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Patrik Antonius - One of the All-Time Greats

January 12, 2022

Patrik Antonius is one of the greatest poker players of all time. He is noted for being one of the most versatile grinders that anybody ever faced across the felt, both live and virtual. Tournaments or cash games? It doesn’t matter.

It’s a great shame that today we don’t see anywhere near as much as him as we used to. The game and scene as a whole has changed beyond recognition from the days when the fresh-faced Finn was one of the most visible stars in high-stakes tournaments and the biggest cash games in the world.

Nowadays you might see him in a casino, not like Speedybet but the famous Monte Carlo Casino just down the road from where he has settled with his family.

From Pennies to Millions

Very few people have made as much from playing poker as Patrik Antonius. His live tournament winnings currently sit at $12,013,263, placing him at 71st in the all-time rankings. As if that wasn’t enough, by the time Black Friday hit the online poker community, the former Full Tilt Poker pro had accumulated $17,807,406 from his cash game exploits.

But where did it all start? Surprisingly, at the very bottom playing for only pennies.

"I originally started playing poker for pennies with some friends when I was 10 or 11 years old," he said, explaining how they would play Five Card Stud and other similar variants.

"On a really good day I might have won five Finnish marks or something like that. That's how it all got started."

As he was growing up tennis was his first love and a career in the ATP was his main goal in life. Sadly, injury put paid to that dream and after a brief stint in the modelling world poker beckoned.

It was an invitation to join Marcel Luske’s "Circle of Outlaws" that was the real impetus to stardom. Seen as a major talent coming up the ranks, Antonius improved quickly being able to work with like-minded players. Coaching from multiple WSOP bracelet winner Jennifer Harman was the cherry on the cake.

Stepping Away from Poker

After being one of the big names throughout poker’s golden years, Patrik Antonius started to step away from the game, clearly not in love with where it was all heading.

Black Friday half-demolished the online scene when the American players were forced onto smaller offshore sites and the growing prevalence of software assistance turned poker into “more of a numbers game”.

In 2017 he gave an interview saying that he was looking to play more big live events but it is unlikely he’ll ever be a regular again.

There is one part of history that we will always remember Patrik Antonius for, a record that is unlikely to be broken for a very long time—the biggest pot in online poker history.

Played in 2009 in a game of PLO at stakes of $500/$1,000, Antonius won a pot of $1.3 million against Viktor “Isildur1” Blom. Check out the clip below for a full replay.

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