Hand of the Week: So Long Isildur1 and Thanks for the $1.3m Pot

Viktor Blom
Online poker's greatest ever?

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom has changed the face of online poker forever.

For over five years he's been perhaps the most infamous player at the online nosebleeds.

Nobody has played more hands, nobody has played bigger pots, nobody has had larger swings and nobody has as many fans.

On October 21st Full Tilt Poker announced that Blom’s contract would expire, and that was a lethal blow to the high stakes.

In honor of Isildur1 we'll take a last and close look at the biggest pot ever played online featuring the man himself and Patrik Antonius.

How the Hand Went Down

Patrik Antonius
Eventually Antonius got the better of it.

This is a heads-up duel that took place in late 2011. Viktor Isildur1 Blom and Patrik Antonius were playing Pot-Limit Omaha and the blinds were a breathtaking $500/$1000.

Effective stacks were around $678,000 or 678 big blinds.

With stacks as big as this you can expect big pots to be played because of large implied odds.

In other words, players will carry on with highly speculative hands that have some potential to become monsters. This is exactly the kind of hand Blom wakes up with:

       

He raises from the button to $3,000. Antonius responds with a re-raise to $9,000. Blom puts in a 4-bet to $27,000. Still not enough for Antonius, who 5-bets to $81,000. Blom calls in position.

There's already $162,000 in the pot and the effective stacks are now at $597,000. The flop is:

     

Antonius bets $91,000, Blom quickly raises the maximum to $435,000 and Antonius moves all-in. Blom calls off the missing $162,000 and we now have a pot of $1.356 million. The largest pot in online poker history.

Turn and river are:

  ---  

No help for Blom who loses with two pair, nines and fives, to Antonius’ flopped straight with

       

Analysis

Eventually Patrik Antonius gets the better of Viktor Blom but this legendary hand is worth taking a look at its different stages.

Viktor Blom
Do you want to play for all your chips, Patrik?

Pre-flop Blom raises from the button with his nicely connected hand. This hand can hit big on the flop and its only disadvantage is it's only single suited.

Antonius finds a strong hand in the big blind. He holds pocket kings and is double suited, one of which can make the nut flush as he also has an ace. The other suit can make the second nut flush with one of the kings.

So, although he's out of position, he raises Blom twice and pretty much shows he's ready to commit all his chips even before the flop.

Blom flat-calls Antonius’ 5-bet, which is a good decision. He has position and he needs to see the flop to decide how he wants to play the strong range Antonius represents.

Antonius hits the second nuts with his wheel and the board offers no flush draw. He bets $92,000 -- not a big bet, and it could easily be interpreted as a half-hearted c-bet.

Also, his big hand is very well concealed as he is representing mostly high cards and pairs with his two pre-flop raises.

Three of Spades is the Trump Card

The 3, which was the only weak card in Antonius’ hand, now turns out to be the trump card.

Blom, on the other side of the table, also couldn’t have wished for a much better flop. He hits a wrap draw that gives him 13 outs for redraws.

Even so he doesn’t even have a pair yet, but against a hand like A-A-K-K double-suited, for example, he would now be a 55-45 favorite.

His flop raise is therefore a mix of a semi-bluff and value raise. With this move Blom is asking the ultimate question: Do you want to play for all your chips, Patrik?

Patrik Antonius
A perfect set-up with the ultimate players

As Patrik holds a made straight his answer is obvious. A fold is not an option. Little does he know that his second nuts only has 55% equity at this point.

The biggest hand in online poker is very close. Mathematically Antonius owns “only” $741,300 of this pot but in the end he takes it all.

Conclusion

A perfect set-up with the ultimate players playing huge stacks; these are the prerequisites for a hand that wrote history.

Neither player does anything wrong, but at the end of the day fortune decides in favor of Patrik Antonius.

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