The Making of Viktor "Isildur1" Blom - Part 1

Viktor "Isildur1" Blom

In the online poker world there can be nobody with even a fleeting interest in the game who isn't aware of the screen name "Isildur1" and its creator, Viktor Blom. He is by far the most talked about, discussed, argued over, and let's face it, entertaining online player in the world today. His epic rushes and equally astonishing downswings are the stuff of myth and legend. The buzz surrouding the Full Tilt Poker Professional is constant, and his mere presence at the tables increases traffic at not only the poker site he plays on, but also at poker forums and chat rooms the world over.

So we are extremely proud to present to you an exhaustive nine part series of articles chronicling the rise of online poker's biggest star, Viktor Blom. We have been given the exclusive rights to publish the translated version of this eagerly anticipated story by Swedish poker community site svenskaspelare.com to whom we would like to express our gratitude.

The first parts of this series are written by Viktor himself, with the latter parts coming largely from the svenskaspelare community, from people who know, have spoken with and spent time with Viktor.

Part 1 – The Beginning by Viktor Blom*

*Please note that this piece was written some years ago now and as such when Viktor talks of events "in the last few months" or such like, he is not talking about the present time

My brother introduced me to poker. He taught how to play Texas No Limit when I was in Junior High School. We used to play Heads Up against each other. This was around the time “Pokermiljonen” aired on TV (a Swedish, televised poker tournament broadcast over five seasons from 2005-2007) which I thought was fun to watch. After watching and playing poker for a short while I decided to teach the game to a couple of friends. The three of us loved the game so much that we could stay up all night long playing for micro-stakes. A typical game would have a 1 SEK (15c) ante and we would play with actual coins. I had a lot more respect for the value of money around that time so I thought it was great if I managed to win around 80 SEK ($12) in a game.

After a while more of my friends picked up the game and we started playing during breaks at school. A lot of people would end up owing each other money since everyone wanted to play.  We would also play tournaments as well with buy-ins varying from 20 – 50 SEK ($3 - $7). I particularly remember one tournament that we played where the buy-in was 50 SEK and 25 people showed up to play and I managed to win, which was nice.

My brother and I started out by making a $100 deposit to an online poker room. The first thing we did was to enter an $11 tournament that had about 700 players where we finished around fifth place and won about $300. A win like that was huge for us although I have to say we got lucky a few times in the tournament, I remember very early in the tournament we found ourselves all in with KJ suited against AK and managed to flop the nut flush!

We stuck to small stakes MTT’s and shorthanded Sit N Go’s with the SnG buy-ins varying between $6-$11. We had decent results but never won anything big. After a little while my brother started to play by himself after, so I decided to start playing with a friend instead. Our deal was to split everything down the middle but not long after I decided I wanted to play by myself and be responsible for my own bankroll.

This is when I created the online handle "Blom90" and immediately I started to show very good results. My bankroll grew and at my SnG peak I was playing the $530, 10 player turbo SnG's. Americans were still allowed on the European sites at this time, and the games were filled with fish. I quickly understood that you had to be aggressive towards the end game and I could exploit a lot of players who were terrible compared to today’s standards. I did play cash games as well, but I felt that my game was better suited to SnG’s and MTT’s.

When I was around fifteen we started to bet on a lot more than poker. We had tennis tournaments and a game called “football crosses”. The game was simple; one person would hit a cross ball to a player who tried to finish with the third player in goal. The positions would rotate and we had a points system were you got 2 points for scoring, 1 point for an assist and -1 for being scored against and we would play until someone had 20 points. The winner would get 20 or 50 SEK from the loser. We had rules saying that players had to stay within a certain zone; otherwise the goal/save would be disallowed. This lead to plenty of heated discussions, but it was a lot of fun and totally worth the arguments.

The bets grew bigger and bigger and the year after we started with “football crosses” I had a tennis game with 3500 SEK on the line, but it didn’t stop there. We created poker games, some completely luck based, which would get completely out of control. At one time, one of my friends owed another friend of mine 50 000 SEK! He had enough money to pay his rent and go out partying during the weekends, but not much more. The situation was sorted though. We knew each other so well that we would set up payment plans. The most common solution was to keep betting until everyone was back to even.

I’ve had a few heaters online during the last few months. The biggest came about four months ago when my account balance read 1 800 000 SEK ($275k). - My account balance says 0 today.  I'd emptied my account and have never felt this kind of anxiety.

My alarm clock rings and I wake up to a cold December morning. It’s time to go to school. I’m behind in almost every subject and I’ve been up all night -  I’ve lost it all. This is hell.

I often dream about poker. Especially when I’ve played a lot. If I lose a lot it’s not unusual that I’ll dream about winning it back. These feelings came so often that I never considered them reality, not even during the actual dream. I sometimes woke up thinking that it’s not true. I was miserable. After losing it all I had one thought "Don’t let me dream about poker!".  I can’t even think about it. The feeling I have now has to be the reason to why you shouldn’t gamble with all your money. It wasn’t even my money I lost that night. It belonged to a close friend. He came over to my house the night before. I already felt a lot of pressure after losing huge sums and I ended up borrowing his last $2000. Normally I would set stop losses for myself, but this time I told him, "Don’t worry. It will work out fine. I got this." His response: "Cool, GL, GL.".

It started out well and I won about $1000. Winning almost felt strange to me. I started to play $109 and $210 SnG’s at Party Poker and when I had $3000 in my account I joined a $310, since the action at the lower stakes had died out. I did ok in that one, and the $210's began to run again. I kept doing fine. I continued playing and then encountered a player at $310 SnG’s who, although I thought was a decent player, was definitely one I felt I could hurt. I started to play several tables against this player, and then it happened...

He won every all-in situation, every coin flip, insane suck outs. This hand for example: I flop top pair and a flush draw. We get it all in and he shows up with top pair, deuce kicker. Turn is a blank. River is a deuce. %?”#/¨^*!! F**K! That hand sums up exactly how I ran that session, I’m pretty sure he won every single coin flip. I checked my account after playing as I had been so wrapped up in the games that  I hadn’t given my losses a single thought. The account balance read $1000.

I panicked! WTF is happening?

Continue to part two: "Busto. Again"


Disclaimer: "The making of Isildur1" series was originally published on svenskaspelare.com. HighstakesDB has been given exclusive rights to publish the english translated version.

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