Posts Tagged ‘high stakes online poker’

Full Tilt Poker dumps High Stakes Games – Only $10/$20 NLHE Available

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

full-tilt-poker-repaymentsFull Tilt Poker was once known as the primary destination for high stakes online poker grinders. However, this has changed in a big way, with Full Tilt recently dropping all high stakes games, leaving maximum stakes of $10/$20 NL Hold’em and $15/$30 Fixed Limit Hold’em.

The move is an obvious attempt to become a recreational-friendly poker site, rather than trying to cater to both amateurs and pros. And this is only confirmed by Full Tilt’s decision to institute automatic table seating and eliminate the ‘hit-and-run’ tactic that certain players use in cash games – a.k.a. ratholing, where players win money off a table, quickly leave, then buy-in back in at another table.

One more interesting move by FTP involves removing Draw, Stud and mixed poker games, along with heads-up play too. Most recreational players don’t play much beyond Hold’em and PLO, so it’s little surprise that Full Tilt got rid of these tables.

full-tilt-drops-blom-hansenDominic Mansour, managing director of Full Tilt Poker, spoke about the changes by saying the following:

“The new structure will present a clean offering for all players and we consider these ring game changes to be key to Full Tilt’s ongoing commitment to provide a level playing field and attracting and retaining more casual poker players.”

It’s certainly not rare for a poker site to focus on recreational players these days, who are considered the lifeblood of the industry. However, it is somewhat strange to see Full Tilt – the once-dominant hub for nosebleed games – make this switch.

The online poker room gained considerable fame for the high stakes battles that took place on their site between legends like Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Tom Dwan, Ilari Sahamies and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom. Those days are clearly long gone, though, and we’ve entered a new era of internet poker.

Cole South calls Bullsh*t on 2009 Hand-sharing Scandal against Isildur1

Friday, February 20th, 2015

cole-south-pokerDespite appearances on Poker After Dark and winning millions of dollars in online poker, Cole South is best known by some as the guy who allegedly shared hand histories with Brian Townsend and Brian Hastings, helping the latter win $4.18 million off Viktor “Ilsudur1” Blom in a single session.

South and Townsend were eventually suspended by Full Tilt and lost their “Red Pro” status for 30 days in 2009. And it was basically taken for fact that they were cheaters hell-bent on doing anything to beat Isildur1, who, at the time, was crushing the high stakes online poker world. But five years later, Cole South has a message to deliver about the ordeal: “It’s bullshit.”

As South explained on a recent podcast episode with ChicagoJoey, a large reason why so many people readily believe that he and Townsend shared hand histories with Hastings is due to an ESPN article by Gary Wise. The latter wrote for ESPN from 2007 to ’12 and, according to South, reported that the three players “merged their hand histories into one database” in order to create an effective strategy against Blom. South continues by saying this “absolutely never happened,” and he neither sent nor received any hand histories as alleged.

What did happen is that Townsend bought hand histories from PTR – a very different story because these don’t offer mucked hole cards like those seen from a player’s own experience. South adds that Townsend merely offered some general tips to Hastings for playing against Blom based on his experiences and the hand histories.

South concludes that the whole perception that he, Hastings and South were wildly emailing hand histories back and forth is ridiculous. He also adds that Full Tilt did not want these Red Pros discussing the matter on forums, meaning they never got a solid chance to defend themselves. You can listen to the whole thing below, and the hand-sharing talk starts a little after the 49:00 mark.

French Poker Documentary features Alex Luneau, Sebastien Sabic

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

nosebleed-documentaryIf you’ve got an hour and a half to burn and you love poker, then you’ll definitely want to check out “Nosebleed.” This documentary centers on two of the best online poker players of all time, Alex “Alexonmoon” Luneau and Sebastien “Seb86” Sabic.

The language is in French, but there are English subtitles for the large majority who will need them. And I highly encourage you to watch Nosebleed since it takes an interesting behind-the-scenes look at two elite poker players.

As Luneau explains, the two met in Las Vegas and again in Thailand – when Alex finally decided to get to know Sabic better. What spawned was a partnership where Alexonmoon learned Deuce to Seven and other mixed games from Seb86, while the latter learned NLHE and PLO from Luneau.

The partnership has definitely worked out, with both players making well over a million(s) dollars over the past few years. It’s impossible to say exactly how much because they’ve opted out of HighStakesDB’s tracking system – but it is definitely a lot!

As for the documentary, you can check it out below, and here’s the beginning synopsis if you’re hesitant about clicking play:

Alexandre Luneau and Sebastien Sabic have been playing the biggest online cash games since 2009. They’re young, French, up millions of dollars, and internationally recognized as truly elite players in every Poker variant from NLHE, to 2-7 Lowball and mixed games.

But, this past summer they tried to achieve a different dream: to win a bracelet at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. We followed them for 7 weeks of tournaments, hope, frustration and above all, passion.

