“The money is nice, but it’s all about the bracelet.”
Follow along with the World Series of Poker coverage any year and you’ll hear that phrase, or something like it, at least a couple times. For a lot of poker players, a WSOP gold bracelet is the pinnacle of what they can achieve in poker.
The most profitable summer was for Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.
For others, the shiny trinket is just a sideshow — it’s the green that counts. In the end, few can afford the luxury to simply care about the stats and honor of being called a bracelet winner.
Interestingly enough, some of those who could, don’t. Some of the creme de la creme of online poker players, many of whom could travel to Vegas for a bit of summer fun and card playing, choose to stay at home to play online. They, so we imagine, lick their lips at the thought of some of their toughest competition residing in a place where online poker isn’t (legally) available.
While players like Ben “Ben86” Tollerene, Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky, and Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond have ventured out to play live a lot in recent years, others haven’t touched the physical green felt all summer. Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, “BERRI SWEET”, Jonas “OtB_RedBaron” Mols, and Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro, to name just a few, haven’t been seen anywhere close to Las Vegas in recent months. Instead, they spent their summer behind their computer battling high stakes online. While we at PokerNews were busy reporting on all the bracelet winners, massive action was underway online. Luckily for us, HighStakesDB followed along and kept track.
The most profitable summer was for Viktor “Isildur1” Blom. The Swede won a massive $1,271,490 online battling the likes of “BERRI SWEET”, Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov, and many more. Recently, things haven’t gone Blom’s way, he was up a lot more at one point before a small downswing set in. Still, with +$1,271,490 in profits since before the WSOP started, the summer hasn’t been too bad for him. In fact, if he had traveled to Las Vegas to compete, he would’ve had to finish seventh or better in the Main Event to top that, or win both the Colossus III and the $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship. $1,271,490 in profit would’ve landed him in the top 15 of biggest winners at the 2017 WSOP this year.
On the other end of the spectrum, we find Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro who lost $888,992 over the summer. For that amount, Kelopuro could’ve played the full 2017 World Series of Poker schedule twice without cashing, and still have $38,432 left.
Here’s a look at some of the key players in the battles that were fought online this summer:
Online High-Stakes Action Since Start of WSOP
|(user)name||hands||profit/loss last month||profit/loss 2017||profit/loss all time|
|1||Viktor “Isildur1” Blom||83,293||+$1,271,490||+$1,283,223||+$2,794,393|
|4||Andres “Educa-p0ker” Artinano||13,047||+$237,344||+$237,344||+$1,198,306|
|5||Jonas “OtB_RedBaron” Mols||13,549||+$219,165||+$137,928||+$2,395,215|
|9||Sergey “St1ckman” Vasiliev||10,656||+$114,566||-$290,672||+$557,991|
|10||Jens “Fresh_oO_D” Lakemeier||23,857||+$112,842||+$107,914||-$252,971|
|1||Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro||9,514||-$888,992||-$728,893||-$1,432,056|
|7||Mikael “ChaoRen160” Thuritz||4,271||-$194,124||-$54,468||+$1,272,496|
Three Biggest Pots Online
While Blom ended up as the biggest winner over the summer, he didn’t win any of the biggest pots played. He chopped the biggest pot and he lost the two other big ones that didn’t end in a chop. Here’s a closer look at the details of those hands.
1) “BERRI SWEET” Quarters Viktor “Isildur1” Blom in a $343,717 Pot (859 Big Blinds)
($200/$400 PLO HU)
Usually we omit chopped pots. We’re looking for the biggest pots that saw one straight-up winner. This hand between Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and “BERRI SWEET” is worth it though, so let’s take a look.
On July 26, the two high stakes regulars squared off on table Muliphein on PokerStars. With blinds at $200 and $400 and effectively $171,700 (429 big blinds deep) in front of them, there was a lot at stake.
“BERRI SWEET” opened the action with a raise to $1,360. Blom answered with a 3-bet to $4,240. So far, nothing out of the ordinary. The 4-bet to $12,880 by “BERRI SWEET” was a bit more serious, and as soon as the 5-bet to $38,800 followed by Blom, you could bet pretty safely that there were two big hands in play. The 6-bet to $116,560 by “BERRI SWEET” was committing, and he called the 7-bet shove for $171,698.50 by Blom.
“BERRI SWEET” was a small favorite with his double-suited aces against the single-suited aces of Blom. The two ran the entire board twice, and “BERRI SWEET” would get a freeroll twice, and hit one. Blom flopped a pair of sixes both times, but didn’t improve. “BERRI SWEET” hit three of a kind the first run and won the first half of the $343,717 pot when the board came . The second time, the board came and the two chopped the second half.
2) Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov wins a $200,274 Pot Off Viktor “Isildur1” Blom
($200/$400 PLO HU)
Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov opened the pot with a raise to $1,360 and Blom called to see a flop.
Blom checked on and Kuznetsov bet $2,877, according to the replayer, but that can’t be correct since it would be more than pot. Blom called.
With now $8,394 in the pot, the hit the turn. Blom checked again and saw his Russian opponent bet $8,631, according to the replayer. Blom check-raised to $27,200 and Kuznetsov called, growing the pot to $62,794.
Blom bet $42,800 on the river and probably wasn’t too thrilled when Kuznetsov raised all in for $68,740 total. He did call the extra $26,000 but had to concede his flopped full house with as Kuznetsov tabled for the rivered nuts.
3) “BERRI SWEET” wins a $194,496 Pot (486 Big Blinds) Pott Off Viktor “Isildur1” Blom
($200/$400 PLO HU)
“BERRI SWEET” opened the pot with a raise to $1,360 from the button. As wasn’t too uncommon, Blom 3-bet to $4,240. “BERRI SWEET” called to see a flop in an $8,800 pot.
The flop came and Blom checked. “BERRI SWEET” bet $6,477.50 and Blom called.
On the turn, the same pattern occurred. Blom checked, and called the bet of “BERRI SWEET”. This time it was $21,592.50, growing the pot to $64,940.50.
The river saw Blom check for the third time. “BERRI SWEET” bet pot and Blom called, only to muck upon being shown .
The 2017 Leaderboard
With all the action this summer, where Blom played a massive 83,293 hands, the Top 3 biggest winners and losers for 2017 have been thoroughly shaken up. “BERRI SWEET” was already having a great year before the summer and now leads. Blom sits in second place, and in third place is Kuznetsov.
Dani “supernova9” Stern won a little over the summer but still top the rankings of biggest losing players. Kelopuro entered the Top 3 and sits in second place, while Bill “GASTRADER” Perkins won a little but still remains in third.
|(user)name||hands 2017||profit/loss 2017||profit/loss per hand 2017||profit/loss all time||↑/↓||most played game 2017|
|2||Viktor “Isildur1” Blom||140,923||+$1,283,223||+$9.10||+$2,794,393||↑||8-Game|
|3||Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov||41,679||+$1,002,117||+$24.04||+$2,892,884||↓||PLO|
|1||Dani “supernova9” Stern||10,039||-$777,373||-$77.43||-$1,439,781||↑||PLO|
|2||Sami “Lrslzk” Kelopuro||21,884||-$728,893||-$33.30||-$1,432,056||↓||PLO|
|3||Bill “GASTRADER” Perkins||2,991||-$385,379||-$111.83||-$718,711||↑||NLHM|
The above top winning and losing players in online poker for 2017 only consist of PokerStars accounts. All public data courtesy of HighStakesDB.com. If you want to opt out of being listed in this PokerNews update on high-stakes action, send an email with your username to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Tambet Kask (Unibet) and Jonathan Boncek (PokerNews)