Posts Tagged ‘Viktor Blom’

December 10, 2012

Instapoker

Ravi Raghavan wins 5 Diamond and Maria Ho joins HPT

Ravi Raghavan
Photo: World Poker Tour


Today’s Boxscore

Ravi Raghavan $1,268,571 – WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic
Marcin Wydrowski €325,000 – WPT Prague Main Event
Paul Berende €119,974 – PokerStars Hold’em Challenge
Dan Murariu €110,000 – Unibet Open St Maarten


The World Poker Tour and all those who call the shots must have been really happy as the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic field played down to its final table and saw the names remaining. Just missing out on the TV table were Jon Aguiar, Jason Somerville, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Freddy Deeb, Greg Mueller, Andrew Robl, and Scott Clements. They all crashed out on the final two tables but Antonio Esfandiari, Andrew Lichtenberger, and Shawn Buchanan will once again see themselves on the small screen.

Ravi Raghavan, recently of the Borgata Fall Open Main Event final table, was the last player standing as he knocked out Buchanan in 2nd place to increase his bankroll by nearly $1.3 million. Thanks to some structure tweaking and reasonable PR by the Bellagio staff, there was far less complaining about this year’s Five Diamond event as last year. Baby steps.

Link Dump

Maria Ho Joins Heartland Poker Tour Broadcast Team for Season 9 – Good move by HPT because everybody loves Maria Ho. Those poor fanboy souls hiding in Iowa and Minnesota are going to lose their minds when she shows up in the their local poker room.

‘Isildur1’ Bests Dwan in $400k HU Match – Full Tilt Poker is back which means we now have the platform to witness huge HU matches between the biggest names in poker. This weekend it was Viktor Blom slicing off a piece of Tom Dwan.

Casino operators gearing up for online poker – Things are starting to move right along with online poker in Nevada. I’m still skeptical about how successful it will be but it’s better than moving backwards.

Women Business Execs Learn When to Hold and Fold ‘Em – Presented without comment, because I have no idea what to think about this article on ABCNews. I think I will wait until Amy Calistri straightens me out.

The Micros: The Lost Episode – They’re back! At least for one episode but tell me you didn’t miss the opening tune. Seems this episode has been steeping for awhile during the PokerStars/Full Tilt negotiations but it’s now ready for your viewing pleasure.

Posted by at 9:00 am

September 4, 2012

Instapoker

Macau High Stakes Turbo, Matt Glantz WCOOP, and Michael Phelps

Manlio Iemina
Photo: PokerStarsBlog.com


Today’s Boxscore

Stanley Choi $6,465,560 – Macau High Stakes Challenge
Samad Razavi AUD$326,125 – APPT Melbourne Main Event
Manlio Iemina $161,234 – IPT Campione


It seems Macau might not be on the death watch just quite yet, at least as far as big ticket poker tournaments. An impressive 73 players put up HK$2,000,000 (US$260,000) to play in the Macau High Stakes Challenge at the StarWorld Hotel & Casino. 21 of those players event decided to take advantage of the re-entry option after busting out.

The field was full of rockstars like Erik Seidel, Joe Hachem, Tom Dwan, and Gus Hansen with a final table featuring Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Sam Trickett. From all reports, the structure for this huge buy-in event played out much like a micro-grinding tournament. Plenty of action and it didn’t take long to find a winner. Not much is published about the victor, Stanley Choi, but we do know he picked up HK$50,149,000 (US$6,465,746) and has his first entry in The Hendon Mob database.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Is Matt Glantz skirting the policies of PokerStars and the ol’ United States of America by sneaking in the WCOOP via internet trickery? According to my double-blind, super-secret contacts within the Stars world, this was just a badly played Twitter joke. Perhaps the poker world should convene a Standards & Conduct Meeting to investigate.


Judge rules that poker is a game of skill. Poker pro says: Duh – Another article about the recent ruling about poker as a game of skill, this time it’s a fine op/ed piece in the Washington Post by Matt Matros. One of the smartest guys in the game.

