Viktor Blom’s latest career achievement comes at an interesting time in his career. The former online cash game nosebleed end boss put on an incredible display to win the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. In only his 13th career tournament cash, Blom withdrew over $1 million from the prize pool, a figure that matches the pots he played every day for years on Full Tilt Poker.
A life gone by
The masses lined up by the thousands to rail Blom’s games starting in 2009. Those games featured heavyweights of their time in Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey, and Tom Dwan. A full decade later, the thousands turned up again to watch Blom play the final table that formally introduced him to a new age of poker fans.
Blom has remained an enigma for his entire career. Not much is known about the 27-year-old outside of his obvious poker talent. The stories of legend encompassing peers like Daniel Cates and Dwan do not exist for Blom. That mystery led to Blom’s increased popularity when he started playing more live poker and in 2012 when made his first trip to the World Series of Poker.
The live-streamed era of poker was in its infancy when Blom started to click away from his laptop. Live streams are inescapable now and Blom can officially change the narrative on his career by embracing poker’s new age.
Blom won the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS by making a courageous hero call on the final hand.
A man without country
Black Friday changed a lot for the high stakes community; Blom is one of the players whose career took a direct hit. The availability of sponsorships and subsequent money to play in games ranging as high as $500/$1,000 turned Blom into a shell of his former self.
Blom’s decreased marketability came as a result of his reduced live presence. Dwan played in the same online games as Blom but channeled his time into playing High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark. His overall profile grew immediately. Blom stayed in the virtual world to play the highest stakes available. That decision resulted in years of losses and wins, according to HighStakesDB.
Whatever side income Blom brought in from his Full Tilt and PokerStars deals soon evaporated. The legend we knew was gone.
Inspiration from a rival
The return of Tom Dwan to Poker After Dark last summer remains a moment stuck in the mind of poker fans. A spark can start a fire, and maybe Blom’s win is just that.
An estimated 10,000 viewers tuned into Twitch to observe Sunday’s final table and watch Blom complete his comeback to earn his second career seven-figure score. The rekindling of celebrity for Blom starts with becoming a constant presence in the mind of viewers.
Without knowing what Blom’s motivations are since, clearly, very few do, wouldn’t he want the chance to play in the best cash games in the world? Tournaments are out of the question due to the high tax rate that Swedes pay.
The opportunities are there for Blom. During his time at King’s Casino, he participated in live Pot Limit Omaha games that were broadcast to the world. His chair surely awaits in Las Vegas, Nevada should the ARIA and Poker After Dark call.
The passion to see the Swede play remains among viewers and he has new fans who got to see Blom perform his latest trick.
The potential of a patch
King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik leaned in on Blom’s winner’s photo. The businessman has expanded his enterprise to putting King’s Casino patches on German superstars Fedor Holz, Rainer Kempe, and Steffen Sontheimer.
Could a patch be in the cards for Blom? That’s a decision that would alter how much we see from Blom on live streams in the coming months. Only Blom knows what he wants to leverage off of his major title.
If Blom is to attempt becoming the global phenomenon he once was and open himself up to the spotlight, the masses will be there waiting with open arms.
Lead image courtesy of the partypoker Blog