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Railbird Report: High Stakes' David Eldar Becomes Scrabble World Champ

David Eldar

There are countless competitive gamers who have transitioned into poker. Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier might be the most notable example, finding poker after having made a career playing Starcraft. But not just Starcraft players have found poker: players of Chess, Magic, Backgammon, Hearthstone and many other games have tried their hand at poker too.

The trend continues today with esports fanatics playing poker and poker players excelling at other games. Alan "hotted89" Widmann is hanging out with Viktor Blom to get better at poker and Thijs Molendijk plays the Unibet Open to see if he's as good at poker as he is at Hearthstone. Meanwhile, Daniel Negreanu and other poker players try their luck at non-poker competitive games as well, making for the perfect crossover.

Back in 2009, I discovered there was another competitive game producing at least a single great poker player. While browsing the then-popular poker forum Liduidpoker (a sister site of, a popular Starcraft website), I came across the thread "Who is deldar182?" I had been an avid railbird of the high stakes community for close to three years at the time and knew the name "Deldar182" all too well. I railed him or her for countless hours, following the player from mid-stakes through the highest limits.

Eldar the Scrabble Player

Contrary to common practice, the original poster didn't just ask the question, he answered it right away as well, sharing that "Deldar182" was likely David Eldar. Eldar, according to the topic starter, was a Scrabble youth champion, now playing poker. Lex "RaSZi" Veldhuis, at the time a regular poster at the Liquidpoker forum, comically replied:

"funny, u make a thread 'who is....?' and then reply ur own question by busting out all this info nobody knows =]"

And so I knew: "Deldar182" was the young David Eldar from Australia, and apparently, the family game of Scrabble was played competitively. Eldar is still playing poker at high stakes and is still playing Scrabble. Last August, the Australian residing in London became World Champion in the game, banking £7,000 and a nice trophy. An article and video by the Telegraph provide a glimpse into Eldar's winning moment:

Eldar's Poker Success

High Stakes tracking site has records for "Deldar182" since February of 2011, showing him being up $1,673,824 over 410,038 hands. This year, Eldar is up $64,224 over 34,568 hands, playing mostly Omaha Hi/Low. On Full Tilt Poker, where Eldar played under the monicker "POKERBLUFFS", he's up $1,622,588 over 275,139 hands. The last time he logged into the fallen poker site was August 2015.

That makes for a total of $3,296,412 over 685,177 hands. We can be sure that's not all he made, though, as he was long active in the high-stakes arena before HSDB started tracking him.

Eldar has played some live tournaments but only has three cashes on his HendonMob, all from 2009. His total live earnings come to $224,855 mostly from a fifth-place finish in the €25,000 high roller for €138,000 ($181,450) at the EPT Grand Final that year.

Full Tilt Poker$1,622,588

Catching Up on High Stakes Action: Three Biggest Pots Online

The Railbird Report took a brief hiatus; the last time we checked into the high stakes was at the end of August. Let's fill you in on the action from then until now. We've taken a look at the biggest pots since our last report and found some decent action, though no exorbitant pots were played. Blom was once again the spark that made the high stakes combust, being a player in all three of the biggest hands.

1) Viktor "Isildur1" Blom Wins a $174,652 Pot (437 Big Blinds) from Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro
($200/$400 PLO Heads Up)

Railbird Report: High Stakes' David Eldar Becomes Scrabble World Champ 101
Click for replay via HighStakesDB

On September 29th,

Viktor "Isildur1" Blom opened the button for $1,360 which was met by a 3-bet to $4,240 by Kelopuro. Blom 4-bet to $12,880 and Sami "Lrslzk Kelopuro called to create a $26,080 pot going to the flop.

Kelopuro check-called a bet of $12,800 on {k-Diamonds}{2-Spades}{8-Hearts} before leading for pot ($51,680) on the {7-Hearts} turn. Blom shoved for a little over $10,000 extra, Kelopuro called.

playerhandequity on {k-Diamonds}{2-Spades}{8-Hearts}{7-Hearts}
Viktor "Isildur1" Blom{a-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{10-Spades}{k-Spades}87.5%
Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro{8-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{9-Spades}{j-Clubs}12.5%

Blom was a heavy favorite going into the river, with 87.5% equity. The two had running it twice selected, so two rivers appeared. The {a-Hearts} hit first, improving Blom to an even better two pair than he already had. The second time, the {2-Clubs} completed the board, granting Blom the entire pot.

2) Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro Wins a $157,805 Pot (394 Big Blinds) against Viktor "Isildur1" Blom
($200/$400 PLO Heads Up)

Railbird Report: High Stakes' David Eldar Becomes Scrabble World Champ 102
Click for replay via HighStakesDB

In the same session, Kelopuro opened the button for $1,360. Blom three-bet to $4,240 and Kelopuro called.

