The Online Railbird Report: Ben Tollerene, Viktor Blom, and Phil Galfond Book Massive Wins
The high-stakes online action on PokerStars has been impressive over the last month, with hundreds of thousands of dollars changing hands weekly. For instance, last week Ben Tollerene won a healthy $343,000 and was the week’s second-biggest winner. He followed that up with an even more impressive $501,000 haul this week, making him the biggest winner.
Tollerene’s win, which came in 6,767 hands across 77 sessions, was the best showing, but four other players managed to pull in $300,000-plus — “Chung ho” (+$488,077 in 3,890 hands/9 sessions), Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond (+$471,236 in 6,995 hands/67 sessions), Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (+$456,188 in 9,625 hands/128 sessions), and Ronny “1-ronnyr3” Kaiser (+4329,463 in 7,788 hands/126 sessions).
In regard to Blom, his big win came the same week he and PokerStars parted ways. It was a surprising development, with Blom citing his desire to focus on the game: "I’ve enjoyed my time as a Team Pro and I wish everyone at PokerStars the best. Now I just want to concentrate on playing poker." If this week is any indication, it just might prove a profitable decision for the Swede.
“EireAbu” ended up the week’s biggest loser, dropping $549,494 (28,541 hands/303 sessions) after taking a shot at the $200/$400 games. Prior to that, he was up $3,417,786 on the year, and though it was a hefty hit, he’s still the biggest winner on PokerStars in 2012.
Gus Hansen Wins Big in Friday/Saturday $200/$400 PLO Action
Although he donated much of his winnings back by the end of the week, Gus “broksi” Hansen had a fine couple of days playing $200/$400 pot-limit Omaha, winning $548,000. The “Great Dane” took on some high-stakes regulars, including the man on top of the yearly leaderboard, “EireAbu,” who was taking his first shot at the $200/$400 stakes.
It was there that the biggest pot of the day occurred. It began at a six-handed table when action folded around to Hansen ($67,970) on the button and he raised to $1,400. “EireAbu” ($75,955) responded with a three-bet to $4,600 from the small blind, the big got out of the way, and Hansen made the call, bringing about the flop. “EireAbu” led out for $6,000, Hansen called, and the turned. Again “EireAbu” led out, this time for $15,200, only to have Hansen move all in for $57,370. “EireAbu” made the call and the cards were turned up:
“EireAbu” was ahead with aces and a wrap, but Hansen held a wrap of his own. The river completed the Hansen’s draw, and he was pushed the $136,335 pot.
In the second largest pot of the day, action was five-handed when Hansen ($87,315) raised to $800 under the gun. From there, “Axelf82” ($54,758.50) called from the cutoff, “Gozoboro” ($95,464.75) three-bet to $3,800 from the button, and both blinds got out of the way. Hansen made the call, “Axelf82” four-bet to $16,600, two calls ensued, and the flop came out . Hansen checked, “Axelf82” moved all in for $38,158.50, “Gozoboro” folded, and Hansen made the call.
“Axelf82” pushed with aces and a gut-shot straight draw, but it was way behind the flopped full house of Hansen. Neither the turn nor river helped “Axelf82,” and the $125,912 pot became part of Hansen’s stack.
Unfortunately for Hansen, he’d turn right around and lose $250,000 of his profits playing $1,000/$2,000 Omaha Hi/Lo against “Chung Hu” later that night, and as we mentioned before, the rest would disappear by the week's end.
Tollerene Thrives in Sunday Action; “EireAbu’s” Shot Results in $514,400 Loss
Over the first eight months of the year, Dutch pro “EireAbu” amassed $3.5 million in winnings without ever playing stakes higher than $50/$100. That changed this past week when “EireAbu” opted to take a shot at the lucrative $200/$400 PLO games — a decision that would cost him $514,400 on Sunday.
Approximately $150,00 of that went to “Gozoboro” at the $100/$200 PLO tables, and almost $200,000 went to Ben “Ben86” Tollerene at the bigger stakes. It was in the latter match that the day’s biggest pot took place.
It began when “EireAbu” ($107,166.97) opened for $1,200 and then called when Tollerene ($118,702.13) three-bet to $3,600. The flop saw Tollerene lead out for $5,600 and then call when “EireAbu” raised to $14,000. When the turned, Tollerene checked, “EireAbu” bet $24,800, Tollerene check-raised all in for $101,102.13, and “EireAbu” called off his remaining $64,766.98.
“EireAbu” had flopped top set, but Tollerene spiked an ace on the turn for a bigger set. The river was of no consequence, and Tollerene took down the $214,332 pot.
