Monday, November 30, 2009

The Rise and Fall of Isildur1

By Pauly
New York City

Usually, when someone comes out of nowhere to challenge the top cash game pros in the world... they usually get mercilessly slaughtered after the big dogs tear them to shreds and piss on their limp carcass. It happens every week. Unprepared sheep (who think they are actually wolves hiding in sheep clothing) are sheered, skinned, and gutted.

Instead of "rolling up a stake and heading to Vegas" these kids and/or Eurodonks destroy the competition on a secondary site, then roll up a stake and head over to the nose bleed tables at Full Tilt for their shot at millions of dollars in cash.

The Big Game at the Bellagio, although regal in nature, is part of the old guard and primarily set up so the Vegas sharks can fleece an out-of-town billionaire or any hotshot with a big score at the WPT or WSOP who wants a shot at the legendary Texas Dolly.

If you're an 18-year old player from Sweden, you have zero chance of setting foot inside Bobby's Room because of that pesky age requirement to gamble. Bobby's Room is off limits and unavailable to many players, and most of the true grinders know that running bad in tournaments over a year or multiple-year cycle utterly destroy bankrolls, which is why the focus has always been the virtual cash games. Big ones.

I knew that I'd be able to see a $1 million pot online... some day. I never thought it would happen this year and during this severe economic downturn. But that's the beauty of internet poker... unknown figures emerge from the shadows every day. As I stated earlier, most of the guys rolling up a stake and taking a shot get their asses kicked to the curb and we never hear from them again. However, earlier in the month, a player by the name of Isildur1 made waves. Big ones. Like giant tsunmai waves that crashed on the shores of the poker world.

Speculation swirled as he made his way up the cash game food chain. He took on many regulars from the Card Runners crew at the 25/50 tables and eventually found himself playing durrrr heads-up at six tables.

Who the fuck is Isludir1?

Early speculation suggested that the unknown entity was a Scandi named Martonas who had a similar run earlier in the year -- but went busto. Was it him taking another shot at the big time but under a different alias? That rumor was many that got quickly shot down by the Encyclopedia Browns and Nancy Drews who inhabit the internet forums.

All legitimate speculation pointed towards a young Swede by the name of Viktor Blom. Because of the terrible tax/gaming laws in Sweden, he wanted to keep himself anonymous for as long as possible in order to evade the prying eyes of the Scandi Tax Police. They make the IRS and the Fed look like a bunch of girl scouts. Do you want to see an always-cool Scandi loose his mud? Ask him about his home country's tax situation. They will gouge out your eyeballs for even broaching the subject.

So to bring you up to speed, over the month of November a tax-evading teenaged Scandi caused a ruckus at the nosebleed tables. His marathon matches against durrrr and the likes of Patrik Antonius and Phil Ivey became the big story across the entire industry. Friends of mine (writers and players alike) would drop everything they were doing to sweat the action.

Isildur1 stole away some of Main Event Champ's Joe Cada and the rest of the November Nine's thunder. Instead of beating those stories to a dead horse in the days after the Main Event finally ended, the poker media focused on the Isildur1 saga. After all, it had the potential to be the biggest story of the year because we were witnessing had the next big star playing right in front of our noses. Everyone loves rags to riches stories, and every single online player wanted to be Isiludr1 -- an unknown who took a shot at the big time. He was living personification of the ultimate dream.

Alas, the Isildur1 run is probably coming to a close. The kid had run up his roll to over $7 million trying to beat the best, but since then, he's been in a downward spiral. His opponents eventually figured out what he was doing and they adjusted accordingly. Isildur1's profits quickly disappeared. Poor durrrr lost his place in line when he had to fly to London to tape a poker program, and in his absence, Antonius and Ivey took turns beating the shit out of the young Scandi.

Is Islidur1 a one-hit wonder? Or will he re-load on the secondary sites and take another shot at the big time? Time will tell.

In the meantime, here are some interesting pieces about Isildur1 that I recommend you read...
An Unstoppable Force Meets... penned by Dogishead, is probably the best analysis that I have seen written about Isildur1. (Card Runners)

Shamus chimes in on the largest pot ever recorded in the history of online poker. (Hard Boiled Poker)

Who Is Isildur1? became the topic of my weekly column where I take a humorous approach to discovering the true identity of the unknown high stakes player. (Poker News)
That's it for now. You can always download Full Tilt so you can watch the nosebleed tables.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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