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  1. While each of the four "regional" brackets in the #1 Number One contest is comprised of online poker's all-time greats, the Diamonds bracket could easily be dubbed the "group of death". Not only does it feature some of the most successful players to have ever reached #1 on PocketFives, but it also features some of the most popular players in online poker history. Nicolas 'PokerKaiser' Fierro holds the #1 seed in the Diamonds bracket, but his path to victory isn't an easy one. The 16 players have a combined $111 million in lifetime online earnings, the most of any of the four brackets, and six of the 16 players have cracked the $10 Million earnings mark. Fierro will need to navigate through the likes of Griffin 'Flush_Entity' Benger, Calvin 'cal4268'Anderson, and Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen - each of whom could run into one another as the contest advances through the subsequent round. The bracket also features three of the best players that Brazil has ever produced: Yuri Martins Dzivielevski, the current #1 player, Joao 'joaomathias' Mathias Baumgarten, and Caio Pessagno. Shaun Deeb, thanks to his PocketFives Legacy Award at the 2020 Global Poker Awards, earned a first-round bye. Enter the #1 Number One Contest Now! PokerKaiser (#1) vs P0KERPR033 (#16) Nicolas 'PokerKaiser' Fierro has been ranked #1 six different times, one of just six players to have done that, and his 24 combined weeks in the top spot is the tenth best. He has earned $12.6 Million online and with 21 Triple Crowns, is the only player within striking distance of the all-time leader in that category, Chris Moorman (30). His first-round opponent, Jim 'P0KERPR033' Campbell could be a bit of a sleeper pick. He was #1 for just one week in July 2007, but with $5.7 Million in lifetime earnings, most of it earned before Black Friday, he has the OG status that could earn him an upset victory. Flush_Entity (#2) vs mindgamer (#15) Griffin 'Flush_Entity' Benger could be one of the most popular players to ever hold down the top spot on PocketFives. He did it five different times and has spent 32 weeks at #1 and has earned six Triple Crowns. He last held the #1 spot in May 2014. Since then he's gone on to have great success on the live felt, including his seventh-place finish at the 2016 WSOP Main Event. Stefan 'mindgamer' Jedlicka comes in as a #15 seed, but only because he stopped tracking his results on PocketFives. Jedlicka was #1 for two weeks in December 2013. Since then he's won the PokerStars Sunday Million, WCOOP, and SCOOP titles. Yuri Martins (#3) vs 1bigacehole (#14) Yuri Martins Dzivielevski enters the #1 Number One as a #3 seed and with a ton of momentum after taking hold of the #1 spot for a third time on March 23. Dzivielevski has more than $11 Million in lifetime earnings and has enjoyed some time in the poker spotlight the past few years thanks to his bracelet wins in 2019 and 2020 and his deep run in the 2019 WSOP Main Event. Meanwhile, TJ '1bigacehole' Ulmer is another player to have held the #1 spot for a single week. Ulmer grabbed the brass ring in August 2012. He's since cracked the $10 Million in lifetime earnings mark and continues to pile up cashes even though he's no longer tracking on PocketFives. cal42688 (#4) vs telks (#13) Any fan of March Madness will tell you that #4 seeds make it to the Final Four all time. In fact, it's happened 13 times with one of those turning into a National Championship. If you had to pick a #4 seed to follow that path, it's probably Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson. His eight different turns at #1 have him third all-time and he's spent a combine 40 weeks on top. He's dominated poker's biggest stages with 10 PokerStars SCOOP titles and another pair of WCOOP titles. His first-round opponent, Michael 'telks' Telker, was #1 for just two weeks in December 2011 but has more than $11 Million in earnings and a Triple Crown to his credit. Big Huni (#5) vs joaomathias (#12) Chris 'Big Huni' Hunichen took hold of the #1 ranking in January 2015 and held on to it for five weeks in his only reign. He's earned seven Triple Crowns in his career and has nearly $13 Million in lifetime earnings. He's also successfully transitioned to playing live High Rollers against some of the other best players in the world while continuing to grind online. Joao Mathias Baumgarten isn't a cupcake opponent though. Two different times he was ranked #1 and he's won five Triple Crowns and has amassed more than $10 Million in lifetime earnings. Romeopro (#6) vs Annette_15 (#11) Seven Triple Crowns, three Monthly Leaderboard wins, $12.5 Million in earnings, and five weeks at #1 make Roman 'Romeopro' Romanovsky a legitimate threat to advance against any of his potential opponents. To do that though he's going to have to get through the only female player in the field, Annette 