Online Highstakes Review – First six months of 2011 - Part 3

Patrik Antonius
Rui "PepperoniF" Cao

April 2011 will forever be remembered in the poker world for the events of April 15th or “Black Friday” as it is now known, the day when, for now at least, online poker in the US became a much more tricky proposition as the major three sites (Full Tilt, PokerStars and Ultimate Bet) were forced to exclude US based players from their sites pending the outcome of the DOJ indictments.

Nevertheless the month still saw a lot of highstakes action with Patrik Antonius in particular having a great month, winning over $2.3 million, much of this taken from the previously high-flying Dane Gus Hansen at O8, usually a firm favorite for Hansen. As a result The Great Dane suffered a near million dollar loss for the month of April, sparking fears that he may well self-combust as he has in previous years where big early wins had ended up in huge yearly losses.

April was also turning out to be a great month for Rui Cao (+$900k) and a resurgent Scott “urnotindangr” Palmer as he had already booked over $850k in winnings prior to black Friday. Ingenious89 also appeared on the leaderboard with over $1.1 mill in earnings for April, with the EPT Copenhagen winner taking over $1 million in just a single day of $300/$600 PLO. 

The “loserboard” was surprisingly topped by the usually dependable Skjervoy (-$1.5m) with Gus Hansen ominously close behind with his near $1m loss. Yet again durrrr was among the biggest losers dropping a further ½ million dollars, taking his losses close to $2.5m for the year at the online tables – losses perhaps tempered by his rumoured massive live wins at the ultra highstakes cash games in Macau.

As one might expect the leaderboard for May didn’t include the multimillion dollar wins/losses of previous months after the events of April 15th shook the online poker world to its core. Despite this there was still plenty of action among the remainder of the online community outside the US and Gus Hansen quashed the idea that he was about to implode topping the monthly leaderboard once again with a solid $800k win, this time taking Patrik Antonius for big sums at the hi-lo tables. In fact things could have been a lot worse for Antonius who was the months biggest loser at -$617k had it not been for one huge HU PLO session in which he took young French PLO phenom Rui Cao for just shy of $800k in one crazy session of $500/$1000 PLO,

Inevitably June was nowhere near the hotbed of highstakes activity of previous months, interrupted not only by Black Friday but also by the focus of the poker world on the annual pokerfest that is the WSOP. However, the action at Pokerstars was certainly benefitting as a result of the damage done to Full Tilt by Black Friday and big winners came in the form of Rui Cao’s alter-ego at PokerStarsPepperoniF” winning $550k and biggest winner of the month “le kork” who took home $708k for his efforts in June. Highstakes regular Sauce123 also put in a decent month winning around $500k. Losers included Esvedra at Full Tilt losing $364k, kobeyard 85 losing $357k at Stars and Ilari FIN (aka Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies) losing $326 also at Stars.

Looking at an overview of the results so far this year it’s pleasing to see Gus Hansen hold his nerve and his place at the top of the leaderboard with a solid near $4 million profit for the year – PLO somewhat surprisingly being his major source of income. Close to the $2 million mark sit Dan Cates, NoPasaran and gavz101 (although the Full Tilt gavz101 has in fact lost over $600k) with Matt Hawrilenko, bixiu, PepperoniF, Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Seb86 completing the top ten winners, all accumulating well over $1 million in profit. Interesting tidbit for all Phil lvey fans – although he only sits at number eight on the list of winners for 2011 he has (as is almost always the case when this analysis is done) the biggest per hand earnings of any player, earning nearly $80 for every one of the 17,155 hands he has contested this year. Compare this to the year’s biggest winner Gus Hansen who has won on average less than $30 per hand you can see why Ivey is widely regarded as the world’s number one player.

It’s hard to say what will happen to the highstakes online games once the WSOP is wrapped up and the serious players get back to business. It will certainly be interesting to see where the action goes, what the US pro’s will do and how their government will deal with the demand for online poker. One thing is for sure and that is that where there is a demand it will surely, one way or the other, be met by supply. In the meantime the games will continue to thrive and as ever HSDB will be there every step of the way for you.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


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