Tony G., for better or worse, can eviscerate an opponent with his tongue. It's a circus trick that would have him in the freak tent if he weren't so busy being the ringmaster. Win or lose, The G. has a sharper needle than almost anybody in the game. So, it was with no great patience that people waited to hear just what kind of horror he would unleash on Isildur1 after losing nearly $45,000 in the latest SuperStar Showdown.
Suffice it to say, in the land of monsters, Tony G. has emerged as a bear....a teddy bear.
"I was outclassed and dominated every minute," Tony G. said after the marathon match was over. "Yet, I was fighting. That is just heart and qualified hope. Poker is hope."
That was not what people expected. After all, Tony G. is the type of guy who will spend hours setting up his opponents for an elaborate mental breakdown based only on a few words. Of anybody out there right now, Isildur1 might have had Tony G.'s brand of treatment coming. Instead, he got an virtual hug from his opponent.
"Isilidur1 is better, and I got outclassed," he said. "I left nothing behind."
The Isildur1 vs. Tony G session lasted much, much longer than the match versus Isaac Haxton. It was a grind, but not one that took The G. out of his comfort zone.
"I have played with people for three days with no sleep," Tony G. said. "I am from the old school."
That is to say, Tony G. is making no excuses for his loss against the online phenom. While Tony G. said Isildur1 still has a long way to go, that was about the only negative thing he had to offer. "He was better than me. He is also younger than me. Much younger," Tony G. said. "He is a real talent, and I am just heart and hope."
Those who have been following Isildur1's emergence on PokerStars will know how he responded to his loss to Haxton. Isildur1's post-game interview sounded more like a boxer who had just been sucker-punched than a guy who had lost fair and square.
And so, the victory over Tony G. offered the mystery man an opportunity to show his winning side. It's...different.
"I think I played okay. It was a long, tough game," he said.
Isildur1's main goal going into the game was to maintain focus for the match, something he said he felt he did pretty well. When the game was over, he'd ridden the Tony G. Fun Train all the way to the bank.
Asked if he thought Tony G. was a better played, Isildur1 was once again unafraid to be honest.
"No," Isildur1 said, "but he suprised me that he was so sharp online. I thought he was only good live."
Beyond that, Isildur1 had no fighting words. He doesn't care who he plays next. He had nothing else to offer.
Of course, that's not entirely true. He does have something else to offer: his identity.
While rumors have swirled for months about the Nose Bleed God's secret identity, there are still precious few people who know for sure who is hiding behind that big PokerStars shadow.
But consider this: as part of a PokerStars promotion, Isilldur1 has agreed to play heads up against freeroll winner "OU THE NICK" in a 100-hand $10,000 match. While no one has said whether Isildur1 will be wearing one of those cool Mexican wrestling masks (we're going to guess probably not), chances are the King of Swing will be stepping out of his bat cave and revealing himself to the world. Then again, maybe not. You never really know with this guy.
As for Tony G., he's already talking about a rematch on different turf. Other than that, it seems like these guys might have actually kindled a little friendship. It's very sweet.
"I wish him all the best in life and poker," Tony G. said. "It's not just talent in playing each hand. It's a matter of millions of hands hands, managing your bankroll, and enjoying life. I wish for him that he can do it."