March provided perhaps the biggest story of all among the highstakes match ups, namely the phenomenal explosion onto Full Tilts highstakes PLO tables made by XWINK. This incredible journey had started with a bankroll of just $4k at the beginning of the month. Within 4 days this had been parlayed into an incredible $2million with XWINK’s ultra-aggressive style netting him big wins against players such as Rui Cao, David Benefield and Andreas "skjervoy" Torbergsen. XWINK had been no stranger to accumulating vast sums in a short space of time having made a name for himself a year or so earlier turning a $20 deposit in over $800k on UB in under a month under the similar moniker “XBLINK”.
Although by the end of the month the young Canadian had donated back most of his winnings he still had over $500,000 profit to show for his months’ work – and had provided priceless entertainment to railbirds and players alike in the meantime. As the month progressed so too did Gus Hansen’s upswing – he added a further $1.5m to the $2.5m he’d banked to his years winnings putting him in the black to the tune of $4million for the year (and approximately $7million since mid October 2010). March also saw Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond seemingly get to grips with the draw games he’d been previously struggling with, turning in a whopping $1.9 profit for the month. Once again good months were also had by gavz101, Phil Ivey and Jungleman12 and once again near the top of the leading losers sat durrrr with a further $900k dropped at the tables. Urnotindangrr started to feel the pinch of his battles, especially with Gus Hansen as he dropped close to a million bucks and Isildur1 put paid to his promising start to the year (he was up over $500k for Jan/Feb) by dropping close to $900k in March.
Talking of Isildur1, a big feature of the online highstakes calendar in 2011 have been his “Superstar Showdowns” on PokerStars. While only played at $50/$100 at either NLHE/PLO or a combo of both for relatively low amounts of money ($150k max winnings) they have been anything but boring. Isildur has pitted his HU wits vs the best in the business (and a couple of lucky online qualifiers) over 2,500 hands and has come out very much on top with total winnings in the series being in excess of $600k and having been victorious against eight of his nine opponents, only losing in his first encounter with Isaac “philivey2694” Haxton. Among his victims were highly regarding HU specialists and leading money winners Daniel Cates, Scott Palmer and Rui Cao.
Overall in the 2011 highstakes cash games Isildur1 had only scored around $116k in profit but he has certainly helped increase the action at Pokerstars since his grand unveiling ias the latest Team PokerStars Pro early in early January. He has been extremely active, making light work of reaching the coveted Supernova Elite status. Despite his see-saw profit/loss graph he engaged in some truly awesome HU matches winning and losing large six figure sessions against the likes of Daniel Cates, Scott Palmer, Gavin “gavz101” Cochrane, Phil Galfond and Brian Hastings. Amazingly all of these games were played at stakes from only $25/$50 to $100/$200. In one particularly impressive session 36 hour rush Isildur1 ran up over $600k in profit, almost exclusively at $25/$50, a huge 120 buy in upswing in less than 2 days!
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3