Power Rankings: Selbst Rises to 2nd, 5 New Faces in Top 20

Vanessa Selbst is now within striking distance of Marvin Rettenmaier and the top spot in the BLUFF Power Rankings. (Ryan Lucchesi photo)

The second half of the 2012 World Series of Poker had a dramatic effect on the BLUFF Power Rankings. While current leader Marvin Rettenmaier added to his total with several cashes, Vanessa Selbst made a serious move towards the top with her second career bracelet and a deep run in the Main Event.

Rettenmaier took a hit in points after all of his cashes from the summer of 2010 fell off and the summer of 2011 lost half their value. It affected almost everyone on the list, with the WSOP and other summer tournament series’ accounting for a good percentage of all points earned during the year. For Rettenmaier it included his 2011 “The Grand” Series Main Event title, which was originally worth 140 points. After going almost a month during the 2012 WSOP without a cash he found some traction in the later events, cashing five times to more than make up for that 70 point shortfall.

Selbst started the 2012 WSOP in a big way, finishing fourth in the first open event of the summer. She followed it up with an appearance in the round of 16 in the Heads-Up Championship, and put what looked to be an exclamation point on her WSOP with her second career bracelet win. Selbst wasn’t quite finished though, making Day 6 of the Main Event before going out in 73rd place. This late push gave Selbst more than 300 points and put her within reach of Rettenmaier and the lead (and also moved Selbst to fifth in the BLUFF Player of the Year race).

Michael Mizrachi made the biggest jump in the Top 20, moving up eight spots to 10th. After making two final tables earlier in the WSOP, Mizrachi won the $50,000 Poker Players Championship for the second time in his career, along with one of the few seven-figure prizes awarded at the 2012 WSOP. Daniel Negreanu moved up three spots to number six following a 160th place finish in the Main Event.

Several players who have been on and off this list several times in the last few months posted strong results late in the 2012 WSOP to reclaim a spot, with five new entries into the top 20. Oleksii Kovalchuk became one of the youngest two-time bracelet winners in WSOP history, winning the Omaha Hi-Lo/Seven-card Stud Hi-Lo event late in the summer, and re-entered the list in eighth place. Dan Smith continued his mastery of $5,000 events and, while he didn’t win, his third place finish in Event 50 gave him 150 points. That was enough to bring Smith up to ninth in the Power Rankings and gave him the overall lead in the BLUFF POY race as the WSOP came to a close.

Sam Trickett had briefly dropped off the list in our last Power Rankings update, but thanks to a second place finish in the Big One for One Drop, he returned in 11th. Daniel Buzgon and Tommy Vedes each had late-summer movement to make their respective ways into the Top 20.

Four players lost significant points and thus slipped a number of spots. Jonathan Duhamel’s 2010 WSOP Main Event victory finally came off the board, but even with that significant point loss his post-Main Event victory success kept him in seventh. Shawn Buchanan slid seven spots to 14th after a second place finish from the 2010 WSOP fell off and a second place finish in the 2011 $10,000 HORSE lost half its value. Matt Waxman and Chris Moorman each fell four spots.

As tournaments are scored from the start date rather than the finish, the two biggest names from the 2011 November Nine each fell dramatically from the Top 20. Pius Heinz went from 10th all the way to 70th as his win in the 2011 WSOP Main Event is now over one year old. All of Ben Lamb’s 2011 WSOP scores lost half their value as well, with his spot on the list going from 12th to 127th. Elio Fox, Philipp Gruissem, and David Peters each lost their spot in the Top 20 as well.

BLUFF Power Rankings
( ) – Change in Position

  1. Marvin Rettenmaier – 1600.18 (-)
  2. Vanessa Selbst – 1498.22 (+3)
  3. Will Failla – 1271.15 (-)
  4. Stephen O’Dwyer – 1156.15 (-)
  5. Bertrand Grospellier – 1070.88 (+1)
  6. Daniel Negreanu – 1050.15 (+3)
  7. Jonathan Duhamel – 1049.12 (-5)
  8. Oleksii Kovalchuk – 1021.32 (NR)
  9. Dan Smith – 984.09 (NR)
  10. Michael Mizrachi – 983.31 (+8)
  11. Sam Trickett – 974.68 (NR)
  12. Phil Ivey – 945.35 (-4)
  13. Andrew Frankenberger – 941.06 (+3)
  14. Shawn Buchanan – 936.08 (-7)
  15. Matthew Waxman – 901.54 (-4)
  16. Daniel Buzgon – 895.66 (NR)
  17. Phil Hellmuth – 886.53 (-2)
  18. Chris Moorman – 883.64 (-4)
  19. Andrew Badecker – 882.55 (+1)
  20. Tommy Vedes – 874.05 (NR)

Dropped from the rankings: Pius Heinz (10), Ben Lamb (12), Elio Fox (13), Philipp Gruissem (17), David Peters (19)

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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