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The Online Railbird Report: Sander Berndsen Wins $632,000

Online Railbird

With tournaments being held around the world, including the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas and the Aussie Millions Poker Championship in the land down under, you might expect the online action to be relatively quiet. That is a logical assumption, but it couldn't have been further from the truth.

There was plenty of high-stakes action throughout the week and plenty of players took advantage of it. Sander “Berndsen12” Berndsen, emerged as the week’s biggest winner after profiting $631,432 in 11,318 hands spread across 88 sessions. Coming in second on the winner’s list, with nearly half Berndsen’s take, was Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky, who banked $333,436 in 126 sessions of 7,808 hands. Rounding out the top three was Niklas “ragen70” Heineckerragen, who won $251,669 in 58 sessions of 4,534 hands.

It was a rough week for "GVOZDIKA55," who ended up the biggest loser after dropping $240,017 in just 1,410 hands over three sessions. The next biggest loser was “diggidave,” who lost $158,691 in 76 sessions of 9,876 hands. A couple of spots back was Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies, who made an unexpected appearance on the loser’s list after earning the title of biggest winner of 2011 on PokerStars. He dropped $131,284 in 19 sessions of 727 hands.

Here’s a look at some of the more notable stories and hands of the week:

Galfond Gets Busy and Back in the Black

After a rough start to the year, Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond got back on track on Jan. 7, winning $90,000 and moving him into the black for 2012. Galfond played a five-hour session at the $50/$100 pot-limit Omaha tables, including a good deal of time spent battling Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.

In one hand between the two, Galfond ($37,104) opened for $300 on the button, Blom ($33,373.50) exercised his option from the big blind with a three-bet to $940, and Galfond four-bet to $2,860. Not one to back down, Blom five-bet to $8,620, Galfond called, and the flop came down {6-Hearts}{2-Spades}{4-Diamonds}. Blom led out for $17,279.50, Galfond moved all-in for $28,484, and Blom called off his remaining $7,474.

Blom: {A-Clubs}{A-Spades}{K-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}
Galfond: {4-Spades}{6-Clubs}{8-Spades}{5-Clubs}

Galfond had flopped two pair to pull ahead of Blom. Galfond then improved to a flush after the {J-Spades} appeared on the turn followed by the {9-Spades} on the river, and the $66,747-pot was sent to Galfond.

In another hand, Galfond ($28,228.50) raised to $300 from the button only to have Blom ($50,478.50) three-bet to $940. Galfond responded with a four-bet to $2,860, Blom five-bet $8,620, Galfond six-bet $25,900, and Blom five-bet shoved. Galfond only had $2,328.50 behind and made the call.

Blom: {A-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}
Galfond: {K-Clubs}{K-Spades}{3-Spades}{3-Clubs}

The {10-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{3-Hearts} flop gave Galfond a set and Blom the nut-flush draw. Unfortunately for Blom, the board ran out {5-Diamonds} and {4-Diamonds}, missing his draw. With his set holding, Galfond took down a pot worth $56,457.

Sander “Berndsen12” Berndsen vs. Viktor “Isildur1” Blom

Even though he has been busy at the PCA, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom still finds time to battle on the online felt. This was evidenced on Monday night and early Tuesday morning when the Swede played an epic 12-hour match of $50/$100 PLO against Sander “Berndsen12” Berndsen. Playing four tables, and plowing through approximately 5,000 hands, Blom went on his usual roller-coaster ride, jumping out to a big lead only to lose it back. In fact, Berndsen was down $250,000 but managed to pull even, plus $30,000 profit, by the end of the match.

He didn’t win big against Blom in that match, but it did contribute to Berndsen’s superb week. The two squared off again later in the week and Berndsen pocketed over $240,000.

Sander Berndsen
Sander Berndsen

Here’s a look at some of the matches most notable hands from Monday’s match.

Hand #1: Berndsen ($206,004.20) opened for $300 from the button and Blom ($67,450.10) three-bet to $900 from the big blind. Berndsen made the call and then watched as Blom fired out $1,799.50 on the {9-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} flop. Berndsen promptly raised to $4,200, Blom three-bet to $14,399.50, Berndsen called, and the {K-Spades} appeared on the turn.

