You read that headline right. Swedish online poker pro Isildur1, whose identity continues to be shrouded in mystery, has signed on with PokerStars. The world’s largest online poker site announced its newest sponsored pro this week and news of Isildur1’s signing spread like wildfire through the poker community, but not everyone was sold.
On PocketFives.com, one poster responded to a feature article on Isildur1 signing with PokerStars by saying, “Sign a guy who has no pic and PS client has ‘?????’ under country. Is it me or is this a little comical? I mean why don’t they sign Superman or Wonder Woman too?” Maybe Superman will be the next to sign with the Mac-friendly online poker site, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Despite the doubters, Isildur1 commented in a press release distributed by PokerStars that he was elated to be joining the site’s Pro team: “I chose to join PokerStars because it’s the biggest site and it will be an exciting challenge. It means a great deal to be playing on a team alongside players such as Daniel Negreanu, Dario Minieri, and Johnny Lodden. My goals now are to improve my live game for some upcoming events, continue to focus on heads-up No Limit Hold’em, and also try to develop my Pot Limit Omaha game.”
Isildur1 has single-handedly served as the face of high-stakes online poker over the past year. According to PokerTableRatings, the Swede has been involved in the top 10 largest pots that the site has tracked, taking down four of them for a combined haul of $3.5 million. PokerTableRatings.com once tabbed Isildur1’s profits at nearly $6 million, but he went on the downswing of a lifetime and is currently stuck about $2.5 million. In a session against Brian Hastings one year ago, Isildur1 dropped an amazing $4.2 million.
Welcoming Isildur1 to the PokerStars family was site pro Daniel Negreanu, who commented in the same press release, “It’s not every day that a player like Isildur1 comes along. If you look up the definition of the term ‘phenom,’ you’ll see a picture of his face! When he is playing, the poker world takes notice. Hate to overuse the poker term ‘sick,’ but Isildur’s No Limit Hold’em game is just that – sick! Few people step up to the plate against him, but the ones who have universally have respect for his raw talent.”
PokerStars is quickly making a bid to become the home for high-stakes poker. In fact, the room, which offers a fully downloadable Mac poker client, is offering a chance for anyone on the site to take on Isildur1 mano-a-mano. PokerStars’ SuperStar Showdown allows pre-screened players to face Isildur1 in 2,500 hands of No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha at stakes of at least $50/$100.
PokerStars has a graphic for the first match on its site that includes a date of December 19th at 6:00pm ET. Interested players should e-mail email@example.com to throw their hat into the ring. Text found on PokerStars’ website adds, “Matches will consist of only No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha, split across four concurrent tables, with at least 50% of play being No Limit Hold’em.”
Players can also qualify to face off against Isildur1 by winning daily freerolls or $11 buy-in tournaments between now and April. Two SuperStar Showdown Finals will be held, one on February 13th and one on April 10th. The winners of each will square off against the Swedish pro and be staked with $15,000. If they manage to bust Isildur1 during the $5/$10 heads-up match, they’ll pocket another $10,000.
The identity of Isildur1 has still not yet been revealed and the pro’s likeness is simply a silhouette on PokerStars’ website. Many believe Isildur1 to be Viktor Blom, but a number of other names have been thrown into the mix as well. Visit PokerStars now.