With a record of eight wins and two losses, Viktor "Isildur1" Blom had certainly gotten the best of his opponents across his first 10 SuperStar Showdown matches as he took just over $500,000 from them. He came into today's match riding a three-match winning streak dating back to April against some tough competition from Scott "urnotindangr" Palmer, "mastermixus" and Rui "PepperoniF" Cao.
This week Blom would be facing off against Norway's Terje "Terken89" Augdal, who was an active winner at the online high-stakes NLHE tables as far back as 2007. Perhaps less well-known than some of Blom's other opponents in this series, Augdal was nonetheless ready to go from the very first hand - and when that hand was done he would find himself in the lead by $10,000. Six bets before the flop saw both of them get their stacks in the middle on Table 1; Augdal's A♦ K♣ prevailed over Blom's T♦ T♣ when two aces hit the board, giving him a quick lead.
Augdal didn't keep the aggression dialed up, though. The first hand of the match aside, Blom appeared to have the upper hand in the early going as his opponent got a handle on the task of playing four tables against the aggressive Swede. Augdal kept most of the pots small, often opting to min-raise the button. Blom kept to the rhythm that his opponent established and began clawing away at the lead, finally erasing it in a hand of NLHE.
Augdal opened for $200 but Blom three-bet to $800 out of position before the flop with 5♦ 4♦. Augdal made the call there, and then again when Blom bet $1,000 into the $1,800 pot on a flop of Q♦ 7♦ 6♠. Augdal called another $2,450 on the 8♠ turn and all-in for $6,150 on the 8♥ river, perhaps a bit surprised to see that his Q♣ T♥ had been drawing dead after the turn card hit.
That pot gave Blom an edge of $7,200 just 100 hands in. He won the next big coin flip - once again with pocket tens against A-K in NLHE - to move ahead by $18,700, but Augdal would cut that edge to just $2,650 in a hand of PLO. Blom three-bet to $600 out of position and Augdal called to bring a flop of A♠ 5♥ 4♥. Blom bet $900 and Augdal quickly min-raised to $1,800; Blom raised to $4,200 and the fourth bet from Augdal set him all-in. Blom held top pair and the nut flush draw with A♥ J♣ 9♥ 8♣, while Augdal's K♥ 4♥ 4♣ 2♥ gave him bottom set. That was good for a $26,800 pot after the 9♠ turn and Q♠ river.
As it turned out, that was as close as Augdal would get for the rest of the match. Blom was up by almost $5,000 at the 200-hand mark, and 50 hands later he was up by $17,500, thanks to a bottom set of fours on the flop in PLO that held up against Augdal's top two pair. By the 300-hand mark Blom was up by $22,550. Then came these two PLO bombshells at Table 4 that broke the match open:
Blom now held a lead of nearly $46,000 after 400 hands. At the 500-hand mark things were almost unchanged, with Blom leading by $43,850 overall and holding an advantage of no less than $7,100 on each table. There were more significant pots now than there had been in the earliest portions of the match, and fewer of them were going to showdown. Augdal seemed to be getting a bit more of a handle on Blom's game, making a few nice calls along the way, including one with ace-high on a 7♣ 8♥ 2♣ 7♠ 4♣ board that drew an "lol" in the chat box from Blom.
Unsurprisingly, the frequency of both players' three-, four- five- and six-bets jumped dramatically as they got to know each other (and as the match tilted in Blom's favor). Augdal narrowed his deficit to $30,310 by the 600-hand mark, and at 700 hands was still hanging in there, trailing by $38,210. But Blom would soon take advantage of a big PLO run at Table 4, starting with a $53,500 pot with Blom opening for $300 on the button and Augdal three-betting to $900. Blom opted for a fourth bet of $2,700 and Augdal made it five bets and $8,100. Blom called, the flop came down T♦ 4♥ 2♣, and Augdal check-called $3,850; on the 6♣ turn, Augdal check-called all-in for $14,800 holding K♦ K♣ 2♦ 2♠ for bottom set. Blom held T♠ 9♣ 7♣ 6♥ for top two pair with straight and flush draws. It was the latter draw that got there on the 5♣ river, giving Blom the biggest pot of the match so far and a lead of $60,060.
