Online Action Continues Despite Poker Crackdown

For many American poker fans, last weekend’s big poker bust and resulting suspension of real money U.S. accounts may have seemed like the end of the world, but it was still business as usual for some of Europe’s biggest online players. While the high stakes games will be a good deal less exciting without the likes of Tom Dwan or Phil Galfond for the foreseeable future, it’s important to note that the game lives on. This week, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen and the enigmatic “NoPasaran” continued to offer up some exciting action amidst the legal controversy.

With all the legal drama dominating the poker news, many fans missed out on hearing about Gus Hansen’s continued rise to glory. Last weekend, the Great Dane fleeced an especially worthy opponent – Patrik Antonius – for several hundred thousand dollars. A loss like that would be enough to send many players into hiding, but early this week Hansen and Antonius were at it again at the $300/$600 and even $3000/$6000 PLO tables. It’s rare to see any action at that level, let alone at PLO, so FTP spectators were in for a real treat.

While the rematch lasted less than 200 hands, Antonius still managed to win back a decent chunk of his earlier losses (a total of $137,000 to be exact). Hansen made a valiant attempt to rally by continuing on at the $300/$600 tables long after Antonius logged off, but ultimately he still ended the night $168,000 down. Then again, with the way he’s been winning lately that kind of loss is chump change for Hansen who remains the year’s biggest winner to date with over $4 million in wins at Full Tilt alone.

Meanwhile, NoPasaran peeled quite a stack off Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies at the $200/$400 PLO tables. The match-up ran super hot and hard, resulting in one pot over $200,000 and another over $100,000 with both ultimately going into NoPasaran’s stack. By the end of the weekend, NoPasaran was up over a quarter of a million. That big haul was enough to significantly boost NoPasaran’s online profile, amping up searches for his online results at sites like PokerTableRatings and CardPlayer.

Ziigmund’s several hundred thousand dollar loss to the relative newcomer inspired a less than sportsmanlike response from the pro. Despite the fact that he rallied to end the weekend less than $100,000 down, Sahamies vowed that he was done with big poker sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt. No word yet on where he plans to play instead.

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