Poker News

Swedish newcomer Isildur1 has dominated the action on Full Tilt Poker in recent weeks, helping grow the eight largest pots in online poker history. One of his opponents, CardRunners instructor Haseeb “INTERNET POKERS” Qureshi, sat down with Poker News Daily to discuss Isildur1’s recent dominance.

Isildur1 has largely competed in Pot Limit Omaha against high-stakes Full Tilt regulars like 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) November Nine member Phil Ivey, Durrrr Challenge namesake Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, and Power Poker front man Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies. Qureshi has dropped $452,000 to Isildur1; according to, Dwan has lost 10 times that amount.

On the newcomer’s No Limit Hold’em game, Qureshi told Poker News Daily, “He doesn’t trip up nearly as often in No Limit Hold’em [as in Pot Limit Omaha]. Of course, one of the biggest differences in No Limit Hold’em is that you can bet larger than pot and it’s in his over-betting strategy, which has become his trademark, that he really differentiates himself.”

Many have questioned when and if Isildur1 would go broke, including a poll that appeared on the popular online poker forum revealing that 18% of those who responded stated that the Swede would go bust before 2010. Qureshi weighed in: “He’s a high-stakes poker playing degenerate who is very good and wants action. As long as nobody busts him, he’ll keep playing. I’d say it’s more likely than not that he goes bust relatively soon, but it’s still quite likely that he manages to rage on for a very long time.” began tracking Isildur1 in mid-September. This month, the eight largest pots in online poker history have played out.

On what types of strategies players could use to overcome opponents like Isildur1, Qureshi revealed, “Every basic strategy you could come up with is all too small and naive to be used. You should wait for hands and yet beat his aggression with more aggression. You should make fearless calls and yet be cautious in big pots. Choosing one pole or the other is basically handing him the match before it starts.”

Antonius laid claim to the largest pot in online poker history, $1.3 million, at the expense of Isildur1. The Full Tilt Poker pro also defeated Isildur1 in a massive $878,000 pot, which took place one week ago. Isildur1’s win over Ivey in a $1.1 million pot, the second largest of all-time, helped right the ship. The Swede has taken down three of the top six richest pots ever, while Antonius has scooped two of the top three.

Qureshi is an instructor for the poker training site and recently tackled the Isildur1 phenomenon in an informative blog entry. On how he got started in the game of poker, Qureshi recalled, “In the PartyPoker days, there was a free $50 signup bonus deal running. I got on that and somehow donked up my money to $200 and then I started my ‘poker career,’ per se, at $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold’em ring games. I worked my way up the old fashioned way with 20 to 30 buy-in bankroll management. There were no tournament scores or trust funds for me, unfortunately.”

Finally, Qureshi explained that he never would have thought he’d be part of something as historic as Isildur1’s entry onto the poker scene: “My dream was to be playing $1/$2 and by the end of the first year, I had made over $100,000 and was just moving up to play $5/$10 six-max games.” Besides Qureshi, others who have tangled with Isildur1 include David Benyamine, Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond, Brian Hastings, and Brian Townsend.

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