Blom would take a passive approach post-flop, check-calling all three streets. The high stakes Swede check-called a bet of $5,786 on {4-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{2-Hearts}, $16,168 on the {8-Clubs} turn, and pot ($52,710) on the {10-Hearts} river.

With the board reading {4-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{10-Hearts}, Kelopuro showed {3-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{6-Hearts} for the flopped nuts. Blom mucked.

3) "RaúlGonzalez" Wins a $157,805 Pot (394 Big Blinds) against Viktor "Isildur1" Blom
($200/$400 PLO Heads Up)

Railbird Report: High Stakes' David Eldar Becomes Scrabble World Champ 103
Click for replay via HighStakesDB

September 29th was a busy day for Blom because not only did he face off against Kelopuro, he also took on "RaúlGonzalez" heads up in PLO $200/$400.

"RaúlGonzalez" opened for $1,360 and Blom three-bet to $4,240.

With $8,800 in the middle, Blom bet $5,600 on {q-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}. "RaúlGonzalez" called to grow the pot to $20,000.

Blom bet pot on the {6-Clubs} turn and was soon facing a decision for $45,000 more as "RaúlGonzalez" pushed for $65,945 total. Blom called.

playerhandequity on {q-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}{6-Clubs}
Viktor "Isildur1" Blom{10-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}42.5%

"RaúlGonzalez" had three pair and the diamond flush draw but wasn't in the clear just yet. Blom had the club flush draw and wrap and a useless pair of sevens.

The two had the option to run the river twice turned on, so the board would be completed twice. Both the {3-Hearts} and {q-Hearts} didn't help Blom and the entire pot went to "RaúlGonzalez".

Online High-Stakes Biggest Winners and Losers Since Sept. 1

While Blom was the one involved with all 3 of the biggest pots and was the winner of the biggest one, his name doesn't appear in the top 10 biggest winners and losers over the last month and a half. He did win a bit, but not enough to make it to the Top 10. Timofey "Trueteller" Kuznetsov, once again, tops the list as the biggest winner since September 1st. He won over half a million in recent weeks, followed by Dutch pro living in Malta Carlo "Ravenswood13" van Ravenswoud.

Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro, Mikael "ChaoRen160" Thuritz, Ben "Ben86" Tollerene make for the top 3 of the biggest losing players.

 (user)namehandsprofit/loss Sept. 1 - Oct. 12profit/loss 2017profit/loss all time
 Winning Players    
1Timofey "Trueteller" Kuznetsov5,966+$596,762+$1,690,820+$3,581,586
2Carlo "Ravenswood13" van Ravenswoud8,105+$341,359+$1,027,169+$244,890
5Gavin "gavz101" Cochrane13,269+$249,208+$159,126+$595,336
9Linus "LLinusLLove" Loeliger21,330+$134,280+$452,129+$431,745
 Losing Players    
1Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro17,208-$562,647-$1,116,168-$1,819,331
2Mikael "ChaoRen160" Thuritz4,491-$292,606-$300,239+$1,026,725
3Ben "Ben86" Tollerene3,369-$243,446-$106,303+$3,682,139
5Sean "Nolez7" Winter8,367-$201,821-$247,433-$245,910
6Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn5,728-$187,663-$367,871+$4,051,728
8Vyacheslav "1nvoker" Ozhigov6,073-$168,074+$92,565+$5,327

The 2017 Leaderboard

"BERRI SWEET" was leading the Top 3 of 2017's biggest winners, but has been dethroned as Kuznetsov's hot streak has surged him from third to first. Blom (now third) and "BERRI SWEET" (now second) still round out the Top 3.

Dani "supernova9" Stern was this year's biggest losing player but with Kelopuro taking a massive hit in recent weeks, Stern is now second behind the Fin. Meanwhile, Bill "GASTRADER" Perkins has escaped the Top 3 biggest losers of the year and "8superpoker" has joined, being down almost $600,000 on the year.

 (user)namehands 2017profit/loss 2017profit/loss per hand 2017profit/loss all time↑/↓most played game 2017
 Winning Players      
1Timofey "Trueteller" Kuznetsov48,168+$1,690,820+$35.10+$3,581,586PLO
2BERRI SWEET43,933+$1,440,295+$32.78+$2,001,214PLO
3Viktor "Isildur1" Blom147,118+$1,127,575+$7.08+$2,638,7468-Game
 Losing Players      
1Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro47,027-$1,116,168-$23.73-$1,819,331PLO
2Dani "supernova9" Stern10,039-$777,373-$77.43-$1,439,781-PLO

The above top winning and losing players in online poker for 2017 only consist of PokerStars accounts. All public data courtesy of If you want to opt out of being listed in this PokerNews update on the high-stakes action, send an email with your username to [email protected]

  • 'Deldar182' has over $3.2 million in online poker earnings. Winning the Scrabble Championships? Priceless.

  • Timofey "Trueteller" Kuznetsov dethrones "BERRI SWEET" as biggest online poker winner of 2017 to date.

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