Dan Cates up $10.2m, Phil Ivey down $5.1m

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Oh what a difference a couple of years can make in high stakes online poker. Coming into the relaunched Full Tilt Poker, Phil Ivey was the game’s biggest winner with $19.2 million in online profits. However, he’s since taken a big tumble over the nearly-two years since Full Tilt reopened.

Switching to the name “Polarizing,” Ivey is now down $5.1 million. This still leaves him with about $14.1 million in career online poker winnings. And we certainly wouldn’t expect him to be in money trouble, given his multiple business endeavors and baccarat edge-sorting profits. Still, it’s strange to see the man whom many call the “world’s greatest all-around poker player” struggle so badly.

On the other end of the spectrum is Dan “jungleman12” Cates, who is dominating the cyber felt this year. Cates had the prime of his poker career interrupted by Black Friday, as he’d earned $6.8 million in just a year before April 15th, 2011. Since resuming his high stakes career at Full Tilt, Cates hasn’t experienced any drop-off, and his HighStakesDB graph just keeps going up. At the time of this writing, Jungleman has made over $2.83 million in 2014, which leads everybody entering September.

Cates also ranks third all-time with $10.23 million. He only trails Ivey and Patrik Antonius – the latter of whom is another interesting story. Like Cates, Antonius is crushing players this year and has earned $1.83 million. Overall, the Finn has collected $5.95 million in career profits through his “Finddagrind” name. Combine this with $11.2 million from his self-titled name and Antonius has over $17.1 million in career winnings.

Of course, the high stakes online poker world is a fickle place. So it’ll be interesting to see if Cates and Antonius continue dominating the big games at Full Tilt. But at this point, we have little reason to doubt their skills.

Dan Cates angry over Viktor Blom’s $100k Debt

Friday, March 21st, 2014

As many poker players know, there’s a lot of borrowing that goes on in the game. And high stakes online poker pros are certainly no stranger to this, with many of them getting loans from other players so they can keep grinding in the nosebleeds. Of course, when these loans aren’t paid back, things definitely get testy.

Such was the case recently with Dan “Jungleman12” Cates and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom. Apparently, Blom owes Cates $100,000 and is being slow to pay the amount back. The two got into a heated exchange, and here’s a chat log of their conversation, thanks to HighStakesDB:

jungleman12: i cant describe how annoying it is to lose tyou viktor
Isildur1: 2 pair
Isildur1: biatch
jungleman12: scum
Isildur1: too easy
Isildur1: eat this
Isildur1: ty
Isildur1: u suck
Isildur1: easy money
Isildur1: gus on the other hand
jungleman12: pay your debt scumbag

CardPlayer asked Jungleman to expand on this exchange. “Well, I was kind of tilted at the point,” Cates said. “It’s not really a secret that he owes me some money. He owes me like a little over $100,000, but he’s been making some small payments here and there. He’s going to give it back to me, it seems, but it’s taking some time and it’s a little frustrating. He has borrowed money before on multiple occasions and paid back for those.”

Jungleman also went on to explain why he thinks that the Swede has been so slow to pay him back. “Well, he owes other people money as well. He owed me money first.” Cates added. “I stopped loaning him money or whatever…Yeah, it is a complicated situation.”

One more interesting point that Cates covered involves Blom implying that he is somehow better than Jungleman at poker. “It’s possible he thinks he is better than me, and probably at some things, sure,” Cates explained. “He might have been better at no-limit at certain points in time, but he’s not a better gambler than me, at all. He’s probably not a better overall player, either. I don’t think he can make that claim…He has been dodging me at no-limit over the past year and a half.”

If there’s one nice thing about this story, it’s that Isildur1 and Cates made up after their heated argument. Jungleman believes that Blom was probably drunk when they played and spouted off a little too much.

Interview reveals why Gus Hansen lost $13.6m in Online Poker

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

With over $10 million in online poker losses over the past year, Gus Hansen is spiraling out of control. The sad thing is that the losses just keep coming too since he’s dropped around $2.5 million in the last month alone.

So what’s the reasoning behind this maddening online poker losing streak? Will Hansen ever give up the game – or at least the ridiculously high stakes he plays? The Great Dane revealed all of this and more in a recent interview with FlopTurnRiver (see below).

The most interesting question was asked right away as Hansen was pressed for a reason why he’s done so badly. And the three-time WPT champion gave a three-fold response that included the following points:

1) He’s been rusty after taking a year and a half off of online poker following Black Friday. Plus he plays against the top players in the world.

2) He hasn’t played his A-game and sometimes has distractions in the background like the TV.

3) He’s run really bad over the past year.

Hansen went on to say that he continually chooses to compete against the world’s best players because he learns things from them. However, the Great Dane is starting to ponder stepping down the intense level of competition if things don’t turn around in the near future.

One aspect about Hansen’s financial situation that may amaze people is how he still has money left to play. He admitted that he’s “not Bill Gates” and can’t afford to keep losing at this rate. However, Hansen does say he “still has money in his pocket” and implied that he’ll keep playing high stakes online poker while trying to turn things around.

