Isildur1 to Face Dan Cates in PokerStars SuperStar Showdown

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For those in the poker community who have been waiting for the next clash in Viktor “Isildur1” Blom’s SuperStar Showdown series on PokerStars, Sunday will be a day to mark on the calendar, as he will take on Dan “w00ki3z” Cates.

According to the PokerStars Blog, the next edition of the SuperStar Showdown will feature Blom battling Cates at 5:30pm ET this Sunday. The match will be on four of the $50/$100 No Limit Hold’em tables on the site, giving railbirds plenty of action to watch.

In what has been one of the most active series of matches in online poker, the SuperStar Showdown began once Blom signed a sponsorship deal with PokerStars in December. The SuperStar Showdown is a heads-up match played at the minimum stakes of $50/$100 of either Pot Limit Omaha or No Limit Hold’em and lasting for 2,500 hands. The goal of the battle is simple: win the most money.

Blom has a record of 1-1 in the two previous SuperStar Showdowns. In the first ever running at the end of December, Blom took on Isaac “philivey2694” Haxton on four No Limit tables. Blom would take it on the chin, as Haxton walked away after the requisite 2,500 hands showing $41,701 in profit.

Not wasting any time, Isildur1 got back in the ring just a couple of weeks later when he took on PartyPoker’s Tony G just after the beginning of the New Year. The duo split the four tables they played between Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em and fought a spirited match. At an early point in the battle, Tony G taunted Blom by saying, “u feeling ok my man… u getting owned by a total donk old man… start pressing some all-in buttons boy… are you even qualified… are you committed to this?”

This seemed to get Isildur1’s engines going, as he responded to Tony G’s needling by earning a profit of $44,000 to even his SuperStar Showdown record. Strangely enough, it wasn’t the No Limit sector of the match where Blom dominated, but rather in Omaha.

Blom has a wealth of experience multi-tabling high-stakes tables and has proven his skills over the past 18 months. His battles against fellow pros such as Patrik Antonius, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and Phil Ivey became legendary in 2009, with Blom building a multi-million dollar bankroll through heads-up play.

Cates, however, is arguably his most difficult challenger to date, which will make the third edition of the SuperStar Showdown potentially the best. In 2010, Cates, who is commonly known as “jungleman12,” scored an impressive $5.5 million in profits from high-stakes cash play and has continued to add to that in 2011. According to, Cates has been practicing for the SuperStar Showdown by winning over $750,000 in the first month of the year. He’s also Dwan’s second opponent in the ongoing Durrrr Challenge.

In handicapping the Blom/Cates match-up, the two are quite similar in many aspects. Both are very experienced in multi-table play, so there should be no undue pressure on either of them. They also have similar streaks of hyper-aggressive play that can build them a huge stack or leave them felted. Where the advantage may come is in the game choice, with Cates arguably having an edge over Blom as a No Limit Hold’em player.

The action begins on Sunday afternoon on the tables at PokerStars and the virtual rails should be packed to see who walks away the winner.

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