With the holidays in the rearview mirror, the very best online poker players in the world were back in action this week. Many of them spent their time racking up massive scores and tons of PLB points. As for the rankings, the first week in January finds a solid top 10 but plenty of movement within the rankings of the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top 25.
One position that didn’t shift was ‘C Darwin2’ and his vice-like grip on the #1 spot. If the first week of the year is any indication the Swede is planning on another extended stay at the top spot. In the past week, he earned three more hefty PLB scores and over $75,000 in earnings. His largest cash was ahis third-place finish on New Year’s Day in a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament on PokerStars for $39,314. Ever since relinquishing the #1 ranking for one week, two weeks ago, ‘C Darwin2’ has been on a tear. For the second week in a row, he is the only player with over 10,000 total PLB points. In fact, impressively, he’s less than 40 points from the 11,000 point mark.
While ‘C Darwin2’ was back on the grind, Steven ‘SvZff’ van Zadelhoff has been seemingly taking an extended vacation with only five total recorded cashes in the week. His low volume contributed virtually no PLB points to his total, allowing him to slip further behind “CD2”. The now massive 1,435.60 PLB point gap between first and second place is very likely to be way more than a single week’s worth of amazing results can breach, almost guaranteeing ‘C Darwin2’ another week or more in the #1 spot. That said, if there’s a pro who can put in the volume and results, it may be van Zadelhoff.
Swedish grinder ‘lena900’, once again, is stable in the #3 spot. He did score a pair of solid qualifying cashes on January 2, taking down the Eliminator for over $6,000 and finishing runner-up in the Uppercut for nearly $8,000, both on bwin. But, likely due to aging scores, his PLB score dropped slightly, pushing him farther out from the #2 spot. ‘lena900’ did, however, accumulate over $25,000 in the first week of the year. It seems like only weeks ago he was celebrating passing the $8 million lifetime mark and now he’s closing in on $8.5 million. It seems almost certain, barring a volume slowdown, that he’ll touch $9 million in 2018.
Russian countrymen ‘josef_shvejk’ (#4) and ‘veeea’ (#5) also keep their respective slots from last week, making the entire top 5 the same as it was at the end of 2017. ‘josef_shvejk’ put a little distance between himself and the former #1-ranked ‘veeea’ with an outright victory in the partypoker High Roller Warm Up for just under $15,000.
For his part ‘veeea’ followed in the footsteps of van Zadelhoff by puting in light volume post-New Year’s. He did find the time to take down the partypoker Eliminator right before the end of 2017 for a slight PLB point boost and a cool $3,387.
All of the moves in the top 10 took place in the back half and Swedish countrymen Andreas ’r4ndomr4gs’ Beggren and ‘Sheater’ each moved up two spots in tandem. Beggren, who is closing in on the elite $10 million lifetime mark, only had one major PLB score, but it was a good one. His first-place finish in a New Year’s Day $200 PokerStars tournament was good for 378.15 PLB points and over $24,000. ‘Sheater’ made his move thanks to a trio of four-figure scores spread out throughout the week. Both Swedes are former #1-ranked players and, while they have work to do, have the talent to climb back to the top spot in 2018.
‘hellohellohello’ said goodbye to the #6 spot as he falls two places to #8. His drop was likely due to aging results and certainly not due to his recent accomplishments. The Russian scored five qualifying cashes and over $50,000 this week, including an outright win in the bwin Turbo High Roller for $10,192.
Fabrizio ‘SixthSense19’ Gonzalez has also been bouncing around the Top 10 in recent weeks. Sitting at #9 two weeks ago he rose to #7 last week. This week, he falls back to #9. His PLB score slipped a touch on light volume. Gonzalez wasn’t steadily at the tables this week and his past results show that he’s prone to taking breaks, which he may be on here at the beginning of 2018.
Re-entering the top 10 is the UK’s #1-ranked profession, Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. Three runner-up finishes in the first week of the year as a part of 22 overall cashes help the Brit leap one spot and round out this week’s top 10.
Other notable top 25 moves include Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard rising six spots to #16 and Latvia’s Guntis ‘lovefee’ Aleskins re-entering the top 25 at #23, just one spot shy of a career high for him. Additionally, after spending the week on the outside, Germany’s ‘nilsef’ returns to the top 25 at #25.
The PocketFives Rankings Top 25
17Jonatan ‘Pot4teUS’ Hellman6,592.8818
|2||Steven ‘SvZff’ van Zadelhoff||9,525.27||2|
|6||Andreas ‘r4ndomr4gs’ Berggren||7,429.10||8|
|9||Fabrizio ‘SixthSense19’ Gonzalez||7,185.28||7|
|10||Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford||7,042.61||11|
|11||Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar||7,025.33||10|
|12||Andras ‘probirs’ Nemeth||6,921.07||12|
|14||Jerry ‘perrymejsen’ Odeen||6,695.19||14|
|15||Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Simao||6,671.04||15|
|16||Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard||6,665.98||22|
|18||Connor ‘blanconegro’ Drinan||6,586.56||16|
|20||Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen||6,446.64||23|
|24||Chris ‘Apotheosis’ Kruk||6,313.18||24|