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Daniel ‘SmilleThHero’ Smiljkovic enjoyed some of the biggest scores of his career in the month of September. His success in the month not only helped him break into the Online Poker Rankings top 5 for the first time in his career, but it also clinched his second career Online Player of the Month honors in less than a year. Smiljkovic racked up 4,241 leaderboard points in September thanks to a handful of key victories in some of online poker’s biggest series. At the end of the first week, on September 7, he took down the GGPoker WSOP Online $525 Bounty Hunter High Roller for $16,960 and 435.23 points. The very next day, he was in the winner’s circle again, this time during the 2021 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker, earning another $61,090 (his largest cash of the month) and 591.61 by winning Event #75 ($530 NLHE). September 9 was a key date for him as he made several deep runs at the same time, earning five-figure scores and heaps of leaderboard points. It started off with a runner-up finish in the GGPoker WSOP Online $525 Bounty Hunter where he picked up $14,607. The heat continued with a fourth-place result in WCOOP Event #80-L ($019 NLHE PKO Mini Thursday Thrill) for $15,418. At the same time, Smiljkovic was battling at the final table of WCOOP Event #82-H ($2,100 NLHE) where he ended up falling in fifth place for $28,771. In total, Smiljkovic finished in the money 55 times for a total of $308,708. Not the most volume by any means, but his deep runs in large fields events was enough to help propel him to a career-high ranking of #3 in the world, as well as lift him to the top of the leaderboard. Lucio ‘Llima92’ Lima (3,866 points) also thrived in the month of September, finishing in second place while climbing to new heights on the Online Poker Rankings. Lima, currently grinding the mid-to-high stakes, put in a ton of volume last month. He amassed more than 170 in-the-money finishes, seven of which were for five figures, for a total earn of just over $394,000. His largest score came on September 16 when he took down the GGPoker $1,050 Wednesday Double Stack for $58,148 and 531.04 leaderboard points. That barely eclipsed his fifth-place finish in the GGPoker $777 Lucky Sevens on September 5 in which he earned $53,331 and 464.22 points. He also did damage during the 2021 PokerStars WCOOP. First, on September 10, he final tabled Event #85-H ($2,100 NLHE PKO) for more than $18,000 and 212.32 points. He was back at a WCOOP final table in Event #101-H ($1,050 PLO 6-Max) where he finished in fourth place for $20,090 and another 218.94 points. By the end of the month, Lima hit as high as #16 in the world, just one spot higher than his current rank of #17. Russian superstar Anatoly ‘nl_profit’ Filatov rounds out the top 3 for September with 3,565 leaderboard points. In an online career that spans nearly a decade, September was a career month for Filatov which included the largest win of his life. READ: Career Year of Online Success Takes Anatoly Filatov To $10 Million On September 21, Filatov won the GGPoker WSOP Circuit Super MILLION$ for $1.2 million, far-and-away the most money he ever won online. However, the tournament didn’t qualify for leaderboard points, missing the cut-off by a single entry. However, that wasn’t the only score that made Filatov’s fall amazing. Out of his 27 in-the-money finishes, seven were for five figures or more. Although his Super MILLION$ win was likely the highlight of his career, it’s unlikely Filatov ever had another day like September 7. On that day he finished as the runner-up in the GGPoker WSOP High Rollers for $63,252 while at the same time wrapping up a third-place result in WCOOP Event #71 High ($2,100 NHLE) for another $76,538. During both of those tournaments, he was playing on the GGPoker live stream in that week’s Super MILLION$ where he finished in third place for $250,053. All told, Filatov earned more than $1.7 million of his $12.6 million lifetime online earnings in September. September 2021 Online Player of the Month Results [table id=265 /]