Viktor Blom: The Man, The Myth, The Legend – It’s rare that you will see one top player write/comment in depth about another top player, but that’s exactly what Phil Galfond did on his site when talking about the mythical “Isildur1″.

Filing As a Professional Poker Player/Gambler – If you want some top tips for filling your taxes, why not get the information from a poker playing tax attorney. That’s exactly what Jamie Kerstetter supplied for the folks at CardsChat.

MICHAEL PHELPS CRUSHES Vegas Wins $100K in Poker – There’s nothing I love more than senseless capitalization or crazy punctuation, this article comes from Mensa minds of TMZ. But it’s Michael Phelps, poker, and Las Vegas so worth noting.

WinStar River Poker Series: Oklahoma Pop Quiz – Maria Ho, enough said.


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Posted by at 3:00 pm

August 15, 2012

Wider World of Poker

Winning, Stealing, Counselling, Facebooking, Partying, and saying Goodbye.

Excuse me while I shed my Union Jack trousers and put this flag back into its pouch. The Olympics are over and the unseasonal wave of athletic patriotism that has washed over the UK is finally abating. It’s a relief, let me tell you. Now we can get back to moaning about the transport network and being rained on. If only the sun would stop shining.

Worldwide Tournament Update

We start this week with some glorious victories. First up there was Robbie Renehan proving true the maxim that ‘Wherever you go, you will always find the Irish’. He somehow managed to outlast a horde of locals to win the Colombian National Poker Championship, which forms part of the Latin American Poker Tour. [OnlinePoker.net]

Doing even more winning is Marvin Rettenmaier, who has garnered praise for becoming the first person ever to win back-to-back WPT events. PokerNews have even penned this paean to his glory, detailing his recent results and tournament strategy. [PokerNews]

Fresh Scandal on 2+2

A slew of worrying, but frankly engrossing, cheating accusations are unravelling on 2+2. It all begins with an anonymously posted chat log which alleges that poker pro Matt Marafioti and reported hacker Samer Rahman had been colluding to steal money from other online pros by installing a program on their computers that revealed their hole cards. The discussion has now evolved into claims by several Swedish pros that they have been scammed and threatened by a notorious biker gang with ties to Rahman. [2+2]

Euro Council Enshrined

PokerStars has set up a European Players Council to look out for the needs of its EPT competitors. It follows the example laid down by the WSOP equivalent, whose founding members included such trusted names as Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer. [Card Player]

Facebook Gets Real Money Bingo

The online gambling world has been going all social lately, so it was only a matter of time before the social media sphere went all gambley. Facebook has allowed the first ever real money gambling app onto its platform. The horrifically named Bingo Friendzy has only launched in the UK so far. [The Telegraph]

London Poker Festival on the Horizon

The London Poker Festival is on the horizon, featuring a cavalcade of card-slinging endeavours, including the (sort-of) prestigious British Poker Awards. London’s various casinos and poker clubs are running a huge number of tournaments, including the English Poker Open and various GUKPT events. [British Poker Festival]

Bye-Bye Blom

Despite completing their Full Tilt takeover, it’s not all been roses for PokerStars, as they this week bid farewell to volatile high-stakes phenom Viktor Blom. After rocketing into the spotlight with his insane swings as the anonymous Isildur1, Blom has gone on to become one of the online game’s most captivating players. [PokerNews]

Ah! I forgot that we still had the Paralympics to come. It’ll take me a full week to reaffix all my British paraphernalia. Which is conveniently just about the right amount of time for the wider world of poker to generate enough news for another post. Serendipity at its finest.

Posted by at 8:18 am

April 10, 2012

Wider World of Poker

Jobs at Full Tilt, Isildur's Winnings, Nordica Dies, LIVE in Ireland, and Russian Politics.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. Whether or not you believe in the divinity of Nazareth’s most famous failed carpenter, there’s nothing like a holiday. For other people, that is. While everyone else was outside enjoying the sunshine I remained chained to my laptop, rearranging this jumble of letters until they coalesced into a streamlined summary of last week’s worldwide poker news.

