Top 3 Heads-Up Battles of All Time
There have many legendary battles across the years, $millions and huge titles coming down to the mano-a-mano form of poker.
Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom is arguably the most exciting poker player ever. His meteoric rise to stardom came in 2009, where the anonymous 'Isildur1' alias emerged on Full Tilt Poker, playing high-stakes games online against the likes of Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius. Not only did Isildur1 seemingly have no fear of his opponents, but he played against many of them simultaneously for hours on end, often coming out as the victor, no pun intended.
Viktor Blom, perhaps better known by his Full Tilt username ‘Isildur1’ began playing poker at the age of 15. Blom began playing small Texas Hold Em tournaments with his brother and friends from school, inspired by ‘Pokermiljonen’ a Swedish poker television program. After some success in these games, Blom and his brother made a $100 deposit to an online poker site, immediately cashing a MTT for around $300. After this the brothers had minor success in sit-n-goes, before Blom’s older brother decided to make a solo account, leaving Viktor to create his ‘Blom90’ iPoker account. Here he immediately began to win, quickly advancing to $530 sit-n-goes, exploiting the inexperienced fish that could be easily found online at that time. Blom then decided to pool all of his money from various sites, totalling over $250,000, but this balance was completely busted, leaving him with just $300 in converted loyalty points. Blom again built up his bankroll, this time to $50,000, before once again losing his bankroll.
After taking a small break from poker in which he evaluated his potential choices, Blom deposited $2,500 deciding only to play Heads-up no limit Hold'em. However, this time Blom did not bust his bankroll, as he went on a massive heater, winning $200,000 in just two days, before going on to win $1,700,000 in two more weeks of play. After this, Blom found it more difficult to fins action, and so decided it was time to find a new poker room, and a new name.
In mid-September 2009 Blom joined Full Tilt under his now famous username ‘Isildur1’, but it was not until November that he began to attract attention. He began at $100/$200 stakes, winning $500,000 from Haseeb Qureshi, a regular high stakes player, before moving up to $200/$400 and $500/$1,000 tables. It was here that isildur1 began to face some of the most recognisable names in poker, first facing Tom Dwan from whom he took $4,000,000 in the first week of play. Other opponents of Isildur1 were Brian Townsend and Cole South, who first took Isiludur1 for a combined $1,000,000, before he won back approximately $2,000,000.
Despite having previously lost money to Patrik Antonius, Isildur1 challenged him to a re-match, managing to take around $1,500,000 from him in Texas Hold Em. While there are few players that have managed to fully shut down Isildur1, Phil Ivey managed to take him for over $3,000,000 playing three tables of $500,$1000.
Isildur1 has gone on to state that Ivey was the toughest opponent he has faced. Patrik Antonius has also enjoyed success against Isildur1, especially at Pot-Limit Omaha where he won $3,000,000 from Isildur1 in just one day of play, though he did win back approximately $2,000,000.
Blom recorded the largest ever one-day loss in online poker, as he dropped $4,200,000 to Brian Hastings. It was later discovered, however, that Hastings had been involved in sharing hand histories of Isildur1’s with Cole South and Brian Townsend, previous opponents of Isildur1’s.
Blom’s play on Full Tilt between September 2009 and October 2010 at stakes of $50/$100 or higher resulted in a loss of $2,630,230. While Blom has been known primarily as an online specialist, he has begun to play more live events. In January 2012 Blom took down the Super High Roller event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $1,254,000. Hilarious Quote: “He’s been playing 9 tables at once against Patrik, Ivey, and durrrr – the guy must be missing a chromosome.” - Ilari 'Ziigmund' Saharies
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