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’ 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.