For the past two weeks, Sweden's Niklas "lena900" Åstedt is the No. 1 ranked online poker player in the world, according to the PocketFives Worldwide Online Poker Rankings.
Åstedt ascended into the top spot thanks to strong play across many online poker networks, with his most recent powerful performances coming on partypoker. During the Powerfest High Roller, the Swedish poker sensation shipped not one, but two huge events.
He was first victorious in Powerfest #91 — $75,000 Gtd 6-Max on March 16 for $19,423 after agreeing to a deal with fellow countryman and former No. 1 ranked player in 2014 (now ranked 45th) Andreas "bushuset" Berggren. Åstedt then took down Powerfest #95 — $100,000 Gtd on March 19 for $34,960. Since then, he won another tournament on partypoker, the High Roller: $50,000 Gtd on April 1, to bank another $13,775.
This isn't to say all of Åstedt's strong play came within the past month, as he won the Monthly PocketFives Leaderboard in back-to-back months in January and February this year.
Åstedt has held the top spot for the past two weeks. Prior to this, it was Simon "C Darwin2" Mattsson holding down the top spot for seven straight weeks. Mattsson is striving to get back into the top spot in the PocketFives Worldwide Online Poker Rankings where he current sits comfortably in third place.
Sitting in second in the rankings is Russia's Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov. While just falling short of being the king of the hill, he was the top dog in the rankings for two straight weeks before Mattsson took over.
Another Swedish poker player was the No. 1-ranked player before Vezhenkov with Christian "eisenhower1" Jeppsson impressively holding down the top spot for 16 straight weeks from Sept. 30, 2015 until Jan. 20, 2016. He has since slid down to ninth place in the rankings. Two other Swedes — making five of the top 10 players in the world represented by this country — are in the top 10 including "Ariados" in fourth place and "DeathbyQuads" in 10th.
Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen, an American poker refugee now living in Costa Rica, also has his eyes on the top spot in the rankings, currently just points behind "Ariados" in fifth place. Hunichen previously sat on top of the rankings for five straight weeks in early 2015.
Another American poker refugee in Joel "jbrown8777" Brown, who is now playing online poker from Canada, has been in and out of the top 10 all year long is currently in ninth place in the rankings.
Others currently in the top 10 include Dutch poker player now living in Malta Steven "SvZff" van Zadelhoff in sixth and Spanish poker player now living in the United Kingdom Oscar "MendaLerenda" Serradell sitting one spot behind in seventh.
Here is a complete look at the top 10 in the PocketFives Worldwide Online Poker Rankings:
|1||Niklas "lena900" Åstedt||Sweden||7,270|
|2||Artem "veeea" Vezhenkov||Russia||7,036|
|3||Simon "C Darwin2" Mattsson||Sweden||7,033|
|5||Chris "Big Huni" Hunichen||Costa Rica||6,926|
|6||Steven "SvZff" van Zadelhoff||Malta||6,674|
|7||Oscar "MendaLerenda" Serradell||United Kingdom||6,670|
|8||Joel "jbrown8777" Brown||Canada||6,389|
|9||Christian "eisenhower1" Jeppsson||Sweden||6,365|
*Special thanks to PocketFives.com for information used in this article.