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It’s been over six years since Brazil’s Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski was the #1-ranked online poker player in the world and this week he took another step closer to becoming it again. After weeks of hovering inside and out of the worldwide top five for the better part of two months, the tournament superstar unseated Croatia's Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic to assume the #2 spot and became the next player to make a run at fellow Brazilian Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon, who has now held the #1 ranking for 11 weeks in a row. For many, Dzivieleski first stepped into the poker spotlight when he was featured on the ESPN broadcast during the 2019 Main Event. Ever since then, he has continued to pile up the accolades. He’s won two World Series of Poker gold bracelets, including one in 2020, as well as multiple partypoker POWERFEST events, and a total of four PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker titles. A regular in the online high roller scene, with over $10 million in total lifetime online earnings, Dzivielevski has become known as one of Brazil’s very best all-around players. But there are also plenty of poker players and fans who know that ‘Yuri Martins’ has been a must-respected tournament grinder years before his 2019 “breakout” year. In 2014, he soared to the top of the rankings and ended Nicolas ‘PokerKaiser’ Fierro’s first two-week run as #1. Dzivielevski held the top spot for three weeks, lost it, and then clawed his way back to the top three months later knocking Fedor ‘CrownUpGuy’ Holz out of the top spot. Now, he’s in a position to reach #1 again. He did this by maintaining a disciplined grind and continuing to rack up large scores. Of course, his runner-up finish in America's Cardroom Venom Main Event, which was covered last week, set the stage and pushed him back into the top five. But it was his work over the past week and a half that put him where he is now. A deep run in the February 15 edition of the Natural8 Sunday 500 High Roller brought him a $9,826 payday and 148.04 PLB points. Three days later he bested a field of 242 entries in the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder for over $10,253 and another 245.97 PLB points. Finally, he tacked on another 310.92 PLB points with his sixth-place result in the PokerStars Turbo Series Event #3 ($5,200 NLHE, High Roller) for $47,858. All of that said though, Dzivielevski has a tough task ahead of him if he’s going to reach #1. Botteon has not slowed down. He picked up three PLB qualifying scores of his own including a win in the PokerStars High Roller Club $530 Bounty Builder. Botteon currently holds a healthy lead on the field with a total of 13,963 total PLB points, 1,672 points above Dzivielevski. However, should Dzivielevski continues to pile on the results, as he did this week in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ where he finished in fourth place for $207,649, he has a real shot at becoming #1 in 2021. Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week • There were several notable jumps inside the top 100 this week including Dalton ‘daltonhb’ Hobold who soared 125 places from #160 to a career-high #36 by stringing together 11-PLB qualifying cashes so far this month including a ninth-place finish in the GGPoker Global MILLION$ where his final table finish brought him an $11,271 score. • ‘Olorion’ is Poland’s #1-ranked player thanks to his victory in the GGPoker Sunday Special $88 that brought him $21,572 and 416.82 PLB points. That spotlight score helped him leap from #217 in the world all the way to #58. However, it’s not a career-high for the longtime grinder who, back in 2013, reached as high as 28 in the world. • Alex ‘Veruz’ Butcher remains the #1-ranked player in the USA, landing at #64 worldwide. It’s hard for players in the USA to maintain high placements on the worldwide stage due to the limited offering of tournaments in America, but Butcher managed a pair of nice PLB scores one week ago and added to it this week with his win in the partypoker NJ Daily $10K GTD for $3,338 and 125.30 PLB points. Worldwide Online Poker Rankings [table id=178 /]
With some of the biggest online poker series of the summer concluding last month, it should be no surprise that the PocketFives Monthy PLB race for September was packed with some of the best players the online poker world has to offer. When the dust settled on the World Series of Poker Online series and PokerStars’ 2020 World Championship of Online Poker, it was former #1-ranked grinder Chris ‘Gettin Daize’ Oliver who topped the leaderboard for his fourth career Monthly PLB title. Oliver kicked off September with a massive score on September 1 as he clinched a WCOOP title in Event #10-M ($1,050 NLHE 8-Max, Freezeout, Super Tuesday) for $164,398 and an even 1,000 PLB points. However, as impressive as that six-figure score was, it paled in comparison to his next result which not only made his month but topped his online poker career of more than 13 years. On September 8, he finished in fourth place the WSOP Event #83 ($10K WSOP Super MILLION$) on GGPoker for an online career-high cash of $548,450 plus 1284.49 PLB points. The cash breaks his previous record of $285,311 which he set all the way back in 2012 by finishing as the runner-up in that year's PokerStars TCOOP Main Event. With nearly 125 results in the month, Oliver amassed an amazing 5,161 PLB points which were more than enough to lock up the Monthly PLB award and put an exclamation point on one of his most profitable runs since joining PocketFives back in 2007. Oliver wasn’t the only former #1-ranked player to crack the top 5 in September. Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski (3,909 PLB points) finished in the #2 spot and used his September results to continue his climb back into the elite worldwide rankings in an effort to reach the #1 spot he last held in 2015. Like Oliver, Dzivielevski’s month got off to a quick start. On September 1, he picked up one of his many WCOOP titles in Event #09-H ($1,050 NL 2-7 Single Draw) for $21,938 and he followed that up with a fifth-place finish in Event #10-M, the same event Oliver ended up winning, for $44,850. He continued his WCOOP dominance with another title run in Event #20-H ($1,050 HORSE) for $31,115. The biggest of his WCOOP wins came just one week later when Dzivielevski went the distance in Event #48-H ($5,200 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO, Sunday Slam) for $127,410 (plus $118,124.97 in bounties) and a monthly high 817.01 PLB points. That wasn’t the end of the Brazilian’s big month as he added a final table finish in the Super MILLION$ High Roller on Natural8 for another $185,350 which lifted his career online total earnings to over $7.75 million and a spot in the worldwide top-10 rankings, where he currently sits at #6. Fellow Brazilian crusher Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon (3,871 PLB points) wrapped up the month in the #3 spot, thanks to his deep run in one of the biggest heads-up competitions of the year. Coming off a final table finish in the WSOP $25,000 NLH Poker Players Championship where he walked away with over $388,000, Botteon’s confidence carried over to WSOP Event #79 ($25,000 Heads Up NLHE). He weaved his way through the 127 player field to make it to the finals where he ended up falling to Fedor Holz, but walked away with a career-high score of $622,300 and 1,161.52 PLB points. Just three days later, he added a WCOOP title to his resume by winning Event #36-H ($2,100 NLHE Midweek Freeze) for $80,642 and narrowly missed out on another WCOOP victory by finishing in second in Event #48-H ($5,200 NLHE 8-Max, PKO) for another $95,458. The sum of his efforts has made him the #1-ranked player in the poker hotbed of Brazil and he currently sits as the #2-ranked player in the world. Canada’s Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson (3,818 PLB points) put up consistent results in September, good enough to land him in the #4 spot. Watson went on a run in the second week of the month by first, finishing in third place in the September 7 edition of the Natural8 High Rollers Blade Mulligan for $71,691 and 388.91 PLB points. The next two days must have felt like a reoccurring dream as he finished in third place in WCOOP Event #34-H ($2,100 8-Game) for $25,073 on September 8. Then, the very next day, he notched another third-place finish in WCOOP Event #36-H ($2,100 NLHE Midweek Freeze) for $47,804. While Watson may not have grabbed a gold medal, he does currently sits as the #4 player in the world, a career-high ranking for him. The September top 5 wraps up with the current #1-ranked player in the world, Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford, finding himself on yet another leaderboard. Beresford, who is having a career year in 2020, saw his September highlighted by his first career WCOOP title when he won Event #33-H ($5,200 NLHE 8-Max, High Roller) for $162,674 and 880.34 PLB points. [table id=110 /]
It wasn’t that long ago that a quick scan of the top ten online players in the world would be packed with some of Sweden’s most well-known online grinders. Names like ‘Lena900’, ‘C Darwin2’, Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar, and Robin ‘robinho’ Ylitalo routinely held down a number of the top spots in a constant battle to rule the online poker rankings. But after a summer of intense action at every major online poker site, the top tier of the worldwide rankings have a new country in control. Brazil boasts 25 of the top 100 players, and four of the country’s elite talent have cracked the top 10. Brazil's most recent rankings surge is led by Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon, who currently ranked as the #2 player in the world, right behind list leader Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford. Botteon started off the year with an improbable day in early January where he