Will Silvano Alves become the first bull rider to win three consecutive Last Cowboy Standings when the annual Professional Bull Riders elimination event rides into Mandalay Bay this month? Last year, he bested No. 2 L.J. Jenkins and No. 3 Nathan Schaper by a country mile, with a wide gap in points between him and Jenkins. He was also No. 1 in the Built Ford Tough Series rankings by that time, a feat he’s not likely to achieve by the start of the 2014 Last Cowboy Standing.

He did just enter the top five after coming in second at mid-April’s Stanley Performance in Action Invitational in Billings, Mont., ending up higher in the seasonal rankings than that event’s winner Cody Nance. Alves loves being in the moment during competition as much as winning, though. “When I draw a good bull and I get a good score I’m very happy,” he told PBR’s Keith Ryan Cartwright after Billings, adding that it’s important to “just think about one bull” at a time.

Whether or not Alves gets the post-Billings No. 5 bull, Mick E Mouse, or No. 1 Bushwacker remains to be seen. His real competition comes from the three riders who had topped 5,000 points by mid-April: Guilherme Marchi, Fabiano Vieira and Joao Ricardo Vieira. Fabiano Vieira, at No. 2, had the best riding percentage at 61.9 percent, but as ever-confident Alves will attest, it’s all about the riding, one bull at a time.

Mandalay Bay, 8 p.m. May 9, 6 p.m. May 10, starting at $20 plus tax and fee. 800.745.3000