The GPI has updated its scoring system, resulting in massive changes to the rankings. Nick Petrangelo is now the world’s #1-rated player, while Fedor Holz has been demoted to third.

The GPI and Card Player player of the year races are underway, but there is no overwhelming front-runner at this stage. Petrangelo appears in the top five for both, however, so between this and his position at the top of the GPI rankings, we have to conclude he’s the person with the best start to 2017.

Late January was a busy time for online tournaments, yet little changed in the PocketFives rankings; Fabrizio Gonzalez continues to hold the top spot, while Sweden’s usual suspects have closed the gap somewhat.

Global Poker Index

About the rankings: The GPI World Poker Rankings rates the top players in the world according to a system which awards points for tournament cashes based on buy-in, field size and finish position. Tournaments over the past three years are considered, but the weight accorded to older results diminishes with time.

Current Top 10

#1 Nick Petrangelo – 3577.93 pts. (#4 last month)
#2 David Peters – 3,505.18 pts. (#2 last month)
#3 Fedor Holz – 3,323.16 pts. (#1 last month)
#4 Bryn Kenney – 3,272.13 pts. (NEW)
#5 Adrian Mateos – 3,122.95 pts. (#9 last month)
#6 Jack Salter – 3,039.12 pts. (NEW)
#7 Ari Engel – 2,971.69 pts. (NEW)
#8 Anthony Zinno – 2,939.20 pts. (#10 last month)
#9 Ankush Mandavia – 2,933.98 pts. (NEW)
#10 Andjelko Andrejevic – 2,900.34 pts. (NEW)

Dropouts

Dan Smith (#3 -> #42)
Steve O’Dwyer (#5 -> #27)
Thomas Marchese (#6 -> #29)
Justin Bonomo (#7 -> #15)
Jake Schindler (#8 -> #18)

The GPI has been incrementally revising its scoring system. The latest update, which went into effect mid-January, continues the trend away from emphasizing event buy-in and more towards field size. Thus, players with good performances in WPT Main Events, at the WSOP, etc. can be expected to figure more prominently, while super high-roller specialists won’t be given quite as much credit.

The immediate result of this is that Fedor Holz, who dominated for most of 2017, has been demoted to third. He was replaced, briefly, by David Peters, who snagged the Player of the Year race from him in the dying days of 2016. Now, however, it’s Nick Petrangelo on top.

The players who were by far the hardest hit by the change were Dan Smith, Steve O’Dwyer and Thomas Marchese, who were third, fourth and sixth respectively at the end of 2016, and are now no longer even in the Top 20. On the other hand, players like Jack Salter and Ari Engel, who tend to play mostly in the $1000-$10,000 buy-in range, have benefitted hugely and are now in direct competition with the likes of David Peters, Fedor Holz and Bryn Kenney, whose high roller participation is no longer as large an advantage.

Player of the Year

#1 Mustapha Kanit – 1,424.52 pts.
#2 Bryn Kenney – 1,424.08 pts.
#3 David Yan – 956.39 pts.
#4 Byron Kaverman – 939.05 pts.
#5 Nick Petrangelo – 788.13 pts.
#6 Ben Heath – 771.68 pts.
#7 Lucas Greenwood – 765.12 pts.
#8 Sergi Reixach – 760.80 pts.
#9 Roland Israelashivili – 729.34 pts.
#10 Anton Astapau – 716.70 pts.

The GPI has released preliminary standings for its Player of the Year race much earlier than usual. Of course, we’re effectively in the third mile of a marathon at this juncture, so the numbers are all but useless in terms of predicting who will ultimately end up on top. The major events which have contributed to the race so far are the PokerStars Championship Bahamas (formerly known as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure), the Aussie Millions, and the WPT Borgata Winter Open.

Nonetheless, there are several names present among the Top 10 who have to be seen as potential contenders for the long haul: Mustapha Kanit and Bryn Kenney are effectively tied for first with 1,424 points apiece, and are both players at the top of their game. Further down the list, Byron Kaverman and, of course, Nick Petrangelo are solid possibilities as well, as Kaverman won PoY in 2015, while Petrangelo currently sits on top of the world rankings.