On the second-to-last day of the month, when Greek grinder Alex ‘Alexyo’ Theologis capped off a career win by taking down the WSOP Online Event #21 ($25,000 Super High Roller Championship) he not only earned a career-high score of more than $1.2 million and his first WSOP gold bracelet but he also earned enough leaderboard points to secure himself the Online Player of the Month award for August. Theologis’ gold bracelet win was arguably the most difficult of the entire series. It came in the biggest buy-in event of the WSOP Online against one of the toughest fields of the month. With 255 entries and a prize pool of $6.2 million, Theologis outlasted the likes of Adrian Mateos, Rui Ferreira, Anatoly Filatov, and Kahle Burns at the final table and walked away with $1,218,123. He also picked up 2,499.50 leaderboard points, an enormous sum in any month. But one win alone won’t lock up the Online Player of the Month and leading up to his seven-figure score, Theologis was enjoying plenty of success in August. Just one week earlier, he took third place in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Event #14-H ($10,300 8-Max High Roller) for $137,191 (his fourth-highest career cash) and 519.86 points. Prior to that, there were three five-figure scores including a fourth-place finish in the August 22 edition of the PokerStars $1,050 High Roller for $21,398. In total, Theologis scored more than $1.52 million in total earnings and 5,464 total leaderboard points in August and rose to hit a career-high ranking of #11 in the world (he currently sits at #12). And it appears that his August heater has continued into September as, in the final days of WCOOP, he took home a title in Event #95-H ($530 NLHE 8-Max Freezeout) for $56,520. If it weren’t for Theologis pulling out the victory in the final days of August, Dan ‘SmilleThHero’ Smiljkovic would have captured his second career OPOM title with 5,063 total points. Having won it back in October of 2020, Smiljkovic has seemingly been on a trajectory of “up only” ever since and, as of this week, the Austrian at an all-time high ranking of #4 in the world, sitting inside the top 5 for the very first time. Smiljkovic earned over $979,000 over the course of 152 in-the-money finishes with his top score coming on August 11 when he defeated a field of 479 entries to win the GGPoker WSOP Online Event #8 ($5,000 6-Handed NLH Championship) for a career-high first-place prize of $425,553 (1,508.39 leaderboard points) as well as his first gold bracelet. That wasn’t his only six-figure score of the month as he nearly paired his bracelet with a WCOOP win on August 31 when he finished as the runner-up in Event #42-H ($5,200 NLHE 8-Max) for another $113,745 (551.99). Add to that six five-figure scores, including a final table appearance at the GGPoker Super Millions on August 10 for $73,948 (381.05) and Smiljkovic had one of the most successful months of his online career. Brazil’s #8-ranked pro Lucia ‘Llima92’ Lima rounded out the top three with 4,779 leaderboard points after picking up the top three scores of his career in August. Lima went on a sun run at the end of the month, first when bested the 2,137-entry field on August 8 in the WSOP Online GIANT for $87,425 (856.27), his online poker top score. Two weeks later, he finished fourth in the $1,050 WSOP High Rollers Sunday Main Event on GGPoker for another $70,114 (429.58), and then, just four days later, he grabbed a PokerStars WCOOP title with a victory in Event #30-H ($2,100 8-Max Turbo) for $63,304 (506.36). In total, those three events alone earned Lima $220,844. While Lima earned the bulk of his more than $579,000 in results in those three tournaments, he has proven himself to be a non-stop grinder. The Brazilian put in work, racking up 228 total results and playing everything in sight nearly every day of the month. The end result was Lima cracking the top 20 in the rankings, topping out at 17, and currently resting this week at #19. At the pace he’s going, Lima will crack the $5 million career earnings mark by the end of 2021. August Player of the Month Results [table id=263 /]
Vamo Baralho! Loosely translated from Portuguese, it means “let’s play some cards”. Over the past few years it’s become a battle cry for Brazilian poker players as they’ve dominated the world of online poker tournaments. That’s been no more apparent than during the first seven events of the World Series of Poker Online on GGpoker. Four times during those first nine events, the last player standing has been flying the familiar green and yellow Brazilian flag. It all started in Event #2 ($1,111 Caesars Cares) where former #1-ranked PocketFiver Joao Simao took home $206,075 and his first WSOP bracelet. Simao is a known commodity in the poker world as one of the most successful Brazilian poker players of all time, but the other two winners aren’t. They are amongst the scores of talented players - pro and amateur - that call Brazil