The High Stakes action is back at it’s spine tingling best as Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom sweeps $1.3 million from the tables in a 10-hour journey that ranks highly amongst his already considerable achievements.
When the Rational Group purchased the assets from Full Tilt Poker it was news that was received with mixed thoughts and feelings. On one hand the players were having that Christmas feeling (sorry U.S players) with their funds being returned lock, stock and two smoking barrels (if you count the $2 I had in my account), and the beautiful software was back. But from a competitive point of view it couldn’t have passed into worse hands. Competition is vital for the consumer, and to see The Rational Group holding the top two spots in the online poker world rankings leaves a Brussels sprout like taste in my mouth.
But one positive thing that has come out of the resurrection of the site once man-handled by Messrs. Ferguson, Lederer, Bitar et al, is the increase in nose bleed action involving some of the very best young wizards in Pokerwarts. One young man who seems to have a more powerful wand than most is the 22-year old London-based Swede, Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom. Blom first appeared in the realm of the high stakes pros back in 2009, when he turned a mere few dollars into a bankroll that once had a summit struggling for oxygen at $6 million and change. Back in those days the Swede’s identity was a mystery as he battered every top high stakes player in the game.
One player who received more Swede bashing than most was Tom ‘Durrr’ Dwan. In 2009, Dwan was the man to beat and beat him Blom did. $5 million later, Blom showed the world that even Durrr is human after all. But Blom is as crazy as they come. He is notorious for taking on anybody, at any stakes and at any game. As Phil Galfond stated in his now famous blog post entitled: Viktor Blom: The Man, The Myth, The Legend, ‘my impression from talking to him was that he genuinely doesn’t care about the money. I know some people say they don’t care… but they care. I’m not sure Viktor does. He plays poker because he has fun playing and he enjoys the competition.”
But Blom was just as likely to lose huge sums of money, as he was to win it, as demonstrated by the $4.2 million that he lost to Brian Hastings in a single day – albeit with a little help from the hand histories of Brian Townsend. Blom is an exciting prospect because he is fearless; never better demonstrated than the fact he has been involved in all of the top 12 highest pots ever won in the history of online poker.
The 10-hour joy fest for Blom started out with a loss. Just 308-hands of 2-7 Triple Draw (TD) seeing him off load $163,000 to Kagome Kagome. Next it was time for Blom to do some real work, as he got ready to participate in the much-hyped Full Tilt Professionals v Team PokerStars Battleship style Heads-Up encounter with Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier. ElkY won the match 3 v 0 and we assume Blom handed over his $50,000 before returning to the laptop to engage in a spot of warfare with Gus Hansen and Kyle ‘KPR16’ Ray, at the Fixed Limit Omaha (FL08) tables. Blom left those with over $530k in profit for the day.
Now most people would have stored there profit like a squirrel stores its nuts, but not this particular squirrel. Instead, Blom engaged in a battle with another fearsome competitor Ben ‘Bttech86’ Tollerene. The match started in the arena of $250/500 Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) before Blom suggested that they play two tables of $400/800 deep with antes after only one hand.
“Whatever you want,” came the casual reply.
It seems that Blom took those words literally as he managed to carve around $800,000 out of the Tollerene bankroll to leave the Swede’s 10-hr stint at the tables with a healthy looking +$1.3 million in the win column.
“Easy come easy go” tweeted Tollerene after the match up had finished.
That victory moves Blom into top spot on the 2013 leader board with $3,364,017, just $30,000 more that Alex “PostFlopAction” Kostritsyn who sits in second place. Phil Galfond sits in third, Tollerene licks his wounds in fourth and SallyWoo takes the fifth spot.
There’s no place on that leader board for either Tom ‘Durrr’ Dwan or Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates. The pair who have both taken $10 million between them from the virtual felt ($7 million to Cates alone) are missing from the list, but have sparked an interesting little twitter skirmish just recently. Dwan has returned to the high stakes arena of Full Tilt Poker after spending most of his life on the live tables of Macau, but The Jungleman still has most of his money tied up with the DOJ. The return to action by Dwan prompted The Jungleman to go to twitter to re-engage with his old foe.
“Hey @junglemandan, sure. Also care to pay me our figure finally since I guess now we’re tweeting dick things we could text?”
“@TomDwan debatable you owe my tbh, but rather not take this online unless you want more of our business aired.”
May the good times roll!