The rise and fall of Isildur - a game of poker (23.11.09 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

In Middle-earth Isildur was most famous for cutting the One Ring from Sauron's hand. Immediatly the power of the One Ring took hold of him and even while councilled to destroy it in the fires of Mount Down, he could not:

"This I will have as weregild for my father's death, and my brother's. Was it not I that dealt the Enemy his death-blow?"
- The Silmarillion: "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," p. 295
This I will have as weregild for my father's death, and my brother's. Was it not I that dealt the Enemy his death-blow


Isildur remained the King of Gondor and Arnor, now with the one ring he felt himself a hero, before succumbing to its will and eventually dying a disgrace.

These days, in online poker, Isildur1 seems to be kind of the same package.

Full Tilt Poker has been benefitting from the extra buzz of excitement created by having a mysterious player appear out of the blue on the site one day and take on the biggest names in the business.

Not much is known about this mysterious high stakes pro except the name Isildur. Like his Tolkien namesake, Isildur1 too is a skillful, hyper-aggressive warrior, albeit at the poker tables, and has got the better of one of his foes, Tom Dwan, almost every time they have played.

On October 23, the first of the now hundreds of Isildur1 posts was created at Two Plus Two, entitled simply “Who Is Isildur1 on Full Tilt?” - The poster wrote:

“He played 6 tables HU $100/200 plo against Haseeb Qureshi yesterday and took him for some money and now he is 6-tabling Brian Hastings in nlh $200/400 and seems to be winning there also. His location say he is Swedish. I would guess its blom90.. Does anybody have a better guess?”

Apparently, no one does. 67 pages and 1,001 posts later and still blom90 – a young high stakes player from Sweden – is anyone’s best guess. Barry Greenstein, in an recording of PokerRoad Radio, hinted that we may see more of him in the future but for now he is too young for live tournaments. The plot thickens…

Well, enough about him – how about his exploits? It seems Isildur1 so far is reliving the tale as we can read in the books.

Isildur's Poker “career peak” took place on November 15th when he totaled over $5 million. This is the moment he cut of the Ring and should have stopped playing, throwing the poker game in Mount Doom. But Isildur went on and his battles got bigger and bigger.

On 17th November Antonius was involved in what is now the second largest pot in online poker history when he and Isildur1 battled it out for $878,958.
Isildur's Poker “career peak” took place on November 15th when he totaled over $5 million.


Patrik Antonius has made history for the second time in four days with a huge online win netting him a pot of over $1.35m. The record-breaking pot size built up in a game of pot-limit Omaha on Saturday night where the buy-in was a staggering $200,000. Antonius was playing on one of three tables and ended up on the final table with Isildur1. By the time they met, Antonius had built up over $1.2m and Isildur1 had amassed just over half that figure. So, Antonius was well ahead and probably had his eyes on a second clearout of Isildur1’s chips. Isildur1’s losses totalled $3.3m for the day as he had also lost $1.2m to Phil Ivey earlier on. I'm certain Isildur1 will be battling some more and let us hope he does not get the same fate as the book character!

Being an outsider, playing poker games for seven figure sums is simply outrageous, and especially when you use a Tolkien related name. Seven figure sums being bet on a single hand is a far cry from how things started off in the world of online poker.

The popularity of poker has meant that high-stakes players appear all over the world and the anonymity of being online can often be appealing.
Being an outsider, playing poker games for seven figure sums is simply outrageous

The records broken over the last few days show that there is a lot of money online and maybe it is only a matter of time until we see a billion dollar hand. If that does ever happen, it will be a very big event. Let us hope the players' name will not be Sauron!


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