It's not an easy task to win a gold bracelet at the World Series of Poker - especially in recent years when so many great players participate in each event. Despite tough competition and big player-fields, it still happens that players win multiple bracelet in a single series, which is pretty increadible to say the least.
In 2009, Brian Hastings was on everyone's lips after taking Viktor "Isildur1" Blom for $4.18 million in one single session on Full Tilt's nosebleed tables. (He won a futher $1.5 million in a later session against the legendary Swede).
It's always nice to see poker's biggest stars playing small buy-in tournaments. On Monday, Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, 2010 WSOP Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel, Brian Hastings (best known for winning $4.18 million against Viktor "Isildur1" Blom in single HU cash game session on FTP back in 2009) and another 12 players participated in the $2,200 Eight Game Mix event (single re-entry) at the 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
After winning eight straight matches (Jason Mo in the final), Brian Hastings was the last man standing in Event #12: $10,000 buy-in Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em! For his victory, the 23-year-old American poker pro received his first WSOP gold bracelet and $371,498.
In a new interview with one of Europe's biggest poker magazines, the youngest living poker legend Viktor Blom, from Sweden, speaks out about the day when he lost $5 million to Cole South and Brian Hastings (the biggest loss in his career) and what crossed his mind when it was reveled that South, Hastings and another 3rd player, Brian Townsend, had collaborated and made joint statistics of how he played hands. When Full Tilt found out about cheating they removed Townsend's pro status for 30 days. However, South and Hastings got away with it.
It's not only poker companies that are leaving the U.S. market after Black Friday, also many online pros have decided to leave the country. Brian Hastings, who won $4 million against Viktor "Isildur1" Blom in a single session in December 2009, is one of these players. In Hastings blog, one can read that he's getting more and more into live poker but that he still wants to make a short-term move Canada in order to play some high stakes poker online.
Brian Hastings has got the best possible start on the new month, and he has managed to earn $788,000 already. Most of the money he has won has come from Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies and Patrik Antonius. Brian Hastings all years winnings are now close to 5,000,000 millions, and most of the winnings came last December in epic heads-up battles against the mystery swede Isiludur1.
Other players that has had a good start on the new month are Cole South (+$328k), Di "Urindanger" Dang (+$317) and Daniel "jungleman12" Cates (+$201k). Players that haven't been doing so well are Ziigmund (-$643k), Patrik Antonius (-$325k), Phil Ivey (-$253k).
Isildur1 and Brian Hastings played heads-up on several PLO tables with the stakes $500/$1000 the other day. It started well for Brian Hastings who almost straight away won $300k from the mysterious Swede. Isildur1 fought back and managed to win back what he had lost plus another $400k after some time. However, it didn't take long before Hastings started taking down pot after pot. And after that Hastings had won over a million dollars, Isildur1 closed down all tables except 1.
This is of course nothing we are used to see when watching Isiludr1 playing. It could only mean one thing -- he was running out of money. However, the game continued and after that about 2800 hands had been played, they stopped. Hastings won $1,5 million from Isildur1.
The hottest poker news of 2009 were mostly about one player, Isildur1 from Sweden. Isildur1 came from nowhere and won almost $6 millions in a couple of weeks and then lost it all + another $1.5 million in just a few days. After that, Isildur1 had another upswing and was plus for a day or two before he started losing again. Even though Isildur1 lost so much money, many of the world's best poker players praised the young Swede by saying that he is an outstanding poker player who just needs to avoid playing such long sessions and that he should stop playing PL Omaha and stick to NL Holdem instead.
The big scandal Isildur1 made many poker players even richer when his game wasn't at its best. For example, he lost about $4 million dollars in one single session to Brian Hastings, and also a few more millions to Brian Townsend, Cole South, Illari Sahamies, Phil Ivey etc. Shortly after this, Isildur1 disappeared from the high stakes scene and it seemed like it could take long before we heard about the unknown swede again. However, it didn't take long before Isildur1 once again was in the headlines as a big scandal was about to be revealed. It all started after that Brian Townsend got his red pro status removed by Full Tilt for a month because he had used a non-allowed poker program to collect data from the games against Isiludr1. And according to different rumors, Townsend had shared this information with Cole South and Hastings. However, neither of them got punished in any kind of way by Full Tilt. After that Isildur1 got to know about this, he said that he will ask Full Tilt to give back some of the money he had lost, and that he probably wouldn't play at Full Tilt anymore.
Not long ago, Brian Townsend got his red pro status at Full Tilt removed after that the poker site found out that he had been using a non-allowed poker program to collect hand history against Isildur1. Townsend had also shared the information he had collected using this program with Brian Hastings and Cole South. However, neither of them got any kind of penalty from Full Tilt poker. This made Isildur1 really upset, and now he wants his money back, or at least some of it according to what he said in a recent interview.
"I do feel like I deserve to get something back. I feel that Hastings had a big edge over me due to the hand history database. They were able to dissect the exact way I was playing because they analyzed the hands so precisely, and it was impossible for me to adjust, as I had no idea they were doing it. Even though this information is not out there, since they admitted to sharing hand histories, how can I be sure that all three of them did not have input on the hands while we were playing?"
