This Week in Online Poker History November 18th – 24th

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Do you remember the biggest pot in online poker history, which took place at Full Tilt Poker in 2009?

That’s just one of the stories we’ll harken back to in This Week in Online Poker History.

We’ll also revisit Full Tilt Poker’s and Groupe Bernard Tapie’s “done deal” that never got done in 2011. And we’ll look back to 2007, when the US decided to give the WTO the middle finger over their online gambling ruling.

First up, that big pot.

November 21, 2009: Isildur1 and Patrik Antonius play $1.3 million pot

Last week we told you about what was at the time the largest pot in the history of online poker.

Well, that record didn’t last very long, and it was the same two combatants who found themselves fighting for a $1.3 million pot just days after their first epic clash: the at the time unknown Isildur1 and Patrik Antonius.

Isildur’s problems began well before losing the $1.3 million pot to Antonius, as the young phenom made some poor choices over the previous week, including simultaneously playing Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius, and was already hemorrhaging the millions he had won in the previous weeks.

But it was on November 21, 2009 that Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Patrik Antonius found themselves in a heads-up PLO match on Full Tilt Poker with the final outcome ending up the same way as their first clash for Isildur1: on the losing end of a massive pot.

Cliff’s: Antonius flopped a straight and Isildur’s 16-out straight draw bricked on the turn and river after all the money went in.

Here is a video of the hand for those interested in watching a four year-old poker hand:

November 18,2011: Talks heat up in Full Tilt Groupe Bernard Tapie deal

Billed as the last hope for afflicted Full Tilt Poker players, the proposed rumored deal that would see the Groupe Bernard Tapie take over the flailing online poker site was being touted as signed sealed and delivered at the end of November in 2011. And we all know how that worked out.

Throughout the next couple months 10 different versions of events would be espoused, with every person citing inside information and unnamed sources.

As it turned out, it wasn’t GBT that would save poker players, it was PokerStars. But in late 2011 the Groupe Bernard Tapie was essentially seen as the Luke Skywalker of the poker world, our last hope.

Fortunately, just like Yoda explained in the Empire Strikes Back, “there is another.” Never doubt Yoda by the way.

Also from the archives…

* November 20, 2008: Online poker declared dead on 2+2. Author’s note: Online poker still alive and well as of November 18, 2013!

* November 24, 2006: Public already tiring of online gambling shows. In Britain anyway.

November 19, 2007: US “goes to the mattresses” over WTO ruling

One of the more interesting, and ongoing stories that has never gotten much attention from the poker world is the still unresolved dispute between the United States and the World Trade Organization stemming from a quarrel between the US and the tiny island nations of Barbuda and Antigua.

Several times over the years the WTO has ruled in favor of Antigua, in a case brought to the WTO regarding the US’s laws forbidding foreign operators from offering their citizens online gambling.

Yet amazingly, despite losing every trial, the US has basically given the WTO’s ruling the middle finger, and hasn’t paid a dime of the settlement amount.

So, while this might be a This Week in Online Poker History article, the story is still ongoing.

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Steve Ruddock
- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.