• Sweden edition
 
Taxman eyes Swedish online poker star

Taxman eyes Swedish online poker star

Published: 13 Jan 2011 17:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Jan 2011 17:09 GMT+01:00

Isildur1, who took the poker world by storm after winning millions of dollars, then losing and winning millions of dollars again in the 12 biggest pots in online poker history against some of the game's biggest names, is Viktor Blom.

Blom knew the end of his anonymity was near when he signed with Team PokerStars Pro, which belongs to the largest online poker cardroom in the world, in December 2010, still as Isildur1 at the time.

In the end, Blom decided to make his identity public on Saturday at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament in the Bahamas.

The 20-year-old from Ed in western Sweden near the Norwegian border is the youngest of four children and now lives in London. His older brother Sebastian also plays poker and recently won a Swedish Championships title online, Aftonbladet reported.

Blom began playing poker when he was 14.

"In the beginning, it was just for fun," he told PokerStarsBlog.com of his early games with his friends.

By the age of 18, he was playing 15 hours a day online.

"I deposited $2,000 (14,000 kronor) and within three weeks, I had $2 million," he told PokerStarsBlog.com.

Not long after, he attracted attention with his extremely aggressive and fearless style of play. It was a perfect complement for Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em, in which he is probably among the best players in the world, and he started to rack up millions of dollars under the Isildur1 moniker.

However, learned the hard way that it is far easier to lose than win millions and lost $3.2 million after a week of play against Phil Ivey, widely regarded as one of the best all-round players in the world, in November 2009.

He followed up this loss by taking on Finnish player Patrik Antonius in Omaha, a game in which he lacked experience. He lost $3 million to Antonius after only one day of play, which at the time was the largest single day gain and loss in the history of online poker. The following day, he won $2 million back from Antonius.

Less than a month later, Blom lost $4.2 million in five hours against Brian Hastings, although it was later discovered that Hastings and two other players had colluded with one another and compiled over 30,000 hands of Isildur1's plays. Blom later lost a further $1.5 million against Hastings in another session.

At the height of the intense scrutiny after his public became public, Blom has declined all interview requests.

"I had some rough days. But I'm not worried. I know I can always win money," he told PokerStarsBlog.com.

Besides his new found fame, Blom may also have to contend with the long arm of Swedish tax authorities.

Last week financial daily Dagens Industri reported that the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) announced it was going to look into internet poker companies which claim to be based overseas but nevertheless have much of their operations based in Sweden.

According to calculations done by the newspaper, Blom could owe up to 1 billion kronor ($149 million) in Swedish taxes.

However, the tax authorities refused to confirm or deny whether Blom was in their sights.

"Internet poker is something we're looking into and I know this poker player, but I can't comment on whether we've opened a case," tax agency spokesperson Erik Boman told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:01 January 13, 2011 by pantheratigris
$149 million??????? They must be kidding or do they tax losses, too? I doubt this guy ever made that much money to be taxed $149 million. From the article you get the impression he has been losing mostly at least when it comes to the biggest pots.
00:12 January 14, 2011 by landofthesheeple
I would like to donate 1 item to Skatteverkett...

The middle finger : ) lol
00:56 January 14, 2011 by Swedesmith
They'll take the arm along with it.
10:02 January 14, 2011 by Localer
holycrap, an hour game 1 million ? now i should star to play poker
12:40 January 14, 2011 by Carl T
@pantheratigris (sorry to hear about the cub, BTW): As I recall, they want to tax the gross winnings, without any regard to the cost of entering the game. So if you spend 2000 SEK to enter but walk away with just 1000, they still want 300 or so of that. As much as I view gambling as a tax on stupidity (or poor risk assessment, anyway), that's just insane. The sane thing would be to tax only the net winnings, and considering that you may lose some games/days/years and win others it would be sensible not only to base the tax on the yearly net winnings but also to make it a lot lower than your normal income tax (but conversely to make losses non-tax-deductible).
15:06 January 14, 2011 by dobermann
This kind of people is the best examplew why alot of people have online gambling addiction, because they think, that they can be second Viktor Blom or something. This article clearly shows how this guy manages to win and loose a lot of money in a very short times.

I agree with landofthesheeple , skatteverkett should get middle finger and maybe some of his money, but definetly not 149 M $
16:07 January 14, 2011 by alingsaskev
I have run a business in Sweden for 3 years, and let me assure you.. Skatteverket does indeed tax losses. IT's the craziest tax system I have ever come across!
16:36 January 14, 2011 by Antonito
If someone has skills for cleaning and earns 105 kr per hour, he/she pays around 30% to the tax office.

If someone has skills for playing poker and earns 14 million krones in three weeks, he/she should also pay taxes (at least 30%).

The skatteverkett stablished high taxes are out of discussion here. That is not the point.
Today's headlines
Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission
Swedish director Ruben Östlund on set. Photo. TT

Sweden reveals Academy Award submission

The movie set to represent Sweden at the 2015 Academy Awards was revealed on Monday, a film that has already won awards abroad. READ  

Amphetamines
Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

Hidden forest drug stash leads to prosecution

A 53-year-old man has been prosecuted after police in western Sweden made one of their largest drug seizures in the area. READ  

Man shot dead in hunting accident
Photo: Hunter Desportes/Flickr

Man shot dead in hunting accident

UPDATED: Police in northern Sweden say a man was killed on Monday morning after what they described as a "hunting accident". READ  

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

Pirate Bay Swede's trial set for final stage

The mother of Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has told The Local about her son's "suffering" in jail ahead of the final stages of his trial. READ  

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Suspected Ebola case ruled out in Sweden

UPDATED: Officials at a Stockholm hospital reported that they had found a suspected case of the Ebola virus on Sunday night. But the case was dismissed on Monday. READ  

Murderer on the loose after breakout

Murderer on the loose after breakout

A 34-year-old man who killed a child is on the run after he broke out of a psychiatric ward in central Sweden. READ  

Skåne floods
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
A Malmö bus under water. Photo: Stig Åke Jönsson/TT

Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods

Flood waters subsided in the southern Sweden region of Skåne on Monday, after flash flooding saw chaos on roads and trains at the weekend. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto

UPDATED: Leaders of the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats have announced their complete list of election promises in Stockholm's Nacka. READ  

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing
Photo: AP

Zlatan scores hat trick in PSG thrashing

Champions Paris Saint-Germain thumped Saint-Etienne 5-0 as Bordeaux saw their 100 percent record at the start of the Ligue 1 season ended on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Bastia. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

754
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se