Kostritsyn Dominates Dwindling High-Stakes Online Poker in 2016

Viktor "Isildur1" Blom played over 200,000 hands of high-stakes poker in 2016.

Could this be the last biggest online winners and losers’ list that’s worth publishing?

It certainly seems possible as the high-stakes games have undeniably shrunk over the last couple of years.

There are also a number of high-profile players who have opted out of tracking, which makes it tough to get an accurate picture of what's been won and lost

This year’s biggest winner (spoiler alert) Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn accumulated $1,466,568 on PokerStars in 2016, which is a dramatic step down from $3.4m that Isildur1 won in 2015.

Go back to 2013 and the contrast is even more considerable as Niklas Heinecker earned $6.3m.

Despite the general slowdown all the usual suspects were still there this year, though, with Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky, Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro, Isildur1 and Kanu7 all factoring into the biggest winners & losers list for 2016.

We’ll take a closer look at the movers and shakers below:

Kostritsyn Only Player to Top $1m

Russian Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn was the only player that topped $1m in earnings in 2016 with $1,466,568 to lead everyone according to HighStakesDB.

Alex Kostritsyn
Alex Kostritsyn

Kostritsyn had previously opted out of tracking on the site so it was surprising to see him at the top of the rankings but there he is.

It’s not the first time that Kostritsyn has finished the year as the biggest winner as he ended up with $3.3m in 2014, although that was on Full Tilt Poker instead of PokerStars.

The next biggest winner for 2016 is the remarkably consistent Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky who picked up $815,517. Sulsky always seems able to escape posting a loss for the entire year.

Finnish pro Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro made a strong return to the high-stakes online scene in 2016 with a haul of $565,077, which was enough to place him in the top 10 earners.

Isaac “philivey2694” Haxton (+$388,463) and Jens “Jeans89” Kyllonen (+$293,503) were a couple of the notable players who narrowly missed out on the top 10 list.

Here’s a complete look at the top 10 winners from 2016 (all numbers from HighStakesDB):

1. Alexander “joiso” Kostritsyn: +$1,466,568
2. Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky: +$815,517
3. SamRostan: +$748,018
3. Cobus83: +$626,487
4. OtB_RedBaron: +$579,900
5. Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro: +$565,077
6. Educa-p0ker: +$539,974
7. bajskorven87: +$500,954
8. ChaoRen160: +$466,416
9. RaulGonzalez: +$450,402
10. honeybee088: +$444,410

Isildur1, Kanu7 Hit Tough Times on ‘Stars

Andrew Pantling
ClockWyze power outage.

It was not a great year for Viktor “Isildur1” Blom who dumped $489,789 into the high-stakes games on PokerStars.

It was not for lack of trying, however, as Blom recorded over 200,000 hands, which was considerably more than any other player in the winners or losers top 10.

Don’t feel too bad for Blom as he recorded his best year ever in 2015 with over $3m in earnings.

The biggest loser in 2016 was actually unheralded PLO player bodamos who dropped a total of $868,252.

Close behind bodamos was former Team PokerStars Online pro Alexander “Kanu7” Millar who lost $635,521 in 2016.

Some of the other notable players in the red bracket included Rafi Amit (-$381,888) and Andrew “ClockWyze” Pantling (-$341,934).

Here’s a complete look at the top 10 biggest losers in 2016 (all numbers from HighStakesDB):

1. bodamos: -$868,252
2. Kanu7: -$645,521
3. spaise411: -$624,166
4. candela2005: -$546,253
5. Viktor “Isildur1” Blom: -$489,789
6. wilhasha: -$465,476
7. flong78: -$438,634
8. refaelamit: -$381,888
9. Andrew “Clockwyze” Pantling: -$341,934
10. Katya_18: -$330,074

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