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For weeks now, the worldwide Online Poker Rankings have been a tight-knit crew. Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon has held down the top spot for the past eight weeks and well-known names like Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic, Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson, and Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens have occupied their own positions inside the Top 5. But this week, a new player broke through into the upper echelons of the rankings for the first time in his career. Portugal’s #1-ranked pro Rui ‘RuiNF’ Ferreira soared past Brazil’s Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann and Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivieleski to capture the #5 spot, building on what has been, for him, an incredible start to 2021. Ferreira has long been considered a top-tier tournament player but his recent rise in the rankings can be traced back to the beginning of this year when he collected large amounts of PLB points on a daily basis. Many of Ferreira's spotlight scores have come on GGPoker, where he dedicates most of his volume. His first notable score of the year came back on January 4 when he made a deep run in the WSOP Circuit Event #15 ($800 FIFTY STACK), finishing in fifth place for $56,646 and 451.33 PLB points. That was just the start of an onslaught of impressive results that week. In a three-day span, he collected five PLB-qualifying scores including a fifth-place finish in the prestigious $10K Super MILLION$ tournament where he collected $158,690 and 567.28 PLB points. In total, he brought in 1,396.28 points during that span which set him up for a run to the worldwide Top 10. Less than a week later, Ferreira finished as the runner-up in the Winamax W Series High Roller KO for $131,199, his second six-figure score of the week. The 921.92 PLB points that came with it remains his largest PLB score of the year so far. He wasn’t finished with the W Series as a victory in Event 185 added another $11,194 to his bankroll and helped pad the bed of PLB points he’d need to push into the upper echelons of the rankings. On January 26, he made another deep run in the GGPoker Super MILLION$, finishing in 11th place for $33,604. Ferriera has proved to be one of the most consistent players in the weekly Super MILLION$ having cashed in 15 of his 31 appearances and earning $1,000,053 along the way. After that result, Ferriera had climbed into the #8 spot in the rankings and needed an extra jolt to hit a new career-high rank this week. He got that lift this week after outlasting the 111 runners, and besting Chris Koldnicki heads-up, in the $525 buy-in GGPoker Sunday High Rollers for $12,886 and 235.58 PLB points. On the same day, at a final table that included Ryan Riess, Bryan Paris, and Jack Salter, Ferreira took fifth place in the High Roller MILLION$ for $66,038 and the 473.78 PLB points he needed to break into the Top 5. While he still has a way to go to make a run at #1, as he’s over 3,400 points behind Botteon as of this week, another solid performance over the next week could put him in striking distance of Stevens who sits at #4, just 194 points away. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • Russia’s Andrey 'kot_spartac' Kotelnikov reached a career-high ranking of #13 in the world, up 12 spots from #25 last week, thanks in part to finishing in fourth place out of a massive 28,404-entry field in the PokerStars 50/50 Series $50 Main Event. He earned $47,045 and 494.56 PLB points to push him past former #1-ranked Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford who fell back to #14. • Popular Twitch poker streamer Patrick ‘Egption’ Tardif hit #34 in the world, a new career-high for him, after finishing as the runner-up in the Natural8 $1,050 High Rollers Main Event for $75,480 and 466.52 PLB points. The score helped propel Tardif to up over $3 million in career online earnings. • Brazil’s Gabriel ‘gtavares10’ Tavares made one of the biggest moves of the week, jumping up 27 spots to #58 after his victory in the February 7 PokerStars $530 High Roller Club Bounty Builder for $40,301 and 541.76 PLB points. Brazil has taken over the worldwide top 100, currently holding down 29 of the top 100 spots. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings [table id=171 /]
There are a variety of ways to reach the top of the online poker rankings. For some, their ascension is based around a signature score, perhaps outlasting an overwhelming field in a massive marquee event. For others, it’s about the online grind. It’s a day-in, day-out battle against competition (and variance) where players register every tournament in sight and rack up results and PLB points in the process. Whatever path a player takes to succeed in online poker, it’s hardly ever easy. So when big moves in the rankings are made, it’s worth taking a look at who is making them and what they are doing right. Here are some of the biggest rankings risers of this week and some of the scores that helped them get it done. Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens (+54) Online poker crusher Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens saw a massive spike this week thanks to a series of massive scores in November. The former #1-ranked pro is once again in a position to potentially take the top spot after soaring an incredible 54 spots to land this week as the worldwide #4-ranked player. While ‘Giraf’ is constantly grinding, consistently picking up PLB points, his jolt into the top 5 can be credited to a three-tournament heater in the middle of the month. First up, a deep run in EPT Online Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) on November 10 gave found him battling against a final table full of online poker’s best. Current #1-ranked Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford, Tim ’Tim0thee’ Adams, and Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson all had a seat and in the end, ‘Giraf’ secured a seventh-place finish for $51,444 and 324.83 PLB points. The very next day, he once again found success again in a high roller when he nearly grabbed the gold in GGPoker’s High Roller Week Event #7 ($10,300 High Roller). At another star-powered final which featured Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro, Isaac Haxton, and Dan Smith among others, ‘Giraf’ outlasted the 130 total entries and struck a heads-up deal with Julian Stuer in which he officially finished in second place for $262,470 earning him another 752.24 PLB points. He wasn’t finished though. On the very same day, he booked an outright win PokerStars EPT Online Event #8 ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max) for another $96,143 and 707.11 PLB points. In total, over those 48 hours, Stevens earned over $410,000 and 1,784.18 PLB. While he still sits over 1,500 PLB points behind Beresford, another 48 hours like that in November could propel him to return to the #1 spot. ‘Futti18’ (+11) ’Futti18’ jumped back into Russia’s top-5 rankings this week after an 11 spot leap to #31 in the world. ‘Futti18’ has leveraged podium results in PokerStars High Roller Club events throughout November to rack up PLB points and five-figure scores. Back on November 8, the Russian outlasted popular Twitch streamer Hristivoje ‘All In Pav’ Pavolic and Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro at the final table of the High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder Two-Day Event for a runner-up finish worth $42,855 and 373.07 PLB points. On November 22, he did it again. ‘Futti18’ finished as the runner in the PokerStars High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday HR for another $47,052 and 382.43 PLB points. This time though he added on. The very same day he picked up a third-place finish in the High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday Cooldown which earned him another $6,938 and 116.82 PLB points. ‘Futti18’ is 18 spots away from his career-high rank of #13 which he hit earlier this year and just under $125,000 away from eclipsing $5 million in career earnings. Sam ‘TheSquid’ Grafton (+15) Sam Grafton may have a reputation of being fun to be around, a lot of laughs at the poker table. But don’t get confused, his charm is just one part of his poker arsenal that, live or online, makes it so when you play against ‘TheSquid’ your playing against one of the best. He shot up 15 spots this week, back into the worldwide top 50 (#46) and back into the top 5 in the competitive country of the UK. Unlike others who make leaps with a single big score, Grafton, who grinds a wide variety of buy-ins, accomplished it by racking up PLB scores in several smaller tournaments. On November 26, Grafton cashed in back-to-back High Roller Club tournaments, the first for $3,030 and the second for $1,848 which brought him a total of 153.35. Those scores were on the back of his November 22 runner-up finish in the High Roller Club $1,050 Sunday Cooldown for $10,391 and 148.99 PLB points. Those scores contributed in part to Grafton's recently surpassing $8 million in total lifetime online earnings. Javier ‘que_te_crio’ Fernandez (+27) A pair of nice scores helped Spain’s Javier ‘que_te_crio’ Fernandez jump up 27 spots in the rankings this week, back into the top 100 into #76 in the world. The pro, who plays out of the UK, found success in the November 18 edition of the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder HR, winning it all for over $14,000 and 286.36 PLB points. Perhaps even more impressively, Fernandez then outlasted the 673 runners in the November 22 edition of the PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-up, taking home the $23,354 first-place prize and another 366.88 PLB points. Fernandez continued to tack on PLB points, posting additional results in the partypoker $5K GTD Gladiator, putting him just 16 spots from his all-time high ranking of #60. Players can qualify for the online poker worldwide rankings by adding their screen names to their PocketFives profile.
The PokerStars EPT Online series wrapped up on Thursday after Sweden’s ‘WhatIfGod’ was crowned the champion of the $5,200 NLHE Main Event and walked away with the $1,019,082 million first-place prize. The first-ever EPT Online looked to bring players similar offerings to that of one of their popular live stops which have been understandably postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And over the past two weeks, some of the world’s top online poker talent packed the PokerStars lobbies to battle for a piece of the $21.1 million in total prize money that was spread out over the series’ 20 events. The Main Event After four days of play, the final nine players reconvened to fight for the biggest prize of the series and the right to be called EPT Main Event Champion. The first three eliminations happened in short order as ‘vip25459’ fell was the first to fall, busting out ninth place for $78,797. Soon after busting ‘vip25459’, online poker legend Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet hit the rail in eighth place ($97,344) when he lost a huge flip holding [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"] against ‘VbV1990’s [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"]. Then Andreas ‘daskalos20’ Christoforou busted in spectacular fashion when he got his [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] all in preflop against David ‘MissOracle’ Yan’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="ks"]. The flop came [poker card="ks"][poker card="9c"][poker card="4c"] and when the [poker card="3c"] hit the river, Christoforou was drawing dead. He settled for seventh place and $136,147. Play slowed down at six-handed until Enio ‘Bozzano JNR’ Bozzano suffered a bad beat in sixth place ($190,419) as Yan again came from behind and cracked Bozzano’s [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"] with his [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"]. Russia’s Viacheslav ‘Vbv1990’ Buldygin was the next to exit when he moved all-in with [poker card="ac"][aj] and was called by ‘WhatIfGod’s [poker card="8h"][poker card="8d"]. The pocket eights held and Buldygin was eliminated in fifth place for $266,323. Not long after, ‘tikidiii’ busted in fourth place when he open-shoved his [poker card="js"][poker card="th"] into Timothy ‘Tim0thee’ Adams who showed down [poker card="8d"][poker card="8c"]. Adams’ pocket eights flopped a set and held through the river as ‘tikidiii’ fell in fourth place for $372,485. The experienced final three players battled for roughly thirty minutes before Yan became short-stacked after he was called on a bluffed missed flush draw. Unlike earlier in the tournament when he was able to chip up from the short stack, Yan was unable to recover. He shoved his remaining 16 big blinds in the middle holding [poker card="td"][poker card="th"] against Adams’ [poker card="ac"][poker card="4s"]. Although the tens held to the turn, the [poker card="as"] spiked on the river, shipping the pot to Adams and sending Yan home with a third-place $520,966 payday. Despite both being deep-stacked, Adams and ‘WhatIfGod’ had a brief heads-up battle of just seven hands. It came to a head when Adams raised the button with [poker card="as"][poker card="9d"] and ‘WhatIfGod’ three-bet with [poker card="ad"][poker card="tc"]. The flop came [poker card="ah"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4h"] which brought a bet from ‘WhatIfGod’ which Adams called. The turn came the [poker card="8s"] and ‘WhatIfGod’ checked it over to Adams who put in a bet of his own. ‘WhatIfGod’ called. The case ace, the [poker card="ac"], fell on the river and ‘WhatIfGod’ checked again. Adams then shoved his remaining stack and was called by ‘WhatIfGod’ who used his [poker card="tc"] to outkick Adams and clinch the championship. Adams earned $728,633 as the runner up and ‘WhatIfGod’ locked down the seven-figure $1,019,082 first-place prize. EPT Online Main Event Final Table Payouts [table id=123 /] Series Highlights The series got off to a fast start as EPT Online Event #1 ($1,050 NLHE, Arena Championship) racked up a total of 2,426 entries to shatter the $1.5 million event guarantee to the tune of a $2,426,000 prize pool. After four days of play, ‘DON JOHAN’ walked away with a $356,769 payday setting the stage for a series that promised players big-time payouts throughout. While not the first tournament numerically, EPT Online Event #3 ($5,200 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was the first to reach the finish line and, in the end, it was David ‘MonkeyBausss’ Laka that became the answer to the trivia question “Who was the first EPT Online Champion?” Laka outlasted a talent-packed final table that included former #1-ranked pros Chris ‘ImDaNuts’ Oliver and Artem ‘veeea’ Vezhenkov as well as current #2-ranked player from Croatia Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic to lock up the $143,567 score. After a three-handed deal was made in EPT Online Event #4 ($530 NLHE), former PokerStars Team Online member Tatiana ‘Mysters_Y’ Barausova took home a trophy, surviving the field of 1139 runners and earning herself $74,951 in the process. The final table of EPT Online Event #6 ($10,300 NLHE, 8-Max, High Roller) was a who’s who of online poker. Belarusian crusher Mikita Badziakouski and Mathias Eibinger made a deal heads-up that saw both players take home just over $221,000 but it was Badziakouski who will receive the trophy. 2020 WSOP NLHE PPC Champ Christian Rudolph finished in third place on a final table that included October PLB winner Daniel ‘SmilleThHero’ Smiljkovic, Canada’s #1-ranked pro Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson, Timothy ‘Tim0thee’ Adams, and current #1-ranked player in the world Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. Also at the final table of Event #6 was high-stakes pro Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens who finished in seventh place for $51,445. A good result to be sure, but it was the beginning of a few days that found him locking up not one, but two EPT Online titles. First, in EPT Online Event #8 ($2,100 NLHE, 8-Max) he struck a deal with Greece’s Alexandros ‘Pwndidi’ Theologis heads up which locked up a $87,984 payday and the trophy. Three days later he bested Michael ‘Imluckbox’ Addamo heads up in EPT Online Event #15 ($10,300 Turbo, 6-Max, High Roller) to take home another $186,238 score. EPT Online Event #10 ($25,000 Super High Roller) had 81 entries fighting over a piece of the $2,000,000 prize pool. Finnish pro Eelis ‘EEE27’ Parssinen denied the victory to likes of Christian Rudolph, Benjamin ‘bencb789’ Rolle, Joao Vieira, and Artur Martirosian and took home $539,819 for first, the largest prize outside of the Main Event. PokerStars popular 6+ Hold’em (aka Short Deck) was on display in EPT Online Event #13 ($10,300 6+ Hold’em, High Roller) when Canadian crusher Sam Greenwood topped the small field of 41 entries to add $177,599 to his more than $11.6 million in lifetime career online earnings. One of Brazil’s best and brightest online stars, Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha blasted through the 818 entries of EPT Online Event #18 ($1,050 NLHE, Turbo) to capture the $138,358 first-place prize, a top-5 career score for the longtime grinder. In the final event of the series, former World Series of Poker final tablist Damian Salas used his last chance to pick up a six-figure score by winning EPT Online Event #20 ($1,050 NLHE Last Chance) for $117,475, the second-largest online win of his career. EPT Online Event Winners [table id=121 /] With the big buy-in tournaments of the EPT Online behind them, PokerStars next series caters to the other side of the poker pyramid. The MicroMillions series kicks off on November 19 and runs through November 29.