If you have ever wondered who the top live tournament poker players in the world are, now you can find out in a mouse click thanks to Federated Sports + Gaming (FS+G) and their Global Poker Index (GPI).
Every week the GPI ranking system will be updated with the current top 300 live tournament poker players. Developed by Annie Duke, the commissioner of the Epic Poker League, along with FS+G’s CIO Eric Faulkner, the GPI is set to be the ultimate roster of the top players in the tournament arena from across the globe. As Duke commented to PokerNews, “I’ve always had some issues with the ranking systems that are out there, so I decided, well, if you want to do this, do it yourself.”
She also commented on how long it took and what was involved; “So we started working on this, me and Eric Faulkner, who is the co-creator, and we brought Don Schlesinger in as a consultant, he’s an amazing guy and very famous in the blackjack world. He’s currently [Chief Strategy Officer of The Volatility Exchange], and I thought that makes a lot of sense in poker because those are very similar worlds. So if we have someone who is really a statistician and an expert in that kind of world now bringing their expertise over here [to the poker world], with the expertise of the poker world that I was bringing to the table, I thought that would be an interesting combination to bring to the table in thinking outside the box in what a rank is supposed to be.”
GPI players are ranked based on their performance by cashing in qualifying tournaments. Each player’s score is calculated by taking into account their wins during the previous 36 month period. That includes a combination of their finishing place percentage, buy-in and aging factor.
To put it in simple terms, the finishing percentage means the amount of players the player defeats before they are eliminated. The deeper a player goes in the tournament, the better their finishing percentage score will be. Unlike most player ranking systems currently available, instead of taking a base score for a finishing place, it is a finishing percentage, determined by how many entries there were and the percentage of the field the player outlasted to finish in the position they did.
Almost all players agree, the bigger the buy-in, the tougher the competition which is why as Duke says, “We needed something with a difficulty score, but we don’t have an entrants list for all the tournaments in the world, so we have to figure out what’s gonna give us an idea of what the most difficult tournaments are. I think the poker community would generally agree that the higher the buy-in, the more difficult the tournament.” That is why the GPI uses a complicated mathematical sub linear multiplier formula to award more points to players who cash in the bigger buy-in tournaments than in smaller ones. As explained on the GPI website: “Other scoring systems do not fully take into account the concept of diminishing returns on the buy-in to an event. The percentage increase in buy-in between a $1,500 and $2,000 event is much greater than the increase between a $20,000 and a $20,500 buy-in. The GPI seeks to capture this concept of diminishing returns by using a logarithmic function.”
Unlike how it sounds, this factor has nothing to do with a player’s age. This is the criteria for scoring players on the freshness of their poker accomplishments, not the age of their bodies. Much more weight is given to recent tournament wins than those beyond the previous 36 months. The 36 month aggregation period is broken down into six sections with each section being six months long with the players top three wins from those time periods used to calculate their score. That means as time goes by; past results beyond 36 months will fall off, replaced by the player’s most recent results. The formula used for the aging factor is as follows:
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
Results will constantly change and players will move up and down the ranks, especially during big events like the WSOP. As Duke said, “This is a really interesting time of year, if you think about it, when the WSOP starts, somebody’s WSOP results from last year would be [in Period 2], so they’d get a multiplier of 2.25, but as soon as the WSOP ends, [those same results would now fall into Period 3] and get multiplied by 1.2.”
The goal of Epic Poker’s GPI is to become the ultimate worldwide authority on the current top tournament poker players and so far, they are succeeding. Not only does the GPI list appear on EpicPoker.com, GlobalPokerIndex.com and PokerNews.com but the list also appears weekly in the Sports section on USAToday.com. In case you are wondering where your favorite players stand right now, here is the current top 10 list.
The GPI Top 10 as of July 18, 2011:
|Rank ||Player ||Total Score |
|1||Jason Mercier ||2,459.89 |
|2 ||Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier ||2,446.83 |
|3 ||Eugene Katchalov ||2,350.38 |
|4 ||Samuel Stein ||2,157.85 |
|5 ||Fabrice Soulier ||2,097.41 |
|6||Sorel Mizzi ||2,097.41 |
|7 ||Thomas Marchese ||2,023.70 |
|8 ||Tobias Reinkemeier ||2,017.54 |
|9 ||John Juanda ||2,013.63 |
|10 ||Vanessa Selbst ||2,011.05 |
*Image courtesy of Global Poker Index*