A summary of the recent accomplishments of players ranked on the Global Poker Index.
World Poker Tour, Neil Stoddart - PokerStars, All Rights Reserved

AMATEUR MERULLA WINS WPT TITLE AT BORGATA

Robert Merulla (GPI#12452) outlasted a +1,200 player field to take home the title at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City, defeating David Paredes (GPI#84) heads-up.

Merulla’s victory would prevent Jared Jaffee (GPI#78) from becoming the sixth player in the WPT history to pickup a second title in the same season; Jaffee won the WPT Jacksonville bestbet Fall Poker Scramble back in November.

KOUTOUPAS STOPS KATCHALOV IN DEAUVILLE

Another part-time player, Sotirios Koutoupas (GPI#893) also won big, scoring the victory at EPT Deauville over the weekend, stopping Eugene Katchalov (GPI#121) from entering Poker’s Triple Crown Club.

Koutoupas, who spends his days running the family business, finished second at EPT Prague in 2012.

PANKA RED-HOT TO START 2014

Staying in Deauville … Dominik Panka (GPI#976) earned his second impressive score of 2014 with his win in the High Roller and moving to #1 on The Hendon Mob 2014 Money List. Panka, who won the 2014 PCA a few weeks ago, moves up to 8th overall in the EPT Player of the Year Season 10 race.

KANIT GOES OFF IN AUSTRALIA

Italian pro Mustapha Kanit (GPI#261) is taking Melbourne by storm. After winning the kickoff event at the Aussie Millions, Kanit followed that up, just a few short days later, with a second victory, collecting 200K AUD so far in his trip to Aussie-land.

Kanit, who also finished fourth in the High Roller event at the PCA, has moved up close to 300 spots on the GPI300 since the start of the 2014 campaign.

MORE FROM DOWN UNDER…

The Main Event has started Down Under as the second of three flights was played on Monday. Former November Niner Jake Balsiger (GPI#466), Guillame Rivet (GPI#849), Erik Seidel (GPI#17), Daniel Neilson (GPI#337) and Marco Johnson (GPI#519) are just a few names at the top of the leaderboard early in Melbourne.

The 25K Challenge finished on Monday with a five-way chop between Max Algergott (GPI#841), Dan Smith (GPI#5), Jason Mercier (GPI#26), Martin Jacobson (GPI#79) and Scott Seiver (GPI#69) with Altergott declared as the winner.

FINAL TABLE PLAY CONTINUES AT WSOPC HARRAH’S TUNICA

Carter Myers (GPI#991) hopes to win WSOP Circuit ring #2 later today as only six players remain as final table play continues at WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica. Over 180K USD is awaiting the big winner.

Former November Niner Dennis Phillips (GPI#1821), recent WPT Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble final table participant Corrie Wunstel (GPI#256) and Million Dollar Heater third place finisher Jacob Bazeley (GPI#98) all ran deep in the event but were unable to reach the final table.

BOATMAN HONORED AT GPI EUROPEAN POKER AWARDS

Legendary UK poker pro Barny Boatman (GPI#596) received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the GPI European Poker Awards last Wednesday.

Ole Schemion (GPI#1), Philipp Gruissem (GPI#4) and Adrian Mateos Diaz (GPI#94) were a few of the other big winners at the GPIEPA’s, which were presented in Deauville as part of the EPT Deauville Festival.

MATEOS DIAZ LOOKS TO DEFEND AT ESTRELLAS MADRID

Speaking of Adrian Mateos Diaz, the young Spaniard returns to the place that helped put him on the map last year as the Estrellas Poker Tour returns to Madrid, Spain, where Mateos Diaz will look to defend his title.

Mateos Diaz would follow up his ESPT win with a bracelet victory in the WSOP Europe Main Event later in the 2013 season.

DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART

After a successful run at Borgata, the World Poker Tour is right back at it as the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open kicks off on Friday at the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek, Florida moving from Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, where the event was presented for the past few years.

Matt Giannetti (GPI#269) defeated Lily Kiletto (GPI#564) heads-up for the title in 2013.

BACK TO EUROPE

The popular Paris Open of Poker returns to the Aviation Club de France this week as the Silver and Gold Championship as well as the Omaha Championship will all take place at the ACF.

The Bronze Championship was played out over the weekend as Xavier Sitruk (GPI#7946) took down the title.

Meanwhile in Denmark, Casino Munkebjerg in Vejle will play host to the latest WPT National Series tour stop. The Main Event tournament is set to begin on Friday.