Current worldwide #1-ranked player Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford turned 2020 into a career year. (photo: PokerStars)

For many, 2020 has been a year fraught with anxiety in the face of a global pandemic. If that’s the case for UK online poker superstar Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford it certainly hasn’t shown in his remarkable results this year.

After nearly nine years of posting results to PocketFives, Beresford climbed to the top of the worldwide rankings on May 16 and has yet to relinquish the top spot. He got there by putting up some of the biggest cashes of his career and he’s held on to by posting consistent results over an impressive amount of volume.

Hitting Career Highs

The story of Beresford’s rise in the rankings can be traced back to the beginning of 2020 when Beresford binked four of his top-five career online cashes before the end of April. It all started with his career-high cash in the GGPoker 2020 Series Championship where he earned a massive $611,134 score in a runner-up finish. Beresford had a just few six-figure scores prior to this result, but this one seemed to break open the dam.

He followed that up with a victory in the PokerStars $5,200 High Roller Kickoff for $180,438 in late March but the real push to the #1 ranking came in the first weeks of April. During the PokerStars High Rollers Series, Beresford picked up two victories in four days. First, he locked up the $378,205 first-place prize in Event #32 ($5,200 NLHE 8-Max, Main Event) on April 5 for his second-largest career cash. Then on April 9 he added $239,652 with a victory in Event #39 ($10,300 NLHE 8-Max) for a total of more than $617,000 in less than a week.

Those four early year results gave Beresford a more than 3000 PLB point surge, sending into the top 5. But the tipping point that put him over the top was his May 7 PokerStars SCOOP title run in Event #32-H ($530 NLHE) which added another $85,959 to his bankroll and enough PLB points to take over the top spot.

Applying The Pressure

For Beresford, there was no slowing down. In the midst of some of the biggest tournament series of the year, Beresford continued to put up phenomenal results.

This included a victory in one of PokerStars longest-running marquee tournaments. In early July, Beresford topped the 10,931-entry field of the $109 Sunday Million for $112,185. The results kept coming. He picked up victories in both the PokerStars Stadium Series and the World Series of Poker Side Events and pushed his PLB point total north of 14,000, create significant distance between himself and those who were looking to catch him.

Then, in early September, Beresford added a new title to his poker resume when he took home his very first career WCOOP title in Event #33 ($5,200 High Roller) for $162,674.

Including that score, fourteen of Beresford’s top-twenty career cashes have taken place in 2020, six of which were good for six-figures. It’s elevated him to more than $14.5 million in career earnings, which is currently #8 on the All-Time Online Money List.

Headed For History

Beresford currently sits at 19 weeks as the top-ranked player in the world and, should he hold his position for another week, he will join an elite list of players who have reigned for more than 20 weeks.

Sweden’s ‘C Darwin2’ spent 20 weeks at the top in the longest stint of his 66 total weeks at #1. Calvin ‘cal42688’ Anderson held on to the #1 spot for 22 weeks when he first took over in 2012. Back in 2009, Steve ‘gboro780’ Gross was atop the list for 24 weeks.

‘Lena900’s extensive time at the top comes with two runs of more than 20 weeks at a time. The first was in 2018 when he lead the world for 33 weeks straight. Then he returned to the top in late 2019 and held on for 20 weeks until Beresford claimed the #1 spot.

Online poker legend Chad ‘m8kingmoves’ Batista still holds the record for consecutive weeks at #1 at 45 weeks back in 2007.

With the current lead that Beresford has in the online rankings it could be a while before any of the other top contenders like Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon, Mike ‘SitWatts’ Watson or even ‘Lena900’ are able to catch him and thus locking in Beresford’s 2020 performance in 2020 as one of the very best in online poker history.