GPI Player of the Year October Recap: WSOP-E Main Event Win Puts Hellmuth in the Hunt
For the eleventh straight week Dan Smith remains the leader for GPI Player of the Year, but there are a few players who are determined not to let him take the title without a fight, not the least of which is Phil Hellmuth. ‘The Poker Brat’ began October at PoY#12 but moved himself up to PoY#4 by winning the World Series of Poker-Europe €10,000 NLHE Main Event, and lucky bracelet number 13. The one thing his win did not get him was the WSOP Player of the Year title. Hellmuth finished second to Greg Merson (PoY#46). Perhaps that has motivated Hellmuth to make an end of the year push at the GPI Player of the Year title. If so, his Main Event win was very important. Not only did it move him up in the standings but possibly more importantly the 193 points he earned put him back within striking distance of Smith. Before the Main Event Hellmuth was 392 points back of the leader, a long way given the average individual event score for the GPI PoY Top Ten is 80 points and the largest score possible is 298 points. The addition of his Main Event score brought him within a much more attainable 198 points of Smith.
Other GPI PoY contenders picking up points in the WSOP-E Main Event were Kyle Julius (PoY#3 +1), Jason Mercier (PoY#9 +2), and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (PoY#10 +2). The 109 points Julius earned for his 14th place finish initially put him right behind Smith at PoY#2. He was able to hold onto second in the standings for three weeks but fell back one spot last week when ‘Mad Marvin’ Rettenmaier(GPI PoY#2 0) finished 10th in the Festa Al Lago $10,000 NLHE Championship, earning 75 points and regaining his spot behind Smith in the standings.
Mercier and Grospellier initially jumped in the standings as well with the addition of their Main Event scores but saw those jumps similarly diminished throughout the month. They had a lot to play for at the WSOP-E Main Event, not only were Player of the Year points up for grabs but they were locked in a close battle for Number One in the GPI weekly rankings. Mercier won that battle by making the final table after Grospellier finished 25th. They began October tenth and eleventh in the PoY standings but their performance in the Main
Event pushed them up three spots each to seventh and eighth. However, the following week Justin Bonomo moved up five spots to PoY#6 pushing them each down a spot when he earned 78 points for cashing in the
European Poker Tour €5,000 NLHE Main Event in San Remo.Daniel Negreanu (PoY#8) sent them down another spot the week after when he moved up by cashing in the Festa Al Lago $5,000 NLHE event. They end the month with Mercier at PoY#9 and Grospellier rounding out the Top Ten.
While all of this was happening Dan Smith made his way to San Remo where he cashed in both the €2,000 NLHE Re-Entry and €2,000 NLHE 6-Max Turbo events, picking up a net 58 points to further solidify his lead.
On the Horizon
As the players enter November it may seem that time is beginning to run out to catch Smith, but the race is certainly not over yet. There is a lot of poker to be played before year end, including over the next two weeks at the World Poker Tour festival in Copenhagen where a player wanting to remain in contention could pick up a lot of points.