Isildur1 about the future and if he will continue playing at Full Tilt poker after the scandal.
"Well, honestly I am going to stay quiet for a while now. I am planning on putting in the request to Full Tilt to look into this further, and until I hear back, I don't plan on playing much poker on the site."
Brian Townsend has been in the center of the storm since last week when he got his red pro status removed (for a month) by Full Tilt after that they found out he had been using a non-allowed program to save hand history against Isildur1, and also discussed and shared this information with Brian Hastings and Cole South.
After this, Brian Townsend wrote in his blog that he was the sole one to break Full Tilt's terms & conditions and that Hastings and South had nothing to do with it. Brian Townsend probably thought that he would get some peace and quite after writing this. Unfortunately, for him, this "scandal" has now been taken to another level as many other pros now have started giving their opinions and thoughts on the Brian Townsend scandal. One of these pros are Tony G.
"The world of poker is a very complex structure built around players, the online poker sites and casinos that provide the games, the limits and games played, rake, backers, and a lot more, and in the end, trying to provide the best game possible that helps everyone. The entire situation with Townsend, Hastings, and Cole involving their combined knowledge and play against Ilsuldur1 leaves a bad smell in the air for everyone, especially for Full Tilt since Townsend is one of their Red Pros. As a player, I would like to see Townsend be more committed to giving his attention to doing what being a Red Pro demands at Full Tilt."
Last week rumors that Brian Townsend, Brian Hastings & Cole South had been cheating against Isildur1 started circulate on the web. It all started after that someone got to know that Brian Townsend, Brian Hastings & Cole South had been going through thousands of hands Isildur1 had played and also discussed different strategies on how to beat the Swede. They could do this thanks to that Townsend had been using a program that is not allowed at Full Tilt poker. Full Tilt took action sraight away after getting to know this and they punished Townsend by giving him warning and removing his red pro status for a 1 month. However, Brian Hastings and Cole South didn't get punished as Full Tilt couldn't see that they had broken any of their rules.
This is not the first time Brian Townsend has been breaking the rules at Full Tilt poker. Back in August 2008, Townsend got his red pro status removed for 6 months after that Full Tilt found out that he had been using multiple accounts playing cash games. After this, he apologized in his blog. It will be interesting to see what he writes this time. It will also be interesting to hear what Isildur1 has to say about all this.
Even though the mysterious Swede "Isildur1" moved down in stakes after the $4 million losing session against Brian Hastings, he still keeps on losing a lot of money. Between 11th and 15th December, Isildur1 has played almost 5,000 hands and lost more than half a million dollars. In total Isildur1 has lost almost $2.2 million dollars since he started showing up at Full Tilt's poker tables.
Lets hope, if Isildur1 is playing at more poker sites than Full Tilt at the moment, that he's not losing there as well, because the high stakes scene wont be the same without the mysterious Swede.
Brian Hastings became one of the most talked about poker players after that he won over $4 million dollars in one single session against the unknown Swede "Isildur1." The win is the biggest someone has ever had in a single session, so of course, it wasn't so strange that he ended up in almost all poker headlines around the globe.
After the huge win, one could read in his blog about how happy and chocked he was after winning so much money. Now, a few days later, he has made his first big interview. In this interview one can read that he could never see this happening when he started playing against "Isildur1" that day and that he feels very fortunate to be were he is right now, and even though he played very well, luck was a major factor, according to himself. Brian Hastings says that he have received a lot of great feedback from players and friends after the big win, which he is really thankful for.
Its also mentioned in the interview that according to some rumors, a few players had a piece of his big win. However that was nothing he wanted to leave out any details about. And when he was asked about a possible comeback from "Isiludur1", he answered that he's a great player and that he for sure will be back at the high stakes in a near future.
Brian Hastings is not a newcomer when it comes to playing poker or blogging. Already back in 2005, when he had his first big win, he started writing about his life as poker pro in his blog. However, it's thanks to the big win against Isildur1 that Brian Hastings has been in the headlines on the most poker sites and poker magazines in the past few days.
In the latest blog post, Hastings writes that he still can't believe that he has the biggest winning day in online poker history thanks to the $4,2 million session against Isildur1. However, he doesn't write anything about any of the hands from the session. In other words, it seems like he doesn't want to reveal any info on how to play and win big against the Swede.
It didn't take long before Isildur1 lost really big again. Yesterday night, the Unknown Swede was playing against Brian Hastings (member of Full Tilt Team CardRunners) in Pot Limit Omaha at the $500/$1000 stakes at Full Tilt poker. Isildur1 didn't have a chance against Brian Hasting this time and at around 6:00 O'clock in the morning, Brian Hasting called it a day, $4,200,000 richer.
Isildur1 is now once again about $1,5 million minus at Full Tilt poker and once again people are speculating in that his about to go broke. Many people that have been following Isildur1 thinks that he needs to stop playing PLO and instead should stick to NLHE if he want's to play as high as $500/$1000 against the worlds best players. Whatever game Isildur1 chooses to play - let's just hope that we haven't seen him for the last time!
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