Before the internet it was very difficult to achieve anything spectacular without people discovering who you were. The information super-highway has changed all that. Now people can hide behind avatars and screen-names as they go about their business. At the online poker table this kind of anonymity is commonplace. Every player you compete against is just a name and a picture, nothing more. Up on poker’s Mount Olympus things are a little different. Where the gods of Full Tilt Poker play their high stakes cash games there’s practically no hiding. Everyone knows the likes of Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, and Tom Dwan. Any unknown interlopers soon get taught an expensive lesson.
That was until recently, when two different Swedish screen-names arrived to shake things up a little in the high stakes arena. First there was martonas, who carved a swathe through the nosebleed cash games, before dumping back most of the money he had earned in just a few weeks. Then, as promptly as he had appeared, he was gone. Now there is a new heir to his throne, Isildur1. Also apparently from Sweden, Isildur has spent the last couple of weeks tangling with the game’s best and coming out ahead. Among the vast profits he has scooped from high profile players is a $4 million run against Tom “durrrr” Dwan.
He may now be on the edge of a martonas style collapse. In a recent heads up Pot Limit Omaha session with Patrik Antonius he shipped back $2.7 million to the Monaco-based Finn. The 2189 hands included one in particular which has the railbirds ablaze. The hand in question broke the record for the largest ever pot ever player in online poker history. The pot smashed the record of $723,938 previously held by Dwan and Di “Urindanger” Dang.
The record breaking event occurred when the both Isildur1 and Antonius were nursing stacks of around $450,000. The innocuous preflop action consisted of a $5k bet from Isildur1 and a call from Patrik. The flop came 5h-7h-Qs, prompting Isildur1 to bet another $5,000 and Patrik to raise to $21,000. At this point things became a little heated. An Ad on the turn kicked Patrik into gear and encouraged him to lead out with a $48,000 bet. Isildur1 wasn’t going anywhere and demonstrated his intent by re-popping up to $192,000. Antonius then pushed his whole $415,000 stack in the middle, meaning that if Isildur1 called it would become the biggest online pot in history. He did call and the duo discovered that they were tied with top pair and a Queen kicker. Patrik held Ah-Qc-9s-6h, meaning that he needed any heart or any 8 to win the pot. Isildur1 on the other hand had As-Ks-Qd-10h, meaning that he could only emerge victorious if a non-heart Jack or King came on the river. The final card was an 8d, handing Antonius the straight and the gargantuan $878,958 pot.
Isildur1 was visibly rattled after the hand and tried to encourage his opponent to move to the Hold ‘em tables at which he is more adept. “Can we play some nl now and change back to this later,” he asked the Finn, who replied “sry im done for nl for awhile.” A clearly perturbed Isildur1 could only reply with, “what a joke.” Patrick attempted to defend his decision not to move, saying that, “I’ve lost millions in [NLHE] this year.” Isildur1 quite rightly pointed out that “I lost same at this game.” Despite some minor alterations, they continued to play PLO and Patrik booked a huge win.
The identity of Isildur1 is still completely unknown, with guesses ranging from the informed to the absurd. Many claim that this is just a new screen name for martonas, but poker pro Barry Greenstein appears to have the inside line. In a post on the PokerRoad forums, he reveled that he knows the identity of the mystery Swede, but he’s keeping it under his Robin Hood cap for now.
It’s amazing that all the guesses on 2+2 are wrong. I won’t unmask him since that’s his decision. (I don’t know him personally, but I know a good Swedish player who has played with him a lot.) He’s not a publicly [sic] known player at this time, but he has done very well in big head-up games on European sites. He just started playing on American sites.
I have a feeling you will start hearing about in live games and tournaments once he gets a little older, since he likes to play poker all the time.
Barry went on to defend Isildur1’s anonymity, pointing out that many Scandavian players either emigrate or maintain a low profile to avoid the huge tax sums they are required to pay on poker winnings. Whoever he is, it’s almost certain that his time on Full Tilt’s high stakes tables is done yet and he remains the player to watch over the coming weeks.