The past week was one of the busiest of the year for the high-stakes cash games at Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. Most of the regular nosebleed players mixed it up on the virtual felts despite the start of the EPT Grand Final in Monaco, which is offering massive high-stakes cash games for the first time this year.
Viktor "Isildur1" Blom and Ben “Bttech86” Tollerene have headlined the high-stakes action this year and they continued their pot-limit Omaha battles this week, but several others also got involved. Tom "durrrr" Dwan, Ben “Sauce1234” Sulsky, Patrik “FinddaGrind” Antonius, Phil "Polarizing" Ivey, Gus Hansen and Alexander “PostFlopAction” Kostritsyn all duked it out on Full Tilt Poker as millions of dollars changed hands by the day.
Blom began the week as the biggest earner after profiting $1 million on Tuesday against several opponents, but he lost all of it and then some the following day to Sulsky, who ended the week as the biggest winner. Sulsky was running cold entering May, dropping $2 million since the start of the year, but his seven-figure week removed him from the list of the year's five biggest high-stakes losers.
Meanwhile, Dwan also won more than a million; most of it coming during a $500/$1,000 pot-limit Omaha session against Gus Hansen, "SetoKaiba1," "DrugsOrMe," Hac "trex313" Dang, and Ronny "ronnyr36717" Kaiser on Thursday. Dwan is now among 2013's biggest winners, a distinction that hasn't been associated with his name in recent years.
Win a Million, Lose a Million
Viktor Blom is no stranger to million-dollar swings, making him one of the most entertaining players to watch. Railbirds got their share of action this week as Blom won more than a $1 million and then lost it all within 24 hours.
Late Monday night, Blom won $395,000 in just 17 minutes against Tollerene in a $500/$1000 CAP PLO game. He carried that rush into Tuesday afternoon by winning $314,500 in less than an hour versus "Sankler" at $500/$1000 CAP no-limit hold'em. He then took a seat at a $2K/$4K 2-7 triple draw table against Phil "Polarizing" Ivey, "kagome kagome" and Alex "Alexonmoon" Luneau, and grinded out a $300,000 win over 3.5 hours.
On Wednesday, Blom pressed his luck against Sulsky and suffered one of his worst sessions of the year. The two began playing $300/600 PLO and Blom darted out to a $300,000 lead, but Sulsky fought back to take the lead, prompting Blom to request that they increase the stakes to $400/800.
Over the next 12 hours it was all Sulsky. He won the four biggest pots of the match, all of which were more than $350,000. In the biggest pot, Sulsky ($200,202) raised his button to $2,400 and Blom ($239,761) called to see a flop of . Blom checked and Sulsky bet $3,060, at which point Blom fired back with a check-raise to $12,800. Sulsky then three-bet to $32,000, and Blom four-bet to $77,000. Sulksy moved all in and Blom quickly called, and the two decided to run it twice for a pot worth more than $400,000.
Both players flopped a set, but Sulsky's three kings were way out in front. Both runs went in Sulksy's favor and he scooped the entire pot.
The next largest pot began with Sulsky ($178,796) opening to $2,400 from the button and Blom ($273,167) three-bet to $7,500. Sulsky responded with a three-bet to $22,800 and Blom called to see a flop of . Blom checked, Sulksy bet $24,000 and Blom check-raised to $117,900. Sulsky moved all in for $38,000 more and Blom snap-called, creating a pot worth $357,592.
Blom flopped two pair but Sulsky's top set of aces was best. The two decided to run it twice, and, once again, Sulksy held up both times, increasing his lead over the Swede.
Sulksy's 24-hour profits against Blom totaled $1.3 million, and he ended the week ahead $1,366,597. He's now $900,000 in the red for the year after cutting into his losses by more than half in a single day.
Dwan Crushes $500/$1,000 PLO
The high-stakes PLO tables were busy on Thursday as many of the game's top pros were putting in long sessions. Among them was Tom Dwan, who won $527,600 across 852 hands. In the biggest pot of the session, "SetoKaiba1" raised to $2,000 from under the gun and got calls from "DrugsOrMe" and Gus Hansen before Dwan three-bet to $10,500 from the big blind. SetoKaiba1 folded and DrugsOrMe and Hansen called. On the flop, Dwan led out for $29,500, DrugsOrMe called all in for exactly that amount and Hansen called all in for $17,000.
Amazingly, all three players had flush draws and DrugsOrMe's pair of eights was in the lead for the moment. The turn was the , and suddenly Dwan was in front with two pair but had to dodge a lot of outs to win the hand. The on the river improved Dwan's hand to a higher two pair good enough to win the $110,000 pot.
After his PLO session, Dwan faced off against "Trueteller" at a $500/$1000 CAP NLHE heads-up table and won $170,000 in an hour and a half. In total, Dwan won $527,600 for the day, bringing his winnings for the week to $1,041,054.
Biggest Winners/Losers (Full Tilt Poker)
Week’s biggest winners (5/2-5/9): Ben “Sauce1234” Sulsky (+1,366,597), Tom "durrrr" Dwan (+$1,041,054), Kyle “cottonseed1” Hendon (+$628,303), Niklas "ragen70" Heinecker (+$239,435), "Odd_Oddsen" (+$217,803), Patrik “FinddaGrind” Antonius (+$139,652), Isaac "luvtheWNBA" Haxton (+$139,271).
Week’s biggest losers: Ben “Bttech86” Tollerene (-$785,586), Phil "Polarizing" Ivey (-$537,308), Sanlker (-$410,576), Denoking (-$375,905), Gus Hansen (-$320,790), DrugsOrMe (-$254,780), Alexander “PostFlopAction” Kostritsyn (-$169,058).
Year’s biggest winners: Alexander “PostFlopAction” Kostritsyn (+$3,072,026), Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (+$2,915,972), Kyle “cottonseed1” Hendon (+$2,232,658), Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond (+$2,169,847), Tom “durrrr” Dwan (+$2,108,924), Patrik “FinddaGrind” Antonius (+$2,041,706), Ben “Bttech86” Tollerene (+$1,534,859), “Odd_Oddsen”* (+$1,336,989), “SallyWoo” (+$1,092,904), “1Il|1Il|1il|”* (+$1,030,358), “kagome kagome” (+$732,099), Isaac "luvtheWNBA" Haxton (+$690,415)
Year’s biggest losers: Gus Hansen (-$3,124,456), Phil “Polarizing” Ivey (-$2,092,560), “samrostan” (-$1,404,500), “patpatpanda” (-$1,330,885), Scott “mastrblastr” Seiver (-$1,220,399), “punting-peddler” (-$1,099,064), “CRAIN85” (-$925,500), Alex “IReadYrSoul” Millar (-$907,332)
Data, hands and replayer obtained from HighStakesDB.com