By the 1,000-hand mark the challenger was down by $57,760, with over $43K of that total coming from one PLO table alone. He would soon fall further behind in another $55K PLO pot that began with Blom raising to $300 on the button. Augdal went three bets for $900; Blom went four for $2,700 and then called after Augdal made the fifth bet for $8,100. Augdal immediately bet the $16,200 pot on the T♣ 8♠ 6♦ flop, and Blom set him in for $3,650 more holding J♦ 8♦ 9♥ 7♥ for the nut straight with redraws. Augdal's A♠ A♥ 5♦ 2♣ caught a set on the A♣ turn, but the 9♠ river shipped $55,900 to Blom.
Almost all of Augdal's $150,000 bankroll for this SuperStar Showdown was now on the table. He was slightly behind on the two NLHE tables, but PLO continued to go badly for him even when he got his stack in holding the best of it. He finally ended up with all of his remaining money on the table after Blom won a NLHE coin flip, flopping a full house with his 6♥ 6♣ against Augdal's A♠ Q♥ to grab a $108,512 lead after just 1,145 hands.
The two took a well-deserved five-minute break, after which Blom came back with guns blazing. He cracked Augdal's A♣ A♥ J♥ 8♦ with a straight flush, five to nine, for a $21,600 pot that took them down to only three tables.
From there it was all about pressure bets for Blom. Turning up the heat with a preflop four-bet pushed Augdal into a corner more than once, forcing him to release his hand without seeing a single board card. It looked as if Blom might close out his opponent in record time, but Augdal still had some fight left in him. A little luck in this one didn't hurt, either:
That gave him enough cash to get Table 3 back up and running once more. At that point Blom held a lead of $113,150 after 1,309 hands. Just 35 hands later, that profit was back down to $90,970 thanks to two simultaneous wins for Augdal, both of them in PLO: his A♣ 8♣ 6♥ 6♠ prevailed over Blom's K♥ J♣ 9♣ 2♣ on the river of a 2♠ 6♣ 9♥ Q♦ A♦ board, and his flopped Broadway straight with A♣ K♥ Q♦ 9♥ held up against Blom's Q♥ 6♥ Q♣ 8♣ on a board of K♠ J♣ T♠ 7♣ 6♠.
Augdal had worked himself back to a deficit of $84,790 after 1,381 hands and had all the momentum on his side. But Isildur1's reputation as poker's king of swing is well-earned, and his aggressive game allowed him to take full advantage of opportunities for big pots. By 1,419 hands Blom was ahead by $97,920 again, and with simultaneous PLO wins at the 1,476-hand mark - one for $21,400 when his flush draw ran down Augdal's top two pair, and another for $25,200 when his nut flush draw backed into a gutshot straight - the action was once again down to three tables as Blom held a $120,190 lead.
Blom took the proceedings down to two tables on a fortunate PLO river card worth $22,000:
Seconds later Blom won another $22.5K PLO pot and after 1,561 hands, the entire match had been reduced a single table playing NLHE. Augdal had $8,100 and a sliver of hope, but five hands later, the match would end as it began: with a coin flip. Blom raised to $300 on the button, Augdal three-bet to $1,000, Blom shoved and Augdal called. He turned up A♣ J♣, putting him slightly behind Blom's 9♦ 9♥, but with no help from the 6♥ 6♠ 7♥ Q♣ 8♣ his day was done.
If Augdal was bothered by the result, his chat didn't show it. "coming out tonight?" he asked in the chat box. "maybe, was out yesterday, a bit hungover. u in london?" replied Blom. "yeah, drinks on u obv," Augdal replied.
With another $150,000 in his pocket - and now $651,941 total in SuperStar Showdown winnings - Viktor Blom won't have any trouble picking up even the most epic bar tab tonight.