Continually running up against “Sallywoo” and “Alexonmoon” doesn’t exactly seem like a recipe to reverse Hansen’s fortunes. So resisting the temptation of competing against these players is going to be one of his biggest challenges.

Barcode – The Mysterious Online Poker Phenom

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

When it comes to high stakes online poker, we’re used to seeing names like Phil Galfond and Viktor Blom dominating the news. However, a new and mysterious player named “Barcode” (a.k.a. 1Il|1Il|1il|) has been experiencing most of the success lately.

Getting into the specifics, this player is fresh off of a week where he made over $554k. And this isn’t the only success that Barcode has experienced because he’s managed to collect over $1.3 million while playing against some of the top online poker players in the world. October 11th was an especially good day since he was able to win $557k in profits!

Apparently, Barcode makes the bulk of his money on the PokerStars $100/$200 and $200/$400 PLO tables. This certainly isn’t surprising because these games are a favorite among many of the world’s top players. It’ll definitely be interesting to see if Barcode continues to top the nosebleeds and haul in major profits.

Tony G backing Jungleman

In other big high stakes news, Tony “G” Gouga has announced that he’s going to stake Dan Cates. Gouga wrote about the news with the following:

I have talked before about how I wanted to stake Isildur1 – well I am back in the staking business now as I am backing Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates. I think this guy could turn $5 million into $100 million – he’s a genius. I started off by backing him for the WPT Grand Prix de Paris and intend to back him live but predominantly online.

To those who’ve followed high stakes in the past, it may seem weird that Cates is being staked. After all, he made over $5 million in 2010 profits and has collected around $8 million overall. However, he’s also had a lot of money locked up on Full Tilt over the last year and a half. Plus it seems like he may have hit a little downswing as Gouga said, “He has definitely had his ups and downs but his heart is in the right place.”

With a rich backer like Tony G, it will be very interesting to see how Cates does in the near future.

The Year of Ilari Sahamies

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Towards the end of 2009, life was pretty sweet for high stakes online poker player Ilari Sahamies since he was in the midst of a massive upswing, and up $7 million in overall profits. Plus he was showing up on all of the poker TV shows, and many amateur players were trying to copy his swagger and trash talking.

Unfortunately for Sahamies, this was as good as things would get since his winnings came tumbling down in the following two months after the Finn lost over $3.5 million on Full Tilt Poker. And he continued a massive spiral that would see his winnings level-out around $830k before the FTP troubles began.

Interestingly enough, Sahamies seems back and better than ever in 2011. After being down over $800k on the PokerStars high stakes tables in July, Sahamies has gone on a big heater, which includes winning almost $2 million in the past three months. Currently, Sahamies’ PokerStars winnings sit at $1.4 million, and things don’t look to be slowing down any time soon for him. In the last week alone, “Ilari FIN” has pulled in $750k, and is the hottest player in poker.

With all of this being said, you have to wonder if 2011 is going to be the year of Ilari Sahamies. Assuming he keeps his current winning streak up, it’s a safe bet to say that he could be the biggest online poker winner if you don’t count the $2 million-plus that Gus Hansen has earned on Full Tilt Poker (the site is nearly defunct). Furthermore, Gavin Cochrane has tanked lately on PokerStars after being up almost $1.9 million, and now sits at $960k in overall winnings.

In any case, it will be fun to continue following Sahamies, and to see if he keeps up this torrid pace.

New High Stakes Online Poker Scene

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

With US high stakes online poker players out of commission for a while following the Full Tilt and PokerStars shutdown, it will be interesting to see who will step up in the absence of guys like Phil Ivey, Dan Cates, Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond and Tom “Durrrr” Dwan.

Obviously Gus Hansen doesn’t really have to do any stepping up because he’s already at the top in 2011. Hansen opened up the year with over $2 million in profits by early February, and he doesn’t seem to have lost any of that momentum either since he’s up $4 million as we head into late April. Case in point, Hansen is a shoe-in to carry the torch for the Full Tilt high stakes scene with everybody else out of the picture.

Along with Hansen, Patrik Antonius has still been active at Full Tilt with him and Hansen recently tangling in Omaha Hi/Lo; Antonius ended up winning over $350k during the session. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of this action simply for the sake of keeping internet high stakes poker alive.

Another guy to keep an eye on is Jens “Ingenious89” Kyllönen, who won almost $1 million the other day against several studs like Hansen and Andreas “Skjervoy” Torbergsen. Speaking of Torbergsen, he lost quite a bit of money ($1.1 million) on the same day that Kyllönen won a bunch; however, he will still be a force to be reckoned with as we head into the future of online high stakes poker.

One guy that we won’t be seeing for a while – at least in the US – is Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies, who vowed to not deposit at either Full Tilt or PokerStars again. But you should expect Sahamies to keep playing on European sites since the high stakes action is likely to pick up at rooms like Party Poker, the iPoker Network and Ongame Network.