home. Just three days later, Thiago Crema, considered by some to be the best-kept secret of the Brazilian online poker scene, then made sure everybody knew his name when he won his first bracelet by shipping Event #4 ($800 Double Chance No Limit Hold’em) for $161,637). “He started to play poker seriously in 2010 when he was still a chess player,” said Victor Marques, one of Brazil’s leading poker commentators. “Then he made it to Sit and Go Team Pro which was the team that gave birth to 4-bet, where Crema is both instructor and shareholder. He is very respected for his knowledge about the game in Brazil and outside.Yuri A phenomenon.” The vociferous Brazilian poker community only had to wait another three days before they had another reason to cheer - and this time it wasn’t even a pro. Eduard Pires, a businessman from Parana State - the same as Crema - beat out 5,436 other entries in Event #7 ($1,500 Millionaire Maker) to pocket $1,384,013. “He owns a beer company and plays poker for fun since many years ago. He already made it to three-handed on a huge online tournament against 'European' and ‘C Darwin2’, getting the silver medal,” Marques said. “He was on holiday and playing the WSOP from his mobile at Foz do Iguaçu, home of Iguassu Falls. A great guy.” Another four days passed and then another Brazilian came through. Lucio Lima shipped Event #9 ($525 Superstack Turbo Bounty NLHE) for $95,205. His victory is just another piece of an already incredible year. "Lima - 'the wizard' - is a player from Minas Gerais state, on Brazilian Southeast. He owns a poker team (Insight Poker Team) in Brazil, where he's also an instructor there. Lima is enjoying success in online poker this year," Marques said. The wins aren't the only signs of success. Through those same 11 events, a pair of Brazilian players have finished in the runner-up spot and four others have made final tables. Renan Carlos Bruschi - who won PocketFives Player of the Month for July - came in second place in Event #2 ($2,500 Limit Hold'em Championship) while the most high-profile may have come on Sunday night when GGPoker ambassador Felipe Ramos finished runner-up in Event #12 ($1,000 Double Stack NLHE). The deep runs are also mean long nights of celebration for Marques and some of his friends at SuperPoker, one of Brazil's leading poker media outlets. Hosting final table coverage on SuperPoker's Twitch channel gives him the chance to straddle the line between commentator and fan. "Hosting Brazilian final tables is such a thrill. Our audience is sending comments and rooting all the time on chat, big numbers, and lots of times there are friends of mine playing," Marques said. "I'm doing It for years, but I keep getting emotional at all-ins and when we get first place." The dominance of Brazil in the early part of the WSOP Online shouldn’t come as any real surprise to anybody who has followed the PocketFives Rankings over the past several years. Not only has Yuri Dzivielevski held down the #1 spot for the last 21 weeks, but three of the top 10 are from Brazil. Beyond that, nine of the top 25 and 35 of the top 100 ranked online poker players in the world fly the green and yellow. Marques believes that’s just the tip of the iceberg and there’s a few names who might just be flying under the radar, ready to grab gold. “In Brazil, there are a lot of talents appearing every single day. I would keep an eye on Dante Goya (from Ceará state, PLO Expert), Guilherme Decourt (from São Paulo, also PLO Expert), Bernardo 'betsoares' Soares (from Santa Catarina), and Eduardo Silva (from Minas Gerais),” Marques said. “Along with Pedro Padilha, Kelvin Kerber, Belarmino Prado, Bruno Botteon, Bruno Volkmann, Pablo Brito, Rafael Moraes, Peter Patrício, João Simão, Yuri Martins Dzivielevski, they can bring some bracelets home.” A strong contingent of Brazilians usually descends upon Las Vegas every summer for the WSOP. While the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc, international travel could prove to be difficult this fall and Marques believes his fellow countrymen and women might not be able or willing to fly to the United States. “In Brazil, instead of supporting a vaccine, our president was promoting a medicine that was proven ineffective. That took a toll,” Marques said. “Vaccination started later than other countries and now players who usually are 'starters' at WSOP tables are struggling to get the vaccine and the VISA. I think more than a half of standard Brazilian players are staying home because of that problem.”
