PokerNews Op-Ed: Who Is Isildur1?
The identity of “Isildur1” is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. The online player from Sweden ambushed poker's elite when he came out of nowhere in early November and shook up the old-world order of the nosebleed tables.
Initial speculation suggested that Isildur1 was none other than “Martonas.” Having gone busto months earlier, did he re-emerge under a different screen name? The Martonas rumors were quickly quashed while the most recent rumor speculated that a young man from Uddevalla, Sweden, named Viktor Blom. Whether it’s Martonas or Blom, one question still remaines – “Who the hell is Isildur1?”
Isildur1 fleeced Tom “durrrr” Dwan for over $3 million and ran up his bankroll on Full Tilt close to $7 million. Plus, he acquired his roll in remarkable fashion while stalking, hunting, and destroying the best of the best.
Many veteran reporters covering the high-stakes games were awed by Isildur1’s annihilation of durrrr. I know I spent many hours lurking on the virtual rail. Isildur1’s matches became a freak show as poker fanatics and curious observers logged onto Full Tilt to sweat him during marathon sessions in which he easily won or lost millions spread over six or more tables. Whenever Isildur1 logged on to play, word of his matches instantly spread via Twitter, Skype, and the 2+2 forums. Isildur1 had quickly become the biggest show in high-stakes online poker.
Despite all the attention and scrutiny, no one could figure out the identity of this latest online phenom from Scandinavia. I decided to dig deep and called in over a dozen favors in a massive investigation as to the origins of Isildur1. I hired a private detective and even employed the assistance of a college friend who is an analyst for the CIA.
Unfortunately, the results of my investigation are inconclusive. All I got were plenty of rumors, and I ended up with even more questions about the mystifying Isildur1. Despite my failure to get to the bottom of the Isildur1 identity, I narrowed his identity to 10 possibilities.
So who is Isildur1?
Bot. Deep in a computer lab somewhere in Silicon Valley, a couple of hard-core computer geeks slaved for five years developing the perfect program to simulate an erratic Scandi poker player. The geeks unleashed their bot program and called him Isildur1.
IKEA Billionaire Ingvar Kamprad. There’s an old saying: it takes money to make money. Only a handful of people on Earth have more money than Mr. IKEA. I’m sure he’s in his mansion somewhere sitting on one of his IKEA Allack swivel chairs playing online poker with his laptop resting on an IKEA Jonas desk.
The Ghost of Stu Ungar. I believe in ghosts, so why isn't it possible for a spirit from the other world to possess a young Scandi poker player? If Stu Ungar were alive today, I’m pretty sure I’d be writing about the tremendous swings that Stuey undertook at the nosebleed tables taking on the likes of durrrr and Phil Ivey.
Martonas. This one seems so obvious. Isildur1 is really Martonas, but he must have been taking some business courses on marketing because he rebranded himself under a different name just like Philip Morris and Blackwater.
Osama Bin Laden. While U.S. Special Forces have been hunting the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, they have been looking for him in the wrong places. He’s not on the lam deep in a cave in the mountains of Northwest Pakistan like the intel originally suggested. Rather, he’s holed up in northern Sweden trying to raise money for his mujahidin by fleecing the “capitalist pigs” who frequent the nosebleed tables.
Tony Parker. At the 2007 EPT Grand Finale in Monte Carlo, I chatted with a couple of online pros who suggested that a high-stakes player who had been donating at the cash game tables was none other than NBA hoops star Tony Parker from the San Antonio Spurs. A couple of geeks did their homework and discovered that the supposed unknown player was not playing online poker during scheduled Spurs games.
Unknown 12-year-old girl. Hey Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad was just 15 when she first dipped her toe into the online waters before she embarked on a sensational career. Annette_15 is considered by her peers to be one of the best female players of all-time and she just turned 21. Some of the premier online players in the world are under 21, so why couldn’t Isildur1 be a pimple-faced high school kid from a small town in Sweden?
Ben Affleck. Remember the days when Affleck was a regular on the tournament trail? Ben wasn’t just one of those Hollywood types donking off his million-dollar paychecks at the tables. Affleck was holding his own and even sought the advice of pros such as Annie Duke. Affleck was obviously paying attention because he won the 2004 California State Poker Championships under Duke’s tutelage. Affleck stopped playing during the height of the J.Lo storm, then disappeared completely from the tables shortly after he knocked up the chick from Alias. Times are tough in Hollywood these days, so it wouldn’t be entirely impossible that Affleck is sitting in his Malibu home taking on the sharks to supplement his lavish lifestyle.
Darvin Moon. Come on, we weren’t really buying that “Aw Shucks” routine from the Maryland logger. The 2009 WSOP Main event runner-up claimed he did not own a cell phone and that had never played a single hand of online poker. Yeah, right. For all we know, he deposited his juicy $4 million WSOP Main Event paycheck onto Full Tilt and wanted another shot at Phil Ivey.
Sasquatch from Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. No one has actually seen the hairy human-like creature called “Sasquatch” since he last appeared inside the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. He must be putting his beef jerky mascot-money to good use by playing pot-limit Omaha. Everyone knows that mythical man-beasts are action junkies.
Again, all of these potential suspects are just speculation. Draw your own conclusions. Do your own research. The truth is out there. Isildur1 has to be somebody or something. If you have any information on the identity of Isildur1, please send me your tips. I will be awarding $420 to anyone with viable information leading to the official confirmation of Isildur1.