Bryn Kenney (GPI#10 +1) joins the Top Ten this week after cashing in the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open $3,300 NLHE Championship Event. This brings the number of players to have ranked in the Top Ten to 37. Kenney’s net gain of 77 points would have left him a few points shy of the tenth spot but fortunately he got a little help from the aging results of Michael Watson (GPI#11 -2). Watson cashed in multiple events at the Aussie Millions Poker Championship in 2010 and 2011, some of which age into less recent aging Periods this week. This causes his score to drop by 23 points and he falls below both Kenney and Steve O’Dwyer(GPI#9 +1).
In addition to Kenney, thirteen other GPI 300 ranked players cashed in the Championship Event including Matt Salsberg (GPI#91 +60) who made the final table. Although Salsberg came up short in his attempt to capture his 2nd WPT title he gets a big boost in the rankings with the addition of the 286 points he earned for his 6th place finish. Other players cashing included Top Fifty ranked Joseph Serock (GPI#21 +7) and Ravi Raghavan (GPI#44 +9). Anthanasios Polychronopoulos also cashed earning 139 points and a return to the GPI 300 at GPI#245.
Aussie Millions Provides Largest Gains
The GPI 300 earned points in thirteen events spread over six separate festivals this week but it was the Aussie Millions Poker Championship that brought about the largest gains of the week. The largest score gain goes to Igor Kurganov (GPI#22 +32) who picked up a whopping 512 points. Kurganov began his Aussie Millions by finishing runner-up in the NLHE A$100,000 Challenge. Kurganov lost to Andrew Robl when his two pair fell to Robl’s wheel. Robl earned 354 points for his win and returns to the GPI 300 at GPI#172. Kurganov earned 274 points for his 2nd place finish but due to the five cash cap in Period 1 it replaces his score for cashing in the 2012 English Poker Open £2,000 NLHE Main Event resulting in a net gain of 123 points. Dan Shak was also at the final table of the NLHE A$100,000 Challenge finishing 4th. This was the second cash of the week for Shak, he also finished 4th in the $10,600 NLHE Main Event. Shak received a net 365 points for his pair of cashes, the second largest score gain of the week, and moves up 23 spots to GPI#25.
Kurganov followed up the A$100,000 Challenge with a 4th place finish in the NLHE A$250,000 Challenge, however he receives no GPI points for that event because it did not meet the required 21 entrants to qualify for inclusion in a player’s GPI score. Instead Kurganov saved the best for last. He ended his Aussie Millions run by besting a very tough final table for a win in the NLHE A$25,000 Challenge. The final table included Top Twenty ranked Philipp Gruissem (GPI#13 +2) who finished just behind Kurganov, former GPI#1 Erik Seidel (GPI#46 +25), and the talented Fabian Quoss (GPI#65 +3). Kurganov earned 389 points for his win. Gruissem earned 310 points but this score replaces his 2012 EPT San Remo €10,000 NLHE 8-Max score for a net gain of 70 points. Seidel picked up 263 points for his 3rd place finish and Quoss saw a net gain of 37 points for finishing 5th.
Dan Shak was the sole GPI 300 player at the Main Event final table but several others cashed includingSamantha Cohen who bubbled the final table. Cohen earned 394 points and makes her GPI 300 debut at GPI#271. Also cashing the Main Event were Hui “Kitty” Chen-Kuo who makes the largest jump in rank this week, up 81 spots to GPI#146 and Phil Ivey who also makes a big jump this week thanks to the 274 points he earned for his 30th place finish.