Everybody is Talking About "that call" by Isildur1

Anyone who stayed up late to watch the partypoker MILLIONS Germany Main Event heads-up match between Viktor "Isildur1" Blom and Pavel Plesuv will know what a thrilling spectacle it was - and the hero call which saw Isildur1 crowned champion has been the talk of the forums, vloggers and twitter ever since. But how good a call in fact was it?

Soon after the match was over partypoker's twitch channel released a clip entitled "Isildur1 Call of the Century" (see below) and the reaction from commentators is suitably hysterical with Simon Trumper calling it "The greatest call I've ever seen".

The reaction on twitter was (by and large) equally effusive. Poker pro and podcaster Joe Ingram offered:

Seems the poker media were also impressed;

Not everyone was quite so enthusiastic about his call, however. Highstakes heads-up NL pro Jason Mo, for example, saw Isildur1's call as a very standard one;

Although Mo actually misread the action on the hand (Isildur didn't call three streets, he bet the flop and turn before calling a river shove) he does have a point.

Although it looks like a very tough call holding just second pair on a board which not only contains an overcard but also possible straights and flushes, the way the action went down more or less polarized Plesuv to either a rivered flush or nothing. As the Ace diamonds fell on the turn and Plesuv simply called Isildur1's bet it's reasonable to assume he didn't have the Ace of hearts. As Isildur1 had the King of hearts in his hand he blocked the next best flush as well as some straight draws. He also bet the King on the flop and wasn't raised by Plesuv, indicating the Moldovan didn't have a King in his hand either.

So Mo is probably right, In a standard heads-up cash game this call wouldn't be anything amazing - it would be a good call, but not spectacular. What makes this call special, however, is the context in which it was made. This was for the title, and for the €1m first place prize money. Isildur1 had also been at the tables 14 hours straight, and was facing a call which would either win him the match or effectively lose him the tournament (it would have left him a 20:1 chip underdog with just 3 big blinds). While in a cash game calling is the correct % play, its a much trickier proposition when there is no opportunity to reload and you're calling for your life in a tournament of this size and stature.

A great explanation of why some consider this a great call by Isildur1 is given in the short hand breakdown video below made by PLO coach Fernando 'JNandez87' Habegger.

What do you think? Was this one of the all-time great calls in poker, or just a standard play in heightened circumstances? Let us know in the comment section below.


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