'Annette_15' Obrestad. As far as online poker legends go, Obrestad is firmly entrenched as one of the most admired. Her ascent to #1 in January 2007, followed by her 13 weeks on top, her 180-person SNG win where she didn't look at her hole cards, were all amplified by her 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event win. pessagno (#8) vs veeea (#9) For many years over the last decade, the PocketFives Rankings have been a battlefield for Russian and Brazilian grinders and this first-round match-up puts two of those players head-to-head. Brazilian Caio Pessagno took over the #1 spot for the first time in July 2013 and held onto it for three weeks. He grabbed it back from Calvin Anderson two weeks later and spent eight weeks at #1. Artem 'veeea' Vezhenkov is the most highly decorated Russian in PocketFives history. Vezhenkov has more than $10 Million in earnings, four Triple Crowns, and is the only Russian to be ranked #1. Make your picks in the PocketFives #1 Number One Contest - entries due by Midnight ET on April 2. Then make sure to follow @PocketFives on Twitter to get your votes in!"
  2. Holding down the fort with $7.3 million in tracked scores in his PocketFives profile is Shyam s_dot111Srinivasan (pictured), who took down the PokerStars Sunday $100 Rebuy outright earlier this month and earned $58,000. In the process, he defeated a final table that included five members of the top 200 on PocketFives. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- "I was actually in San Remo and wasn't supposed to play," Srinivasan said of the win. "I had the day off from live poker and just came off a final table in Vienna in a High Roller event. I was a feeling good and have been playing very well in the end stages lately. That wasn't the strongest part off my MTT game, but I've adjusted." Srinivasan edged out a pretty tough final table in the Sunday $100 Rebuy that included the likes of ninth ranked brianm15, who finished fourth, and jdpc27, who took ninth. "The most important pot I won was a flip against jdpc27, button versus big blind," he said of the final table. "We got it in with my A-Q versus his 8-8 and I really believed whoever won that pot would win the tournament." On his competition in the waning stages, Srinivasan said, "Anytime you get deep in the $100 Rebuy on a Sunday, you are going to have to face some tough regs. I'm lucky that I have a ton of experience playing all of those sharks because otherwise it would be really tough. jdpc27 and brianm15 are top-tier guys online, so I was lucky to bust jdpc27 (pictured), who was on my left, and had brianm15 on my right, which was key." Srinivasan has had a wealth of live scores recently, including a sixth place finish in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event in January for $328,000. Since then, he has earned another $100,000 combined from six live event cashes, according to the Hendon Mob, bringing his career total to $530,000. When you add that to his incredibly successful online results, you get nearly $8 million in tracked poker scores. "I'm from Toronto, so I can play there whenever I want," Srinivasan said of his schedule. "The traveling has been great. I've done well in every series I've played since the PCA and I'm adjusting well to the live structures." He is #55 on the 2014 live money list, according to the Hendon Mob, and on PocketFives he is #35 in our Online Poker Rankings. Starting in one month from the Rio in Las Vegas is the annual World Series of Poker, which Srinivasan is mixed on attending this year. "I haven't really decided what I want to do with the WSOP yet," he admitted. "Canadians have 30% withholding taxes and I'm not a big fan of Las Vegas anymore. I'm really enjoying traveling across Europe with a couple of other top sharks who are my friends and have some other obligations. I can assure you I will play all of the EPTs in the near future, though." Outside of poker, Srinivasan is a big fan of playing golf, but has devoted the majority of his attention to our favorite card game in the last year. "I have taken all of my energy and put it toward live poker," Srinivasan explained. "I really want to win a major live poker tournament at this point." He closed by crediting blanconegro, pistons87, and Flush_Entity (pictured), all Canadians, saying, "I would like to give credit to a couple of guys who I have been traveling with lately for a lot of my success: blanconegro, pistons87, and Flush_Entity, who I actually mentored, but now has become such a great player that he is teaching me things as well." The Sunday $100 Rebuy runs weekly on PokerStars. If you don't already have a PokerStars account, sign up through PocketFives' link and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives MTT Training. You'll also get a 100% up to $600 sign-up bonus. Click here for PocketFives' PokerStars link. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. In recent weeks, Nick PureCash25Rampone (pictured) took down the Full Tilt Poker $250,000 Guaranteedafter a heads-up chop for $47,000. He has had two tracked scores of over $100,000, but, according to our little chat, his most memorable in the money finish came in a $1 buy-in tournament nearly 10 years ago for $300. Here's what the member of the British Columbia poker community had to say. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- PocketFives: Awesome job in the Full Tilt Poker $250K. Tell us how you're feeling about it. Nick Rampone: Thank you for reaching out. As for how I feel after the score, I feel great. Things went my way in about every manner they could, which I think is important to acknowledge because it's difficult to have success in an individual tournament without being fortunate many times over. I had a great seat at the final table, I had big hands in timely moments, stack sizes became very favorable for me, and the list goes on. As for things I could control and the decisions I was presented with, I'm also very happy with how I navigated those choices, although I was far from perfect. The final table was indeed tough with several familiar faces, so you're going to need to play relatively mistake-free and have things go your way in order to come out on top, and that's exactly how it happened for me. PocketFives: Speaking of the final table, can you talk about the play of Toby 810ofclubsLewis and Griffin Flush_EntityBenger (pictured), who are two of the top-ranked players on PocketFives and finished second and third, respectively? Nick Rampone: They're both excellent players. Of the two, I'm a bit more familiar with Toby despite not having played a ton with him in crucial moments. I've read a couple of articles about him and came away very impressed with his demeanor and his approach to poker. I know he's good friends with some of the top players in the game, so having that brain-trust to develop poker ideas with, combined with a level-headed approach, is bound to produce a formidable skill set. Both of these guys played with a nice pace down the stretch in this tournament. They earned chips in spots without getting carried away and adapted to changing dynamics, primarily stack sizes, very well on the fly. Previously, I mentioned that I drew an excellent seat at the final table. This was because I had Toby on my immediate right and Griffin across the table from me. Things very well might have gone much differently had the three of us played musical chairs. Six-handed, I emerged as a clear chip leader and conveniently all five of my opponents had the same stack of around 20 big blinds. Those two did a nice job of staying out of trouble and I think their experience was a big component of them ending up second and third out of that five-way tie. PocketFives: You had a $262,000 cash on Full Tilt Poker in 2008 in a Two-Day FTOPS event. How much did that score change your poker career? Nick Rampone: I'm not entirely sure how that score changed my career, but I do know there were good and bad things that resulted from it. Bad news first! I thought I was invincible. I think it may have been years before the effect that score had on inflating my ego had fully worn off. I was ignorant to what my actual skill level was: far below what I thought it was, that's for sure. Over the next few years, as I predictably stopped having once-in-a-lifetime scores, I was blaming bad luck for my non-epic results. I also thought I was working hard to improve my game. However, the reality was I was simply ignorant of my skill level and what hard work actually was. The good news about the score was that I was a senior in college. That weekend, we rented a stretch Hummer to take 30 of us from campus to the bars downtown an hour away. And it became the down payment on my home in Vegas. PocketFives: How did you get started in poker? Nick Rampone: I started playing $5 home games with friends my senior year of high school. We all went off to separate colleges and could no longer play. One day, we started playing together at play money tables on Full Tilt. Eventually, I won a freeroll for $5. I lost the minimum buy-in for the smallest cash game on the site at the time twice and had a dollar left. The only way I could put the $1 in play on the site was in a $1 tournament that ran once a week. I remember being so excited because one of the 600 runners was a Red Pro: Kristy Gazes. I won it for about $300, sent half of that to several friends, and the rest became my bankroll for a long, long grind up the stakes over many years. I felt great after taking third in that FTOPS event for $262,000, but I've had no greater thrill in poker than winning that $1 tournament all those years ago. The $250,000 Guaranteed runs weekly on Full Tilt Poker. If you don't already have a Full Tilt account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives MTT Training. You'll also get $25 free in most locations. Click here for PocketFives' Full Tilt Poker link. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. The PocketFives Online Poker Rankingswere recalculated on Wednesday and for the eighth time this year, we have a new #1 ranked player. This week, it's Griffin Flush_Entity Benger (pictured), who has been on a tear as of late and assumes the #1 spot for the first time since mid-2012. We caught up with Benger shortly after the Rankings were released. Here are the top 10 players this week along with the PLB score for each: 1. Flush_Entity - 7,853 points 2. VnilaVader - 7,552 points 3. lukethafluke - 7,304 points 4. moorman1 - 7,221 points 5. r4ndomr4gs - 7,217 points 6. Sheater - 7,137 points 7. huiiiiiiiiii - 7,083 points 8. blanconegro - 7,017 points 9. lena900 - 6,828 points 10. Yaya24 - 6,816 points PocketFives: Congrats! Tell us how you're feeling about being back at #1 in the world. Griffin Benger: I knew it was a matter of time with the heater I've been on recently and figured after my Hot $55 win on Sunday, this would be the week it happened. I stayed up a bit last night to wait for the Rankings to change. It's hard not to get a good night's sleep after you find out you're #1 at anything, let alone something as competitive as poker. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- PocketFives: Do the Rankings mean a lot to you? Are they a motivator or how do they affect your mindset while playing? Griffin Benger: PocketFives has always been an incredible tool for me to track my progress, compare my success to my peers, and give me goals outside of just making money. It can get a bit monotonous to play MTT poker day after day trying to make money. It's fun when you see you're in contention for a Monthly or Yearly PLB or need one more win for a PocketFives Triple Crown. Dan Cypra: What do you attribute your recent success to? You've had a PokerStarsSunday 500 win, Sunday Supersonic final table, and Super Tuesday final table in the last few months, just to name a few key scores. Griffin Benger: I've been very fortunate in the sense that if I have ever felt like I might be hitting a bit of a lull in my game, I'm exposed to someone who's having a lot of success at the time who has been able to help me get to the next level. First it was Shyam s_dot111Srinivasan, then Calvin cal42688Anderson (pictured), then Paul paulgees81Volpe, then Simon pokerbrat13Charette, then Evan Jarvis of Gripsed.com, and most recently I attribute a great deal of my success to working with Connor blanconegro Drinan. Connor and I spent nearly a month-and-a-half together in Europe and were constantly grinding together and bouncing ideas off each other about different ways to approach hands and spots. It has done wonders for my game. It's really important to have a broad network of friends and colleagues in poker. Even if you might be considered better than a certain player, they are definitely doing something better than you, and if you're not going out of your way to find out what that is and then implementing it into your game, you're just being lazy. Laziness is the biggest problem in online MTT culture. We have so many tools out there to be successful, but people would rather moan and groan about how badly they run than work harder. The game is constantly evolving and becoming more challenging. If you're not evolving with it, you're either being lazy or don't want it as badly as I do. PocketFives: You're still with Phil Ivey's training site, right? Griffin Benger: Yes, I am. I share a great deal of insight in my first training video series of my Sunday 500 final table at IveyLeague.com. I genuinely feel the Masters membership is worth the money. Congrats to all of our ranked players this week! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. The PocketFives Online Poker Rankingswere recalculated on Wednesday, with Griffin Flush_Entity Benger (pictured) making a major splash. The former #1 player in our Rankings, last seen at the top in mid-2012, Benger moved up from #14 worldwide to #4 and is 700 points off the pole position. Benger has been on a roll lately, including a third place finish in the Full Tilt Poker$250,000 Guarantee over the weekend for $23,000 in cash plus 259 PLB Points. He won the PokerStars $10,000 Guarantee the same day for $5,900 and has raked in $141,000 in tracked MTTs so far in March across 91 in the money finishes, an average of $1,550 each. Portugal's JDias99 cracked the top 10 of the Rankings for the first time ever this week after moving up three spots. He final tabled the PokerStars Sunday 500 two weeks ago for $44,000 and 351 PLB Points to help his cause. Over the weekend, he drove to a fifth place finish in the Full Tilt Super Sized Sunday and earned $9,500 along with 138 PLB Points. JDias99 is the top-ranked player in Portugal. Austria's huiiiiiiiiii(pictured, that's 10 i's if you're keeping track), ascended from #23 worldwide to #15, six spots shy