Card Player

About the rankings: Card Player unfortunately does not have a rolling leaderboard to compete with the GPI’s, but it does provide an alternative Player of the Year leaderboard. This year’s system is different from previous years’, but still differs dramatically from GPI’s in that its honors are largely awarded based on the number of important titles and final tables had by a player, rather than their consistency of cashing in high buy-in events. Comparing the two often provides interesting insight into players’ performance.

Player of the Year – Final Standings

#1 Shurane Vijayaram – 2,280 pts.
#2 Ben Heath – 2,188 pts.
#3 Christian Harder – 1.824 pts.
#4 Nick Petrangelo – 1,638 pts.
#5 Tobias Hausen – 1,520 pts.
#6 Cliff Josephy – 1,520 pts.
#7 Daniel Weinman – 1,440 pts.
#8 Bryn Kenney – 1,406 pts.
#9 Byron Kaverman – 1,375 pts.
#10 Fedor Holz – 1,270 pts.

Card Player’s system has not changed significantly from 2016, although the changes to the GPI’s have brought the two somewhat closer in line. There is one huge difference between the two which remains, however, which is the extent to which wins and top-three finishes are valued compared to other cashes. For the GPI, winning a 1000-player event awards 80% more points than a 9th place finish in the same event, while for Card Player, it is a factor of 12 difference.

Although the differences between the two tend to iron out somewhat by year’s end, at this juncture it’s no surprise that the lists bear little resemblance to one another. In a way, that is actually useful in attempting to predict final outcomes, however, as anyone appearing on both lists is having a good start to the year both in terms of cashing tournaments and in dominating final tables. These are: Ben Heath (CP 2nd, GPI 6th), Nick Petrangelo (CP 4th, GPI 5th), Bryn Kenney (CP 8th, GPI 2nd), and Byron Kaverman (CP 9th, GPI 4th).

PocketFives

About the rankings: Pocket Fives rankings are the equivalent of the GPI for the online poker world. It considers only the past year’s worth of results, with older results decaying in value and only the best 40 results for each player being counted. Needless to say, this system and the fast pace of online play make this leaderboard quite volatile.

The current Top 10

#1 SixthSenSe19 – 9,373.13 pts. (#1 last month)
#2 lena900 – 9,093.08 pts. (#4 last month)
#3 C Darwin2 – 8,517.90 pts. (#3 last month)
#4 alexd2 – 8,105.50 pts. (#2 last month)
#5 AnteSvante – 7,154.30 pts. (#7 last month)
#6 probirs – 7,138.10 pts. (#6 last month)
#7 r4ndomr4gs – 7,131.57 pts. (#8 last month)
#8 pappadog – 6,648.71 pts. (NEW)
#9 1_conor_b_1_ – 6,632.28 pts. (#10 last month)
#10 pleno1 – 6,614.58 pts. (#9 last month)

The PocketFives online rankings have held surprisingly steady this past month, despite January having ended with TCOOP at PokerStars, Super XL at 888poker and Power Series at PartyPoker.

Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez of Uruguay remains at the top of the charts and has piled on even more points with a win and a 3rd-place finish at the tail end of Powerfest, a win in Super XL Event #8, and most importantly, a runner-up finish in the Super XL High Roller for $62,930 and 420.38 leaderboard points. His TCOOP performance was comparatively underwhelming, with his best result a 4th-place finish in Event #39, $215 NLHE 6-Max Shootout.

Meanwhile, the Swedish contingent continues to knock at the door. Niklas “lena900” Åstedt has moved up into second after winning both the Sunday Grand and Big $109 on PokerStars this weekend, demoting Bulgaria’s Alex “alexd2” Dimitrov to fourth in the process. Simon “C Darwin2” Mattsson continues to hold third, and Anton “Ante Svante” Wigg climbs to fifth.