April was an absolutely mammoth month for Finnish high-stakes crusher Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro who bounced between the events of the GGPoker Spring Festival and the 2021 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker to earn over $4.4 million and take down the title of April Online Player of the Month.
With more than a quarter-billion in total prize pools up for grabs between both the GGPoker and PokerStars spring series, the race for last month’s Online Player of the Month elevated to new heights. So much so that the top 18 finishers in April would have easily earned enough points to lock up the title in March. For his part, Kelopuro, who earned 8,378 total points, nearly doubled the total of Joao ’Naza114’ Vieira who won it in March.
But even with so many opportunities to take home massive tournament scores, Kelopuro, who is no stranger to winning large sums of money, had a special month. He had nine six-figure scores and another fourth five-figure cashes. Of his 120 recorded results, 17 (14%) were victories and another 16 were podium finishes which resulted in a 27.5% top-3 standing in those times that Kelopuro made the money.
His first major score came on April 7 when he finished in fourth place in GGSF Event #16-H ($25,500 Super High Roller) for $236,296. Running deep in the month’s biggest events was a reoccurring theme for Kelopuro who also won GGSF Event #49-H ($25,500 Super High Roller) for $522,617 and also took down Event #84-H ($25,500 Super High Roller) for another $574,878.
However, Kelopuro’s largest score was his final one, a runner-up result in GGSF Event #109-H ($25,500 Sunday Millions) in which he earned $720,833 plus 1,368.09 points.
It wasn’t just in the Spring Festival where Kelopuro found success. He won the Irish Poker Online Omaha High Roller for $34,647 and scored a PokerStars SCOOP 2021 title with a win in Event #25-H ($1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, Turbo) for $70,557 and 624.50 points.
By the end of the month, Kelopuro’s performance propelled him to #2 in the worldwide rankings and put him in a position to retake the top spot for the first time since he last held it in November of 2019. Additionally, the $4 million surge makes him just the third player in online poker history to have earned more than $20 million in recorded online cashes, joining ‘Lena900’ and Joao Vieira in the elite club.
Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson finished April in second place with 6,603 points and a total haul of more than $1.45 million in total earnings, thanks to consistent results in the GGSF events he played over on Natural8.
Watson took home a GGSF title on April 10 when he won Event #28-H ($1,050 High Rollers Main Event) for $52,439 and 500 points. Just days later he recorded a runner-up result in Event #49-M ($2,625 High Roller) for another $114,094 and 572.32 points.
However, Watson really picked up steam in the back half of the month after he outlasted the 182-entry field of GGSF Event #83-H ($10,300 Super Tuesday) for his highest cash of the month of $363,776 plus 1,349.07 points. Two days later, on April 23, Watson was in the winner’s circle again, winning Event #93-M ($2,625 High Roller) for another $144,885 and 838.15 points.
Also of note, while there weren’t enough runners to count in the Online Player of the Month standings, Watson also earned his seventh career PokerStars SCOOP title with a win in Event #78-H ($1,050 FL Badugi) for just over $20,000.
Brazilian pro Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann rounded out the top three for April scoring 6,311 points over 73 recorded cashes and more than $1.1 million in earnings.
Volkmann took home a PokerStars SCOOP title on April 6 in Event #15-H ($2,100 Freezeout) in which he earned $74,191 and 606.63 points, his highest single point total for the month. He also picked up two six-figure scores in the final week. The first came on April 21 in the GGSF Event #83-M ($1,050 Super Tuesday) where Volkmann finished as the runner-up for $101,206 and 554.74 points. Then, two days later, he took down a GGPoker Side Event ($5,250 Blade Special) for another $116,137.
April 2021 Player of the Month Results
|1||Sami 'LarsLuzak' Kelopuro||8378|
|2||Mike 'SirWatts' Watson||6603|
|4||Yuri 'Yuri Martins' Dzivielevski||6075|
|5||Renan Carlos Bruschi||6026|
|6||Pedro 'PaDiLhA SP' Padilha||5927|
|7||Dan 'SmilleThHero' Smiljkovic||5892|
|8||Pablo 'pabritz' Brito Silva||5762|
|9||Rui 'RuiNF' Ferreira||5738|
|10||Joao 'Naza114' Vieira||5677|