Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Breaking Records in the Bahamas

Randy Lew, as photographed by Joe GironBeen following reports from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure over the last few days, including the news of Viktor “Isildur1” Blom’s triumph in the $100K Super High Roller over the weekend.

Sort of a neat reprise of that revelation at the PCA almost exactly one year before when Blom finally confirmed once and for all what everyone already knew, namely, that he was in fact the Swingin’ Swede of online legend.

Blom won $1,254,400 for besting the field of 30 at the Super High Roller, his best live score by a long, long shot. When I saw that first prize, I couldn’t help but think back to that hand of $500/$1,000 pot-limit Omaha Blom lost to Patrik Antonius a little over two years ago on Full Tilt Poker, the one for which the pot totaled a mind-boggling $1,356,946.50.

Remember that? I suppose that still stands as a record as far as online poker goes.

Speaking of records, I was also kind of diverted on Sunday by the exploits of Randy “nanonoko” Lew at the PCA. Lew spent the day sitting at a computer, a couple of large monitors glowing before him, attempting to set a record for most hands of poker played during an eight-hour period while still turning a profit. (That is Lew pictured above, as photographed by the great Joe Giron.)

I’m not really sure what the previous record was supposed to be here, but in any case Lew did manage to establish a new standard by playing 23,493 hands and concluding with a small but significant profit of $7.93. That broke down to a shade under 49 hands per minute, if you can imagine that.

I believe he was moving back and forth between low limits and $5/$10 no-limit hold’em throughout the day. According to Brad “Otis” Willis’ report on the PokerStars blog, Lew was actually down as much as $1,200 at one point before grinding his way back into the black. And thus into the record books.

I’d have to go back through my own personal record books to see for certain, but I imagine the most hands I ever played in a single session was probably around 1,500 or so, and that probably took eight hours or thereabouts. I never got much beyond three-tabling, really, a far cry from the 40-ish tables Lew generally had going throughout the day.

In fact, after the first couple of years playing online, I gravitated towards shorter sessions (a hour or two) and one- or two-tabling, both because I tended to win more consistently playing that way and I found myself becoming less and less desirous to sit and play for long stretches.

As far as my biggest-ever pot goes, I remember losing a hand of PLO50 once that had ballooned up around $400 or so, half of which I had contributed. Straight flush over my aces full. Exquisite pain, that. Won a few big pots, too, but nothing that high. You know, just $1.356 million or so off the record.

Now, of course, I am strictly playing for nickels and dimes, nursing my two smallish rolls on Carbon and Hero, both earned in freerolls. And usually no more than a half-hour or hour at most. Looking back, I see I had a 300-plus hand session back in November, easily the longest I’ve played over the last half-year or so.

Blom is still just 21 years old. I believe Lew is 26. I guess it is safe to say both probably view money a little differently than do most of us. And time. And the relationship between the two.

Oh, and they both gots some skills, too.

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