Patrik Antonius: The History of Finland’s Greatest Poker Player

If you wanted to pick a poker GOAT who somehow failed to add titles to his massively winning career both live and online, then Flying Finn Patrik Antonius would be top of the list!

By: Andrew Burnett

As we’ll see in some detail, Antonius boasts two of the winningest highstakes cash game accounts ever, the $17million online profit bolstered by $12million in live winnings.

To see how he reached such impressive heights, though, we have to go back to the early 90s when a young Patrik was just reaching his teen years, and discovering poker at his local tennis club.

Tennis would be his main passion for years afterwards, until a bulging disc put paid to his hopes of a pro career, Patrik quickly turning to poker as a full-time occupation.

Local successes turned into international fame and fortune in late 2005, Antonius bagging the EPT season 2 Baden Baden Main Event for $343,365, having already taken his first 6-figure cash at EPT Barcelona a couple of weeks previously.

His breakthrough year was completed with a $1million+ runner-up spot at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas, just behind fellow Scandi Rene Pedersen, with Doyle Brunson in 3rd.

Named Rookie of the Year, Antonius had hit the limelight at a fortuitous moment in poker history, the online game booming in the mid-noughties – and the Finnish pro would soon become a crusher at the highest levels.

It took less than a year, from September 2007 until August 2008, for Antonius to emerge $2.34 million up playing under his much-feared FinddaGrind nickname.

Aggressive and apparently able to soul-read even the very best of opponents, online as well as live, contributed to his massive success. The following $217k hand against Phil Ivey was the biggest of that early run on Full Tilt Poker

In June of 2008 Antonius would join the ranks of team pro at Full Tilt Poker and switch to his own name for his online play, and little changed other than crushing it even harder.

From June 2008 until Black Friday struck in 2011, Antonius built up an $11.84million winning graph that anyone other than Ivey would have killed for…

Not content with just beasting the game overall, Antonius was also involved in many of the biggest online pots the poker world has ever seen, including the biggest biggie of all, a $1,356,946 monster against Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom

To this very day, Antonius’ winnings as a Full Tilt pro are still the second biggest killing by an online cash game pro, ahead of Daniel 'Jungleman' Cates, Phil 'OMGClayAiken' Galfond and other online assassins of the highest order…

That, of course, is true even without his FinddaGrind account’s bonus $millions, which would grow even larger after Antonius returned to it in the wake of Black Friday

A two-year winning spree from February 2013 to February 2015 saw the poker pro with the male model looks add another $3.45million to his bankroll.

One very significant downswing for Antonius came in the first Durrrr Challenge, the Finn losing almost $2million at PLO before throwing in the towel.

The other negative, if it can really be called such, was that throughout his live and online cash game victories he could never quite take down the biggest tournament titles consistently.

January of 2012 saw him lose out on the Aussie Millions $250k Challenge heads-up to Phil Ivey, the following year a close third in the Main Event at the same series.

There were victories among the deep runs, of course, and tournaments were never his main focus, but the lack of WSOP and WPT titles are a glaring omission a for man of Antonius’ great talent.

Antonius was, and still is, a legend of the game – last year, 2018, seeing a resurgence from the man who lives in Monte Carlo with his family, seeking only the most adventurous of events around the world.

An SHR win worth $520,610 in Rozvadov was followed by a $3,153,551 Triton cash in Macau, with another five 6-figure cashes before the year was out.

This year he even has the gall to win his own Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge in Tallinn, Estonia!

If we go back just a bit to finish off the Finn’s illustrious career, we should also mention Antonius’ incredible televised cash game appearances.

This legendary High Stakes Poker pot against Sammy Farha, run four times, was worth $749,100

…and when you throw in massive pots against the likes of Tom Dwan and Jamie Gold, it’s easy to see why Patrik became – and remains -  such a star.

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