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Isildur1 Returns... and Busts

The "durrrr" Challenge resumed and Patrik Antonius and Tom "durrrr" Dwan might actually finish their heads-up battle by the end of 2010. The two are almost two-thirds of the way through their arduous 50,000-hand challenge. Right now, Antonius' chances of winning are not looking so good-he's nearly $2 million in the hole after Dwan's most recent dominating upswing.

In one quick session, Antonius dropped over $230,000, most of that amount in a $184,000 pot playing $200-$400 pot-limit Omaha. Standard action before the flop: Antonius raised, Dwan three-bet, and Antonius called. The flop was Kc-Qc-Js. Dwan bet $4,800 and Antonius called. The turn was the 7s. Dwan fired out $12,000. Antoinus re-raised to $53,400. Dwan shoved for $88,398. Antonius called with Qs-9c-6c-2s and two flush draws. Dwan flopped a Broadway straight with Ah-Qh-10s-8d. The river was the Jd. Antonius whiffed. Dwan faded two flush draws and he won the pot.

It's time for Antonius to wake up and start flexing his Finnish muscles because with fewer than 17,000 hands to go, he's on the verge of losing $500,000 in addition to his current deficit.

Over at the nosebleed tables, Cole South emerged as the big dog in 2010, his year-to-date winnings topping $3.5 million by the end of February. South's newly acquired bankroll was under constant attack from the Europeans in the month of March. Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies and Isildur1 pummeled South at the pot-limit Omaha tables, where South dropped over $1 million in a 24-hour period. South's downswing continued after a tough session against Dwan, who snagged a cool $420,000 playing pot-limit Omaha. At press time, South is up $1.25 million for the year, but in the middle of a nauseating $2.2 million tailspin.

Isildur1's highly anticipated return to the big games on Full Tilt drew plenty of attention from railbirds and high-stakes sharks who were lining up for a shot at the Swedish action machine. More rumors have been swirling around the internet forums about the murkiness of Isildur1's financial situation. Tony G made an off-the-cuff comment in his blog a few months ago about potentially staking Isildur1 at some point in the future. However, no one knows for sure if Isildur1 is funding his own battles or if someone else is bankrolling his action.

Inside of four days, Isildur1 ran his stack from zero to over $2.5 million after impressive winning sessions against Cole South and Brian Hastings. Both players had been struggling at the tables and Isildur1 took advantage of those situations. The Swede made mince meat of South at $500-$1,000 pot-limit Omaha, but Isildur1 didn't hold on to South's money for too long. He brazenly dumped it all to Dwan during a frenetic 6-table session of $300- $600 pot-limit Omaha. The carnage was ugly, so much so that Isildur1 begged the young American to move up to the $500-$1,000 pot-limit Omaha tables in an attempt to chase his losses. Dwan declined and decided to log off with almost $1 million in profit.

Isildur1 offset his demoralizing loss with profitable sessions against Justin Bonomo and Sahamies, but his streak ended when he took on Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond. In a 4,400-hand bludgeoning, Galfond extracted over $1.6 million from Isildur1 at the $500-$1,000 pot-limit Omaha tables. After the beatings from Galfond and Dwan, Isildur1 disappeared for a couple of days off before he re-emerged to play Brian Hastings at six tables of $500-$1,000 pot-limit Omaha. After a merciless 2,800-hand session, Hastings emptied out Isildur1 for his last $1.5 million. The mysterious Swede crashed and burned yet again.

So far in 2010, Dwan has posted the most profit at the virtual tables with over $3 million, while Russia's Alexander "PostflopAction" Kostritsyn is up over $2.8 million. On the other end of the spectrum, the two biggest losers so far this year are Patrik Atonius, who is down $3.2 million, and Brian Townsend who is stuck $2.1 million. Stay tuned to find out if and when Isildur1 returns to the nosebleed tables.

Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire is the author of the upcoming book 'Lost Vegas'. You can read his poker blog, Tao of Poker, over at

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