In breaking news from London, Swedish online poker phenomenon Isildur1 has pulled out of the PartyPoker Big Game IV one day before its scheduled start. He was reportedly contemplating wearing a mask during his appearance.
Whether the announcement that Isildur1 was competing was simply a publicity stunt from the start remains to be seen. In a blog posted on PartyPoker, site pro Tony G expressed his frustration with the youngster withdrawing from the high-stakes 48-hour cash game: “To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I have spent so much time talking to him and reassuring him recently, but he’s just not going to come.” Tony G and Isildur1 had a 50-50 staking deal in place.
Tony G emphasized that Isildur1 originally approached him about playing: “It has left a bad taste in my mouth. What you have to understand is that he reached out to me first and asked and then agreed to play. As far as I am concerned, I am washing my hands with him and moving on.” The ring game begins at 8:00pm local time on Sunday from the Les Ambassadeurs Club in Mayfair, London and will conclude 48 hours later. PartyPoker personality Kara Scott, who is the floor reporter for GSN’s “High Stakes Poker,” will serve in the same capacity in London during the 7:00pm to 7:00am shifts.
Tony G cited “personal issues” as to why Isildur1 is officially a no-show. Isildur1 reportedly told Tony G that the stakes of the PartyPoker Big Game IV were too low. In addition, Tony G explained, “I know for a fact that he is soon taking his driving test.” Isildur1 originally accepted the offer to compete in the PartyPoker Big Game IV on March 31st. The mystery Swede is widely believed to be Viktor “blom30” Blom, whose blowup in the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe Main Event was shown during ESPN’s coverage of the tournament. Isildur1 has tangled with several of poker’s high-stakes elite, including Phil Ivey, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and Brian Hastings.
Among those who haven’t backed out of the PartyPoker Big Game IV is Drag the Bar instructor Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt, who will take to the felts to the tune of “Pass Out” by Tinie Tempah and be joined by fellow American young guns Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo and Isaac Haxton. Others heading to the London casino include Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Neil Channing, David “Viffer” Peat, Roland de Wolfe, Bodo Sbrzesny, James Mitchell, Robert Williamson III, Andrew Feldman, Simon "Schnibl0r" Münz, Roberto Romanello, Andy Greekfish, Barny Boatman, Laurence Grondin, Jake Cody, Sam Trickett, Josh Gould, Richard Wheatley, and Paul Zimbler. In addition, Tony G has brought an “amazing player” with him to London. However, his identity is unknown.
As you’d expect, the reaction to Isildur1 pulling out of his highly anticipated appearance has been anything but positive. On the TwoPlusTwo online poker forum, posters were outraged over the cancellation. TwoPlusTwo member “inn_Nstruct” frustratingly penned, “What a joke. Lame way to get attention for this show.” Fellow community member “DangerError” added, “It’s all fake. I don’t believe Tony G, even a word.”
Isildur1 sent Tony G a text message simply stating, “Sry for not coming, take care bud.” The seven-word phrase has drawn criticism, with “GaryLQ” explaining, “This text message sounds totally fake to me. 'Take care bud' is a slang British phrase, most commonly used in the Southwest of England. I find it hard to believe it's the sort of language a Swede would use.”
Eddie Hearn, who has been organizing and promoting the PartyPoker Big Game IV for Matchroom Sport, told Poker News Daily on Saturday, "Obviously, it’s disappointing that Isildur1 couldn't join us for the Big Game, but the show must go on. I spoke with him at length on Thursday night and the magnitude of the media interest surrounding his appearance is something he was struggling to come to terms with. It’s a shame, as we would have liked him to be part of the new music walk-ons and evictions that have been introduced to this series. I'm sure you will see him soon though, perhaps at a more low-key event that doesn't reach such a vast global audience."
The news represents the latest twist in the Isildur1 saga, which began after the Swede stormed onto the high-stakes online poker scene on Full Tilt last September. His career peak according to PokerTableRatings.com was $5.0 million, which came in November. Three months later, he was in the hole $2.8 million. Isildur1 has taken $4.5 million off Dwan alone, but lost nearly the same amount to Hastings.
On the UB.com sponsored program “Poker2Nite,” Tony G confirmed that Isildur1 is under 21 years-old and indeed hails from Sweden. (Credit: Poker News Daily)
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