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March 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm #25161Danish ShaikhMember
The SuperStar Showdown just keeps getting bigger over at PokerStars and this time Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Isaac “Philivey2694” Haxton have agreed to face off for no less than a $1 million!
According to PokerStars Blog, Blom and Haxton are both putting up $500,000. Beginning Saturday at 1pm ET, they will sit down for a SuperStar Showdown-format match. The blinds will be $200/$400. The game will be no-limit hold’em.
The normal SuperStar Showdowns have always ended after 2,500 hands, but in this special match, the game will go on for four hours a day until one guy has a million bucks and the other guy has nothing.
“-You read it correctly. If four hours passes on Saturday without one guy felting the other one for the full half-million bucks, Blom and Haxton will start again on Sunday. And then Monday. And so on until one guy’s stack sits at zero.”, PokerStars Blog tells.
Here are the results from all the Superstar Showdowns’ so far for Viktor “Isildur1” Blom:
Isildur1 vs. Isaac Haxton ($50/$100 NLHE) -$41,701 over 2,500 hands
vs. Tony G ($50/$100 NLHE & PLO) +$44,280 over 2,500 hands
vs. Daniel Cates ($50/$100 NLHE) +$51,196 over 2,500 hands
vs. Eugene Katchalov ($50/$100 NLHE) + $111,750 over 2,500 hands
vs. Attila Gulcsik ($5/$10 NLHE) +$5 over 2,500 hands
vs. Daniel Negreanu ($50/$100 NLHE) +$150,000 over 1,439 hands
vs. Daniel Negreanu ($50/$100 NLHE) -$26,500 over 2,500 hands
vs. Scott Palmer ($50/$100 NLHE) +$61,362 over 5,000 hands
vs. Mastermixus ($5/$10 NLHE) +$1,279 over 2,500 hands
vs. Rui Cao ($50/$100 NLHE & PLO) +$150,000 over 2,257 hands
vs. Terje “Terken89” Augdal ($50/$100 NLHE & PLO) +$150,000 over 1,566 hands
vs. Isaac Haxton ($50/$100 NLHE) -$5,093 over 2,500 hands
vs. Alexander “Kanu7” Millar ($100/$200 NLHE) +$37,687 over 2,500 hands
As you can see, if “Isildur1” manages to win this massive SuperStar Showdown, he would be up a well over $1M from all of his Showdowns.
See PokerStars Blog for more information about the upcoming Mega SuperStar Showdown.
March 31, 2012 at 8:47 pm #32025AnonymousInactive
Watch the $1 Million Showdown Live between Isildur1 and philivey2684 now on PokerStars!
April 2, 2012 at 6:00 am #32028AnonymousInactive
SuperStar Showdown: Blom halts Haxton’s comeback, holds $281,365 lead after two sessions
When Isaac “philivey2694” Haxton returned to the felt this afternoon to resume his $1 million match with Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, he seemed determined to reign in the frenetic pace that defined yesterday’s session. Haxton didn’t mind taking a small-ball approach; even as Blom expanded his lead by another $127,000 within the first hour. Haxton stuck to his guns and clawed his way back, pulling nearly even with Blom before the Swedish sensation turned the match around again by doing what he does best. Attacking quickly and relentlessly, Blom whittled Haxton’s $500,000 challenge bankroll down to only $118,000 before ending their second four-hour session with a $281,365 lead.
Away they go… where this stops, nobody knows
HOUR ONE: BLOM’S LEAD BLOOMS TO $325K
Haxton did his best to keep the pace steady and the pots small in the early going, but Blom clearly had other ideas. The third hand on Showdown 2 resulted in a $57,600 pot, Blom bluffing the flop with nothing, catching third pair on the turn and backing into a ten-high straight on the river. It took another half-hour before an all-in pot materialized, Blom flopping top two with A♦K♥ on an A♣K♠2♥ board against Haxton’s A♥T♣. Haxton check-called $2,000 on the flop and another $5,600 when the 4♥ hit the turn. The T♦ on the river was a disaster for Ike and he check-called Blom’s shove only to watch another buy-in disappear. With that $80,800 pot, Blom’s lead was up to $299,786.
After that unlucky run, Haxton successfully picked off a bluff to take down a $41,000 pot. Holding 3♣6♣ on a J♥7♥4♥6♦ board. Blom check-raised Haxton’s turn bet to $4,768 and Haxton smooth-called with 6♥7♣ for two pair and a flush draw. Blom fired another $15,000 at the K♥ river and Haxton called, taking it down with his flush. Although that pot trimmed Blom’s lead to $259,728, he quickly bounced back when Haxton’s combination draw missed against his top pair-no kicker:
By the end of the first hour, Blom led with $331,294 profit after 2,313 hands. His entire challenge bankroll spread across the four tables, Haxton had only a little more than one buy-in per table remaining and a seemingly insurmountable task ahead of him.
HOUR TWO: HAXTON NARROWS THE GAP
An $80,400 coinflip saved Haxton from ruin on Showdown 4, his J♠J♦ holding up against Blom’s A♠K♦. Blom, however, quickly answered that pot with a river overbet Haxton couldn’t call, raking in $49,200 without a showdown. It was a minor setback for Ike, who maintained focus and chipped away, using Blom’s signature move against him in several instances. Haxton had shaved $100,000 off Blom’s lead when they got it all-in on the turn, Haxton holding Q♥7♥ for a flush and Blom K♣T♠ for two pair on a 8♦3♥T♥K♥ board. The 9♣ river locked up the $81,600 pot for Haxton and suddenly these two were almost back where they started the day, Blom with a $199,608 lead.
Haxton changed gears again and reverted back to his original plan– small-pot poker. He ground out plently of them over the course of the next twenty minutes, nabbing a couple of big ones as well. In a textbook case of kicker trouble, Blom and Haxton both rivered top pair on a 4♦5♠7♣4♥K♣ board. Blom called Haxton’s $34,200 river shove, but his K♠J♠ couldn’t top Haxton’s A♣K♥ for the $86,400 pot. Then, a classic suck-resuck saw Haxton make away with a $70,800 pot. Blom’s Q♣8♣ hit bottom two pair on a K♥Q♠8♦ flop and he check-raised Haxton’s $928 bet to $3,200. Haxton called with K♠7♣, only to hit the 7♥ on the turn. Blom bet $6,400 and Haxton called. Blom fired a hefty $25,000 at the 6♣ river and Haxton called, taking it down with kings up.
Within 372 hands, Haxton had successfully reduced Blom’s lead from more than $331,000 to $116,850. Blom quickly went to work and ground back about $30,000 before Haxton detonated this $148,200 daisy-cutter of a pot to reduce Blom’s lead to $85,000:
HOUR THREE: HAXTON HOLDS OFF BLOM’S ADVANCE
Within five minutes, Blom roared back to life. In a pot that Haxton three-bet preflop, Blom hit top pair when the flop fell K♦Q♥8♦. Haxton continued for $4,800, Blom raised to $11,600, and Haxton called. Both players checked the J♣ on the turn, but when the 2♥ came on the river, Haxton shoved for $34,000. Blom sensed that something was afoot and called him down despite the dangerous board, Haxton showing nothing but a busted flush draw with 5♦9♦. Haxton’s K♠9♠ earned him the $99,616 pot and left Haxton with only a $15,000 stack on Showdown 1. Haxton pushed it in a few hands later with A♦9♠, but could not outrun Blom’s Q♣Q♦. Forced to split the $163,000 he’d worked up on Showdown 2, both stacks were reset to $40,000.
Haxton went back to chopping out medium-sized pots with an unhurried pace until the two went to war on a 9♦8♣2♣ flop. After flopping straight and flush draws with Q♣J♣, Haxton check-raised Blom’s $2,000 flop bet to $6,800. Blom wasn’t going anywhere with T♦T♥ and fired back, making it $13,600 to go. Haxton shoved and Blom called all-in for $40,274. Although Haxton blanked the turn with the A♦, the T♣ on the river completed his flush to take down the $110,148 pot.
Blom’s lead was down to $72,882 after 2,926 hands and by the 3,000-hand mark, Haxton had reduced it even further to $39,856. Haxton came oh-so-close to closing the gap entirely when Blom four-bet preflop only to fold to Haxton’s check-raise shove on the J♥9♣3♣ flop. But just as Haxton raked in that $31,000 pot, Blom threw some spikes on the road and ended his run. In this $82,400 pot, Haxton picked the wrong time to run a three-street bluff as Blom flopped trips and turned deuces full:
Minutes later, the two got their money all-in preflop, Blom’s K♠K♥ holding up against T♥T♣ for $81,600. Just like that, Blom was back in the black to the tune of $95,120 and another game-changing pot was just around the corner.
HOUR FOUR: BLAST-OFF
Holding off Viktor Blom is like trying to hold off a tornado. You can throw your weight against the door for as long as you can, but there’s still going to be some serious destruction when it’s over. Haxton couldn’t have known the storm awaiting him down the road when he picked up K♦6♦ and decided to three-bet to $4,800 behind Blom’s 3x raise. Blom smooth-called with A♦8♥ and they saw a A♣J♣T♦ flop. Haxton continued for $7,200 with his gutshot straight draw and Blom called. The 8♦ turn hit both players, Blom making aces up and Haxton adding a flush draw. Like he’d been wont to do all day, Haxton pushed his draw hard, making it $19,200 to go. Again, Blom called. The K♥ on the river made Haxton second pair and it was just enough rope for him to craft a noose. He moved all-in for $94,712 and Blom called. At $169,696, the largest pot of the match thus far went to Blom with aces and eights.
A short time later, Haxton check-raised all-in on a J♥9♣2♥ flop, holding only K♠Q♥. Blom quickly called with Q♠J♠, his top pair holding through the 4♥ turn and 2♠ river to earn the $82,756 pot. Haxton tried for a quick double-up on Showdown 2, shoving a 2♣3♠7♣ flop with 8♣T♣, but Blom looked him up with A♠T♠, his ace-high good for the $45k pot when Haxton’s flush draw missed. Nothing was working for Haxton. It seemed like he couldn’t catch a hand. And that’s when the wheels really came off the proverbial wagon.
Haxton tried to check-raise Blom off the flop with king-high in this $110k pot, but our Swedish friend turned over A♠A♣ and turned top set for good measure:
Then, Haxton shoved the turn with top pair, only to run headlong into Blom’s flopped flush:
Haxton recovered a little when he doubled up on Showdown 3, his A♣A♥ good against Blom’s K♥J♠. Blom, however, was relentless and busted Haxton’s short stack on Showdown 4. Just as Haxton reloaded another $40,000 on that table, Blom claimed it in a single hand, turning a set of sixes against Haxton’s flopped bottom two. With that $80,000 pot, Blom was out to a $382,320 lead and had Haxton firmly on the ropes.
Had this $75,600 coinflip gone the other way, we’d be writing a much different story tonight, but Haxton’s T♦T♠ hung on against A♣Q♦, staving off near-total ruin. Haxton followed that hand up by taking down a trio of mid-sized pots to reduce Blom’s lead to $262,317, but the Swede came back strong in the session’s final minutes, winning $44,800 on the penultimate hand when Haxton folded to his river shove.
Blom and Haxton made it through 1,733 hands in their second session, bringing the grand total to 3,634 hands so far. Blom increased his profit by $82,927 to bring his overall match lead to $281,365.
He may be a bit battered from today’s bruising, but Haxton still has $218,635 to work with and another session ahead of him tomorrow. We’ll be right with you on the rail, starting at 10:30pm on Monday as this million-dollar battle continues.
April 3, 2012 at 4:34 am #25162AnonymousInactive
SuperStar Showdown: Viktor “Isildur1” Blom wins $1 million match over Isaac Haxton
It took 5,030 hands for Viktor “Isildur1” Blom to win half a million dollars cash from Isaac “philivey2694” Haxton. In total, they played for just about 12 hours over three days. Blom earned more than $40,000 an hour for his work. Blom is 21 years old.
It’s a ridiculous conceit by almost any normal person’s standard. Forty thousand dollars an hour is the kind of pay CEOs make. It takes well-educated people with great jobs years upon years to earn that much, let alone save enough of it to see $500,000 in the bank.
Viktor Blom picked that much money up over a long weekend.
Blom’s quick path to half a million bucks came by way of the PokerStars SuperStar Showdown promotion, a series of heads-up poker matches in which anyone with the cash can challenge Blom to a four-table game. Most of the SuperStar Showdowns last only 2,500 hands and had a $150,000 stop loss.
This match, however, was different. Haxton was Blom’s SuperStar Showdown nemesis. They had played two matches before, and Haxton had profited both times. The grudge was growing deeper with each meeting. So, last week, the two players negotiated special rules. The game would be played over four tables of $200/$400 No-Limit Hold’em. Both players would put up $500,000. They would play every day for four hours a day until one of the two heads-up titans had a million bucks and the other one had nothing.
On the first day, Blom was up $198,438.
On the second day, Blom was up $281,365
On the third day, Blom won it all.
“It feels good. It was a tough game,” Blom said afterward. “Haxton played good as usual. Maybe he played a bit too passive.”
No layman–and maybe nobody else in the world–could analyze this game without making a fool of himself. To do so would be like picking up a river rock and using it to explain the cosmos. Only Blom and Haxton know what really happened inside those five thousand hands, and only they know the true significance of the match. We can only look at what happened at the end and try to make our heads understand it.
