High Stakes Poker’s Elite Eight – Samrostan Crushes

This week pretty much began and ended with Macau based high stakes gambler “samrostan.”  When last week ended, he had just racked up an Elite Eight leading $358,238 win at the Eight Game tables.  This week started with another big win and ended with the same including a ransacking of online legend Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond for over $800,000 on Wednesday on the highest stakes 8 game tables. 

The winnings from pillar to post of this Epic Eight day period (ah hah…see what I did there?) totaled over $1.1 million dollars.  The total for this week ran to just a hair over $912k.  While it made him the biggest winner, it also made Phil Galfond our biggest loser at the tail end of a promising week that ended in and all-day session that saw nothing but red ink for “OMGClayAiken.”  Some things stayed the same though as “ragen70” turned in another top performance (even if it was not a 6 figure one) and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom finished third on the biggest losers list (though for less than $140k.)  All the numbers that are fit to print…right now!:

Elite Eight:

  1. “samrostan” – While it’s not enough to get him out of a lifetime negative number on this account (many believe he was formerly “patpatpanda” as well), the $912,134 finish during this week (27 sessions over 7543 hands) is a number that has only been seen by the likes of “Isildur1” while I’ve been reporting on the Elite Eight and not since the heyday of “durrrr” and Brian Hastings in my memory.  The win occurred mainly in battles at the high stakes 8 game tables versus Phil Galfond (netting over $800k,) but he also recorded a $308K win on the 14th at the same tables that would have been enough to top the list by itself. 
  2. “taktloss47” – Before this week, this FullTilt Poker account had only recorded just north of $220,000 in lifetime earnings at the high stakes online tables.  This week, it added $116,942 to that to bring its lifetime total to $350,723 during a light work week covering 12 sessions and 848 hands.  Nearly $800,000 less than the number one spot, it sits in a HUGE shadow thrown by “samrostan”’s massive win.
  3. Vladimir “GVOZDIKA55”   Shchemelev – Shchemelev’s PokerStar’s account ranks 63rd on the all-time earner list with over $1.2 million in earnings.  This week’s work (12 sessions, 1912 hands) netted a tidy $104,535 profit.  Just like the WSOP, Vladimir seems to pop up when he wants to and rack up huge scores and then fade back into the Russian night.  Must be nice!
  4. Alex “Alexonmoon” Luneau – The French born UK resident racked up a tidy sum on his FullTilt Poker Account this week.  In 2381 hands over 14 sessions, Alex clocked in a six-figure win at $102,619.  This will go a long way to getting the draw game specialist out of the hole he’s been in the second half of this year.
  5. “FakeMonies” – Because I never get tired of a punny joke:  This week “FakeMonies” made Real Monies as he scored a quick hit on the FullTilt Poker tables.  In just 8 sessions and 909 hands the account lands at number five and just edges out this year’s highest flyer in the number 6 spot.
  6. Niklas “ragen70” Heinecker – It may be a small win this week – just $61,840 earned over a quick 9 sessions and 600 hands – but it’s still enough to land Heinecker on the Elight Eight list and bring his 2013 winnings to a total of $6,254,220 as of Thursday morning.  While “ragen70” continues this colossal run that lands him at #7 on the all -time high stakes online poker winners list, fans of high stakes poker can only wonder what 2014 will bring.
  7. “weak force” – The account may be called “weak force” but it’s been enough impetus to drive the account on a slow and steady rise in 2013 to bring its lifetime winnings to $381,454.  Not to say that the $53,876 haul (8 sessions over 658 hands on PokerStars) isn’t significant, just that the account shows the capacity to put in a slow and steady upward trend with the occasional Elite Eight worthy bump.
  8. Alexander “joiso”  Kostritsyn – This PokerStars account brings up the rear this week.  The 17 sessions and 2251 hands logged puts it in the top 3 for hands played, but the $53,647 earned is only good enough for the 8th spot on the list.  While Kostritsyn’s FullTilt account, “PostflopAction” is better known for high stakes highs and lows, it is the Stars account that bags a win big enough to finish off the Elite Eight this week and keep the account well above break-even.

Biggest Losers:

  1. Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond – It really isn’t typical to see Galfond’s name next to such a huge loss.  However, “samrostan” got him down early on the highest stakes FTP 8-Game tables Wednesday and never let up.  Galfond’s losses were buffered by a $170k winning day at $200/400 PLO earlier that week and a few more winning sessions in the week but, in the end, the 28 sessions and 5708 hands would cost him $620,888.
  2. “ronnyr37617” – It’s tough when the first time your name gets reported in a high stakes article that it’s tied to a $215,448 loss, but that is just what happened to this FullTilt Poker account.  It was trying to put in the work to stay in the black though with 35 sessions and 1486 hands, but when this Swiss clock struck midnight signaling Thursday morning, that is just what had happened here.  It pulls the account’s lifetime earnings under a million, part of a slump lasting all year, but there is a long way to go before the ink turns red.
  3. Viktor “Isildur1” Blom – A week without Blom in TWIHSOP is a sad one indeed.  Thankfully, he gave us all a little joy here before Christmas – and a bit of a present to himself – by only losing $134,450 while driving a ton of action during his chart topping work this week covering 111 sessions and 9192 hands.  Blom’s miracle run in October has turned into a Holiday Nightmare since Thanksgiving and this week he could not even split the losses with Gus Hansen at theFTP  2-7 TD tables.
Matt Waldron

Matt Waldron is an international journalist, writer, home brewer, poker player, and (when he’s not busy with all that) a professional in the product and brand development world.  “Waldo” has covered the WPT, WSOP, EPT/NAPT and online poker since 2006 in some form or another and well – he hasn’t gotten tired of it yet. 

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