In what was perhaps the worst kept secret in the history of online poker, Viktor Blom was revealed as the man behind the Isildur1 mask over the weekend at the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA). Blom signed with PokerStars in December and told site officials following his big reveal that the news likely won’t change his career: “I think a lot of people have known for a long time who I really am, so it doesn’t make a big difference to me. But when I signed with PokerStars, I felt like it was the right time to reveal my identity.”
Signing Isildur1 was a major coup for PokerStars, as the mystery Swedish pro was a fixture of high-stakes cash games at rival site Full Tilt Poker for the previous 13 months. On Full Tilt, Blom, under the Isildur1 banner, battled against the cream of the crop including Phil Ivey, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and Patrik Antonius.
Blom explained what qualities he’ll bring to the PokerStars stable of pros: “I think I am the best online heads-up No Limit Hold’em player in the world, but I’m looking forward to learning a lot from the other Team Pros and helping them with their games too.” Other members of PokerStars’ Team Pro include Daniel Negreanu, 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champ Chris Moneymaker, and its newest addition, reigning WSOP Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel.
Last Saturday night, Isildur1 finally revealed his true colors to the world and promptly faced off against fellow PokerStars pro and former PCA Main Event winner Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier in a live heads-up match. In the end, Blom profited $22,000 off Grospellier and, just like that, the biggest mystery in online poker was solved. Many had speculated that Saturday’s Isildur1 unveiling would somehow involve Phil Hellmuth, who recently parted ways with UB.com and is now a free agent.
On the TwoPlusTwo forums, posters seemed rather disappointed that Blom turned out to be Isildur1 after all. One TwoPlusTwo member lamented, “Very anti-climactic. Blom was outed a few months ago and the chances of seeing a million dollar pot on Stars are minimal at best. Nothing to look forward to now. Oh well, good while it lasted.”
Another poster compared Blom’s reveal to the popular television series “Lost,” which aired on Fox: “The reveal reminds me of ‘Lost.’ I was a huge fan, but the resolution would never live up to the hype. Same with Isildur1. I wish the man the best, but this whole thing has been awkward since he joined PokerStars.”
Blom has been involved in two SuperStar Showdown matches on PokerStars since he arrived in December. Each is a 2,500-hand, four-table heads-up match at stakes of at least $50/$100. Blom lost about $40,000 to Isaac Haxton and then profited the same amount off PartyPoker pro Tony G. The latter has since issued a challenge to Blom to play the same stakes on PartyPoker, his home turf, but the man known as Isildur1 has not yet taken Tony G up on his offer.
One of the most memorable moments of Blom’s high-stakes career to date came in December 2009 when he faced off against CardRunners instructor Brian Hastings on Full Tilt Poker and quickly dropped $4 million in a single session. In a post-match interview conducted by ESPN, Hastings revealed that he had a little bit of help at the tables: “Obviously I’m happy and I’ll take it, but Brian [Townsend] did a ton of work. The three of us discussed a ton of hands and the reports that Brian made, so I’m very thankful to him and to Cole [South] as well.” Townsend had his Full Tilt Red Pro status suspended for one month following the incident and then promptly left CardRunners.
The third SuperStar Showdown has not yet been announced, but we’re confident that we’ll see plenty of action from the always-entertaining Isildur1 in the future. Visit PokerStars for more details. If you don’t already have an account, sign up through MacPoker.com and take advantage of the industry’s top VIP program.