While the biggest hands in this week's article all come from a heads-up game between Daniel Cates and Viktor Blom, it's Ben Sulsky taking center stage. There's one simple reason why; he's approaching $5,000,000 in profit, according to tracking site HighStakesDB.com.
If you're following along with the poker world, you hear these stories every now and then, but mostly about tournament players. And while those stories are interesting (a sincere congrats to Jonathan "Apestyles" Van Fleet on reaching the $7.5 million mark this week), it's a little skewed as there's no way of telling how much they spend in buy-ins.
Doing the same for high-stakes cash-game players is a bit easier, though for sure not conclusive. The tracking sites don't track everything, and players might have won or lost a bunch on networks not tracked at all. Still, it's safe to say that Sulsky is one of the best players in the one games, and on top of the poker world for years now.
It all started with working for a supermarket, according to Sulsky in a 2007 interview with FlopTurnRiver.
"I played poker recreationally in high school with friends and got interested in it as I was pushing carts at a fascist supermarket and stealing gourmet foods to upset my bourgeois asshole bosses and wanted a way to make money with my mind," he said in that interview. "But I sucked so I didn’t play very much for a couple years; though I did win 3K in a freeroll which I then somehow spent or lost or something, I don’t remember."
Sulsky was playing $5/$10 and $10/$20 back then, and hasn't sat still since. He worked his way up along the stakes to become one of the end bosses of online poker for some time now. He's made 66 videos for Run It Once and did a Q&A for them during the 2014 WSOP (30:54 in). He did countless interviews and appeared on the PokerStatic HotSeat back in 2010, the Thinking Poker Podcast in 2014, and Joey Ingram's PokerLifePodcast last year.
Here's a look at his stats, courtesy of HighStakesDB:
|PokerStars||Full Tilt Poker||total|
|Most played game:||PLO||8-Game||PLO||NLHM||PLO|
On top of his online succes, he enjoyed some run good live at the World Series of Poker last year. The summer didn't start out all too good with him busting the $500,000 Super High Roller Bowl in 21st place after a somewhat roller coaster of a hand against Andrew Robl (see below), but cashed in the three biggest tournaments of the summer's WSOP:
|$25,000||PLO High Roller||18th||$40,357|
|$50,000||The Players Championship||4th||$353,928|
Those three scores added immensely to his total live tournaments earnings of $1,732,683. He's currently 420th on the US all-time money list, 711th on the all time money list world wide, and 1,318th in the Global Poker Index. He didn't participate in the 2016 edition of the Super High Roller Bowl, but we imagine he'll be back for the bigger events at the World Series of Poker this summer.
Oh, and if you're wondering why he's called "Sauce123(4)" online, there's no fascist grocery store story this time, but a team basketbal captain with a speech impediment, according to an interview on HSDB.
"It was when I was in the eighth grade and playing on the basketball team," he said. "My last name is 'Sulsky' and the captain of the team couldn't pronounce it so he called me 'Sauce' instead. Everyone thought that it was hilarious so it stuck."
Three Biggest Pots Online in the Last Two Weeks
The three biggest hands of the past two weeks all come from the same session between high stakes heavy weights Dan "w00ki3z." Cates and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom. The two have been battling it out, with the biggest pots all coming from the PLO part of a $250/$500 mixed hold'em/pot-limit hold'em game.
1) Dan "w00ki3z." Cates wins a $138.612 pot (277 big blinds) of Viktor "Isildur1" Blom
($250/$500 PLO (part of a mix) Heads-Up
Blom raised his button to $1,500 and was soon met by a three-bet to $4,500 from Cates. Blom made the call to see a flop with $9,000 in the middle.
Cates made a continuation bet of $4,498.50 on and Blom was quick to raise to $15,000. Cates added the chips to call and see a turn.
The on the turn sparked some more action. Cates checked, and Blom bet pot for $39,000. Cates shoved all in for $49,806.16 total and Blom called.
|Dan "w00ki3z." Cates||77.50%|
|Viktor "Isildur1" Blom||22.50%|
The river gave Blom his flush but it was no good, as it paired Cates as well, making him a full house in the process.
2) Viktor "Isildur1" Blom wins a $136.473 pot (272 big blinds) of Dan "w00ki3z." Cates
($250/$500 PLO (part of a mix) Heads-Up
The pre flop action was the same as in the last hand we looked at, just now the roles were reversed. It was Cates opening for $1,500 and Blom making it $4,500. Cates made the call to grow the pot to $9,000.
Blom made a bet of $6,000 on and Cates raised to $18,500. Blom called, leaving himself a little under pot behind.
