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Online high stakes: The Isildur1 factor
Since the middle of September, one name has been on the tip of the entire poker world's collective tongue.
Isildur1, the unknown Swedish player named after a character from Lord of the Rings, showed up on the high-stakes scene Sep. 16th. Two weeks later, he began to tear it apart.
His first two weeks on Full Tilt were rather uneventful. In fact, he seemed like just another new fish for the $25/$50 No-Limit Hold'em regulars to destroy.
One of his first real matches came versus Haseeb "INTERNETPOKERS" Qureshi. After playing for a while at $25/$50, the two players eventually moved up to $100/$200 where Isildur1 took Qureshi for close to $500k.
This was the first big win for unknown Swede and it was the fuse that lit the fireworks about to come.
Isildur1 spent the next few days playing some of the most well known players on Full Tilt. He picked apart UgotaBanana for $300k and went on to play some heavy sessions of $200/$400 and $300/$600 Hold'em and Pot-Limit Omaha.
During that time he took over $700k off of Cole South and lost small amounts to Brian Hastings and Brian Townsend. But after a few days, Tom "durrrr" Dwan finally showed up on the scene. It was the moment high-stakes railbirds were waiting for and all bets were on Dwan breaking the Swedish fish in short order.
Over four days of action - the majority of which was played at $500/$1,000 - Isildur1 won over $3 million, putting Dwan into a bankroll tailspin.
With his newly found riches, Isildur1 has played at the highest stakes available online almost every day since and the action has been ground breaking
And in his sessions with Antonius and Ivey, Isildur1 has been involved in all ten of the largest online pots ever played.
First Antonius and Isildiur1 teamed up to break the one-year-old record for the largest pot in online poker history when they tangled over a whopping $878,959.
Isildur1 then became the first person to lose a seven-figure pot online when he and Antonius broke their own record for the largest pot ever played less than a week later. This $1,356,947 pot went to Antonius after his flopped straight held up on the river.
Just two days, later Isildur1 beat Ivey in a pot worth $1.1 million, making him the only player online to have both won and lost a million dollar pot.
Seven of the ten largest pots in online poker history have come in the last week, all between Isildur1 and either Antonius or Ivey. However, through all of this action, Isildur1's true identity is still unknown. The high-stakes world has come up with a variety of theories, the leading one being that he is Blom90.
Viktor "Blom90" Blom burst onto the high-stakes Euro-site scene in early 2009 building a massive bankroll before virtually disappearing. Many sources have claimed Isildur1 is Blom90, but to this day, Blom has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.
Others have claimed he is the same person behind the "martonas" account, another player who burst onto the high-stakes scene earlier this year before dissapearing. There have even been rumors he is retired Swedish footbal legend Henrik Larsson.
The only thing that can be confirmed is the action created by Isildur1 has completely re-arranged the look of the year's biggest winners and losers online. Thanks to the $3 million he's won from Isildur1, Ivey now tops the charts with over $6.3 million - $600k ahead of Antonius, who is now at $5.7 million.
In third place on the year is Sahamies with $5.7 million. Fourth place belongs to Ashton "theASHMAN103" Griffin who has remained at $3.6 million ever since his original heater in early August.
Thanks to the $1.1 million he's won off Isildur1, Brian Townsend sits in fifth place with $3.3 million. And finally, in sixth place is Isildur1 himself, who who has made just over $3 million to date.
The majority of the money made by the top earners has come from Isildur1's profit off of Dwan, who is the year's top loser, down a whopping $6.8 million so far. Gus Hansen takes up second place with $5.8 million, $2 million ahead of third place loser LarsLuzak.
Finally, in fourth sits French professional David Benyamine and his $2.3 million in losses.
To see all of the largest pots played by Isildur1 since his arrival on the scene, head to MarketPulse.