finished as the runner-up in the PokerStars Winter Series $530 NLHE Main Event for $196,908 and at the same time came in third place in the Winter Series $5,200 NLHE Main Event for another $265,463. His one day total, which provided him his top two career cashes at the time, totaled more than $462,000. It turns out that it was just the beginning for Botteon. This summer, he continually made headlines with impressive results in some of the most high profile tournaments on the schedule. During the World Series of Poker $25,000 NLH Poker Players Championship, Botteon fought through the 407-entry field to make the final table where he finished in sixth place for what was new career-high cash of $388,837. Days later, he found himself in the finals of the WSOP $25,000 Heads Up NLHE event where he eventually fell to former #1-ranked pro Fedor Holz, but again reached new career highs with a $622,300 score. Although he just missed out on a WSOP gold bracelet, he quickly picked himself back up again and within the week, scored a PokerStars WCOOP title in Event #36-H ($2,100 NLHE Midweek Freeze) for another $80,642. Of Botteon’s six six-figure scores, five have come in 2020 and the accumulation of PLB points has put him as close to Beresford as anyone has been in months. Someone who knows what it’s like to hit that number #1 spot is Botteon’s countryman, Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivielevski who currently sits ranked #6 in the world. It’s been five years since Dzivielevski held the top spot but his impressive summer sun run has rocketed him back into ranks of the top 10. Dzivielevski has a history of success during the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker, having won its Main Event back in 2014 for $1.253 million. This year, he struck gold three times including a six-figure score on September 13 in Event #48-H ($5,200 NLHE 8-Max, PKO, Sunday Slam) for which he took home $127,410 plus an additional $118,124 in bounties to create his second-largest online score of all time. Two days later, Dzivielevski found another major score to add to his resume when he took fifth place in the Super MILLION$ High Roller on Natural8 for another $185,350. Dzivielevski’s heater has seen him earn four of his top ten career score this year and has helped him push him past $7.75 million in career earnings. Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann has been a force in the top 100 for years, hitting his career-high rank of #5 in the world earlier this year. Currently situated at #7, Volkmann has produced consistent results this spring and summer to keep himself in the upper echelon of the rankings. In one incredible week this spring, Volkmann went on a run that produced three of the top 10 scores of his career. It started out with a runner-up finish in the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker Event #64-H ($2,100 NLHE) for $79,295. Three days later he repeated the result, finishing in second place in SCOOP Event #73-M ($215 NLHE Sunday Warm-Up) for $82,739. Then, the very next day Volkmann took to Natural8 and had a final table finish in WSOPC Ring Event #8 High Roller Championship for $249,920, which currently remains his career-high cash. In total, for Volkmann, who has been recording his scores since 2012, nine of his top 25 cashes have come in 2020 and which has helped him add more than $4 million in career earnings in the past three years. The final Brazilian to claim a spot in the top 10 is Belarmino ‘Pagaovelhinho’ De Souza from Santa Catarina. De Souza’s 2020 campaign is easy to envy, replete with five and six-figure scores. His risk in the rankings can be traced back to the end of July when a pair of deep runs in the World Series of Poker Online provided him the PLB push he needed. In WSOP Event #35 ($5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship), De Souza finished in third place and grabbed a $156,687 score for what was his first career six-figure score. One week later, he nearly grabbed a gold bracelet once again but ended up as the runner-up in Event #44 ($2,500 NLHE 6-Handed) for a new career-high score of $261,249. De Souza’s summer earnings didn’t stop there as he took down the August 10 edition of the High Rollers Blade Mulligan on Natural8 for another $129,101. In just two short years, De Souza has gone from grinding stakes as small as $2.20 to winning SCOOP and Turbo Series titles and nearly taking home a gold bracelet. While these four players are currently vying for their turn in the top spot, there are plenty of talented Brazilian eager to take their place. Some of which have spent time in the top 10 before, like Pedro ‘PaDiLhA SP’ Padilha, and some of which are looking for their big breakthrough, like WSOP bracelet winner Leonardo ‘LeoMattosAK’ Mattos. Although Beresford continues his grip on the top spot, with the top talent continuing to pour out of Brazil, it may just be a matter of time before a Brazilian seizes the #1 ranking for the first time since Joao Mathias held it back in 2016.
