With an eye on the great poker personalities that have made the scene and the interesting fodder they’ve provided for us over the past 12 months, we’ve come up with our very own Top Five Poker News Stories of 2009.
The plan is to present them to you every other day from now until New Year’s Eve and we continue today with No. 2: Isildur1 and the Seven-Figure Pots.
An unknown Swedish player using the name Isildur1 first showed up on Full Tilt’s $25/$50 tables in September to very little fanfare.
Before long he was crushing the regulars, most notably taking close to $500k from Haseeb "INTERNETPOKERS" Qureshi.
Soon after he was taking on all comers at $200/$400, $300/$600 and even $500/$1,000 and the poker world began to take notice.
Those who weren’t paying attention were suddenly forced to when the unknown Swede rocked Tom "durrrr" Dwan for $3 million over four days of action in early November.
Isildur1 continued to pound on Dwan, raking in another $2.2 million, as players like Phil Ivey, Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies, Brian Townsend and Patrik Antonius stepped up.
As he traded pots with the biggest names in online poker's biggest games, rumors of Isildur1's true identity ran rampant and Dwan was left shaking his head and hoping for another shot.
“He’s a big action player and he did very well versus me,” Dwan told PokerListings. “Hopefully we’ll play again in the future and things will swing more in my favor.”
The action really heated up by mid-November, when Antonius and Isildiur1 teamed up to break the one-year-old record for the largest pot in online poker history, tangling over a whopping $878,959.
Less than a week later they did it again, breaking their own record and playing the first ever seven-figure pot online, worth $1,356,947.
Just two days after that, Isildur1 won a $1.1 million pot off Ivey marking the second and only other time in history players have jousted over seven-figures online.
By the time the dust had settled, Isildur1 had helped set a new standard in high-stakes poker online, having found himself in the middle of seven of the ten largest pots in online poker history.
But the action was far from over.
While most of his earnings from Dwan had been dumped to Antonius, Ivey and Sahamies, it appeared Isildur1 had a sizeable enough bankroll to continue to take on poker’s premier high-stakes players.
Until CardRunners’ Brian Hastings came along, picking Isildur1 apart to the tune of $3.2 million on Dec. 9.
It would later be revealed that Hastings used reports and queries on Isildur1’s game put together by fellow CardRunners instructor Brian Townsend to help him destroy the Swede in one massive session, resulting in a suspension for Townsend.
But the damage was done.
Isildur1 posted a few more losses at smaller stakes and by late December was nowhere to be found.
However, by taking part in the seven of the ten biggest pots in online history, including the only two seven-figure hands ever recorded, the unknown Swede had certainly made his mark and earned the No. 2 spot on PokerListings’ Top Five Poker News Stories of 2009.
PokerListings' Top Five Poker News Stories of 2009: