After years of complaining about the politics surrounding Poker Hall of Fame, twoplustwo podcast host Adam Schwartz decided in august last year to create his very own Internet Poker's Wall of Fame.
"Each week on the show, Terrence and I will induct a new member to the hallowed drywall of the IPWOF.
What are the qualifications you ask? Good question, there is only one thing each inductee will have in common.
We want them up on our wall!
That's it. Nothing else. No age limit. No stupid "must have played against Doyle" or "gained the respect of others". It's our wall, we gonna pick who we like, aiight.
In this thread, each post will be an inductee. There will also be a thread for IPWOF suggestions where you can lobby Terrence and I to enshrine the person you think belongs on the wall," Schwartz wrote in his very first Internet Poker's Wall of Fame thread on twoplustwo.
The first one to be inducted was PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg for his involvement in the so-called "Poker Boom". Several other inductees followed after Scheinberg, including 2003 WSOP winner Chris Moneymaker, Finnish high-stakes legend Patrik Antonious and Randy Blumer, who created the first online poker room: Planet Poker.
Earlier this week Viktor Blom, Taylor Caby and Guy Laliberte received the honorary of being inducteed. Here's what Adam Schwartz had to say about his latest inductees:
Unlike most poker players with the word entrepreneur in their Twitter bio, Taylor Caby has actually earned a few dollars off the felt. If Chris Moorman is the Michael Jordan of online MTTs, Caby could be said to be a Mark Cuban in his own right.
Of course, Caby has had great success on the virtual felt as well. He deposited $35 on Ultimate Bet in 2003 and never looked back, quickly working his way up to the nosebleeds against players such as fellow IPWOF inductee Prahlad Friedman.
In 2005 he co-founded CardRunners, a site where students of the game could watch training videos for a subscription fee. Before long, it was the largest such site in the industry. CardRunners generated millions of dollars in revenue and reshaped the online poker landscape. Many people complained about training sites making the games tougher, but that didn't stop customers from pouring in.
Other successful ventures include the acquisition of Hold'em Manager, production of the documentary Bet Raise Fold, and the founding of daily fantasy sports site Draft Day, which he later sold it in 2014.
Taylor Caby, welcome to the IPWOF!
If you had one dollar for every minute that has passed since the founding of Rome, you'd still be a few millenia away from catching Guy Laliberte. Co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, he is one of the wealthiest men in the world. Take that into consideration, and maybe ponder what you're doing with your life, before commiserating his inclusion on this list.
Guy starting playing online poker some time around early 2009 under a multitude of screen names. The deception was hardly necessary. The moment he sat down, players like Tom Dwan and Phil Galfond could smell blood in the water. He proceeded to chunk off unprecedented sums of money. It is estimated that he lost $26 million during his brief foray into online poker.
The story goes that it was tracking sites like PTR that chased away the largest whale the game has ever seen. Presumably Laliberte was embarrassed to have his results under so much public scrutiny. Though the primary beneficiaries were a handful of high stakes players, the matches were a spectacle for all to behold and historic moments in online poker.
It may seem mean to induct him for losing millions of dollars, but you need not feel sorry for this man. We are talking about a billionaire that can breathe fire. He has taken selfies in outer space. He probably has more than $26 million lost under his couch cushions. In addition to donating at the tables, he has also dedicated a great deal of resources to providing access to clean water via his One Drop foundation.
What a guy.
Guy Laliberte, welcome to the IPWOF!
The legend of Isildur1 is the manifestation of every low stakes grinder's fantasy. It's almost too absurd to believe. His biopic could be Jack Gleeson bankrupting team FTP after a 30-second training montage, and it wouldn't be much of a stretch.
Blom did not slowly grind his way up the ranks, or so it seemed. He suddenly appeared out of nowhere, facing down a murderer's row of high stakes pros and crushing them all. His legacy could be summed up in one picture:
The mysterious Swede had no chill. He would play anyone, for any amount, often against multiple opponents simultaneously. The stakes quickly ballooned out of control.
In a single month, 8 pots larger than any before in online poker history transpired, and all involved Isildur. His battles with Tom Dwan were particularly notable, resulting in a $5 million
deficit favoring the anonymous phenom.
The crash back to earth was even faster than his meteoric rise. On December 2009, in just five hours, fan favorite Brian Hastings felted Isildur, winning $4.2 million with completely legitimate and ethical tactics.
Shortly thereafter, Isildur joined Team Pokerstars Pro and revealed his identity as Viktor Blom. The coming years would be nearly as tumultuous. Legend has it that whenever Isildur's candle fades, he is always destined to return after rolling up a stake on untracked Euro sites. Unlike many of his fellow inductees, he is still crushing skulls to this day.
Viktor Blom, welcome to the IPWOF!