March 21, 2019 VIP-Grinders News, Featured Articles Lars Liedtke

VIDEO: Biggest Days in Online Poker History – The day Isildur1 lost $4,200,000 to Brian Hastings

Check out our new video series “The biggest days in online poker history”

In our new video series “The biggest days in online poker history” we want to take a look back to the biggest wins, loses, swings, scams or scandals in online poker.

We came to the conclusion that there is no worthier event in the online poker history than the day when Viktor “Isildur1” Blom lost $4,200,000 to Brian Hastings and almost got killed forever…

Check out the rise of the anonymous poker phenomenon to the top, watch him destroy Tom “durrrr” Dwan Heads-Up, his epic battles against Patrik Antonius as well as his brutal fall.

Watch the fist episode of “The biggest days in online poker history” here:

The Golden Age of High Stakes Poker

We would like to give you some background information. The time from 2007 to 2009 is known as the Golden Age of high stakes poker.

Never before and never again, we have seen bigger games involving the likes of Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Tom “durrrr” Dwan. Back then, Full Tilt Poker was the home of nosebleeds and $500/$1.000 No Limit Hold’em and PLO were running on a daily basis.

Tom “durrrr” Dwan on top of the game

2008 was the year of Tom “durrrr” Dwan. He won more than 5 Million Dollar online and completely crushed the competition on his TV appearances at High Stakes Poker or Poker After Dark.

is tom dwan quitting poker?

At that time, Dwan was widely regarded as the best No-Limit Hold’em player in the world. He continued the run in the first half of 2009 increasing his online winning to an incredible 7 Million Dollar, but then he met his nemesis…

Until Isildur1 appears out of nowhere ready to play everyone

In September 2009 an unknown account named “Isildur1” from Sweden appeared at the highest stakes of Full Tilt Poker ready to play anyone at Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em.


He was fearless and played 3 to 4 of the game’s best at the same time! His ultra-aggressive playing style consisting of crazy bluffs and massive overbets together with his willingness to play 24 to 36 hour sessions quickly made him a railbird’s favorite.

The most epic Heads-Up battle in online poker history

It didn’t take long before he challenged endboss Tom “durrr” Dwan to a Heads-Up match. What followed was the most epic battle in online poker history.

During the next 7 days, they played six tables simultaneously, with over a million dollars in play. This epic battle ended with a result nobody would have expected. By the end of the week, Isildur1 had completely destroyed “durrrr”.

Isildur1 wins almost 5 Million from durrrr within only 7 days!

He went on the largest run in the history of online poker, winning approximately $4 to $5 million from Dwan within only 7 days!

Isildur1 vs durrrr epic heads-up battle

Having taken over the high stakes throne and full of self-confidence, he challenged Patrik Antonius to a rematch the following day. The Swede won another $1.6 million boosting his Full Tilt winnings to an insane $5.98 million on November 15th.

The biggest mistake of Viktor Blom’s life

But then he made the biggest mistake of his life. Although Isildur had almost exclusively played No-Limit Hold’em before and hardly had any experience in PLO, he accepted the challenge by Patrik Antonius to a rematch in Pot-Limit Omaha the next day.

This decision should prove costly as Isildur1 lost $3 million to Antonius within only one day! This was the largest single-day loss ever recorded in online poker. Who now thinks that Isildur learned his lesson, is wrong…

The next weeks his winnings hovered around the $2 million mark until December 8th 2009, which became known as the biggest day in online poker history.

Isildur1 loses $4,200,000 to Brian Hastings within a single day!

His opponent: Cardrunners coach and PLO expert Brian Hastings. Everybody knows that PLO can be a brutal game as the variance is huge. However, what happened this day was absolute savage even for PLO standards.

Within only 5 hours Hastings won $4.2 million from Isildur1! This still is and probably always will be the biggest win in a single day in the history of online poker.

The sickest thing about this session is how pure Hastings was running as Isildur finished the session almost three million dollars under EV:


On this memorable day, Isildur1 almost got killed by Brian Hastings and until now it seems like he never completely recovered from it.

The aftermath

To add insult to injury, it turned out later that Hastings had received a lot of help from his Cardrunners colleagues Brian Townsend and Cole South.

Townsend had purchased and shared 30,000 of Isildur’s hand histories from Poker Table Ratings with Brian Hastings and Cole South. The three teamed up and precisely analyzed Isildur’s leaks and ranges to get a significant edge.

As data mining is illegal practice in online poker many players called for Isildur to be reimbursed. To the dismay of Isildur and his fans, Full Tilt eventually decided that sharing strategy is acceptable and that data mining is not.

When Karma strikes back

Brian Townsend only got a very small punishment by being banned for 30 days, while Isildur was left behind crippled.

As so often in life, Karma hits back harder though as Viktor “Isildur1” Blom is the only one still around and continues to crush the highest stakes today.

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