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Nosebleeds Report: March Madness

After a quiet February, high-stakes poker players tried to create their own version of the famous NCAA tournament.

Big swings, huge comebacks and major slips. This is what we would say if we were to describe the high-stakes action over the past month; in other words – Poker’s March Madness.

It all started with Daniel Cates’ big return. After receiving his money from the Full Tilt remission process, ‘jungleman12’ left his comfort zone and sat at the notorious 2-7 Triple Draw tables. He won big in the first half of the month, over $1.67 million in 10k hands, but cooled off in the next couple of weeks, losing almost $900k. Overall, in March, he played 15,662 Draw hands and cashed $795,715.

The action just got a lot hotter with Phil ‘Polarizing’ Ivey joining the tables. According to HighStakesDB, Ivey hasn’t played online on FTP since October 2013. He returned to the virtual poker felt ten days ago by trying his luck at 2-7TD, Limit Omaha-8-or-Better and the mixed games. So far, he didn’t succeed in either game, losing over $240k in 2,709 Draw hands, $112k in 1,011 LO8 hands, and $4k at the 8-Game tables. Since FTP’s relaunch, Ivey has sunk deeper and deeper and is down $3 million.

Alex ‘Alexonmoon’ Luneau is another interesting name who has been seen at the nosebleeds stakes recently after a quiet start to the year. He got back to his old habits, dominating the 2-7TD games on March 28, 2014. The Frenchman played mostly $300/$600 and $500/$1,000 and cashed in almost $530k in less than 24 hours. The next day, however, he lost everything he earned and more, winding up $721k in the red.

Also, the unknown Macau gambler who plays on FTP under the nickname of ‘MalACEsia’ was back at the tables in March. He created a lot of action around him last year, losing $3,773,524. Isaac ‘luvtheWNBA’ Haxton said of him back in June 2013, in a Card Player interview that:

He’s not just a clueless amateur, he’s just not world-class.”

This time, MalACEsia seems to know what he’s doing; so far, last month, he played 2,662 hands at the NLHE tables and won $147,053. Nevertheless, he had his fair share of luck, winning one of the biggest pots of last month in what looked like a sure chop.

Phil ‘OMGClayAiken’ Galfond found his winning ways after losing almost $1.4 million in five days. He enjoyed back-to-back wins on March 26 and 27, 2014 at the 2-7TD tables, but he’s still the biggest loser of the month with -$666,198.

Gus Hansen finished the third month of the year in the red …. again, and so did his FTP Team Pro companion, Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom. Hansen’s loss could have been much worse but for the last weekend of March. He leaked over $2 million between March 18 and 27, 2014, but the last couple of days saved him, winning $328k on Saturday and $526k on Sunday. Overall, Hansen is down $281k in March; he was also the most active grinder on FTP, playing 415 sessions and 57,326 hands at the highest stakes in online poker.

Blom had a similar path in the last 30 days. He was at one point $1.71 million in the red but he eventually climbed out of the hole in the second half of March, finishing with a “slight” six-figure loss of $235,687.

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Florian Gheorghe