Power Rankings: Greg Merson Joins the Top 5 with WSOP Win

Greg Merson jumped up to fourth place thanks to his WSOP Main Event victory (Heather Borowinski photo)

The BLUFF Power Rankings were a little chaotic this past week. The biggest news was the arrival of 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Greg Merson in fourth place. Merson won the biggest poker tournament of the year in Las Vegas Wednesday morning, and in addition to the world title and over $8.3 million in prize money, he was also awarded 675 points points in the Power Rankings. Merson holds a total of 1,170.68 points and he now trails Phil Hellmuth (third place), Dan Smith (second place), and current leader Marvin Rettenmaier, who holds 1,794.90 points to pace the field.

When added to his other big score this year, which was 360 points for his gold bracelet win this summer, Merson is now a formidable force in both the Power Rankings and the 2012 BLUFF Player of the Year race. He resides in second place behind Smith in those POY rankings. Merson also claimed the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year award (powered by BLUFF) with his victory. He could only win the award and top WSOP Europe champion Hellmuth if he won the Main Event, and he did so to end an impressive WSOP run with 981.13 points over Hellmuth’s 889.33.

The other large gainers of the week were Michael Mizrachi, who jumped from 18th place to seventh place; and Dominik Nitsche, who jumped from 16th place to eighth place. Mizrachi won the Isle Poker Open No Limit Hold’em Main Event, topping a field of 230 players to win $128,800 and 168 points to take his total to 1,101.31. Nitsche added 182 points to his total worth 1,092.41 thanks to his victory at the World Poker Tour Emperors Palace Poker Classic, where he emerged as the champion from a field that was also 230-players strong. His payday was a little larger at $206,153.

The players that fell by the largest margins during the past week were Daniel Negreanu and Konstantin Puchkov. Negreanu fell seven spots down to 17th place, while Puchkov moved down five spots to 18th place. Both are now in danger of exiting the top 20 like Shannon Shorr did this past week to make room for Merson’s arrival. Negreanu lost value from a fourth-place finish at the European Poker Tour Vienna No Limit Hold’em Main Event that took place last year. Puchkov had the points from two preliminary event cashes at EPT Vienna from two years ago completely wiped off his Power Rankings total.

  1. Marvin Rettenmaier – 1794.90 (-)
  2. Dan Smith – 1377.09 (-)
  3. Phil Hellmuth – 1290.57 (-)
  4. Greg Merson – 1170.68 (NR)
  5. Bertrand Grospellier – 1105.38 (-1)
  6. Vanessa Selbst – 1105.18 (-1)
  7. Michael Mizrachi – 1101.31 (+11)
  8. Dominik Nitsche – 1092.41 (+8)
  9. Jonathan Duhamel – 1062.92 (-3)
  10. Will Failla – 1060.63 (-3)
  11. Steve O’Dwyer – 1014.01 (-3)
  12. Antonio Esfandiari – 999.04 (-3)
  13. Phillip Gruissem – 968.59 (-2)
  14. Andrew Lichtenberger – 961.53 (-)
  15. Joe Kuether – 955.37 (-)
  16. Jason Mercier – 952.32 (-4)
  17. Daniel Negreanu – 929.17 (-7)
  18. Konstantin Puchkov – 928.85 (-5)
  19. Phil Ivey – 925.67 (-)
  20. John Juanda – 910.11 (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Shannon Shorr (17th place)

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