Jobs Posted at Full Tilt Poker

Brace yourselves, everyone. Full Tilt Poker is poised to re-emerge from the ashes like a suspiciously French-looking phoenix. Parent company Pocket Kings are advertising for a handful of new jobs, suggesting that the tarnished online poker site is preparing for a re-launch. At the very least, they must have acquired the money to pay these new employees. Here’s hoping that their budget stretches to refunding jilted players. [Bill Rini]

Isildur Defeats His Nemesis for $1 million

Ever since Viktor Blom began taking on all comers in his SuperStar Showdowns, no one has put up more stubborn resistance than Isaac Haxton. The American had won both of their previous heads-up encounters, so for their third battle the duo decided to add a little extra spice. Both would buy in for $500,000 and nobody would be allowed to leave until one player held all the money. After three days and over 5,000 hands, it was the maniacal Swede who took home the prize. [Poker News]

Russian Gambler Turns to Politics

This is quite a peculiar one, made all the stranger by the language barrier. Online poker player Max Katz has been elected to a position on the municipal council of his hometown. He reportedly funded his campaign with money made from online poker. Katz has yet to record any major live scores and seems to be known as much for staking as for any online prowess. There’s also the small matter of him allegedly providing “ghosting” services to fellow players that spawned one of the many pocket controversies on 2+2. [Telegraph]

Poker Nordica is No More

Poker sites come and go, but it’s never a happy occurrence. The latest to bow out is Poker Nordica, a solid member of the Merge network. Players began receiving messages on March 30th announcing the imminent closure of the site and, in the wake of Full Tilt, will have be worried about getting their money back. Nordica are paying out only in cheques, which means that withdrawals under $100 cannot be processed. You can, however, move your money to one of the many other Merge Network sites. Any cash left floating around in Nordica’s coffers after May 1st will be lost forever [Poker News Daily]

Successful Start for iSeriesLIVE

After a well-hyped build up, the iSeriesLIVE finally made its debut on Thursday night. For the uninformed, it was a live-streamed single table tournament with visible hole-cards, which allowed players to bet on the action as it played out. I watched the whole show and thought it went down pretty well. It’s impossible to say exactly how profitable it was from a business perspective, but a mix of noisy old-guard and interesting new-players made for an entertaining spectator sport. The eventual victor was James Dempsey, who already has WSOP and WPT titles to his name. [Poker News]

Irish Open Pays Out to Belgium

The iSeries took place in Dublin, which just so happened to be the venue for the 2012 Irish Open. As host to one of the oldest series in the world, Ireland has a good track record of attracting the poker establishment. Also there’s lots of Guinness, which helps. The main event was won by Beligian pro Kevin Vandersmissen, who pulled the old ‘chip and a chair’ routine at the final table. [Poker News Report]

With that, I’m off to drown myself in the huge piles of chocolate which have mysteriously appeared in my apartment. A significantly heavier version of me will be back next week with another Wider World of Poker.

Posted by at 7:10 am

March 16, 2012

Wider World of Poker

Spain and Bulgaria get legal, Italians play, Haxton triumphs, Partouche expands, and Full Tilt negotiate.

Isn’t the media weird? This week, my Prime Minister was left to wander the United States being posh. Luckily Barack caught up with him before he ensnared any commoners and the pair seem to have had a jolly old time. Most notably, watching basketball games while manoeuvring disturbingly yellow hot dogs into their faces.

In fact, the trip has been so void of substance that the BBC ran a report detailing how the U.S. press have had nothing to report. I expect the New York Times to respond with an even more self-reflexive story about the BBC and so on, until every media outlet only runs articles that detail what other outlets are not saying about what isn’t going on. Don’t fret, however. This faithful journalist will stick purely to the finest cuts of poker news, as this opening paragraph surely indicates.