After each 2021 World Series of Poker Online bracelet event wraps up, the WSOP ships the event winner their gold bracelet via FedEx. The way the first nine events have gone, somebody needs to inquire about bulk shipping rates to Brazil. For the fourth time in nine events, a Brazilian grinder has managed to take down a WSOP Online event on GGPoker. Lucio Lima defeated 2,228 other players to win Event #9 ($525 Superstack Turbo Bounty NLHE) for $95,205. The final table included a pair of previous bracelet winners as well as a Polish player looking to capture the third bracelet this week for his homeland. In the end, it was Lima joining Joao Simao, Eduardo Pires, and Thiago Crema as Brazilian players who have capture gold already this summer. Action folded to Krzysztof Dulowski in late position and he raised to 700,000 with [poker card="jh"][poker card="th"] before William Romaine made it 1,995,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"] from his direct left. Dulowski called. The flop came [poker card="jd"][poker card="8h"][poker card="6s"] and Dulowski check-called after Romaine bet 2,170,000. The turn was the [poker card="js"] to give Dulowski trip jacks and Dulowski checked to Romaine who checked behind. The river was the [poker card="7d"] and Dulowski moved all in to put Romaine to a decision for his tournament life. The American, who is residing in Mexico during this series, called off the rest of his chips only to be shown a better hand and was eliminated in ninth place. A few moments later, Lima used a dominating hand to pick up his first elimination of the night. From UTG, Japan's Daisuke Ogita moved all in for 9,124,815 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"] and action folded to Lima in the cutoff. He re-shoved with [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"], forcing the rest of the table to fold. The board ran out [poker card="qh"][poker card="js"][poker card="ts"][poker card="as"][poker card="4s"] to give both players top pair with Lima's king kicker coming into play to eliminate Ogita in eighth. With blinds of 300,000/600,000 (75,000 ante), Yngve Steen moved all in for 7,593,157 holding [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"]. Everybody folded until Stanislav Kuvaev re-shoved for 8,965,336 on the button with [poker card="ad"][poker card="as"]. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="2s"] flop changed nothing and the [poker card="qh"] meant Steen was drawing very thin. The river was the [poker card="6c"] to give Kuvaev the pot and send Steen out in seventh place. When the final table began, Joaquin Melogno was the second shortest stack. After seeing three others bust around him, Melogno's rise up the ladder came to a halt. Melogno raised to 1,470,000 from UTG and Lima called from the big blind. Both players checked after the [poker card="qc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="7d"] flop. The turn was the [poker card="6s"] and Lima bet 4,060,000 and Melogno called. The river was the [poker card="6c"] and Lima moved all in. Melogno called off his 11,892,512 stack and tabled [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"] but Lima showed [poker card="qs"][poker card="th"] for a bigger pair to give him his second elimination of the night as Melogno departed in sixth. Kuvaev was the only player who had a shorter stack than Melogno at the start of the final table. His run lasted just five minutes longer than Melogno. Kuvaev moved all in from UTG for 11,475,993 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="qc"] before Dulowski re-shoved with [poker card="kc"][poker card="kd"]. Dulowski stayed in control after the [poker card="9d"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4s"] flop before Kuvaev got a little tease on the [poker card="qs"] turn. The [poker card="ts"] river completed the board and eliminated Kuvaev in fifth position. A battle of the blinds took the tournament from hour-handed to three-handed just 11 minutes later. Lima raised from the button to 1,600,000 before Dulowski three-bet to 6,560,000 in the small blind. Johnathon French then moved all in from the big blind for 9,820,175. Lima folded but Dulowski called and turned over [poker card="kc"][poker card="jc"] which put French in great shape holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="th"][poker card="4s"][poker card="3h"] flop was a great one for French but the [poker card="jh"] spelled disaster and sent the Canadian to the river with only seven outs. The river was the [poker card="3c"] and French failed to improve and was sent to the rail in fourth. Thanks to that pot, Dulowski started three-handed play with the chip lead and almost 50% of the total chips in play. Just 12 minutes later, he was out. Anson Tsang, who won a bracelet at 2018 WSOP Europe, raised the button to 2,400,000 and Lima came along in the small blind. Dulowski moved all in for 11,794,214 and Tsang re-shoved for 50,286,066 forcing Lima to fold. Dulowski showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="qd"] which put him behind Tsang's [poker card="ah"][poker card="4c"]. The board ran out [poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"][poker card="jc"][poker card="8h"] to miss both players and allowed Tsang to take the pot thanks to his ace as Dulowski went home in third place, denying himself the chance to become the third Polish player to win a 2021 WSOP Online event. Tsang started heads up play with 58% of the chips in play and through the early hands of play, he increased that to holding nearly 75%. That was as close as Tsang got to winning the bracelet though. Over the next 17 minutes of play, Lima grinded back to even stacks and eventually took the lead. At this point both players were sitting on stacks of roughly 20 big blinds each. On the final hand of the night, Lima open-shoved for 55,468,880 with [poker card="3c"][poker card="3h"] and Tsang called for 55,281,120 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="5h"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="9c"][poker card="3s"] flop paired Tsang's ace but gave Lima bottom set. The turn was the [poker card="7s"] to leave Tsang drawing dead as the [poker card="td"] river completed the board and eliminated Tsang in second place and handed Lima his first career WSOP bracelet. Event #9 Final Table Payouts Lucio 'WizardOfAz' Lima - $95,205 Anson Tsang - $66,918 Krzysztof 'ZryjGruz' Dulowski - $60,634 Johnathon 'Resolve' French - $29,320 Stanislav Kuvaev - $23,741 Joaquin Melogno - $18,314 Yngve 'IAMWILLIAM' Steen - $18,390 Daisuke 'REDJOE' Ogita - $17,123 William 'BigCharles' Romaine - $16,438