A land of beautiful beaches and football fanatics, Brazil is known as a country filled with passionate people. When it comes to the game of poker, that statement especially holds true. Providing ambassadors such as football/soccer legend Ronaldo and current global superstar Neymar Jr. as well as the ever-growing number of festivals that make stops in Brazil, the game of poker is growing by leaps and bounds in the Land of the Palms and the talent that emerges from the country is growing as well.
While there are a number of top pros that have made their marks on the live tournament circuit, such as Felipe Ramos, Andre Akkari and former November Niner Bruno Politano, the current crop of online talent is also as competitive as any country in the world. In fact, every player in Brazil’s current Top-10 also resides in the PocketFives.com Worldwide Top-100, following suit of powerhouse online breeding grounds Sweden, Russia and the UK.
Leading the pack, currently sitting atop the rankings Brazil’s #1 player is Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Paulo Simao (7,800.10 PLB points). The former #1-ranked Worldwide player now sits in the #4 spot Worldwide and is closing in on $6.5 million in lifetime earnings while he grinds the largest MTTs that the online world has to offer. He received a major points boost back in September when he claimed a victory in the partypoker Powerfest $5200 High Roller for over $123,000. But his domination since that win has been what’s kept him atop the Brazilian rankings, registering nine five-figure scores since the middle of September. His prolific rate of making the money and racking up PLB points has him looking like he’ll be Brazil’s top performer for quite some time as he holds a 1411 point lead over the next closest player.
While it may be a steep mountain to climb to catch Simao, perhaps Brazil’s #2-ranked Renato ‘bauruzito’ Valentim (6,388.83) is the man for the job. Sao Paulo’s top player, Valentim is an everyday grinder who recently packed on the PLB points by taking down a pair of major tournaments on partypoker within a week of each other. Valentim won the $215 Heavyweight: The Title Fight Warm Up for over $38,000 in late October and then, just seven days later, he made a victory lap in the $109 Heavyweight: Uppercut Warm Up for another $33,400. The push also has him inching back towards the Top 20 Worldwide, currently sitting just outside at #21.
If Valentim is going to hold on to the #2 spot though, he’d better be looking over his shoulder as the #3-ranked Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha (6,369.76) is literally right behind him. A razor-thin 19.07 points differential makes it so Padilha could assume the #2 spot on any given day. It may be sooner than later if he continues to post results like his recent win in the PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder in late November for over $14,000. Like Valentim, Padilha is making his own push for the Worldwide Top 20, currently sitting ranked #23, by grinding the mid-stakes schedule and posting a slew of daily results.
After winning Event #4 during the 2017 PokerStars SCOOP back in May for $275,984, Diego ‘MrBittar’ Bittar (6,022.83) saw both his profile and his ranking rise. Currently occupying the #4 spot on the Brazilian chart, Bittar has supported his PLB points with a heater in early November where he amassed $20,600 over the course of 24-hours, by claiming victory in the PokerStars $215 Thursday Thrill as well as two runner-up finishes and a third place to wrap it up.
The #5 spot belongs to Santa Catarina’s Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann (5,865.10). On the cusp of earning $3 million in lifetime earnings, Volkmann took a major step closer to that milestone after his victory in the PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-up in late October for $48,595. The #40-ranked player in the world is still reaping the PLB rewards from his victory in Event #15 (High) of the 2017 WCOOP where he not only scored 928.44 PLB points, but a career-high score of $170,676.
You may have seen the screen name of the player currently sitting at #6, ’Bernardo Rocha’ (5,495.47), when he took third place in the 2017 WCOOP Main Event for $848,015, a massive score by every metric and possibly the reason for his overall light volume since the haul.
Pedro ‘gusma’ Madeira (5,156.33) has the #7 spot locked down for now. His most recent major score came when he finished runner-up to Lex Veldhuis in the $1,050 Thursday Thrill on Thanksgiving for over $21,000.
There’s a tight race as for the final three spots in the Top-10 as only 23.4 points separate #8-#10. The #1-ranked player in Rio De Janeiro, Victor ‘vitinhorrn15’ Pedote dos Santos (4,981.01) holds down the #8 spot while ‘jonzstars’ (4,960.16) and Pablo ‘pabritz’ Silva (4,957.61) trail close behind in the #9 and #10 spots respectively. The pair of ‘jonzstars’ and ‘pabritz’ also sit ranked right next to each other in the Worldwide rankings at #82 and #83.
Brazil’s Current Top 10
|1||Joao ‘joaosimaobh’ Paulo Simao||7,800.10|
|2||Renato ‘bauruzito’ Valentim||6,388.83|
|3||Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha||6,369.76|
|4||Diego ‘MrBittar’ Bittar||6,022.83|
|5||Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann||5,865.10|
|7||Pedro ‘gusma’ Madeira||5,156.33|
|8||Victor ‘vitinhorrn15’ Pedote dos Santos||4,981.01|
|10||Pablo ‘pabritz’ Silva||4,957.61|