of his all-time high in the Rankings set last year. He plays as IneedMoneyXXon Full Tilt and iPoker and took fourth in the Full Tilt Super Sized Sunday, one spot better than JDias99, three days ago for $12,000. Late last month, huiiiiiiiiii won the PokerStars Bigger $162 for $42,000 and a mammoth 516 PLB Points. One of the biggest jumps of the week inside the top 100 went to DaFace. The Costa Rica poker community stalwart landed at #25 worldwide, up 27 spots, on the strength of a half-dozen tracked wins already this month for over 1,000 PLB Points combined. He is the #3 ranked player in Costa Rica and tops in the capital of San Jose. Another Costa Rican, teamwispy, rose 29 spots in the Rankings from #65 to #36 on the strength of three sizable cashes on PokerStars on Sunday. He took down the Bigger $11, finished seventh in the Sunday 500, and exited in fourth from the $109 No Limit Hold'em Turbo Cubed for $40,000 and 800 PLB Points combined. You can find him on Full Tilt Poker under the user name Private ATM. Longtime PocketFiver Toby 810ofclubs Lewis rose 32 spots to settle at #51 in the world. Lewis was the runner-up in the weekend's Full Tilt $250,000 Guarantee, one spot ahead of Benger, and took second in the PokerStars.fr Sunday Six-Max the same day for another $9,200. Lewis has $3.8 million in tracked scores, the largest of which was worth a quarter-of-a-million dollars. Swedes still dominate the Rankings and own three of the top five spots, led by #1 ranked Sheater. Here are the top 10 players this week along with the PLB score for each: 1. Sheater - 7,611 points 2. moorman1 - 7,360 points 3.lukethafluke - 7,230 points 4. Flush_Entity - 6,929 points 5. VnilaVader - 6,875 points 6. jdpc27 - 6,829 points 7. Vinkyy - 6,754 points 8. rounder63 - 6,725 points 9. overthetop43 - 6,716 points 10. JDias99 - 6,643 points Congrats to all of our ranked players. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. The reign of Griffin Flush_EntityBenger at the top of the PocketFives Rankingslasted one week, as Lukas lukethaflukeBerglund (pictured) made it to #1 on Wednesday. It's Berglund's third time being the top dog on PocketFives and his first since March. The Swedish player was helped by a win in the Full Tilt Poker Sunday Brawl over the weekend for almost $50,000 and nearly 500 PLB Points. One day prior to winning the Sunday Brawl, Berglund emerged victorious from the pack in a PokerStars $215 Weekly Six-Max tournament for $20,000 and 326 PLB Points. So far in May, a month that's only three weeks old, Berglund has amassed $223,000 from 85 tracked online MTT scores, an average of $2,600 each. Benger, meanwhile, didn't fall very far, landing in third place. Joining Berglund and Benger in the top 10 are three new entrants this week, as tournaments during SCOOP have stirred the pot quite a bit. Patrick pleno1 Leonard (pictured) was among the newcomers, hopping from #23 to #6 after logging a half-dozen five-figure scores this month, three of which came from SCOOP events. Leonard is #1 in the UK. One of the largest jumps inside the top 100 went to Toby 810ofclubs Lewis, who moved from #42 to #7, or 35 spots, after he finished second in a SCOOP $1,050 No Limit Hold'em Wrap-Up event on Sunday for $214,000 officially and nearly 900 PLB Points. It was Lewis' second largest tracked score to date, trailing a quarter-of-a-million dollar haul in an FTOPS jersey bid in 2013. Vinkyy, who was #1 on our site last year, reappeared in the top 10 this week after being ranked #28 last week. Vinkyy earned nearly 1,000 PLB Points after a second place finish in a SCOOP $2,100 No Limit Hold'em Eight-Max event over the weekend, a cash that has inched him within $150,000 of $6 million in career online scores. Malta's lasagnaaammm entered the top 100 this week at #31 worldwide after a SCOOP victory last week in a $2,100 No Limit Hold'em Turbo Re-Entry tournament for almost $400,000 officially and 1,447 PLB Points. It was his third tracked score of over $200,000 and he'll look to improve on his all-time high ranking of #9, set earlier this year. Finally, we wanted to talk about Brazil's Marco Amtozza Tozzatto (pictured), who moved up 36 spots to #42 worldwide. He finished second in the SCOOP Super Tuesday eight days ago for $191,000 and 826 PLB Points and is the top-ranked player in the South American nation. Swedes hold three of the top four spots in the Rankings this week and six of the top 14. Here are the top 10 PocketFivers along with the PLB score for each: 1. lukethafluke- 8,378 points 2. r4ndomr4gs - 8,305 points 3. Flush_Entity - 7,732 points 4. VnilaVader - 7,652 points 5. blanconegro - 7,649 points 6. pleno1- 7,523 points 7. 810ofclubs- 7,388 points 8. huiiiiiiiiii - 7,342 points 9. Vinkyy- 7,339 points 10. Sheater - 7,229 points Congrats to all of our ranked players this week! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.

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