Sports + Gaming Chief Information Officer Eric Faulkner informed PokerNews of the change last week:

"This week marks the six-month anniversary of the Global Poker Index. As promised at the outset, the GPI model will be reviewed every six months and adjusted where necessary to reflect the changing landscape of live tournament poker. The first of these reviews occurs this week.

"One of the key features of the GPI is the cap on results that count towards a player’s score in each of the six half-year periods that the GPI scores. This cap is necessary to control for a player getting a high GPI score merely due to playing a higher than average number of tournaments. For the first six months of the GPI, there was a cap of three results that could count toward a player’s GPI score per period. The cap of three was determined by evaluating the average number of results per half-year period for the group of professional players defined as the individuals who qualified for The Epic Poker League.

"Now that the GPI has been operating for six months, the group of professional players has been redefined from the Epic Poker League qualifiers to the players in the GPI Top 300. Week to week, this group constitutes the most active players on the tour, so they are the most representative set to evaluate the cap on results. This redefinition of the consideration set of professional live tournament players, along with a general increase in live tournament play, resulted in an increase in the cap on results in Periods 1, 2 and 3 from the three highest scores to the four highest. The cap on results in Periods 4, 5 and 6 remains at three. The cap of the four highest scoring finishes for the most recent three periods, Periods 1 through 3, and the cap of the three highest scoring finishes for the three periods most distant, Periods 4 through 6, reflects the average number of cashes for the players in the GPI 300 across the entire 36 month period that the GPI measures."

How does the change affect the top ten?

The Top 10 as of January 2, 2012

RankPlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank from Last Week
1Jason Mercier3,015.080
2Erik Seidel2,851.80+1
3Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier2,805.75-1
4Eugene Katchalov2,656.330
5Sam Trickett2,582.470
6Vanessa Selbst2,441.15+5
7Will "The Thrill" Failla2,432.32+1
8Shawn Buchanan2,430.85-2
9Matt Waxman2,395.23+1
10Sorel Mizzi2,374.73-3

With the new scoring system, Jason Mercier enjoys a bigger lead atop the GPI. As arguably the most consistent tournament player in the world over the last three years, Mercier's first three periods benefit nicely from having a fourth score. As he told PokerNews on the way to the Bahamas Wednesday, it "would be cool if I stayed No. 1 for the whole year."

Welcome to the GPI

Ten players entered the GPI this week, led by Jacob Bazeley at the No. 248 spot. One of Bazeley's WSOP cashes in a $1,500 no-limit hold'em event aged into Period 2 and had not previously counted in Period 1. Now, with a full complement of Period 1 scores along with three in Period 2, Bazeley is comfortably within the GPI.

New Additions

PlayerTotal GPI ScoreGPI Rank
Jacob Bazeley1,129.41248th
Brian Powell1,081.56277th
Andrea Benelli1,080.02278th
Maksim Kolosov1,066.87288th
Dana Kellstrom1,066.81289th
Humberto Brenes1,062.05291st
Ted Forrest1,061.53292nd
Denys Drobyna1,058.52293rd
Jason Wheeler1,053.64296th
Faraz Jaka1,047.60300th

Those falling from the GPI this week were Brian Hawkins, Brian Rast, Daniel Idema, Jesse Martin, Josh Arieh, Matt Matros, Max Pescatori, Michael Pesek, Morten Mortensen, and Nick Grippo. Rast, winner of the Poker Player's Championship this summer, saw his GPI standing fall more than 100 places in the last few weeks as both of his bracelet wins fell into Period 2.

Ups and Downs

The biggest rise of the week belonged to Sean Getzwiller. His 35th-place finish in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max Championship at the 2011 WSOP fell into Period 2, giving him two scores in that period to go along with a full slate of Period 1 scores.

Biggest Gains

RankPlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank From Last Week
129thMatt Stout1,392.51+41
150thSean Getzwiller1,337.10+61
163rdBrandon Meyers1,292.81+50
175thEric Baldwin1,267.66+23
177thBarny Boatman1,261.79+24
179thPer Linde1,260.34+23
180thDaniel Neilson1,260.31+23
181stDavid Parades1,258.32+23
197thVivek Rajkumar1,229.76+24

Barry Greenstein, Mike Binger, and Owais Ahmed took the biggest tumbles down the GPI ranks. Each was the victim of an aging score as the Poker Player's Championship is now six months old. Greenstein (15th) and Binger (14th) don't have any Period 1 scores now, while Ahmed (fourth) still has one.

Biggest Drops

RankPlayerTotal ScoreChange in Rank From Last Week
206thDaniel Alaei1,211.30-86
214thJustin Bonomo1,204.51-83
216thJesse Alexis Cohen1,201.83-81
217thThorsten Schafer1,201.06-75
218thDaniel Reijmer1,198.79-92
219thBarry Greenstein1,196.84-126
244thMike Binger1,134.98-120
264thRussell Carson1,102.48-79
269thJon Spinks1,097.94-87
298thOwais Ahmed1,048.34-110

What's In Store?

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure kicked off Thursday and will no doubt have an impact on the GPI over the next two weeks. The $100,000 Super High Roller tournament will wrap up Saturday, so expect movement from a notable player or two come next week's GPI.

To 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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