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The Rise of Patrik Antonius

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Patrik Antonius is one of the most accomplished poker players of all-time

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Patrik Antonius is one of the most accomplished poker players of all-time. He is one of those who has been there and done it all, both live and online. He not only became one of the most popular characters in TV poker but he also crushed most who crossed his path in the Full Tilt Poker era.

His heads-up cash game prowess was legendary, and he only really ever came unstuck against one player: the upcoming Tom “durrrr” Dwan. He really was one of a group of Finns that inspired their fellow countrymen to find the “paras pokerisivusto”.

Not Always Poker

Antonius started his professional life as a tennis player, but before he even really got going a back injury put paid to any dreams he had of competing for a Grand Slam. With that ambition now out of the question, poker still wasn’t what he had in mind for the future but rather his modelling career.

Friends at his tennis club had introduced Antonius to poker but it was then little more than a way to earn some extra cash in the casinos of Finland. It wasn’t until legendary Dutch player Marcel Lüske crossed paths with him at the turn of the millennium that somebody explained to him how much potential he had.

Lüske put together a group of young, upcoming players which he named the “Circle of Outlaws.” The players would play and study together, pooling their knowledge to allow every member to grow as a player in record time. Antonius even had private coaching from two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Jennifer Harman.

Stardom Awaits

By 2005 Antonius was ready to make the jump to the top of the game. Now with a decent size bankroll he was able to play a number of high-profile tournaments that would put him firmly on the map. Everyone would know exactly who he was and who they were dealing with.

Now it looked as if the Finn would be aiming squarely at the high-stakes tournament tour but instead it was high-stakes cash games that caught his attention.

As a mark of his prowess, he was invited and became a regular at the “Big Game” in the Bellagio, Las Vegas. He wasn’t by any stretch one of the best mixed games players in the world but he certainly caught on fast. This became his staple game along with whatever high-stakes action he was getting on Full Tilt Poker. He was then offered a “Red Pro” deal by the now defunct site, putting his reputation alongside names such as Phil Ivey.

Different Times

Now at the age of 40, Patrik Antonius doesn’t play anywhere near as much as he used to. An interview a few years ago revealed that he admitted that online cash games were too tough for him now due to the software available. He told how he has never used any of these applications before but would still happily take on anybody in the world in a live game.

With millions of dollars from online cash winnings alongside his $12 million in live tournament winnings we can be sure that he will be happy with how his poker career turned out and maybe thinks that his back injury was a blessing in disguise.


Mark Patrickson

Mark Patrickson is a professional cash game player grinding stakes up to 100nl 6 Max NL Hold'em13 years experience of poker, across MTT SnG and cash, FL PL NL.Currently living in South East Asia and trying to make it back to mid-stakes befo ... Read More

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