Full Tilt and Tapie To Tie Up Tryst?

The rumour mill informs us that Full Tilt and Group Bernard Tapie have nearly finished thrashing out a deal to relaunch the tarnished site. We’ve experienced plenty of false dawns before, so don’t get out your party hats just yet. That said, Gaming Intelligence are reporting a deadline of today (March 16th) is in place, so we should know pretty soon whether or not to start laying out the celebratory buffet. [Part Time Poker]

Haxton Wins Again

The much anticipated rematch between Isaac Haxton and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom stumbled its way to completion earlier this week. As part of the PokerStars SuperStar Showdown the famously volatile Swede has been taking on, and beating, all comers. Haxton was one of the few to have bested him and proved the victor once again as they reunited. After 2500 hands, Isaac’s margin of victory was a slender $5,093. [Card Player]

Partouche Invasion

Typical! The Prime Minister leaves the country and the next thing you know, the French are invading our sovereign internet. Partouche – one of the big players in France’s insular gaming market – have got themselves a license from Malta and are planning to launch themselves on a handful of foreign countries, including the UK. Online sportsbook France-Pari are also getting in on the act. [Gambling Kingz]

Bulgaria & Online Gambling’s Love/Hate Relationship

Regulated online gambling is on its way to Bulgaria, with the local government hammering out the details of the country’s first Gambling Bill. Great news for Martenitsa-wearing poker players everywhere. However, the Bulgarian government clearly believe in maintaining a cosmic equilibrium, having first introduced legislation requiring ISPs to block all unlicensed sites. Given that it is not yet possible to acquire licenses, that black list would include just about everyone. [Novinite]

Spain Deny Early Licences

While we’re talking about licenses that don’t exist, let’s hop over to the other side of Europe for some tapas. With regulated online gambling almost upon the Spanish, there are rumours that some companies have had their license applications secretly pre-approved. Gaming regulator Enrique Alejo denies it. “Good progress had been made,” he told a journalist, before adding “oh look, a Spanish Imperial Eagle,” while stuffing large quantities of paper into a briefcase*. [Poker Fuse]

Italy a Hotbed of Euro-Poker 

If you’re looking for lots of online poker games in Europe, your best bet is to seek out the country shaped most like a piece of footwear. No other nation on the continent draws in as much cash from online poker, although the practice still pails in comparison to the buzzing, flashing gaming machines that pepper non-digital Italy. [Market Watch]

*Some of that last sentence may not be 100% factually accurate.

Posted by at 5:59 am

March 18, 2011

Merchdawg’s Podcast Roundup:

SuperStar Showdown, & WPT Bay 101

The Poker Edge:

The guys from The Poker Edge are back this week with Daniel Negreanu in tow. First on topic is Erik Seidel’s recent run to the top of the all time money list and how the super high roller events are altering how he looks at the list. The discussion shortly turns to the SuperStar Showdown where Negreanu discusses his game plan against Isildur1. Negreanu also discusses the recent notNAPT event that was held at the Bike and PokerStars moving into poker regulation. You can listen to the entire podcast on ESPN.com, or download it directly via iTunes.

Poker Road Radio:

Are you looking for on the road radio with stops at most of the major tournament stops then you should be listening to Poker Road Radio. These guys have been at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament the past week and have had guest such as Dwyte Pilgrim, The Royal Flush Girls, and final table player Mike Sexton. The highlight of the week was the show from March 15th where Joe Sebok discusses the recent Friedman/Haxton issues that have come to the forefront on Cerus network. Check out the show on the Poker Road Radio site or subscribe via iTunes.

Jess And BJ Show:

This show speaks for itself, Jessica Welman and BJ Nemeth from the award winning The Poker Beat join forces at all the US World Poker Tour events to record the Jess and BJ show. If you do not watch these shows you definitely should.

