With the shortest month of the year over, let's take back at the highlights of yet another mega action packed four weeks at the virtual felt of Full Tilt and PokerStars, the worlds two biggest Poker rooms.
The month started well for Russian player Vladimir "GVOZDIKA55" Shchemelev who enjoyed three consecutive six figure hauls at PokerStars $200/$400 PLO tables in the first 3 days of the month. During his three day win-fest he also took down the biggest pot seen so far this year at PokerStars;
Big action flop as Ilari FIN has Aces with the nut flush draw but is beaten as GVOZDIKA55 flops two pair and an open ender - actually rivering a Full House to take this $334.9k pot
The other big news of the first week of February was the apparent start of the Rui Cao vs Patrik Antonius challenge (the $1m challenge had been issued by Cao and accepted by Antonius the previous week) when on 6th Feb Cao took Antonius for $330k at 2-7 TD. As all that was known about the challenge at the time was that it would be for $1m and consist of a 2-7 TD component as well as one for $200/$400 PLO & NLHE it seemed likely this was the first part of the battle completed. Apparently though, this wasn't actually part of the challenge which was to be $300k TD & $350k PLO & NLHE - more a warm up it would seem. Cao certainly warmed up best as he went on that day to win a total of $448k and to top the weekly leader board with an impressive $717k haul, with Cao's fellow french poker buddies, triple draw specialists Alexonmoon (+$438k) and Ben86 (+$457k) following behind. Alex and Seb took advantage of Isildur1's continuing downswing as he ended the week a $850k loser - seriously eating in to his $2.4m January winnings.
The second week of Feb was where it really came to life as one Tom "durrrr" Dwan re-entered the fray and set about answering his recent critics who were quick to question the online maestro's prowess after a seven figure downswing on his return to the virtual felt with a virtuoso performance between 7-9th of Feb he won $2m dollars. Most of the money came from the 2-7 TD NL $200/$400 tables, an action packed game which plays about as big as an online game can play with so much opportunity for player to improve their hands - but often at a huge price. On 8th Feb alone Dwan won c.$1.3m at the NL TD tables playing against the likes of Sauce1234, patpatpanda, trex313, Rui Cao and punting-peddler. At the same time he also embarked on a marathon session of $250/$500 PLO against Ben "Bttech86" Tollerene in which Dwan may have ultimately lost $200k, but over the course of the 18 hour match proved that he is more than capable of holding his own against the new crop of PLO superstars. In fact, he proved this even more so on the 9th when he won $1/2 million at the PLO tables against the likes of Tollerene, Galfond, and patpatpanda - added to more winnings at the NL TD tables Dwan ended the three day stretch (he also won c.$200k on 7th Feb) just about $2m up.
Things didn't all go according to plan for durrrr however as over the course of the next two days he lost close to $900k, and the alarm bells started to ring as his rise and fall seemed very much like a condensed version of Isildur1's first few weeks of 2013. Dwan however soon stopped those alarm bells ringing as he regained his form, winning $934k on the 12th Feb, $600k at NL TD and over $300k at the $300/$600 NLHE tables playing SanIker heads up. Read our spotlight on durrrr's big week here
There was one other notably big win at the tables during the second week of February as Hac "trex313" Dang also shook off some FTP cobwebs to post a great $888k win on 13th playing NL TD, CAP PLO and $250/$500 PLO. You can read about trex313/s big day here.
The biggest tracked hand of the week took place at the $250/$500 PLO tables on the 9th;
patpatpanda & OMGClayAiken both have wrap draws and a pair when the money goes in - patpatpanda hits the low end of the straight to take this monster $553k pot
Obviously when you have huge winners like durrrr you have to have huge losers, and the biggest losers during the second week of February were online legend Sauce1234 who lost just short of $1.5m and all round poker legend Phil "Polarizing" Ivey who lost just under $1m.
The third week produced its fair share of drama, with Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond at the centre of much of it. He put in two great performances on 19th and 21st of February, winning a combined $752k in the $1500/$3000 2-7 TD ring games - although these two great wins sandwiched a huge $630k loss on the 20th. The 20th was probably the most action packed day of the week and ended with Alex "Alexonmoon" Luneau topping the daily leader board with a $445k win but the big story was the rise and fall of Viktor "Isildur1" Blom who took his previous couple of days winnings to the table and crushed at 2-t TD, CAP PLO and PLO to take his 24 hour winnings over the $1m mark at one point before enduring some crushing blows at the PLO tables and eventually ending the day just a $99k winner. Read more about this remarkable day here
The 20th also produced the biggest pot of the week - and it's a big time cooler for Isildur1 in the PLO games;
Isildur1 must have been excited to see this flop which makes him a 75% favourite to take this $380.7k pot - a jack on the turn and blank river however hand it to trex313
The third week also produced a big win from a blast from the past as Niki "RealAndyBeal" Jedlicka rewound the clock a few years and reminded us of the days he used to frequently post million dollar weeks at the PLO tables when he won $539k at the $200/$400 tables of PokerStars on the 18th Feb.
We also saw the real start of the FinddaGrind vs Rui Cao $1m challenge and it was FinddaGrind all the way as he took out Cao in quick fashion in both the TD and PLO elements of the match, making the NLHE section irrelevant as to the winner of the challenge (although Cao can of course do a little damage limitation to his bankroll if he can complete the NLHE match as winner). Read about the triple draw match and PLO match reports with HSDB
The weeks biggest winner was actually limit specialist Kagome Kagome who quietly went about his work at the FLHE and triple draw tables to end the week a $789.4k winner, pulling himself out of the c.$500k hole he'd dug for himself over the first couple of weeks of the month.
The final week of February saw some more highs and lows for Isildur1 as he finally took down the big win he had been looking likely to produce, winning $570k on the 22nd Feb, although once again he had been looking at a c.$800k day before losing a little momentum at the end of a very long days play where he won at the PLO, FLO8 and TD tables. It wasn't to last however as he lost all this and more the following day, dropping $687k, followed by close to another $400k over the next two days to put him out of action again for a little while.
The big winner of the week was Alexander "PostFlopAction" Kostritsyn who ended the week an $890k winner, taking his profits from patpatpanda at the 8-game tables - particularly on 24th February when he won $766k in their heads up encounter. This win took PostFlopAction up to the top of the 2013 leader board with c.$2.5m winnings, and also to the top of the Full Tilt leader board since the relaunch back in November 2012. It was also another good week for Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond who netted $613.7k, mainly from a $485k win on 23rd February.
The biggest hand of the week came from some big PLO games played on 27th February where we saw the $400/$800 PLO tables back in action. The days biggest winner was patpatpanda who made a $272k haul and who also took down the weeks biggest pot;
patpatpanda's AA hold up in this monster $397.6k pot
The month ended with durrrr's brief but action packed return to the tables leaving him by far the biggest winner with a total February score of +$2.293 million, with Alexonmoon's consistent 2-7 TD results making him the months other seven figure winner with a score of $1.056m with PostFlopAction just missing out on a million, winning $962k in total for February. Isildur1's continued downswing made him the months biggest loser with $1.5m in losses - he is still almost a $1m winner for 2013 however after his stellar January.
With March now underway and with all three Full Tilt Professionals (and serial action junkies) Gus Hansen, Tom Dwan and Viktor Blom already in action we should be in for a great third month of the year.
February's Biggest Winners
See all the results for February's high stakes online action here