Any railbirds who were disappointed by the relatively tame action in Isildur1's Superstar Showdown match against challenger Isaac Haxton in December got a treat last Sunday when he faced the Lithuanian pro Tony G.
As per the rules of the Showdown, the two played $50/$100 big bet poker for exactly 625 hands on each of four tables simultaneously, totalling 2500 hands. Tony G opted for a mixed-game battle with two tables of No Limit Hold'em and two of Pot Limit Omaha. The two players seated themselves and the action got underway on PokerStars at 16:00 ET.
The first all-in of the match pitted G's AAJ4 against Isildur's AQT5 double suited. G's aces held, and the game was on. With both competitors willing to play draws aggressively, bet for value with relatively weak hands, and shove all-in on a stone-cold bluff, the match quickly got wild. Stacks flew back and forth, and after hitting a few draws and using a big turn overbet to induce a light call from Isildur, G found himself cruising into the lead.
Isildur countered by pulling a broadway straight in PLO to win the biggest pot of the match so far ($45,800), but G was undeterred and eventually found himself ahead by nearly six and a half buy-ins.
Never one to take his wins quietly, G took to the chatbox to demonstrate his status as poker's biggest trash talker, throwing out gems like "ure a farse," "are you even QUALIFIED," and--my personal favorite--"i control u like a baby."
But with these two players on the case, a lead like that wasn't destined to last long. Through aggressive play and a run of lucky cards, Isildur steered his way into an 12 buy-in upswing, putting him ahead by $77,000 at the match's halfway point. Feeling the heat, G ramped up the aggression even more hoping to increase the volatility of the match as well as his own chances of getting the lead back.
It worked, briefly, but it also led to Isildur taking a $124,300 pot with the nut straight in PLO, the first of any Superstar Showdown match to reach six figures. Isildur followed it up with another six-figure pot (this time with two pair), although he lost enough smaller pots to keep G within striking distance of the lead.
The two PLO tables wrapped up their alloted 625 hands first, leaving the match to play out on the two tables of NLHE. G fought his way to within $10,000 of even before getting his hand caught in the cookie jar and losing a six buy-in pot with K6 suited against Isildur's pocket kings all-in before the flop. Chastened, he spent the last few hands trading blinds. At the end of the match, Isildur was ahead by $44,820.
If that $40K figure sounds familiar, it's because that's about what Isildur lost in the first episode of the Superstar Showdown. Haxton finished that battle $41,701 to the good, which means poker's official man of mystery is now up exactly $2,619 from his two matches combined. That's probably not the sum he was hoping for at the outset, but it breaks down to more than $250/hr. Nice work if you can get it.
With live poker's loudest mouth and an equally egotistical internet phenomenon at the table, the post-game wrap-up was explosive and dramatic, right? Surprisingly, no. Humbled by his loss, G kept his cool. "Well done" he told his opponent. Isildur, who had stayed silent through G's needling during the match, ended things on a classy note. "Gg, nice playing with u," he typed. "u really did have heart."
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