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Is Blagojevich a High Stakes Internet Poker Hustler?

Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…


The man, the myth, the poker legend?

The whole poker world has been a buzz for the last month, everyone trying to figure out the identity of one high stakes online pro.

Isildur1, named after the Lord of the Rings character--I know, lame right?--, made his or her appearance in the so-called "nosebleed" games--high stakes online poker games--on Full Tilt Poker in November, and his extremely volatile style has resulted in wild bankroll swings for this unknown gambler.

At one point Isildur1 was up over $5 million in online winnings; simply destroying online guru Tom Dwan and capturing the attention of poker lovers everywhere in the process.

Just who is Isildur1, you ask?

Hundreds of cases have been made regarding the identity of internet poker's newest high stakes master. From the logical guesses of young European poker star Viktor Blom and another unknown high stakes online player "Martonas," to the less legitimate claims that Isildur1 is big foot or the ghost of Stu Ungar.

At this point in time, all guesses are just as legitimate as the next, however, as the true identity of online poker's biggest mystery remains just that, a total mystery.

So, in the name of journalistic duty I've decided to try my hand at the Isildur1 name game.

Isildur1: online poker phenom and embattled former Governor Rod Blagojevich?

Blago as Isildur1: Making the Case

On June 30, 2009, Phoenix books announced that they would be publishing in September former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's account of his 2008 impeachment and the rest of his controversial political career.

The book, titled The Governor: Finally, the Truth Behind the Political Scandal That Continues to Rock the Nation, was written after Phoenix came to Blago with a six-figure book deal, netting the ex-Governor a fairly nice chunk of change as he tried to clear his name through the literary medium.

After the book's release, and the ensuing talk show promotional rounds, Blagojevich had some time to kill before his criminal trial in 2010 and now plenty of cash from his book deal--and nothing else--at his disposal. So, why shouldn't he try his hand at a far less seedy and degenerate game than politics, online poker.

Just think about it, taking money, making big bluffs, roller coaster swings--Isildur1 went from up $5 million to stuck close to $2 million in less than a month--what isn't there to love for ole' Lego hair in the high stakes online poker world?


It's uncanny, I know

Okay, I know Isildur1's handle is listed as a Swedish account, which should pretty much discount Blago because he would never lie about such an important detail that could have major financial implications...come on! This is Blagojevich we're talking about!

Isildur1 even has the language I picture fitting Blago best when he talks to his political rivals.

An excerpt from a high stakes match between Isuldur1 and online poker star Brian Townsend:

Brian Townsend: gg
Brian Townsend: I will be back in a few days
Isildur1: k n1
Isildur1: f u
Brian Townsend: don't be bitter because you lost
Isildur1: lol


That's right Townsend, FU! I was the Governor!

The only clue that doesn't fit--other than the whole, playing high stakes poker takes a tremendous amount of deductive reasoning and logic, thing--is the online player's handle, Isildur1.

While some--I'm not one of them--might say that the name is clever and fitting, since Isildur in the Tolkien novels rises to the place of hero only to fall all the way down to the position of the ultimate goat in the fantasy world of Middle Earth, mirroring both Isildur1's meteoric rise and Blagojevich's political career, I don't buy it as a Blago approved name.

Something like, ILgovSTILL or DiDnTdOiT feels more appropriate.

So maybe the former Governor isn't high stakes mystery player Isildur1. Much more likely it's a player we already know, or some other young underage phenom, or Sarah Palin...why not? Prove me wrong.       



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