Patrik Antonius, winning the biggest ever online poker pot & nearly becoming a tennis pro | 10 PEOPLE WHO GOT RICH FROM POKER

Patrik Antonius is famous for being the man who won the biggest pot in the history of online poker. It happened back in 2009 when he got the better of Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom, earning north of $1.3M.

In addition to winning millions playing poker over the internet, the Finnish player has won a real fortune in live poker tournaments.

What’s interesting is despite being a poker millionaire, Antonius has never won a WSOP bracelet, nor in fact any other major poker title.

Still, the lack of titles does not seem to bother him much. With millions in his bank account, Antonius is undoubtedly one of the greatest poker players ever.

Pro Poker Player, Jonas Gjelstad, rates the good and bad players on Hendon Mob Poker Databases’ All-Time Money List.


Antonius’ destiny could’ve been different if he hadn’t met Dutch poker legend, Marcel Luske, back in the early 2000s. Before becoming a member of Luske's "Circle of Outlaws”, Antonius used to work as a model in his native Finland.

Tall and handsome, Patrik Antonius seemed like someone who could make a comfortable living on the catwalk. Still in his teens, he had many options before him. At that time, he was also considering pursuing the career of a professional tennis player.

Antonius was thought of as a rising tennis star in his country when he was in his teenage years.

Tennis was his number one passion back in the day. He used to live and breathe the sport until his friends from the tennis club introduced him to poker.

According to Antonius, all of his tennis buddies loved playing poker and he wasn’t any different. He wasn’t too bad at the time, but no one thought he had the potential to become one of the greatest poker players of all time.


Then, when he turned 18, he and his friends went to a casino in his country’s capital, Helsinki, to give real-money poker a try. He went to the casino without any big ambitions but left with a wallet full of cash. That’s the moment when he realised poker was his destiny, not tennis.

Antonius kept on doing the same thing – playing poker in various casinos around Helsinki, earning enough money for a very comfortable living.

Antonius having a bit of fun at the poker table

Then, a crucial moment happened, which skyrocketed him to poker stardom. He met the legendary Dutch player Marcel Luske, who decided to let him in his “Circle of Outlaws” and train him to become a world-class player.

Antonius was later tutored by Jennifer Harman, an American poker player with two WSOP bracelets in her collection.

With such good teachers, it’s not surprising Antonius became so good at poker. What is surprising is that he quickly surpassed his teachers, winning much, much more money than they even dreamed of.


It’s estimated that Patrik Antonius has made a profit of more than $12M from live poker. In addition, he’s also won a few million playing poker online. In fact, some sources claim that his online profits are even greater than his live winnings.

Still, despite being a multimillionaire who’s made his fortune on poker, he somehow didn’t win any major poker titles. He’s turning 40 this year, which still makes him a youngster in poker playing terms. So, who knows, he might get a hold of some bracelets in the foreseeable future.

Of course, even though he’s without the biggest titles, his name will still be in the poker history books.

close up Antonius

Some of the highlights of his career include the following:

  • Winning second place at the 2005 Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas, cashing in over $1M.
  • The same year, he was crowned Rookie of the Year.
  • Collecting $2.34M by playing online poker in 2008 under the nickname FinddaGrind. Other names he used include Finddagrind, CryMeRiver9, and Luigi66369.
  • Antonius appeared in GSN's High Stakes Poker, where he was involved in the show’s biggest pot ever, which totaled just shy of a million.
  • Winning the biggest pot in the history of online poker.


Check out our videos series with Pro Poker Player Ben_Apart who specialises in online poker!

The year was 2009 and Antonius was playing Full Tilt Poker against a player, who at that time, was known only by his online username 'Isildur1'.

It later turned out that 'Isildur1' was, in fact, Viktor Blom, who is another poker multimillionaire. The Swedish-born player would’ve been even richer if he hadn’t lost $1,356,946 to his Finnish nemesis.

Check out the video below to see how the two played the historical hand.

Before running into Antonius, Blom had made himself a legend in online poker. Ilsidur1 had won several million dollars the same year, which had made him overconfident.

Confident he’s going to win another hand, the Swede went toe-to-toe with Antonius, which proved to be a costly mistake. By ‘costly’, we mean $1.3M-worth of costly.


Antonius left his fatherland Finland a long time ago. His professional life brought him to the European casino capital, Monte Carlo. The career of a professional poker player has interfered with his personal life as well.

Patrik’s wife is Maya Geller, another professional poker player. Born in California, Maya has met her husband at the 2008 WSOP.

She’s been in the poker world for ages, but her live earnings are way, way lower than her hubby’s.

According to the Hendon Mob, Maya Geller has collected a bit under $30k in her career. However, she keeps on trying.

As per her own words, she needs to get more aggressive in her game, which is exactly one of the strongest points of her husband.

Who knows what the future holds for Maya? Knowing how good her poker teacher is, she has every right to hope for success.

How to go from a winning poker player to a profitable sports bettor, read here.

Check out the other articles in our 10 People Who Got Rich from Poker series on:

  • Article 1: Daniel Negreanu, the most famous poker play of all time
  • Article 2: Phil Ivey cheated his way to a $10 million win
  • Article 3: Phil “POKER BRAT” Hellmuth, the biggest trash talker in poker
  • Article 4: Fedor Holz, a multimillionaire by 23
  • Article 6: Gus Hansen, the great Dane who went on a $20.7M losing streak!
  • Article 7: Doug Polk, a poker pensioner at 31 who now plays warcraft full-time
  • Article 8: Chris Ferguson, the Jesus of Poker who turned full antichrist
  • Article 9: Justin Bonomo, the Romeo with many Juliets
  • Article 10: Mike Matusow, a former prisoner and Trump-worshipping poker legend
  • Article 11: Viktor Blom, a.k.a. ILSIDUR1, the record holder for the biggest loss in online poker history
  • Article 12: Bryn Kenney, the richest man in poker
  • Article 13: Jonas Gjelstad, leaving school early and moving to Thailand to become a professional poker player

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