You knew it was coming. When a young Scandi runs up a $6 million profit in less than a month, it's a matter of time before some of it, if not all of it, will end up back in play. Isildur1, an unknown online player from Sweden, is strongly rumored to be a 19-year old pro named Viktor Blom-a rumor confirmed by pros such as Tony G and Shaun Deeb.
In an interview with Benjamin Gallen from Winamax, Deeb mentioned that Islidur1 and Martonas (the other unknown Swede who came out of nowhere this summer) are actually neighbors from a small town in Sweden. Apparently, rural Sweden is a hotbed for high stakes action.
In less than a few weeks, Isildur1 quickly made a name for himself in the poker world as he faced poker's elite at the nosebleed tables on Full Tilt Poker. The Scandi made mince meat out of Tom "durrrr" Dwan for over $5 million as he pushed his winnings to over $8 million.
High stakes poker is a volatile pursuit. Only the mentally toughest can handle the tremendous swings over the long haul. Even the premier regulars at the nosebleed tables are prone to tilt and many of them make the same common mistakes that plague everyday players. That's why it's imperative to have your A-plus-plus-plus game at those stakes. And when you're Islidur1 and sitting on a pile of money in an economically stark time with the famished vultures circling above, you can't afford to slip up and make any errors.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the tides turned against him. His gigantic roll was under attack from blood-thirsty, drooling pros who were lining up for a shot at the fattest whale some of them had ever seen. Patrick Antonius snatched up a quick $1 million score and it was all downhill for Islidur1.
December 1 was a tragic day and will live in infamy for Islidur1 after he incurred consecutive losing sessions that damaged both his bankroll and his psyche. Finnish high stakes hothead Illari "Ziigmund" Sahamies booked a $1 million win after he pummeled Isildur1 over 1,000 hands at the $500-$1,000 pot-limit Omaha tables. Islidur1 tried to win back his losses during a short session against Brian Townsend at $300-$600 pot-limit Omaha but came up short.
He lost more than $500,000 in fewer than 600 hands. After a break-even match against Tom "durrrr" Dwan, Islidur1's demoralizing slide continued when he played Patrik Antonius at the $300-$600 pot-limit Omaha tables. It didn't take very long for Antonius to extract another $1 million from Islidur1. Alas, Islidur1's nightmare was not over. After dropping $2 million to the Finns, Islidur1 played a grueling session against Cole South. Lasting over 2,500 hands, the stakes in the session jumped from $200-$400 pot-limit Omaha to $300-$600. When the dust settled, South netted a profit close to $1 million.
At that point, Islidur1 was stuck $1 million. His bankroll topped over $7 million at the high water mark and within weeks he violently tumbled and lost it all. The majority of his initial windfall occurred against durrrr. Essentially, durrrr's money was dispersed among the other high stakes regulars. You gotta think that durrrr is a little peeved that he didn't get a shot at retrieving a bit of the $5 million he originally lost to Islidur1.
From September 1 through December 7, Islidur1 played almost 150,000 hands and is down approximately $100,000. In that period of 100 days or so, he ran his bankroll up over $7 million in an awe-inspiring feat, yet lost it all during a squeamish slide.
As the end of the year approaches, Islidur1 is licking his wounds and prepping for another run at the big dogs. Can he unleash another stupendous winning streak in 2010 and hold onto his winnings? Or will he fizzle out and become a footnote in the history of high-stakes poker? Time will tell. In the meantime, you can always download Full Tilt Poker to sweat Islidur1 and watch the action unfold live.
Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire is the author of the upcoming book 'Lost Vegas'. You can read his poker blog, Tao of Poker, over at www.taopoker.com.