Blom kept the pressure on with a bet of $30,598.50, which Berndsen called, and the {7-Hearts} appeared on the river. This time Blom checked, Berndsen bet, and Blom called off his remaining $21,552.09. Berndsen rolled over {3-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{10-Hearts}{6-Clubs} for a straight, which bested Blom’s {4-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds} for two pair, and took down the $134,900 pot.

Hand #2: Berndsen ($67,091) again opened for $300 on the button and Blom ($57,745.40) made it $900 from the big blind. This time Berndsen four-bet to $2,700, Blom five-bet $8,100, and Berndsen called. The flop fell {K-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{A-Diamonds}, and Blom wasted little time in leading out for $8,000. Berndsen called, and the {3-Diamonds} appeared on the turn. Once again Berndsen called a Blom bet, this time $13,650, and the {3-Clubs} was put out on the river.

Blom moved all-in for his last $27,995.40 and Berndsen made the call, the latter showing {Q-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{A-Spades}{K-Clubs} for top two pair. Blom rolled over {7-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{4-Clubs} for a flopped flush and laid claim to the $155,490 pot.

Hand #3: In this hand, Blom ($108,278.50) was on the button and opened for $300, giving Berndsen ($56,629.09) the opportunity to make it $900. Blom then four-bet to $2,700, Berndsen five-bet $8,100, Blom six-bet $24,300, and Berndsen called. When the flop fell {8-Clubs}{Q-Clubs}{7-Hearts}, Berndsen moved all-in for $32,329.10 and Blom made the call.

Berndsen: {10-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{7-Spades}
Blom: {A-Hearts}{A-Spades}{J-Hearts}{J-Spades}

Berndsen had out-flopped Blom’s aces by striking two pair, and stayed in the lead as the board ran out with the {10-Spades} and the {5-Hearts}. Berndsen raked in a pot worth $113,258.

Cochrane Turns Things Around on Wednesday

Leading up to Wednesday, Gavin “gavz101” Cochrane was the biggest loser of 2012; however, lady luck seemed to smile on him as he ended up winning $138,500 at $50/$100 PLO — enough to make him the day’s biggest winner and cross out the aforementioned title.

In one hand, action folded to Jens “Jeans89” Kyllönen ($28,266) on the button and he raised to $300, which Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky ($10,000) called from the small blind. Cochrane ($22,778) then exercised his option in the big blind with a three-bet to $1,280. Kyllönen four-bet $4,520, Sulsky folded, and Cochrane made the call. After the {9-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{6-Clubs} flop, Cochrane check-called a bet of $8,818, and it was followed by the {J-Diamonds} falling on the turn. This time Cochrane led out for his last $9,440 and Kyllönen made the call.

Cochrane: {J-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}
Kyllönen: {A-Diamonds}{A-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}

Cochrane held the top two pair and was ahead of Kyllönen, who held aces and a flush draw. The {5-Clubs} river changed nothing, and Cochrane took down the $45,856 pot.

Biggest weekly winners/losers all on PokerStars

Week’s biggest winners (1/6-1/12): Sander “Berndsen12” Berndsen (+$631,432), Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky (+$333,436), Niklas “ragen70” Heineckerragen (+$251,669), patpatman (+$200,435), bernard-bb (+$164,144)

Week’s biggest losers: GVOZDIKA55 (-$240,017), diggidave (-$158,691), johnxfleming (-$132,145), Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies (-$131,284)

Year-to-date winners: Sander “Berndsen12” Berndsen (+$732,116), bernard-bb (+$475,017), Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky (+$324,989), Niklas “ragen70” Heineckerragen (+$302,656)

Year-to-date losers: GVOZDIKA55 (-$240,017), Try__An__Hit (-$212,628), Gavin “gavz101” Cochrane (-$190,802), diggidave (-$189,006), adiprene1 (-$186,844), Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies (-$173,285)

Data and hands obtained from

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