Taylor Caby, Guy Laliberté, and Viktor Blom Inducted Into Internet Wall of Fame
This week, TwoPlusTwo Pokercast hosts Adam Schwartz and Terrence Chan added Taylor Caby, Guy Laliberté, and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom as its 15th, 16th, and 17th inductees to the Internet Pokers Wall of Fame (IPWOF).
The IPWOF was established by the Pokercast duo last summer in response to "years of whining about the Poker Hall of Fame and the politics surrounding it," according to the opening post in the TwoPlusTwo thread where the inductees are announced.
Schwartz also mentioned that there is only one requirement to be eligible for the IPWOF in that, "the person must have played at least one hand of poker on the Internet." However, even this requirement is not set in stone as we last month Neteller was inducted into as the 11th member into the IPWOF.
Caby may have eventually made the IPWOF for his "great success" playing online poker, however, it was his business acumen that propelled him into this exclusive club. Schwartz compared Caby to the NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, stating that, "If Chris Moorman is the Michael Jordan of online MTTs, Caby could be said to be a Mark Cuban in his own right."
Not surpringly, Moorman, the owner of over $13 million in online poker tournament cashes as tracked by PocketFives and the holder of a record-breaking 25 PocketFives Triple Crowns was the fourth inductee into the IPWOF in September.
Caby's success on the felt includes running up an initial $35 deposit in 2003 on the now defunct Ultimate Bet all the way up to where he was beating the players left and right at the highest stakes available online.
The success on the virtual felt allowed Caby to tap into his entrepreneurial spirit in 2005 when he co-founded the popular poker training site CardRunners with Andrew Wiggins. Additionally, Caby put his stamp on online poker by acquiring the poker tracking company Holdem Manager (now owned by Max Value Software) and producing the poker documentary Bet Raise Fold. Schwartz also mentioned his business holdings extended outside of poker by co-founding the daily fantasy sports site DraftDay in 2011 with Wiggins before selling it in 2014.
Poker doesn't usually come to mind when most people think of Laliberté. They think of the Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist who co-founded Cirque du Soleil. However, it was the poker enthusiast's impact in the poker universe that catapulted him into the IPWOF as its 16th member.
Schwartz reported that for a short time Laliberté was online poker's biggest whales, losing an estimated $26 million in 2009 while playing under a variety of screen names. To the dismay of many nosebleed players, including Tom Dwan and Phil Galfond, it is believed that ring-game tracking site Poker Table Ratings (PTR) chased the billionaire away with Schwartz stating that, "Presumably Laliberté was embarrassed to have his results under so much public scrutiny."
While Laliberté may be known online for all the wrong reasons, his impact on live poker is perhaps for all the right ones. Laliberté founded the charitable organization One Drop Foundation in 2007, whose mission is to provide access to safe water to those in need. In 2011, Laliberté partnered with Caesars Entertainment, owner of the World Series of Poker, creating several tournaments and other ways for players to donate money to his worthy cause.
Viktor "Isildur1" Blom
Blom, the Swedish poker sensation, likely needs no introduction to any poker player or enthusiast. Blom came out of nowhere to dazzle the poker world in late 2009 when on Full Tilt he recorded the eight largest pots in online poker history. Amazingly, this all took place within a single month when the then anonymous player quickly won mountains of cash, including $5 million alone from Dwan.
As the saying goes, it was "easy come, easy go" for Blom, as one month later he famously lost $4.2 million to Brian Hastings. However, Hastings was soon in hot water, losing his Full Tilt sponsorship after he disclosed that he teamed up with Cole South and Brian Townsend to share databases and construct ranges Blom is likely to be holding in certain situations.
"Honestly, I give most of the credit to Brian Townsend here. I mean, Brian is honestly the hardest worker I know in poker,” Hastings told ESPN in 2009. "He analyzed a database of heads-up hands that Isildur1 had played and constructed ranges of what Isildur1 was doing in certain spots. The three of us discussed a ton of hands and the reports that Brian made, so I'm very thankful to him and to Cole as well."
The man of mystery eventually disclosed his real name shortly after joining PokerStars as a Team Pro.
To this day, Blom is still popular among poker fans for his rollercoaster swings. Last year, was a very successful one for the Swedish poker pro with over $2 million in online ring-game poker profits.
Other IPWOF Inductees in February
In early February, Schwartz and Chan inducted partypoker co-founder and former marketing director Vikrant Bhargava as its 12th member, TwoPlusTwo owner Mason Malmuth as its 13th member, and high-stakes poker pro Patrik Antonius as its 14th member.