Damian Salas’ amazing start to 2021 got even better this week with a string of online scores propelling the newly crowned World Series of Poker Main Event champion to a career-high spot in the latest worldwide Online Poker Rankings.
If the totality of Salas’ yearly accomplishments would have been taking down the 2020 WSOP Main Event in January, by any standard it would have been a great year. But Salas, who has a well-documented love of the grind seemingly isn’t content with his place in the history books, he wants more. After spending the past two weeks racking up picking up impressive scores and the PocketFives Leaderboard points that come with them, the Argentinian has soared 19 spots this week to break through into the top 10 of the Online Poker Rankings where he currently sits at #9.
His spotlight score of last month was a runner-up finish in the February 14 edition of the weekly GGPoker $10,000 buy-in Super MILLION$. From a final table that included top-ranked pros like Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens, Arsenii ‘hellohellohello’ Malinov, and, eventual winner, Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro, Salas collected a $314,924 payday and 937.69 PLB points for his second place finish. On the same day, Salas finished in third place in the GGPoker Sunday High Roller Bounty Special for another $7,390 and 131.69 points.
One week later, Salas ran deep in another major event when he finished inside the final two tables in the PokerStars Turbo Series 03 ($5,200 NLHE, 8-Max High Roller) for $14,284 and another 179.43 PLB points. And finally, he grabbed another 180.61 PLB points when he bubbled the final table of the GGPoker two-day $1,050 Monday Main Event, finishing in tenth place for $4,289.
For Salas to remain in the top 10 moving forward, he’s going to need to continue to keep busy. The PLB point race is especially tight in the #8-#12 spots with Salas being just 383 points behind Brazilian Bruno ‘brunovolks’ Volkmann and a mere 127 points ahead of Anatoly ‘nl_profit’ Filatov who sits at #10.
For someone to enter the top 10 means that someone has to leave and this week it was Anton ‘AnteSvante’ Wigg who slipped from the #9 spot to #11.
Also of note for Salas, at the very end of January he scored a runner-up finish in a GGPoker $1,500 High Roller Deepstack for $16,119. That’s a nice score by any measure but it was also the moment that he eclipsed the $9 million in online earnings mark.
Online Poker Rankings Notes This Week
• Last week it was Yuri ‘Yuri Martins’ Dzivieleski who was in the position to make a run at Brunno ‘bbotteon’ Botteon’s reign at #1, this week former #1-ranked Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens assumes the #2 spot. The difference this week is that Steven has eclipsed the 13,000 PLB mark, putting him closer than any other player has been in nearly a month. Helping Stevens out was his victory this week in the GGPoker $400 Forty Stack where he earned $11,669 and 224.46 PLB points.
• With his win in the aforementioned GGPoker Super MILLION$, Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro also had a significant leap in this week’s rankings rising from #26 back to #12. The win was worth $408,406 and brought with it an impressive 1,421.27 PLB points. Keep an eye on the former worldwide #1 for a possible return to the Top 10 in the coming weeks.
• Jonathan ‘proudflop’ Proudfoot flew back into the Top 100 this week, rising 245 places to #40 thanks to a slew of recent high roller results from GGPoker, a deep run in the PokerStars Turbo Series, and a runner-up finish in the partypoker High Roller One Shot for $26,425 (307.69 PLB points). Next week see another surge for the Brit as he took down a the $5,250 High Roller Special on GGPoker for $125,383 and made the final table of the partypoker MILLIONS Online Main Event.
• Five players returned to the Top 100 this week including the Brazilian trio of ‘dennysramos2’, ‘jason132008’, and ’saymon9’ as well as former #1-ranked superstar Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet who comes in at #98 this week. Although Van Fleet’s recorded volume has been light in 2021, he’s is always good for massive scores. Including his third-place finish in the PokerStars Turbo Series 03 ($5,200 NLHE High Roller) where he won $101,421 (471.27 PLB points) and jumped to over $17 million in career online cashes, good for #4 on the All-Time Online Money List.