When it comes to Poker, Dominik Panka had a tremendously great start to 2014. The Polish pro took out the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event in mid-January and followed it up by winning the EPT Deauville High Roller event last week.
Those victories literally paid off for Panka as he netted around $1.8 million from both events. They have also paid off in the form of top level recognition from the Global Poker Index (GPI), which has now put Panka at the top of its 2014 Player of the Year standings.
Panka has a GPI score (the score used to determine the standings) of 397.13. That is a semi-comfortable lead over the other poker players on the list, with Dan Smith sitting in second place with a score of 385.81.
Smith went up in the rankings following a second place performance in the $25,000 Challenge event at the Aussie Millions in Melbourne earlier this week. Smith also finished in the money in three different events at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure last month, one of which was the Main Event.
Vanessa Selbst slipped to third place on the Player of the Year standings. However, with 383.14 points, she is comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack, with fourth place Alexander Denisov having a GPI score of 337.93.
Selbst had a solid start to the year after she came in third place in two events at the PCA. She also landed in the money in the PCA Main Event, taking 42nd place in the first major poker tournament in 2014.
It is still early in 2014 and the largest events, like the WSOP, have yet to be played. That ultimately means that the 2014 GPI Player of the Year is still truly up for grabs.
While that is the case, Panka, as well as Smith and Selbst, have set the bar at a high level for the rest of the year in poker.