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Jason Mercier Heads GPI, Anthony Zinno Leads 2015 GPI POY Race

The Global Poker Index (GPI) released its final rankings update for July and with seven-twelfths of the year in the books, Jason Mercier leads the GPI for the second straight week. For the calendar year, though, it is Anthony Zinno at the head of the class in the 2015 Player of the Year (POY) rankings.

It can be a bit confusing to differentiate between the two rankings sometimes, but the easy way to think of it is the ranking actually labeled with a year – the 2015 POY – takes into account live tournaments only during that calendar year. The overall GPI, however, factors in tournaments for the past three years.

For the long-term Global Poker Index, three factors contribute to a player’s GPI score: finishing percentage, buy-in, and tournament age. The finishing percentage is fairly self-explanatory: it equals the percentage of a field that a player beat in a tournament. The buy-in factor is also somewhat obvious – high buy-in events count more than low buy-in events, though the marginal difference is smaller the greater the buy-in (for example, the difference between a $1,000 tourney and $1,500 tourney is more pronounced than the difference between a $10,000 tourney and a $10,500 tourney). Then there is the aging factor. The GPI is split into six 6-month periods, so three years total. The scores for the most recent six months are weighted 100 percent, but for each of the previous six month periods, the scores are discounted more and more. One a tournament result is more than three years in the past, it no longer counts for a player’s GPI ranking.

There are a few other details to note for the GPI. Tournaments must have at least 21 players and a $1 buy-in to count and to receive a score, a player must finish in the money. The GPI had set a cap of 2,700 entrants for events so as not to let huge fields skew the rankings (large tournaments were still counted, but adjustments to the calculations were made to scale them down), but with the rise of “mega-field” events, the GPI was changed on June 1st to remove the cap on tournaments with buy-ins under $2,000. Additionally, for the most recent three 6-month periods, only a player’s five best results count and for the next three 6-month periods, only the best four results count.

The GPI POY doesn’t concern itself with aging factors, simply counting tournaments from the current year.

(c) Rob King Jason Mercier

Jason Mercier (c) Rob King

For the second consecutive week, Jason Mercier tops the Global Poker Index, with 4,020.74 points, the only player with more than 4,000 points. Scott Seiver is second with 3,928.27 points and Anthony Zinno is in the third spot with 3,896.52. Mercier has a number of big scores over the past six months, the time period in which his results are given their full value. His biggest in terms of GPI points was his most recent, when he finished second out of 387 players in the 2015 World Series of Poker $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship. He earned $572,989 and 521.67 points for the tourney.

His second largest points haul was actually his most lucrative tournament. In June, he won a bracelet in the $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP, earning $633,357 and 493.96 points. Mercier’s next three best point totals during the last half-year are 313.15 (EPT Grand Final), 297.87 (WSOP The Players Championship), and 230.37 (Aria High Roller II).

Mercier, though, is only ranked 11th in the 2015 Player of the Year standings. The top honor there currently belongs to Anthony Zinno. Zinno has been destroying this year, winning consecutive Main Events on the World Poker Tour – the 2015 Fallsview Poker Classic and the 2015 L.A. Poker Classic – en route to the WPT Player of the Year title. He also cashed five times at the 2015 World Series of Poker, including his first-ever bracelet win, coming in the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller event. That win earned him more than 600 points on the Global Poker Index and every one of his other cashes was worth more than 300 points. With 4,192.90 points, he is well ahead of Connor Drinan, who has 3,771.11. There are five more months in the year, though, so there are still tons of points to be awarded.

The Global Poker Index also handles the World Series of Poker POY standings and while Zinno, as mentioned, had a great 2015 WSOP, he is only third in those rankings. Scoot McNairy look-a-like Mike Gorodinsky is on top of that POY chart with 2,157.19 points. He cashed seven times at the WSOP this summer, grabbing attention early on when he was the runner-up to Phil Hellmuth in the $10,000 Seven Card Razz Championship event. He followed that up with a ninth place finish in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship and then a third place effort in $5,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em before finally breaking through and winning a bracelet. He picked a great time to do it, too, as he triumphed in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, cashing for nearly $1.3 million. Though the traditional WSOP is over save for the November Nine, Gorodinsky hasn’t clinched the POY title just yet, as the WSOP Europe is still waiting in October.

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