Tuesday January 15, 2013 : THE END OF A WILD RIDE FOR POKER ACE?
Blom's extraordinary heater stopped in its tracks with a monumental loss
Online poker railbirds have since the new year began been enthralled by the boldness with which Swedish poker pro Viktor ‘Isildur1' Blom has embraced an unprecedented heater that has seen him earn over $5 million in just two weeks.
On Sunday that wild ride on the tiger was stopped in its tracks in a frantic, 1,973-hand on the Full Tilt Poker nosebleed $300/$600 PLO tables against Phil ‘OMGClayAitken' Galfond. The first 200 hands – on $200/$400 PLO – seemed to go Blom's way and saw him up $400,000, but then the downswing started and the wheels came off.
During his remarkable two week run, Blom has had major downswings before (most recently a $600,000 humdinger) but he somehow always managed to leave the tables a few hundred thousand dollars in profit. Not so this time….the young Swede went home short of $1.077 million after repeated maulings throughout the session by a dangerous and calculating Galfond.
Despite trying to break the trend by repeatedly leaving and then coming back to the contest, Blom was unable to prise open his opponent's grip on the game, leaving Galfond the biggest winner over the evening with a profit of $1.3 million, according to a report on the respected High Stakes Data Base site.
Blom still has over $4 million of his bankroll left, but it must have been a frustrating experience to be so thoroughly and repeatedly trounced by Galfond. This was probably one of his biggest losses since he dropped $4.2 million tangling with Brian Hastings and friends back in 2009.
Generous in victory, Galfond said that Blom was a very difficult opponent: “Some will ask what I think his range is, but to be honest, I'm not entirely sure," he said in an interview. "Viktor, like me, adjusts his entire strategy when he sees me adjusting to something, so it's really just a guessing game in each moment.
“He's capable of being tricky here in terms of mixing in slowplays with his weaker SD value range."
Throughout Sunday Blom won relatively small amounts on FLO8 and PLO against several other opponents during his several breaks from the hammering he was taking from Galfond, and after finally quitting his awful battering he stayed on to win just over $100,000, mainly from Ben Sulsky.
The closest rival to Galfond for biggest winner of the day was Gus Hansen, who again managed to turn a nice profit, this time of $538,100.
HSDB observed: "Hansen is now showing an $822,000 profit for the past 3 days – a great haul for sure – but merely a fraction of his recently inflicted losses."