Posted by at 12:52 pm

January 30, 2011

PokerStars SuperStar Showdown: Isildur1 vs Jungleman12

Today, January 30th @5:30 ET Viktor “Isildur1″ Blom will take on Daniel “w00ki3z” Cates in the third installment of the SuperStar Showdown. Cates is better known by his Full Tilt Poker name of Jungleman12 where he came on, and dominated, the high stakes cash scene last year.

Follow @merchdawg on Twitter for updates throughout the 2,500 hand match.

Posted by at 10:55 am

September 24, 2010

(Way Outside) the WSOP Europe – Day 11

Day 1b of the 10,000 + 350 Main Event drew a field of 209 entrants, creating a total field of 346 entrants, with the top 36 making the money. First place will be worth 830,401 when the final table is held Tuesday afternoon. 188 players will return Saturday at 12pm London time to play another six 90-minute levels. The current chip leader is James Mitchell with 178,850 in chips. Other notables from Friday returning include: November Niner John Dolan – 173,700, Antonio Esfandiari 105,125, Phil Laak – 96,675, Phil Ivey, – 94,350, Viktor “Isildur1?” Blom – 91,850, and defending champion Barry Shulman – 86,325. A tentative table draw is available at WSOP.com, where you can find updates there as well as PokerNews.

Both Gus Hansen and Jim Collopy, who have one match remaining in the 10k NL HU final, still have chips in the Main Event. There has been no word on when the deciding match will take place.

Elsewhere …

PokerStars LAPT – Rosario, Argentina :: 24 players remain in their main event, playing down to their final table on Saturday. PokerStars Blog and PokerNews

TJ Cloutier Choctaw Poker Classic – Durant, Oklahoma :: $1,600 Main Event starts Saturday, Cloutier, Scotty Nguyen, Tom McEvoy scheduled to appear. Rounders’ Radio appears to be handling live streaming of the tournament this weekend.

PokerStars EPT London :: The final major poker series to hit London starts Sept. 28th – EPT London details

Finally, Dan Michalski appeared on episode #2 of Gary Wise vs the World at PokerStatic.com with Shaun Deeb, Daniel “Jungleman12″ Cates, and Tim West.

Posted by at 7:36 pm

April 21, 2010

Isildur1 Is Viktor Blom, Someone Confirms

It’s no secret I’ve been nosing around in Full Tilt’s business lately. They are the ones who, after all, practically built the poker world as we currently know it — and helped create an industry that so many of us rely on for food. But considering what these good people potentially face and how it could impact us all, I couldn’t help but start cashing in favors for information from some of the highest ranking, super-reliable people I know.

Alas … still haven’t gotten the details I’m seeking about Howard Lederer and Phil Ivey’s meeting with Barack Obama in February — what did they say? what did he say? — but perhaps as a consolation prize, my source told me he had one piece of info that he/she could confirm with “100 percent” certainty.

OK, I’m listening …

“Viktor Blom is Isildur.”

Oh, that’s it? I mean thanks.

“Yes. 100 percent.”

He’s not under investigation or anything, is he? Got a DWI maybe, or how ’bout an illicit rendezvous with Guy Laliberte and the Swedish women’s curling team … that would all be good for traffic.

“Nope. Just playing high-stakes no-limit hold’em and PLO.”

More…

Posted by at 8:31 am

March 27, 2010

Will the Real Isildur1 Please Stand Up?

Isildur has been outed — supposedly it really is Viktor Blom, insists Luke FullFlush Schwartz. That jibes with what Tony G had been saying months ago — but recently he has backed off attaching any name to the mysterious Swedish nosebleeder … and instead is trying to … er … “flush out” Isildur by buying him into the live poker world.

Tell the G you’re the man he’s been looking for with this powerfully stylish le chemise, perfect for an episode of High Stakes Poker:

I am Isildur1 shirt
I am Isildur1 by Pokerati (w alcanthang)

Also … just related:

More…

Posted by at 1:21 am