Few players have had more first hand experience of Isildur1 than Patrik Antonius. The highly skilled Finn has engaged in a number of multi-table contests with Isildur, taking the best of it the majority of the time. Overall, Patrik has picked up around $2.5 million from Isildur1 since the mysterious Swede hit the scene in September. He got together with the Full Tilt Academy “dean” Phil Gordon to dissect a few choice hands and divulge his thoughts on the latest addition to the nosebleed games.
Antonius claims he was one of the first big pros to face off against Isildur1. It was not a happy experience for the PLO specialist, who shipped around $600,000 to his new Swedish adversary. Despite that defeat, Antonius confided to Phil Gordon that he considered Isildur’s game to be very poor at this stage and claimed that he was taking some “very dangerous” risks with his play.
In spite of some early flaws, Antonius knew a “very talented” opponent when he saw one. The Finn told Phil Gordon that Isildur reminded him of Tom Dwan (the player who has lost more money than anyone else to Isildur). Both play a hyper-aggressive game, described by Patrik as a totally new way of playing poker. In addition, Antonius has been consistently impressed with Isildur’s ability to shift between multiple gears. Although most commentators have focused on his aggression, Antonius credits much of Isildur’s success to his ability to seamlessly alter his style.
During the interview, Antonius constantly made reference to the fact that playing against Isildur at these stakes was fiscally very perilous. The Swede loves to play deep and is more than happy to commit hundreds of thousands of dollars on a bluff or a marginal hand. Antonius and Isildur1 recently combined to create the largest pot in the history of online poker – over $1.3 million. Patrik recounted one late night session which proved to be particularly costly. Up around $500k, Antonius decided that if he was ever down more than $300k he would quit and go to sleep. After a short period the Finn found himself $200k in the red and came close to leaving the game. Despite feeling too tired to play, he elected to continue the contest for a few more minutes and preceded to ship multiple pots to his opponent. Before he knew it he was down over $1 million. Patrik finally decided that it was time to head to bed – after 15 minutes more of course. During that final quarter of an hour, he lost another $400,000 pot and in just 90 minutes had endured a $1.8 million swing.
Since those early victories, Isildur has suffered at the hands of Antonius and the other top pros. Phil Ivey, Ziigmund, and Brian Hastings have all booked big wins against the mysterious Swedish pro. This may be due, in part, to the fact that he has engendered so much attention from poker’s finest brains. Before recording his record-breaking $4 million win a few days ago, Brian Hastings revealed that he, Brian Townsend, and Cole South had all been deep in discussion about how to defeat Isildur. In his Full Tilt Poker Academy interview, Patrik Antonius also revealed that for the first time ever, he had spent some hours pouring over hand histories and watching other players face off against Isildur. With so many fine minds arrayed against him, it’s no surprise that Isildur’s bankroll is currently tending heavily towards zero.
Although he pinpointed some periods of weakness in his time playing against Isildur, Patrik was adamant that his adversary was a very skilled player. He seemed confident that Isildur1 would return at some point in the future, although it remains to be seen if his recent losses will force him to admit defeat. At the very least, he has stimulated the nosebleed cash games like no other and tested many of the Full Tilt pros to the full extent of their abilities. Recently, poker writers have been speculating as to whether the super high-stakes games will consume themselves, with all the pros gambling beyond their means. But with new blood like Isildur1 entering the fray, there are sure to be more massive swings and million-dollar pots to come.