Tilt? What Tilt? Playing Poker Like Patrik Antonius
Tilt? What Tilt? Playing Poker Like Patrik Antonius
Images from cardplayer.com
Over the years, I’ve seen countless hours of poker footage. From High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, over live coverage of WSOP and EPT events, to different kinds of streams and poker TV shows, I’ve always enjoyed watching the best in action.
When talking about the poker elite, it’s hard to make real distinctions between the best poker players. All of them are highly capable and extremely successful individuals who live, breathe, and dream poker. There is no doubt about it.
Yet, there’s always been one player who really stood out from the rest for his extreme capacity to keep his emotions in check at all times.
Whether it was a huge bluff gone wrong or being on the wrong side of a cooler, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Patrik Antonius lose his temper even a little bit.
Sure, you could see the disappointment in his eyes every now and again (proving he was, after all, a human being and not a poker-playing cyborg), and you could hear the irony in his “nice hand” remark, but that’s about it.
Patrik Antonius’ Claim to Poker Fame
Born in Helsinki in 1980, Patrik Antonius is easily the best-known name in the world of live and online poker in Finland.
While you are unlikely to meet him at online poker tables any more, you can join games with other Fins on Suomikasino and see how they play, and maybe even notice new talents.
Getting back to Patrik, he’s been sitting comfortably at the top of the country’s poker All-Time Money list for years now, and it doesn’t look like anyone has a real shot at jeopardizing his top spot any time soon.
Antonius spent his youth as a tennis player and coach, but he exhibited a talent for poker from a very early age. Once he decided to take up the game seriously, he was picked up by Marcel Luske, another legend of the game, who included him in his “Circle of Outlaws.”
This was a group of young and talented poker players who all contributed in their own way, helping each other grow and become better.
The Finn would soon become a force to be reckoned with.
Patrik spent a lot of time improving his skills and building his bankroll in the online arena. Like everybody else, he had to overcome many hurdles on his way up, but his calm and composed personality certainly helped him a great deal on that path.
His first live outburst came in 2005, especially the second half of the year, which saw him book several midsized six-figure wins. Then, to wrap the year up, Antonius finished the runner-up in the Five Diamond Poker Classic in Las Vegas, banking a cool million and some change for his efforts.
It was clear at this point that the new Finnish poker star was born, and there’d be no looking back for Patrik from that point on.
In the years to follow, Antonius was a regular fixture in tournaments all over the world, as well as the highest stakes cash games he could find both live and online.
To date, his live tournament earnings are just over $12,000,000, while there isn’t enough information to know just how much to the black he is playing cash.
His online results are good for sure, but it’s the live arena where Patrik really dominates.
Patrik Antonius – The Unbreakable Finn
If you’ve ever played live poker, you probably know that it’s not always pleasant to have someone who wears their heart on the sleeve at the table or try angle shooting in poker. Even if you can make money off of their tilt, listening to their never-ending rants and complaints gets old after a while.
But it’s much scarier to have to deal with someone who never shows their emotions.
While there is no doubt that Patrik Antonius is a real student of the game and that he spent many hours figuring out ways to beat his opponents, I’d say that his ability to stay tilt free or at least hide his emotions from the rest was instrumental to his success.
Have you ever seen Antonius sitting with his head buried into his hands or slouching over his chips?
No matter what happens, no matter what poker gods decide to throw at him, The Finn always keeps his upright posture, cold face, and calm demeanor.
Antonius has had just as many bad beats and suckouts as the next person, but he’s never thrown an angry fit about it or berated a player for their bad play.
It’s just not the way he plays poker.
If there is a stellar example of a player who takes things in strides, it’s Patrik Antonius. He takes the good and the bad of poker as the reality of the game.
You certainly can’t blame the man for excessive celebration, either. When The Finn wins the big pot, you won’t see him jump up from his seat or even doing a visible fist-pump.
In many ways, he’s the perfect gentleman at the table, especially when you consider the fact he was involved in some of the biggest pots ever shown on TV or online. Six-figure swings don’t seem to bother him too much – or at least you couldn’t tell by his behavior.
Where Are Patrik Antonius These Days?
In recent years, Patrik hasn’t been as present in the public eye. He’s quit online poker almost completely, realizing that the game today has changed a lot. You can’t really expect to win if you aren’t using all sorts of solvers, HM3, and other poker software, and he just wasn’t going to do it.
So, he quit, showing once again a great character.
Some people would be ashamed to admit it. Some would continue playing, hoping things would turn around. Antonius simply pulled the plug, admitted that this was no longer his arena, and said his goodbyes.
Calmly, without too much noise, and without playing the blame game.
He still continues to play, of course, in the highest stakes live tournaments there are and juicy cash games that consist of a mix of professional players and rich businessmen.
And, for a man who’s been on the grind for years, he’s certainly doing well in every sense.
I’m sure Antonius would have no problems figuring out the online stuff if he wanted to, but all things considered, why should he bother?
In the live arena, he’ll always be one of the most feared opponents. There may be younger and more technical players out there who mastered strategy through the best poker training courses, but very few, if any, will ever be able to have the kind of control and calmness exhibited by The Finn.