In another notable hand between the two, Tollerene ($173,666.98) opened for $1,200, “EireAbu” ($52,006.13) three-bet to $3,600, a call was made, and the flop came down . Tollerene proceeded to call a bet of $4,400 and then bet $12,798.39 when “EireAbu” checked the turn. The latter responded with an all-in check-raise to $44,006.13, and Tollerene made a quick call, creating a pot worth $104,010. The was put out on the river and Tollerene showed for two pair, which was no good against the rivered straight of “EireAbu.”
Tollerene went on to become the day’s biggest winner (+$203,600), followed closely by “Gozoboro” ($176,800) and Ronny “1-ronnyr3” Kaiser ($172,500); meanwhile, “EireAbu” finished as the week’s biggest loser with a $549,000 loss, though he is still atop the yearly leaderboard with $2.9 million in profit.
Galfond’s Monday Return Results in a $402,000 Win
The last time we saw Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond at the virtual felt was before this year’s World Series of Poker, that is until he made his return on Monday. Galfond was looking for action and took to Twitter to find willing opponents:
Eventually a numer of players took him up on his offer and a $50/$100 PLO game was spread. Galfond played for 13 hours, putting in 4,400 hands, and increased his bankroll by $402,100, enough to make him the day’s biggest winner.
In his biggest pot, which was one of only two six-figure pots on Monday, action was six-handed when Galfond ($51,957) raised to $440 from the hijack, Benny “toweliestar” Spindler ($9,810) three-bet to $1,590 from the button, and Gus “broksi” Hansen ($57,420) four-bet to $5,380 from the big blind. Two calls were made, the flop fell , and Hansen led out for $2,200. Only Galfond made the call, bringing about the turn. Hansen kept the pressure on with a $20,705 bet, and then called when Galfond moved all in for $44,377.
Hansen had turned a straight and was ahead, but the spiked on the river to give Galfond a bigger straight and the $109,419 pot.
The other six-figure pot was actually at the $200/$400 tables, and it was the biggest of the day. Ronny “1-ronnyr3” Kaiser laid claim to the $150,000 monster by getting there on the river against Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies. Here’s a look at the hand:
Kaiser went on to finish as the day’s second biggest winner with $283,500 in profit while Scott “urnotindangr” Palmer took home biggest loser honors with a $208,200 loss.
Blom Versus “EireAbu” in Tuesday $100/$200 PLO Action
On Tuesday, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom showed that, patch or no patch, he was a force to be reckoned with as he won $202,000 in an 11-hour match against “EireAbu.”
The pair played more than 8,000 hands across four tables, and even though he had an up-and-down day, Blom held a lead pretty much the whole match. He lost it toward the end of the match, but then managed to catch a rush of cards at just the right time. In fact, it was during this time that the biggest pot of the day occurred.
It began when Blom ($62,130) raised to $600 on the button and “EireAbu” ($53,442) three-bet to $1,880 from the big blind. Not to be outdone, Blom four-bet $5,720, but “EireAbu” simply pushed back to the tune of $17,240. Blom put in the six-bet to $51,800, and the call the additional $1,642 when “EireAbu” seven-bet all in.
Blom held aces, and won the $106,882 pot as the board ran out .
In the second biggest pot of the day, the action was the same as the aforementioned hand up to the five-bet of $17,240, at which point Blom ($39,998) opted to call. The flop saw “EireAbu” move all in for $32,760, and Blom called off his remaining $22,718.
“EireAbu” got it in with trips and was primed to take down the $79,994 pot, especially when the blanked on the turn, but the spiked on the river to give Blom a wheel and the win. Blom finished as the Tuesday’s biggest winner with $285,400 in profit, and “EireAbu” earned the opposite title by dropping $169,900.
Biggest Weekly PokerStars Winners/Losers
Week’s biggest winners (8/9-8/15): Ben “Ben86” Tollerene (+$501,375), “Chung ho” (+$488,077), Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond (+$471,236), Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (+$456,188), Ronny “1-ronnyr3” Kaiser (+$329,463)
Week’s biggest losers: “EireAbu” (-$549,494), “mikki696” (-$358,488), Rui “PepperoniF” Cao (-$273,102), “patpatman” (-$207,308)
Year-to-date winners: “EireAbu” (+$2,933,176), Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky (+$2,188,598), Jens “Jeans89” Kyllönen (+$1,596,610), Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond (+$1,500,241), “bernard-bb” (+$1,480,658), Alex “Kanu7” Millar (+$1,351,485)
Year-to-date losers: “Zypherin” (-$2,840,746), Benny “toweliestar” Spindler (-$1,133,306), Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (-$1,104,599), “1Il|1Il|1il|” (-$759,718), Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies (-$737,519), Gavin “gavz101” Cochrane (-$677,640), “VietRussian” (-$643,158)
*Picture courtesy of nl.pokernews.com.
Data, hands and replayer obtained from HighStakesDB.com