Los Angeles, CA
In a move that came out of nowhere, the enigmatic Isildur1 signed a deal with PokerStars to become one of their sponsored online players. Isildur1 has become a mythical figure in poker since he took the high-stakes world be storm when he took on the likes of Patrik Antonius, Tom Dwan, and Phil Ivey.
If you're wondering who Isildur1 is...then refresh your memory with a piece I wrote earlier in the year titled Through a Glass Darkly: The Search for Isildur1.
PokerStars has been overlooked in the last couple of years when it comes to high-stakes action, which is one of the reasons they went after a high-profile European like Isildur1. Sure, there's some decent action on Stars (most notably games involving Phil Galfond) but nothing impressive compared the matches over at Full Tilt Poker. Locking up Isiludr1's action sounds good in the short term because it will guarantee that he'll be playing exclusively on the Stars, and in turn, he will attract more sharks who would not usually hang out on Stars. In the long term, Isildur1 is a risky sign because he's prone to go busto a couple of times a year. It's an easy comparison: Isildur1 is to busto what Lindsay Lohan is to rehab these days.
But for the meantime, Isidlur1 has the necessary funds to handle Isaac Haxton in the first ever SuperStar Showdown. The two four-tabled $50/100 NL for a session that lasted 2,500 hands. The small amount of hands ensured that the two players would finish the challenge in a single session. However, the number of hands is not really enough of a sample to determine who is truly the better player. I'd say at least 10K hands would be necessary. As is, the challenge was scheduled for an attainable 2,500 hands.
A specific time was set aside for the action. The match kicked off at 3pm PT (Vegas time for Haxton and Midnight Scandi time for Isildur1). I found out about the event because Change100 had to cover the heads-up challenge for PokerStars blog. So, she was keeping an eye on their progress all afternoon and early evening. She sweated all four tables, while I sweated the end of the afternoon NFL games. I nervously paced around our apartment during the conclusion of the Jets-Steelers game, meanwhile, I also streamed the Falcons-Seachickens game because the Falcons were my big bet of the weekend.
Change100 laughed out loud a few times while watching some of the idiotic comments that the railbirds spewed during the SuperStar Showdown. Most of the queries involved the identity of Isludir1. A few suggested that he was President Obama, Wikileaks bogeyman Julian Assange, and the chancellor of Germany. I wrote an op-ed last year where I suggested that Isildur1 was not Viktor Bloom, but instead it could have been one of ten possible suspects including a bot, Ben Affleck, Sasquatch for the Jack Links beef jerky commercials, Darvin Moon, Tony Parker, Martonas, Osama Bin Laden, the ghost of Stu Ungar, Ingvar Kamprad (the billionaire owner of Ikea), and a random 12-year old Norwegian girl.
Haxton plays on PokerStars under the screen name philivey2694 and a couple of railbirds were convinced that it was Phil Ivey at the table against Isildur1 and not Haxton.
The session lasted less than five hours and Haxton came out ahead with a $41K profit. The match started out even, until Isildur1 started spewing chips toward the end. When it was over, Haxton bested the mysterious Scandi in the inaugural challenge of SuperStar Showdown. That's the only one that was scheduled for 2010. As long as Isildur1 doesn't go busto in the next few weeks, I'm assuming he'll be back to play another challenge in January.
Free Scandi money on PokerStars. Time to get in line if you want a shot at Isildur1. Hurry up because in less than an hour, Isildur1 can dust off a million to Galfond playing PLO.