MOVERS & SHAKERS: Michael ‘mczhang’ Chi Zhang Climbs To #2 Worldwide

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Michael Chi Zhang current;y sits as the #2-ranked online player in the world. (MypartypokerLive photo)

Movers & Shakers takes a look into those PocketFives members that have made big moves in the top 100 of the online poker rankings.

In the aftermath of PokerStars’ World Championship of Online Poker, partypoker’s POWERFEST and 888poker’s XL Eclipse, there were some seismic shifts with regards to the PocketFives top 100. These are just a few of the members that have posted incredible results and have made recent major strides in the rankings.

Michael ‘mczhang’ Chi Zhang (#2)

Although he didn’t end up grabbing the headlines, UK grinder Michael ‘mczhang’ Chi Zhang absolutely crushed over recent weeks. The end result was a career-high ranking of #2 in the world and a massive bump to his career total earnings, jumping to over $3.3 million.

His September was almost inconceivable, seemingly setting a new career-high cash every other day. In total, Zhang hit four six-figure scores in a matter of 10 days.

His first was during WCOOP-43-H ($2,100 NLHE High Roller) where he finished in fourth place for $265,996 – which set a new high for him. He followed that up four days later in WCOOP-58-H ($5,200 Main Event) finishing in fifth for another $382,253, again he set a new bar. Two days later ‘mczhang’ again made the final table of a major event, taking fourth in WCOOP-62-H ($25,000 NLHE Eight Max) for $336,741. Not a new high, but it propelled him to over $1 million in earnings for that week. Finally, less than a week later, he took third place in partypoker’s POWERFEST #122-SHR Championship Event for yet another new high of $468,000.

With just those four results along, Zhang accumulated over 3,763 PLB points and helped him catapult over some of the games most prominent names, including Swedish superstar ‘C Darwin2’, to land as the #2 player in the world. His total earnings in September exceeded $1.7 million, more than doubling his career earnings.

Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro (#16)

Nosebleed cash game regular Sami ‘LarsLusak’ Kelopuro is now the #1-ranked player in Finland thanks to a superior performance this September.

He rose to a new career-high ranking of #15 in the world and settled back a single spot this week, still benefitting from results like his first place finishing in partypoker’s POWERFEST #142-SHR for over $317,000. That score alone brought Kelopuro 1278.67 PLB points, but in the past month he racked up 21 PLB qualifying scores. His total PLB points for September was an astonishing 4,995.10 which is plenty to pull a player from the depths of the rankings into a top-25 grinder.

His results helped push him north of $4 million in lifetime tournament earnings. Kelopuro may begin a descent down the rankings, as he’s a pro that history has shown normally shows up for the big events, but for now, he’s regarded as one of the world’s best.

Bruno ’brunovolks’ Volkmann (#33)

Brazil’s #2-ranked grinder Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann surged back up the top 100 rankings to land at #33 this week. He did this one the backs of capturing both a WCOOP and a POWERFEST title this fall.

His first victory came in the middle of September in WCOOP-49-H ($2,100 NLHE Deep Stacks) where he defeated the 301 player field for over $113,000 and 775.89 PLB points. He did it again by taking down POWERFEST #102-HR Progressive KO for a total of $36,809 and another 453.90 PLB points.

His 11 PLB qualifying cashes helped him jump into the top 50 and almost past his previous high ranking of #27. As a regular grinder, ‘brunovolks’ has the opportunity to continue his climb into the top-25.

Geraldo ‘geraldocesar’ Cesar Neto (#47)

Another Brazilian making waves is Geraldo ‘geraldocesar’ Cesar Neto who rocketed into the top 100 and is currently sitting at a career-high ranking of #47. Neto is a longtime PocketFiver with over $3.2 million in cash.

Playing the part of a bounty hunter seems to be one of Neto’s strengths as in the past two weeks he’s accumulated six qualifying triple-digit PLB cashes all of which have come at the final tables of bounty tournaments. One of his recent highlights included taking down the partypoker Bounty Hunter High Roller for $33,631 and 327.26 PLB points.

Those six tournaments alone pushed his PLB point total an extra 1000 points, good enough to land inside the top 50, making him Brazil’s #6-ranked player.

‘x_zola25’ (#74)

A former top-10 ranked player, Denmark’s ‘x_zola25’ made one of the biggest moves of this week by leaping 17 spots to land at #74. It didn’t require him to land a big victory in a special tournament – he did it through grinding the regular PokerStars schedule and coming out on top.

He picked up 201.87 PLB points in the September 30 edition of the Bigger $109 with a third-place finish for $12,018. Then on the same day, he took down the Bigger $55 for another $16,763 and 346.41 PLB points. To cap off the day, he made the final table of the Bigger $215 for over $3,000/113.70.

A PocketFives Triple Crown winner, ‘x_zola25’  is currently grinding his way to $4.5 million in lifetime earnings.