We all know that the No-Limit Hold’em golden years are gone and that the NLHE field becomes tougher and tougher by the day. That is why most of the high-stakes action in 2013 switched from NLHE to much more high-variance poker games like 2-7 Triple Draw or Limit Omaha 8-or-Better. In fact, those games were the main reasons why the swings took over the highest stakes of the online poker world. And ultimately, those games determined the biggest online poker winners and losers of 2013.
2013 biggest winners
Niklas “ragen70” Heinecker has seemingly found the secret recipe to beating the 2-7TD games without facing any of those notorious swings. He constantly won every time he sat down on Full Tilt at the 2-7TD tables in the last two months. He won $3,062,554 just by playing Draw in 16,499 hands in November and December alone. Overall, in 2013, he showed a total profit of $4,188,244 at this particular game.
Before taking on 2-7TD, Heinecker was primarily a NLHE player and, unsurprisingly, he also tops the NLHE leaderboard with $2,149,223 won in over 20k hands. Overall, Heinecker is by far the biggest winner from last year with a major $6,190,599 profit, according to HighStakesDB.
Second in our list is the only player who actually underestimates his skill and his intelligence, according to poker guru Phil Galfond. Ben “Bttech86” Tollerene played 1,358 sessions and almost 118k hands on Full Tilt at the nosebleeds and won $2,996,558 in 2013. He is a Pot-Limit Omaha expert as shown by his stats; most of the profit came from playing PLO – $2.34 million.
Tollerene also plays on PokerStars under the nickname “Ben86,” winning about $300k at that site in 2013.
Alex “IReadYrSoul” Millar is third on the leaderboard, bouncing back after an awful start to the year. He was down $1.64 million in July but managed to come back strong in the last six months. Since he played only 33k hands, it’s fair to say that he hit a major upswing of late as he won $2,936,159 exclusively at the NLHE tables. On PokerStars, where he plays under the nickname “Kanu7,” Millar cashed in around $580k from his favorite game – NLHE.
Poker coach Hac “trex313” Dang is the fourth biggest winner of 2013 with $1,886,417 won in 80,869 hands. Most of the profit was made between May and October, cashing in over $2.5 million in that period. After spending his first years online playing NLHE, Dang switched to PLO and has crushed the game ever since. He won $1.88 million last year at the PLO tables on Full Tilt.
Dang is currently one of the featured coaches on Galfond’s training site. The stats prove it, as he has won over $7.45 million in his poker career at the high stakes.
The next two positions are occupied by the same player: the famous Norwegian poker pro Ola Amundsgård. He tried to prove to the entire political world that poker in fact is a game of skill, not a game of luck. He challenged Norwegian politicians to play with him heads-up and Erlend Wiborg responded immediately. Unfortunately, Wiborg couldn’t finish the 10k hands challenge; he declared himself defeated after just 1,056 hands and -2,666 big blinds.
Amundsgård is one of the best PLO players in the world, playing both on Full Tilt as “no_Ola” and PokerStars under the screen name “Odd_Oddsen.” He won on FT $1,849,293 in 2013; on PS he cashed in $1,805,454. Overall, the Norwegian pro made a combined profit of $3,654,747 last year, which actually gives him second place in the biggest winners’ leaderboard, just under Heinecker.
Below you can read the entire list with all the seven-figure winners from last year:
- ragen70 – $6,190,599
- Bttech86 – $2,996,585
- IReadYrSoul – $2,036,159
- trex313 – $1,886,417
- no_Ola – $1,849,293
- Odd_Oddsen – $1,805,454
- FinddaGrind – $1,764,977
- Tight-Man1 – $1,448,413
- proudlikeaagoat – $1,391,472
- luvtheWNBA – $1,051,218
Vikor “Isildur1” Blom finished the year not even close to the top 10. Although he won almost $3.5 million in October alone, Blom fell abruptly in the last two months, losing over $3 million. Overall in 2013, Blom won just around $210k. The Swede was a big winner at 2-7TD with a $3,691,327 profit, but a major loser at the NLHE tables, giving away almost all of the money won while playing Draw.
2013 biggest losers
No real surprises here; Gus Hansen dominates like no other the biggest online poker losers’ leaderboard from last year. He is down $8,461,472, outpacing the next biggest loser by almost $5 million. Overall, since he started playing at the highest stakes, Hansen lost $15 million on Full Tilt. The Dane hit rock bottom while playing 2-7TD and O8.
Recently, Hansen has accused American player “SallyWoo” of cheating and using “an O8 computer program” when the American plays against him. Is this why the Dane lost over $4 million in 2013 at the O8 tables?
Second on the losers’ leaderboard is the unknown “MalACEsia.” The player was first discovered by HighStakesDB back in May 2013. He had played for four months on Full Tilt and lost $3,773,524 at the NLHE tables in just 42,742 hands. Isaac “luvtheWNBA” Haxton said of the unknown that “he’s not a clueless amateur; he’s just not world-class. I think it’s someone who plays a lot of poker over in Macau…he might even be a professional poker player and just winning a lot of money in the live games in Macau.” However, don’t expect him to be back too soon after taking a swim with the most dangerous sharks in the online poker world.
Another Macau-based player, “samrostan,” sits at the top of the 2013 losers’ leaderboard. He didn’t have a good year at all although he did mange to finish 2013 in style, crushing Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond at the mixed tables and taking from him almost $1 million in a 48-hour span. That win helped him secure the top position in the 8-Game biggest winners’ leaderboard from last year, with a profit of $1,645,679.
At other games like PLO, O8 or 2-7TD, the Macau-based player was not so lucky. Overall, he played 82,945 hands in 2013 and lost $3,467,195.
Phil “Polarizing” Ivey is fourth in the losers’ leaderboard; he gave away $2,441,773 in over 76k hands last year. He had a major downswing in the first eight months of the year and tried to climb out of the hole in September when he won $1 million while playing Draw and O8.
Below you can read the entire list with all the seven-figure losers from 2013:
- Gus Hansen – $8,461,472
- MalACEsia – $3,773,524
- samrostan – $3,467,195
- Polarizing – $2,441,773
- punting-peddler – $1,714,545
- Sauce1234 – $1,473,088
- patpatpanda – $1,330,885
- mastrblastr – $1,220,399
- Rui Cao – $1,064,351
- davin77 – $1,037,057
Although he is ranked as one of the biggest online losers of the year, “patpatpanda” actually won the biggest pot of 2013. The pot was played in February between him, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and “OMGClayAiken.” Playing PLO, “patpatpanda” acted first as he open-raised under the gun. Galfond three-betted and Dwan smooth-called from the big blind. The unknown called as well and on a 2-10-9 rainbow flop, Dwan lead-shoved his last $17k with bottom pair plus a gutshot. That prompted “patpatpanda” to raise big with top pair and a monster 13-card straight draw, while “OMGClayAiken” shoved all-in with his over pair plus an open-ender. The turn gave “patpatpanda” the straight to win the $553k pot.