The month of August fed us some jaw dropping online high stakes action with a wealth of explosive $200/$400 PLO games to rail, a surge in the popularity of the Fixed Limit Omaha Hi Low, and more 2-7 Triple Draw being played. The return of Gus "broksi" Hansen certainly helped all these games along nicely but there's no real denying who brought the lion's share of the action as we saw a return to the nosebleeds from Viktor "Isildur1" Blom who decided that he wasn't content with playing with the best PLO players for days on end, he also wanted to mix it with the FLO8 and Triple Draw superstars. Blom's resulting huge peak followed by crashing defeat certainly fuelled the games with some fantastic matches to rail but eventually (and perhaps a little inevitably) Blom saw his rapid success end in crushing defeat and he will no doubt return to the lower limits to lick his wounds and patch up his bankroll.
In the meantime there were some big winners in August, and none biggest than Ben "Ben86" Tollerene who has had an unusually volatile year himself. Tollerene struggled in the first few months of 2012 to break even before enjoying a spectacular +$1.3 million month in April to put him firmly in the black. Since then however it all went wrong for Ben86 as he lost over a million dollars between the start of May and the end of July. August however has seen another great surge from the young American online pro as he topped the months leader board, posting another +$1.3 million win. Not far behind showing close to a $900k profit for August after being absent from the online game for a couple of months was Phil "MrSweets28" Galfond who enjoyed some great form in the big games to approach $2 million in profit for the year at PokerStars high stakes tables.
The earliest big winner in August however was PokerStars Team Pro Theo "Theo J" Jorgensen who had a 1/2 million dollar week, winning $521k during the first week of the month. Jorgensen took over half his winnings during some heated $200/$400 PLO sessions on the first day of the month. In fact Joeri "L0ve2PlayU" van der Sman won a huge $486k during the first day of August, although he lost most of it back over the next few days. Jorgensen also couldn't hold onto his form or his winnings and ended the month just short of a $100k winner.
The month got off to a bad start for Ilari "Ilari FIN" Sahamies and one time 2012 leading money winner at PokerStars, patpatman, as both lost over half a million dollars at the tables. Ben86 started to make his case for the months biggest winner during the first week of the month, winning $228k in around 7.5k hands played.
It was however Ilari FIN who won the weeks biggest hand, against none other than Ben86;
Both players miss their draws but Ilari feels compelled to call Ben86's river bluff and takes down the pot with top pair - $191k pot
Tollerene ramped thins up during the second week of August as he ended up the weeks second biggest winner with a $484k win, including +$200k win from the player who, until August, was by far and away the years biggest winner at PokerStars, EireAbu. It was in fact from this encounter where the biggest hand of the week was played out;
EireAbu flops very well but a fortunate turn hands the advantage to Ben86 who extracts maximum value to take down this $214.3k pot
It was a rough month in general for EireAbu who had enjoyed being among the months top winners for most of the year up till August where he lost $755.6k and actually ended the month being overtaken as the current money winner for 2012 as Suace123 won close to half a million dollars and took the top spot by just $2k by the close of August. The second weeks biggest winner however was Chung Ho who won $564k - pretty much all from the returning Gus "broksi" Hansen at the Omaha Hi Lo tables. Hansen ended the week just a $115k loser however after some great results at the $200/$400 PLO tables. This week also saw Isildur1 make a return to the high stakes tables and put in some of his usual marathon sessions. He won over $280k for the week, mostly as the expense of EireAbu, including a 11 hour $200k session for the young Swede at the $50/$100 tables, just hours after the announcement came that Blom was to leave his position as a PokerStars Team Pro. This week also saw the return of MrSweets28 who got off to a great start winning over $400k at the $50/$100 PLO tables on the 13th August.
The third week of August proved to be one of the biggest weeks of action we've ever seen at PokerStars with Isildur1 of course who put in a huge 31k hands for an eventual $320k week. The week started with a $174k win for Blom but quickly went pear shaped as he lost over half a million dollars on the 15th, mainly due to his decision that he would like to practice two new disciplines (FLO8 and 2-7 TD) at the highest stakes available online. We have no doubt that Blom is more than capable at mastering these games, the question is will he able to do so before he runs out of money? At this point, losing money wasn't on Blom's agenda as he set about not only winning back his losses but taking a lot more besides as he enjoyed a $1 million upswing on the 18th & 19th winning at PLO, NLHE, FLO8 and 2-7 Triple Draw with Kanu7 and Sauce123 being Blom's biggest victims (Kanu at NLHE where Blom registered won a $238k heads up match and Sauce at the $200/$400 PLO tables.
Sauce123 was not to be denied however as the very next day he and Blom engaged in an epic 15 hour heads up match with Sauce ending up a $600k winner. The match swung wildly as Blom initially lost a swift $200k before fighting back to take a $450k lead before going on a long $1.5 million downswing. Isildur1 managed to end the match with a helpful half a million upswing to end as a $600k loser. This match also enabled Sauce123 to end up as they weeks biggest winner, logging a profit of $477k. Despite his wild swings, Isildur1 ended the week as a $320k winner.
The week saw a few $200k hands, the largest coming from a ten hour heads up match between Sauce123 and MrSweets28 on the 17th August;
MrSweets28 flops top set but Sauce123's wrap draw completes on the turn to hand him this $212k pot
The final 10 days of the month also saw big action go down at PokerStars with Ben86 once again scoring well - he was in fact the biggest winner during the final days of the month winning $454k between 22nd and 31st of the month as he enjoyed six figure wins on the 23rd, 29th and 31st of the month. The week didn't go so well for Isidur1 however as he lost an astonishing million dollars in the same timeframe - the vast majority while learning 2-7 Triple Draw which ended up responsible for over $700k of his weeks losses mostly to Draw pros Seb86 and BiatchPeople. Isildur1 also had variance to blame for a good chunk of his losses as he ran $500k under EV in the $200/$400 PLO ring games on 22nd, much to the advantage of MrSweets28 and Ilari FIN who both enjoyed +$400k days, much of it at Blom's expense.
In fact the week turned out good in more ways than one for Ilari FIN who not only had a good week online but also final tables both the Super High Roller and the main event at the EPT Barcelona - netting around $1.15 million in the process as he took 4th in the Super High Roller for €292k and second in the main event for €629.7k.
Although not reaching the losses of Isildur1 in the last week, Macau based high stakes player patpatman who didn't log a winning week in August and he lost a further $492k in the last ten days to end as the months biggest loser, dropping nearly $1.25 million in August. After being over $1 million in profit in May, patpatman is now over $800k in the red for 2012 at the PokerStars high stakes tables.
The biggest hand of the week (and indeed the month) came during the $200/$400 PLO ring games on the 28th and saw Terken89, who enjoyed a +$450k week, second only to Ben86, take down this huge pot;
Isildur1 is unlucky as his flopped set is beaten on the river as Terken89's wrap completes after the money went in on the flop in this $256.3k pot
As September begins it looks as though Isildur1's shooting star like appearance has further dented his bankroll as he has been absent from the high stakes tables for a little while now. Somehow we don't think this is the last the online high stakes tables will see of him however. Will he be back on PokerStars soon? Is he waiting for the relaunch of Full Tilt? Is he broke? One way or the other I think we all know he will be back creating a storm soon enough.
August's Biggest Winners
Ben86 +$1.297m, MrSweets28 +$897.2k, ChaoRen160, +$722.4k, M.O.P. +$655.6k
To see August's full results please visit the monthly results page here