Isildur1 Poker Hand Histories and Vital Stats

Date: 2009-11-24
Author: Sean Gibson

At this point, the entire online poker world knows about Isildur1’s wild rampage and subsequent fall at the nosebleed stakes against poker’s best.  It only started a month ago, when Isildur1 amassed over $4 million in profits in less than four weeks’ time.  Against the likes of Phil Ivey, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and Patrik Antonius, this unknown player from Sweden became one of the hottest topics of 2009 in a very short amount of time.

Thanks to our friends at Poker Hand Scout, a hand history depository that resells hands to players, we received hands played by Isildur1 in both Omaha and Hold’em.  The first batch of hands we’ll look at is Isildur1 playing $500-$1,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em at Full Tilt Poker.  We have 7,780 hands total played at these stakes and Isildur1 is showing a reasonable win rate of 1.65 BB/100, which means that for every 100 hands that Isildur1 has played, he has profited $3,300.  Over the course of this nearly “breakeven” stretch, he’s taken in $256,028.

Let’s take a look at some important stats using a hand history tracking program using the hands we received:

Hands: 7,780 | Profit: $257,028.65 | $ (EV adjusted): $479,655 | BB/100: 1.65
VPIP%: 64.3 | PFR%: 53.3 | Agg: 3.78 | Agg%: 37.9 | Turn Agg: 3.18 | River Agg: 3.2
3bet: 11.8% | vs 3bet Call%: 42.3% | 4Bet Range: 2.7
Set %: 13.9 | Flop CBet %: 72.4 | Fold Flop Cbet: 48.9 | Turn Cbet %: 34.7
WTSD%: 29.3 | W$SD%: 49.1 | Steal %: 83.7 | BB Fold to Steal: 62.3

The first thing that jumps out is the massive amount of money he has won over 7,780 hands.  To most people in the online poker space, $257,000 is much more than they have ever tasted.  For people out in the “real world,” it is simply incomprehensible that a person can play an online game and win a quarter of a million dollars.

For us online poker aficionados, the posts about Isildur1 being some random donk running hot are absolutely false.  In fact, most people would agree that he ran unbelievably cold during this stretch of hands, as he was practically 50% below EV.  If he had won (once the money was all-in) at the expected mathematical rate, his profit should have been almost $500,000.

Clearly, Isildur1 is someone who understands the dynamics of online poker and heads-up play.  Obviously, there is a fair argument to be made that 7,780 hands is barely enough to start an analysis of game play statistics.  The first indicator that this player knows what he is doing is the VPIP/PFR ratio, which is in line with some of the top Heads-Up players in the game (note that Dwan rated as 62/48).  The consistent aggression figures across the flop, turn, and river indicate a very steady and solid game on all streets.

The 3bet percentage might be a shade low for Heads-Up play at 11.8% and the 3bet call percentage might be a little high at 42.3%. However, at these stakes, the games are often so aggressive that calls are most likely warranted.  He hit sets pretty well and folded to CBets half of the time, showing down a relatively small amount of time for this type of game.

One of Isildur1’s unluckiest hands came against Dwan.  On the button, Isildur1 had K-10 offsuit and raised to $3,000, which was 3bet by Dwan to $10,000 and subsequently called.  The flop was 5-K-9 rainbow and Dwan led out for $15,400, which was called.  The turn was a 10 of diamonds, putting two diamonds to the flush on the board (giving Isildur1 two pair), and Dwan led out for $34,200.  Isildur1 then raised to $118,600 and Dwan re-raised all-in for about $70,000 more.  Isildur1 called and Dwan flipped over A-K of diamonds for top pair and the nut flush draw and Isildur1 showed two pair.  The seven of diamonds fell on the river for the suckout, shipping the $421,880 pot to Dwan.

The second most unlucky hand (in terms of EV dollars) in the database came at the hands of recent World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event seventh place finisher Phil Ivey.  Again on the button, Isildur1 raised to $3,000 with Q-K suited to diamonds and was 3bet to $9,000, which was called.  The flop of Q-8-2 gave Isildur1 top pair, Ivey CBet $14,000, and Isildur1 raised to $42,000.  Ivey came over the top to $126,000 and Isildur1 shoved all-in.  Isildur1 showed Q-K for top pair and Ivey showed A-K suited to spades for two overcards and a flush draw.  The money was in and Isildur1 was basically flipping a coin for over a half-million dollars.  Ivey ultimately took down the pot and although the hand wasn’t unlucky in terms of a bad beat, losing a $500,000 coin-flip and the resulting negative-EV had to sting.

We have to give a huge thanks to Poker Hand Scout for donating the hands to us for this article.

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