The Global Poker Index

ps_news_thn.jpg"Who are the best live tournament poker players in the world today?" That's the question the recently launched Global Poker Index (GPI) will answer on a weekly basis. A product of Federated Sports + Gaming (FS+G), the GPI is a ranking system that will determine the top 300 live tournament poker players in the world.

The GPI was developed by the commissioner of the Epic Poker League, Annie Duke; FS+G's CIO, Eric Faulkner; and Don Schlesinger , a prominent blackjack authority, statistician, and the Chief Strategy Officer of The Volatility Exchange. The ranking system, which is patent pending, is designed to be the most comprehensive poker ranking system ever assembled by taking into account an array of factors other rankings tend to overlook.

According to the GPI website, players will be ranked "based on their performance by finishing in cash positions in qualifying tournaments occurring over the previous 36 month period . . . Each player's individual GPI score is an aggregate of scores in events over the previous 36 month period, measured from the day the GPI is calculated. The score for a given event is derived from a combination of their finishing place percentage, buy-in and aging factor."

Now we know what you're thinking . . . "This is going to be just another run-of-the-mill ranking system like the CardPlayer and Bluff Player of the Year races." However, nothing could be further from the truth. It all gets a bit mathematical and technical, but the aforementioned factors are what will surely distinguish the GPI from all the rest. We won't get into the details regarding the finishing-percentage and buy-in factors, but you can read all about them on the GPI's website,

With that said, we thought we'd have a brief look at the third factor that truly sets the GPI apart from the competition, that being the "aging factor." According to the GPI: "Aging factor refers to the weighting of results by their recency, where more recent results are weighted more heavily than past results." After all, the GPI is designed to determine the best tournament poker players in the world . . . today!

In order to successfully accomplish this, the GPI will institute a 36 month aggregation period broken down into six different periods of six months each. Here's a look at the said periods, along with the associated point multipliers:

Aging Factors

  • Period 1 (0-6 months) - 3.0 multiplier
  • Period 2 (7 to 12 months) - 2.25 multiplier
  • Period 3 (13-18 months) - 1.2 multiplier
  • Period 4 (19 to 24 months) - 0.6 multiplier
  • Period 5 (25 to 30 months) - 0.25 multiplier
  • Period 6 (31 to 36 months) - 0.25 multiplier
  • The GPI will then take each player's top three results from each of those periods, for a total of 18 results, and use them in their calculations. In addition, the rankings are assured to constantly change as results move from one period to another, eventually dropping off the back end of the 36-month window.

    This was perfectly evidenced by the last two weeks of the GPI between Team PokerStars Pros, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Jason Mercier. Last week, Mercier was atop the rankings with 2,459.89 points while Grospellier was right behind with 2,446.83 points. Fast forward one week and you'll see that ElkY overtook the #1 spot with his same number of points while Mercier dropped to second with 2,434.30 points. How did Mercier lose points? Simple, his results from the 2008 WSOP recently fell outside the 36-month window and no longer count on the GPI.


    Jason Mercier

    As you can see, the GPI will constantly be in flux, ensuring movers and shakers in each week's rankings. Speaking of those ranking, they'll released on,,, and, with the latter promoting the rankings on a mainstream media platform.

    Here are some other quick notes regarding the GPI:

  • In order to qualify for the GPI, tournaments must have 21 or more players and a buy-in of $1,500 USD (or other currency equivalent) or higher that is open to the public, and is not specialty or selected audience events such as charity, seniors, doubles, satellite, women, team, employee, executive and CEO events.
  • A field-size cap is applied at 2,500 entrants (the 99th percentile of qualifying events) so larger events don't skew the GPI rankings.
  • Any caps will be reviewed once a year and can change if the 99th percentile number happens to have increased/decreased.
  • Only three results from each period will be counted so as to avoid rewarding players who play a lot of volume with a small percentage of cashes/results.
  • We don't like to brag, but right now the top three spots on the GPI belong to Team PokerStars Pros. With that said, we're confident that our pros will be well-represented on the GPI week in and week out. If you want to keep tabs on the GPI, be sure to visit their Twitter and Facebook page. In the meantime, have a look at the latest GPI Top Ten list, as well as how some of your favorite Team PokerStars Pros rank:

    The Top 10 as of July 18, 2011

    1 | Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier | 2,446.83
    2 | Jason Mercier | 2,434.30
    3 | Eugene Katchalov | 2,248.83
    4 | Erik Seidel | 2,197.38
    5 | Samuel Stein | 2,168.85
    6 | Sorel Mizzi | 2,135.88
    7 | Fabrice Soulier | 2,133.87
    8 | David Baker | 2,027.32
    9 | John Juanda | 2,013.63
    10 | Vanessa Selbst | 2,011.05


    ElkY atop the Global Poker Index

    Top Team PokerStars Pro Rankings as of July 18, 2011

    1 | Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (France) | 2,446.83
    2 | Jason Mercier (United States) | 2,434.30
    3 | Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) | 2,248.83
    10 | Vanessa Selbst (United States) | 2,011.05
    14 | Daniel Negreanu (Canada) | 1,950.89
    29 | Barry Greenstein (United States) | 1,718.12
    38 | Max Lykov (Russia) | 1,668.29
    50 | Pierre "Serial Qualifier" Neuville (Friend) | 1,590.91
    51 | Victor Ramdin (United States) | 1,586.27
    58 | Chad Brown (United States) | 1,561.18
    60 | Alex Kravchenko (Russia) | 1,558.88
    63 | JP Kelly (UK) | 1,532.65

    Chad Holloway
    @PokerStars in PokerStars news