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Global Poker Index: Byron Kaverman Fights to Keep Lead as EPT Prague Heats Up

Byron Kaverman


  • Byron Kaverman still leads the overall @GPI rankings and the 2015 POY, but many are at EPT Prague to challenge him.

  • Maxim Panyak, Daniel Weinman, and Yuri Martins were big winners this week, and all moved up in the @GPI rankings.

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 9, 2015.

2015 GPI Player of the Year

RankPlayerGPI ScoreChange
1Byron Kaverman4736.90-
2Anthony Zinno4649.05-
3Nicholas Petrangelo4406.04-
4Steve O’Dwyer4333.58-
5Jason Mercier4175.44+1
6Dzmitry Urbanovich4095.19-1
7Connor Drinan3996.08-
8Dominik Nitsche3848.66-
9Fedor Holz3834.30-
10Scott Seiver3834.10-

The latest weekly update of the 2015 Global Poker Index Player of the Year standings shows there was little movement at the top over the last seven days. But that may very well change now that the European Poker Tour Prague festival is underway. In fact, just yesterday there was a chance we’d see a change at the top resulting from how the €50,000 Super High Roller was playing out, but that didn’t quite happen.

Byron Kaverman enjoyed a sixth-straight week at No. 1 in the POY race this week, although Anthony Zinno sitting in second came close to overtaking him when he nearly cashed in the Super High Roller. Alas for Zinno he bubbled the event last night, missing out on a chance to go deeper and collect the points he’d need to pass Kaverman who also came shy of cashing in the event after having won a High Roller at EPT12 Malta.

Our own Sarah Herring caught up with Kaverman at EPT Prague to talk about his lead in the GPI POY race and what promises to be a fantastic final month of competition between players at the top. Take a look:

Meanwhile Steve O’Dwyer and Dzmitry Urbanovich both made the Super High Roller final table and the money, and at the time of writing Urbanovich has just been knocked out in fourth while O'Dwyer has a big lead with three left. Follow PokerNews’ hand-for-hand live updates from the final table today to see how that event turns out.

GPI 300 Top 10

RankPlayerGPI ScoreChange
1Byron Kaverman4420.40-
2Jason Mercier4119.12-
3Anthony Zinno4094.10-
4Steve O’Dwyer3811.83+1
5Dan Smith3783.29-1
6Bryn Kenney3738.40+2
7Nicholas Petrangelo3707.13-
8Kevin MacPhee3695.71+2
9Martin Finger3680.05-
10Erik Seidel3617.50+1

Kaverman remains the leader in the overall GPI rankings again this week as well, making it 11 straight weeks at the top for the poker pro from Ohio. Both Jason Mercier and Zinno occupy the next two spots again as well, with O’Dwyer having moved up one spot to No. 4, perhaps primed to move up further pending his finish in today’s Super High Roller.

Some shuffling down below saw Erik Seidel rejoin the list at No. 10, taking the spot vacated by Paul Volpe who dropped from No. 6 to No. 12 this week.

Welcome to the GPI Top 300

RankPlayerTotal Score
192Maxim Panyak1989.16
209Harrison Gimbel1915.53
226Daniel Weinman1860.66
239Stuart Rutter1823.69
240Yuri Martins1823.58
257Jordan Cristos1793.15
266Ihar Soika1780.78
280Richard Kirsch1753.57
283Henrik Hecklen1749.32
289Riley Fuller1736.99
299Kane Lai1723.82
300Nicholas Rampone1722.36

There are twelve newcomers this week in the overall GPI top 300 rankings, with Maxim Panyak the highest-ranked of the group. Panyak jumped from No. 339 all of the way to No. 192 after his big win in the €10,000 Open-Face Chinese TonyBet High Roller in Prague where he topped a 33-entry field to win a €110,000 first prize.

Also rejoining the top 300 is World Series of Poker Circuit Cherokee Main Event champion Daniel Weinman who outlasted a huge 1,010-entry field to win the ring and $280,260. The cash pushed Weinman up over the $1 million mark in career tournament winnings while also moving him up from No. 420 to No. 226 in the rankings. His highest previous GPI ranking has been No. 76 (in March 2014).

Another big winner from the past week, Yuri Martins, catapulted from No. 374 to No. 240 after taking down the Latin American Poker Tour Grand Final in São Paulo, Brazil. Martins proved best of 426 entries in that one, earning a R$652,509 first prize following a heads-up deal that was worth about $170K USD. Martins has more than $5 million in online winnings, but the win gave him his biggest live score and helped him make a career debut inside the GPI top 300.

Biggest Gains

RankPlayerTotal GPI ScoreChange
226Daniel Weinman1860.66+194
283Henrik Hecklen1749.32+154
192Maxim Panyak1989.16+147
240Yuri Martins1823.58+134
239Stuart Rutter1823.69+118

Weinman, Panyak, and Martins were all among the biggest gainers this week thanks to their wins. Henrik Hecklen made a big move as well from No. 437 to No. 283 after final-tabling the World Poker Tour Prague Main Event where he took sixth. Stuart Rutter — who cashed eight times at this summer’s World Series of Poker — rounds out the list after moving up from No. 357 to No. 229.

Biggest Drops

RankPlayerTotal GPI ScoreChange
259Alex Goulder1792.31-72
246Mayu Roca1808.60-71
295Simeon Naydenov1730.07-70
292Naoyo Kihara1735.53-66
287Richard Dubini1743.19-65

Finally, Alex Goulder tops the “Biggest Drops” list this week (looking only at those remaining within the GPI top 300), having slipped from No. 187 to No. 259.

What to Expect Next Week

As noted the EPT12 Prague festival is in full swing at the Hilton Prague Hotel in the Czech Republic capital, which means we’re likely to see some movement in both of next week’s lists.

Highlights of the upcoming schedule include the €5,300 Main Event that starts today and runs through Dec. 16, the €25,500 Single-Day High Roller (Dec. 11), and the €10,300 High Roller (Dec. 14-16). Like the €50,000 Super High Roller, all of those EPT12 Prague events are being covered by PokerNews’ live reporting team, so be sure to follow the coverage for hand updates, chip counts, photos, and videos throughout the upcoming week.

Also on tap, the WSOP Circuit has already rolled into the Bicycle Casino for its next stop, and the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic festival at the Bellagio has begun as well.

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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