Isildur1 Loses Round One Against urnotindangr

Viktor Blom, best known as high stakes heads-up PokerStars pro Isildur1, has been taking on a pretty heavy schedule of match-ups in his 2500-hand SuperStar Showdown. Tonight featured one of his most highly anticipated challenges to date as Blom went up against frequent foe Scott “urnotindangr” Palmer. Though initially Blom managed to sustain a respectable lead in his Showdown bouts, tonight’s loss (albeit a close one) to urnotindangr drops his overall win-loss ratio down to 5-3.

Poker fans that are unacquainted with Palmer might wonder, “What’s the big deal?” After all, Isildur1’s last challenger – lifetime earnings leader Daniel Negreanu – was arguably the most successful poker pro currently living. What makes the Isildur1 vs urnotindangr pairing so great is how well-matched the players are. Whereas Negreanu came to the first round of his Showdown woefully unprepared and then rebounded the second week to take a slim win thanks to a few big pots, the contest between Blom and Palmer was a real power struggle.

Not only are both players frequent visitors to PokerStars’ nosebleed heads-up tables, they’re also well acquainted with the other’s style, having played tens of thousands of hands against each other over the last two years alone. While some spectators no doubt prefer the roller coaster sessions that result from Blom playing radically different players, his bout against Palmer displayed a totally different kind of strategy. Some might even say that these two pros are so comparable that this competition was ultimately decided by luck.

Indeed, urnotindangr’s final margin of victory was less than a tenth of the night’s largest pot. For those that didn’t watch the match, Palmer finished it ahead by a mere $5,425. Isildur1 was ahead more often than not, but the most decisive hand of the night – the $58,850 pot – went to Palmer, putting him back in the lead after a longstanding deficit and with only 100 hands remaining in Round 1. The overall win came right down to the wire with Blom ahead again by hand 2,479, but ultimately Palmer got the cards he needed to come out on top at the end.

In any case, this round of the SuperStar Showdown was good enough to deserve a second go, and that’s exactly what poker fans will be getting. It’s unclear whether PokerStars will consider each round its own challenge, or whether they will wait to see if Isildur1 wins by a large enough margin next Sunday to avoid marring his record any further. On a related note, at the end of the Showdown Blom remarked to Palmer, “cu next Friday,” leading some poker conspiracists to speculate that the matches are prerecorded and played back for PokerStars spectators.

Related Entries