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Global Poker Index: Byron Kaverman Clinging to POY Lead, Steve O’Dwyer Charging

Steve O'Dwyer


  • With two weeks left, Byron Kaverman still leads the @GPI Player of the Year race as others try to overtake him.

  • Kaverman remains atop the overall @GPI rankings as Stephen Chidwick and Jonathan Duhamel join the top 10.

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 December 16, 2015.

2015 GPI Player of the Year

RankPlayerGPI ScoreChange
1Byron Kaverman4736.90-
2Anthony Zinno4649.05-
3Steve O’Dwyer4640.17+1
4Nicholas Petrangelo4406.04-1
5Dzmitry Urbanovich4233.71+1
6Jason Mercier4175.44-1
7Connor Drinan3996.08-
8Dominik Nitsche3848.66-
9Fedor Holz3834.30-
10Scott Seiver3834.10-

There are only a couple of weeks left in 2015, which means the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race is now coming down to the wire with only a few chances left for players to improve their positions.

Byron Kaverman came up short in his effort to earn any points while at the just completed European Poker Tour Prague festival, but nonetheless retains the top spot in the POY standings for a seventh-straight week as he continues to maintain a small lead over Anthony Zinno who had been at No. 1 from July through October.

Meanwhile Steve O’Dwyer moved up to No. 3 in this week’s rankings after winning the €50,000 Super High Roller at EPT Prague, topping a 46-entry field to earn a €746,543 payday. O’Dwyer also cashed in the €25,500 Single-Day High Roller won by Rainer Kempe (taking 11th); however, only the top 13 cashes by a player count toward the POY total, so O’Dwyer will need to earn a larger cash in order to improve his total before the year closes out.

Worth noting, the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic is well underway at the Bellagio, where 91 players remain from the 639-entry field to start today’s Day 4. Looking at players in the current GPI POY top 10, both Fedor Holz (No. 9) and Scott Seiver (No. 10) are returning to healthy stacks today in that event.

There’s also the WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas event coming Dec. 18-20, and depending on who gets involved in that $100,000 buy-in tournament (and how big the field turns out to be), that, too, could have an affect on the POY finish.

GPI 300 Top 10

RankPlayerGPI ScoreChange
1Byron Kaverman4308.16-
2Anthony Zinno4155.82+1
3Jason Mercier4071.96-1
4Steve O’Dwyer3990.01-
5Nicholas Petrangelo3789.29+2
6Bryn Kenney3678.41-
7Kevin MacPhee3657.01+1
8Martin Finger3655.92+1
9Stephen Chidwick3628.48+7
10Jonathan Duhamel3589.22+3

Kaverman also stayed on top again for a 12th-straight week in the overall GPI rankings, with Zinno and Jason Mercier swapping positions to allow Zinno to slide back into the No. 2 position overall.

Down at the bottom of the overall top 10, two new players jumped onto the list this week. Stephen Chidwick moved up from No. 16 to No. 9 after picking up three cashes at EPT Prague including winning a €2,200 side event. And while Jonathan Duhamel just picked up a small cash in a prelim at the WPT Five Diamond, that didn’t affect his moving up from No. 13 to No. 10 as others’ totals were adjusted around him due to the aging factor.

Chidwick’s previous highest GPI ranking has been No. 3 (in June 2015), while Duhamel’s previous peak was at No. 5 (in July 2012).

Welcome to the GPI Top 300

RankPlayerTotal Score
207Piotr Franczak1909.35
216Matthias De Meulder1885.35
228Sam Stein1837.29
232Roman Korenev1835.08
242Nick Yunis1819.37
244Jean-Noel Thorel1811.14
246Leo Wolpert1810.90
247Arie Ori Miller1803.41
248Raiden Kan1799.77
261Daniel Buckley1776.32
265Hui Chen-Kuo1768.71
275Stefan Ivanov1750.69
280Ricardo Alvarado1743.43
286Vyacheslav Stoyanov1737.05
289Fernando Brito1733.30
295Ryan Tepen1723.38
296Lance Garcia1723.04
300Ben Palmer1714.45

There are lots of tournaments and series playing all over the world this month, as reflected by the large influx of newcomers to the overall top 300 as no less than 18 players have jumped onto the list.

The highest-ranked among this large group is Piotr Franczak who made a huge move up from No. 495 to No. 207 after cashing three times at EPT Prague including one final table and a ninth-place finish in the €25,500 Single-Day High Roller.

Biggest Gains

RankPlayerTotal GPI ScoreChange
228Sam Stein1837.29+643
275Stefan Ivanov1750.69+339
207Piotr Franczak1909.35+288
244Jean-Noel Thorel1811.14+250
242Nick Yunis1819.37+181

That leap by Franczak was in fact only the third-biggest of the week among players currently in the overall top 300.

Stefan Ivanov went all of the way from No. 614 to No. 275 after picking up three cashes in Prague including a victory in a €550 NLHE Hyperturbo Bounty side event. And Sam Stein was the week’s biggest gainer after catapulting from No. 871 to No. 228 thanks to winning the $10,400 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the WPT Five Diamond, then taking third in the $5,200 NLHE tournament just a couple of days later.

Biggest Drops

RankPlayerTotal GPI ScoreChange
268Andrey Zaichenko1762.43-112
287Doug Polk1734.79-80
235Dylan Linde1833.05-74
285Antonio Esfandiari1737.70-69
238Kevin Eyster1831.79-67

Finally, there are five familiar names among those dropping the most this week while remaining in the top 300, with Andrey Zaichenko having fallen the furthest after going from No. 156 to No. 268.

What to Expect Next Week

As noted, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic festival continues at the Bellagio with its Main Event coming to a conclusion this weekend and the WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas coming soon afterwards. The Seminole Hard Rock Winter Poker Open is also coming to a close over the next few days, as is the France Poker Series Enghien festival and the Dutch Poker Open Series in Breda, Netherlands.

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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