Brazil has one of the most ravenous poker cultures on the planet with a solid domestic live scene and some of the best online poker players on the planet. Despite this, only six Brazilian players have ever managed to take home a World Series of Poker bracelet and two of those came in 2019. Two of the top five and four of the top 25 players ranked on PocketFives come from Brazil. With the 54 bracelet events on GGPoker this summer, the 13-hour Sao Paul to Las Vegas and 18-hour Rio De Janiero to Las Vegas flights - and the expense associated with them - are no longer a factor in keeping the Green and Yellow flag of Brazil from making its way into winner photos. Here's a look at five players that could help Brazil increase it's total number of WSOP bracelet before the summer is done. Yuri Martins Dzivielevski Yuri Martins Dzivielevski was already an accomplished player when he had a coming out party of sorts at the 2019 WSOP. The former #1-ranked player on PocketFives erased his name from the best players without a bracelet list by beating 400 other players to win Event #51 ($2,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo) for a $261,430 score. Two weeks later he put on a show to remember on his way to a 28th place finish in the WSOP Main Event and spent a fair amount of time in the spotlight on the live ESPN broadcasts. The 28-year-old poker pro has $1,224,272 in lifetime live earnings highlighted by his two WSOP scores last summer and a win at the 2015 Latin American Poker Tour Brazilian Series of Poker Grand Final where he earned $175,155. Online is where he really shines though. His $6,650,145 in lifetime earnings come from 125 victories, 111 runner-up finishes, and 106 bronze medal results. In 2014 he finished second to Fedor Holz in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event for $1,253,070. Pedro Vinicius Garagnani Currently the #5-ranked online poker player in the world, Pedro 'pvigar' Vinicius Garagnani has been on an absolute tear in 2020. He started the year off by winning PokerStars Winter Series Event #46 High ($1,050 NLHE PKO) for what was then a career high $74,473 score. He had a pair of close calls in the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker coming in second in Event #4 High ($1,050 NLHE) for $71,582 and in Event #108 High ($1,050 NLHE) for $49,699. Sandwiched in between those was a $50,642 payday for finishin 22nd in the High Main Event. In mid-June he finished fourth in the GGPoker High Roller Super MILLION$ for a career-high $174,653 score. The five biggest scores of his career have all come in 2020. If any player is going to be ready and able to take advantage of the series being online this year it's Garagnani. His live earnings total just $76,995 and include no results from outside of South America. Brunno Botteon Another player who has never cashed a live event outside of South American, Brunno Botteon more than makes up for his lack of live success - $78,246 in earnings - with an online poker resume that most would envy. He's the #1-ranked player in Brazil and sits at #4 in the world. He has $3,332,099 in lifetime online earnings and his two biggest scores came within an hour of each other in January. He finished second in the PokerStars Winter Series Main Event Medium to bank $196,908 and then finished third in the High version for $265,463. Like Garagnani, he's had great success in 2020. Six of his seven-largest cashes have come in 2020 including a third place finish in SCOOP Event #79 ($10,300 High Roller) for $142,624, fourth place finish in partypoker Powerfest Event #216 Super High Roller for $96,628 and a fourth place finish in the 2020 Poker Masters Online Event #14 ($10,300 NLHE) for $99,750. Geraldo Cesar Neto Like many Brazilian online grinders, Cesar isn't afraid of putting in volume. Most days he can be found playing tournaments with buy-ins from $22 up to $215 with a selection of higher buy-in events sprinkled in on the weekends. He has never had a six-figure score, live or online. His closest online result came in January 2019 when he finished fifth in the partypoker Winter Series High Main Event for $98,782. As for his live results, he finished 30th in the $25,000 buy-in 2018 partypoker MILLIONS World event in the Bahamas for $75,000. In March, he finished third in the PokerStars Sunday Million for $69,204. That score helped propel him to #5 in Brazil and #26 in the worldwide rankings. Thiago Crema de Macedo Somehow, Thiago Crema just might be Brazilian poker's best-kept secret. And that's in a country full of great poker secrets. As far as online poker resumes go, Crema's is fairly complete. He won a PokerStars SCOOP title in 2016 and then added a WCOOP title in 2018. In 2019 he won the PokerStars Thursday Thrill (High Roller Club edition) and the PokerStars Sunday Supersonic. His online earnings top $6 million. Crema had a strong good start to 2020 that actually started in the closing days of 2019. In December, Crema won a PokerStars Winter Series Medium event and then followed that up with a pair of Winter Series High wins in January. He posted 30 SCOOP cashes including a runner-up finish in Event #111 High ($530 Six Max NLHE), earning $50,169 in the process. He also has extensive live success. He owns a pair of WSOP Circuit rings from 2016 and 2017 and has cashed in nine WSOP events dating back to 2015. In 2019, he turned a Platinum Pass into a $35,000 payday after finishing 134th in the PokerStars Players Championship. He has earned $885,558 from live events.