THIRD VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST
Viktor Blom opened Day 3 of the $1 million match with a $281,365 lead. He was more than halfway to his goal of $500,000. On the very first hand, he cut another $40,000 from Haxton’s stack. The video below shows it happen.
Thirty minutes later, Blom tore another $40,000 from Haxton’s grasp. Blom raised the blinds to $1,200, Haxton three-bet to 4,200, and Blom called. On a 2♥7♣K♦ flop, Haxton check-called a $4,800 bet. The turn brought the K♠. Again, Haxton check-called the bet, this time $9,600. The river, 4♦, was another check-call, now for $22,200. Haxton held a pair of nines, but Blom actually had it. He tabled K♥J♣ for the $81,600 win.
That was the story of the hour. After 60 minutes of play, Blom had stretched his lead out to $370,720.
THE DEFINING HANDS
There will be countless analyses of this match. The railbirds and other experts will try to define what happened to the exceptionally-talented Haxton. There will be defenses and counter-defenses. There will be a thousand different explanations for how today turned out as it did. Many of those experts will point to two hands as the ones that undid the man they call Ike.
The first was an exceptionally chilly cooler. Haxton min-raised the button, Blom made it $3,200, and Haxton called. On a flop of 2♠Q♠K♦, Blom check-called $3,000. The turn brought the 9♦. Blom checked, Haxton bet $6,000, and Blom simply shoved in enough to cover the rest of Haxton’s chips. Haxton snap-called with 9♥K♠ and got the chill of his life when he saw Blom’s 9♠9♣. Haxton couldn’t find a two-outer on the river and dropped the $48,768 pot to Blom. It wasn’t the biggest pot of the day, but it might have been the most demoralizing at the time, as it meant one of the four tables had to be closed down. Why? Because Haxton didn’t have enough money to continue on all four.
Haxton, however, did not give up. He made several big hands and managed to build his stack back over $120,000. Queens full versus a flush. Flush over flush. A well-timed trap with two pair. It seemed for half an hour that Haxton was on his way to mounting a massive comeback.
And then came the big one. Haxton had aces but Blom got there on the river with 2 pair!That pot was worth $106,000. Blom was up nearly $425,000. Haxton’s $500,000 had been reduced to $75,000. It wasn’t only demoralizing. It also meant another table had to close down. Fifteen minutes later, Blom took out Haxton’s third table. It looked as if everything was going to be over just two hours into the day. With just one table remaining, Haxton’s stack seemed to evaporate. Within a few minutes, he was down to $16,000.
It was over.
Except, it wasn’t.
No one will ever call Isaac Haxton a quitter. Even when he had less than 2% of the money in the match, he didn’t give up. He took his last $22,352 and put it in the middle with king-jack versus Blom’s pocket queens. A king spiked, and Haxton went on a tear that made more than a few Blom fans scream “Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!” on the rail.
He trapped Blom with two pair. He got big value with the nut straight versus Blom’s second nuts. By the beginning of the fourth hour, Haxton had turned his $16,000 stack into $160,000. It was a comeback that drew cheers and jeers across the rails. The closed tables were opening back up, and Haxton was back in business.
Indeed, Isaac Haxton was back.
The problem with playing against the over-betting, hyper-aggressive King of Swing Viktor Blom is that sometimes he has a real hand. A real big hand.
And so it was that, after his big comeback, Isaac Haxton slipped, flipped, and flopped.
THE SLIP, THE FLIP, AND THE FLOP
The slip began with a min-raise from Haxton, a three-bet by Blom, and call from Haxton. On a flop of 5♦6♣4♥, Blom bet $4,000, and Haxton shoved for more than $22,072. Blom snapped him off with pocket aces. Haxton had 8♦A♥, missed his four-outer, and lost the $50,544 pot.
Minutes later, Haxton flipped. He put $37,056 in the middle pre-flop with Q♥A♣ and found himself flipping against Blom’s pocket fours. A pair of tens on the flop helped Haxton’s case, but he whiffed. The comeback was over.
All that was left was the long, painful death rattle to the end. Haxton managed to hold on for a while, and even double up a couple of times, but he never had a workable stack again. Finally, just a few minutes before the day was scheduled to end, Blom put Haxton down.
There will be those who say this proves Blom is the best heads-up player in the world. There will be others who say that it’s just another step down the long road of Blom’s career. It’s impossible to say who is right.
Haxton didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment, but Blom said even he doesn’t know what the match signifies about his talent versus Haxton.
“I just try play my best game,” Blom said.
Today that was worth half a million bucks
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