The fell on the turn and Blom shoved all in for $45,236.59 into the $46,000 pot. Cates made the call.
|Dan "w00ki3z." Cates||26.22% (30.37%)||20% (25%)|
|Viktor "Isildur1" Blom||43.41% (30.37%)||55% (25%)|
The two high stakes players decided to run the river twice this time around, but both were in favor of Blom. The and weren't the low cards Cates were looking for, and the entire $136,473 pot went to Blom.
3) Dan "w00ki3z." Cates wins a $127,480 pot (254 big blinds) of Viktor "Isildur1" Blom
($250/$500 PLO (part of a mix) Heads-Up
The third biggest pot of the week came from the same session between Cates and Blom. A single raised pot this time with Blom opening for $1,500 and Cates calling to get to the flop of with $3,000 in the middle.
Cates checked and Blom answered with a bet of $2,000. Cates check raised to $7,000 and Blom called to see a turn with now $17,000 in the middle.
The popped up and Cates followed his flop aggression up with a bet of $12,747.75. Blom called, making the pot grow to $42,495.50.
The river paired the board and Cates checked. Blom bet pot and Cates answered with the second check raise of the hand, this time all in for $48,453.66. Despite having to add just under $6,000 to win an already massive pot, Blom decided to fold. Cates mucked and raked in the 254 big blind pot without having to show his cards.
The 2016 Leaderboard
For both the top 3 of biggest winners as the top 3 of biggest losing players this year, one player left compared to two weeks ago. Patrik "Fake Love888" Antonius dropped out of the top 3 of biggest winners for 2016, after losing some $39,875. Antonius losing wasn't the main reason for dropping out of the top 3, it was Dani "supernova9" Stern winning big that propelled him into the top 3 again.
Dan "w00ki3z." Cates won $138,035 these past two weeks, resulting in dropping out of the top 3 of biggest losing players. "flong78" entered the list because of Cates winning session against Blom. Blom and Millar are still one and two for this top 3, but are both still up life time on their PokerStars account.
|(user)name||hands 2016||profit/loss 2016||profit/loss per hand 2016||profit/loss all time||↑/↓ this term||most played variant 2016|
|1||Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky||53,725||+$810,402||+$15.08||+$4,847,605||↑||8-game|
|2||Andres "Educa-p0ker" Artinano||25,690||+$701,624||+$27.31||+$1,122,612||↑||NLHM|
|3||Dani "supernova9" Stern||21,828||+$395,041||+$18.09||-$19,420||↑||PLO|
|1||Viktor "Isildur1" Blom||81,114||-$767,366||-$9.46||+$1,233,594||↓||8-game|
|2||Alex "Kanu7" Millar||21,648||-$629.238||-$29.06||+$2,631,353||↓||NLHM|
Results Online High Stakes Action May 19th till June 2nd 2016
|(user)name||hands||profit/loss||profit/loss 2016||profit/loss all time|
|1||Dani "supernova9" Stern||1,036||+$299,996||+$395,041||-$39,420|
|2||Daniel "steamraise" Alaei||2,221||+$142,691||+$119,564||+$116,619|
|3||Dan "w00ki3z." Cates||8,688||+$138,035||-$331,735||+$932,419|
|4||Andres "Educa-p0ker" Artinano||1,692||+$136,525||+$701,624||+$1,122,612|
|5||Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky||4,543||+$98,202||+$810,402||+$4,847,605|
|6||Jens "Fresh_oO_D" Lakemeier||6,325||+$56,412||+$50,597||-$163,655|
|8||Jordan "Heisenb3rg" Cairns||913||+$30,207||+$28,771||-$49,324|
|9||Scott "gunning4you" Seiver||1,002||+$26,375||+$26,375||+$254,371|
|10||Tim "otterkopf" Modderman||942||+$24,814||+$21,437||-$92,603|
|1||Viktor "Isildur1" Blom||9,674||-$216,327||-$767,366||+$1,233,594|
|4||Joshua "asdf26" Beckley||2,033||-$55,064||-$55,064||-$55,064|
|5||Fedor "CrownUpGuy" Holz||1,300||-$52,897||+$96,903||+$178,423|
|6||Mikael "ChaoRen160" Thuritz||2,781||-$47,912||+$106,793||+$967,341|
|7||Ilari "Ilari FIN" Sahamies||357||-$42,421||-$34,174||+$1,340,575|
|9||Patrik "Fake Love888" Antonius||182||-$39,875||+$238,988||-$1,345,148|
The above top 3 of biggest winners and losers online of 2016 and top 10 biggest winners and losers online for the last 2 weeks, only consists of PokerStars-accounts that haven't opted out with HighStakesDB.com.