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Online Poker 2014: Hansen, Kostritsyn Among Biggest Stories
To say it was an eventful year in the nosebleed games on Full Tilt and PokerStars would be an understatement.
Gus Hansen and Viktor Blom lost their sponsorship deals. Two enormous whales revealed their identities.
A Russian pro proved to be the most dominant player while a Chinese player had the dubious distinction of racking up the most losses this year.
Blom Takes Flight… Then Crashes
No one started 2014 better than Viktor Isildur1 Blom and Ben Tollerene. Just three weeks into the year Blom was up more than $2 million.
Had Blom stopped playing then, he would have been one of the biggest winners of the year.
But Blom wouldn’t be the King of Swings if he did that. Instead, Isildur1 played another 300,000 hands in 2014, which weren’t exactly kind to the young Scandi.
The next two busiest players of 2014 were Gus Hansen with 200,051 and Phil Ivey with 102,230 hands across the whole year – way behind Blom.
At the end of the year, Blom amassed $1.5 million in losses and that means the Swede is in the bottom five of the year.
Chun Lei Zhou from China, however, lost more money than anyone in online poker last year. Chun and Malaysia-based Paul Phua were identified as samrostan and MalACEsia in 2014.
Chun spent enormous amounts of money on online poker. By October he was already down over $6 million.
After that, it seemed like he finally spotted who the fish at the table was and he hasn’t been seen at the Full Tilt tables ever since.
That left Gus Hansen as the biggest cash cow. Full Tilt terminated his pro contract on Oct. 1 but it only took him a short time before he was back and playing again.
It was an extraordinary year for him but not in a good way. Losing $5.6 million turned 2014 into one of the worst years ever for “The Great Dane”.
Cates, Kostritsyn Top Winner’s Leaderboard
At the beginning of the year, other players were making headlines. In February it was the Austrian Speed Chess Champion Harry Casagrande who led the winners’ ranking.
Niki Jedlicka used the winnings he generated offline during EPT Vienna to play online and make even more money. He recorded more than $1 million in profit in 2014.
Finnish poker superstar Patrik Antonius also celebrated a glorious comeback, earning almost $2 million.
In late spring, however, two players started to pull away from the rest of the pack.
Alexander Kostritsyn demonstrated his outstanding Mixed Games skills, taking on pretty much all comers and crushing them.
On New Year’s Eve, the Russian had $3.4 million more in his account than he did at the beginning of the year.
But 2014 was also the year of Daniel Cates. Four years after jungleman12 first hit the nosebleed tables – and won $5.5 million – the American showed the world once more that he is something special.
Cates was successful on both Full Tilt (+$2.8m) and PokerStars (+$630k), which meant overall he pulled in almost $3.5 million.
Cort thecortster Kibler-Melby also had a dynamic year, recording $2.6 million in profit while flying under the radar.
Saniker, Trueteller, Denoking Swing 2014 Away
Some of the most exciting players to watch this year didn’t rank amongst the biggest winners or losers thanks to massive swings.
Take unidentified Trueteller from Russia, for example. In June and July, he was such a dominant player in 2-7 that he made it to the top of the winners ranking in 2014, winning almost $2 million in the process.
Then he had a close encounter of the third kind with Dan Cates. Trueteller lost almost all he’d won and ended up in the middle of nowhere in regards to the leaderboards.
Denis Denoking Bahonjic suffered a similar fate. The Swedish-Bosnian player won regularly in NLHE at first, until things started to slip and he gave away half of a $2 million dollar profit.
It was the unknown German SanIker, however, who had the largest ups and downs over the last 12 months.
For the most part, the former NLHE heads-up specialist had bled money fairly consistently, and he had become a regular guest in our bottom five ranking.
But then, during the last two months of 2014, SanIker focused on 2-7, and actually managed to turn things around.
As the year came to a close SanIker had actually managed a profit of $1 million, which was probably the biggest surprise of online poker in 2014.
Leaderboard and Loserboard
Biggest Winners of the Year
- 1. Alexander PostflopAction Kostritsyn: $+3,357,209
- 2. Dan jungleman12 Cates: $+2,806,158
- 3. Cort thecortster Kibler-Melby: $+2,664,173
- 4. Mikael Punting-Peddler Thuritz: $+2,572,989
- 5. Niklas Ragen70 Heinecker: $+1,773,557
- 6. Patrik FinddaGrind Antonius: $+1,704,154
- 7. Isaac luvtheWNBA Haxton: $+1,541,060
- 8. Douglas WCGRider Polk: $+1,077,969
- 9. Denis Denoking Bahonjic: $+1,009,333
- 10. SanIker: $+943,936
Biggest Losers of the Year
- 1. Chun samrostan Lei Zhou: $-6,659,033
- 2. Gus Hansen: $-5,593,194
- 3. Phil Polarizing Ivey: $-2,289,627
- 4. Julius KagomeKagome Fleischer: $-2,093,378
- 5. Viktor Isildur1 Blom: $-1,477,405
- 6. carlooo13: $-1,289,889
- 7. Elior CrazyElior Sion: $-1,222,910
- 8. Phil OMGClayAiken Galfond: $-1,082,089
- 9. Sebastian taktloss47 Ruthenberg: $-1,013,666
- 10. Paul MalACEsia Phua: $-823,325