SCOOP 2012: Isildur1's "Eureka!" moment
Viktor Blom is not an easy man to track down. I've known this for a long time. The media stalked him as Isildur1 for months. When it came time to cop to his identity, I still had to walk halfway across an island and find him in the back of a bar. He's wily. He's elusive. Twitter's @bigacsiga suggested I look in the toilet, or just wait for him to get back to the cash games.
And that was really the point, wasn't it?
Viktor Blom is a cash game player. He's not a tourney grinder. So, why in the world--how in the world--is he crushing the Spring Championship of Online Poker so hard?
As of this moment, Blom has won $438,408 in this year's SCOOP festival, more than anybody else playing. He's in fifth place on the overall SCOOP leaderboard having only played 38 events (by comparison, leader Shaun Deeb has played 74 events and won $174,503).
So, to put it bluntly, what the hell, Viktor?
"I played a lot of tournaments and SNGs when I started out and did well," he said. 'When I started playing cash, I kind of forgot about tournaments and didn't have any deep runs in a long time."
And then suddenly, Blom pops up in January, wins the $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller at the PCA, and then backs that up with back-to-back SCOOP wins. It was a four-month performance that many poker players would give their career to have.
If you can imagine this, there actually sort of was an "ah-ha, Eureka!" moment for the young Swede, and it's just as smart as it is silly. After winning the big one at the PCA, Blom had a sort of revelation.
"It woke me up again," he said. "I realized if go deep, it's so much more exciting. So. I feel I play better now that I realize that."
For anyone wondering whether Blom plays for the money or the jollies he gets from his poker adrenal glands, that should answer your question. Blom isn't in it so much for the titles as the feeling.
"I enjoying tournaments more than I did before," Blom said today. "Maybe that's because I always busted in the beginning before."
Blom concedes two things: he has worked on his tournament game, and he still understands how bad luck on one hand can ruin an entire day. Though he didn't bring it up, I watched him play a hand the other day--deep in a big SCOOP event-- in which he four-bet all-in with aces and got calls from both jacks and ace-king. The jacks flopped a set. The ace-king ran out a straight. The aces ended up third best. If Blom had won that hand, he was probably guaranteed another giant SCOOP final table instead of a 20th place finish.
But again, Blom didn't even bring that hand up. At the time, I recall him typing something like, "I've been lucky before, too."
Now he just puts it like this: "It takes only one hand to go out of a tournament, but I guess that's the thrill to it."
That's about all you'll get out of Blom right now. He's busy. Not only does he have cash games to think about, but SCOOP runs for another five days, and Blom isn't going to let up.
"I'm going to try hit another deep run in a big one," he said.
After that, though, it's back to what you'd expect. That is to say, Blom is going to frame his mind right for the next few days of tourneys, but you know what's going to happen after that.
"The ones I play I'm going to try do do my best in," Blom said, "but, my biggest effort is still going to be in the cash games."
And that is your Eureka moment for the day.