Is “XWINK” Canada’s own version of “Isildur1”?


The screen name “XWINK” has been surfacing more and more in the high-stakes poker news as of late and most major and trusted poker media sources seem to agree that it is most likely a young Canadian player from Vancouver, or “appears to be Canadian” as a minimum.

What has had people paying attention is that who ever he or she is, the newbie on the high stakes block has been scraping some huge profits and pots from the worlds best.  Playing stakes of $300/$600 and $500/$1000 Pot Limit Omaha, the “identity unknown” has been battling, with a fair share of winning, against big names like Phil Ivey, Patrick Antonius, Dan “jungleman12” Cates, Gus Hansen, Cole South and of course the man who’s name has become the standard of nose-bleed stake legend, Tom “Durrrr” Dwan.  Some pots being played by “XWINK” against the worlds’ biggest poker names have hit $300,000 to higher than $400,000, which is still a pretty, large and risky chunk of the players estimated profits.  While some have said the new comer hasn’t sold anyone on being any better than just running good and that “XWINK” has only been playing “short” sessions, others report tales of the player multi-tabling against the top dogs 3 at a time.

Despite some massive swings, (as much as negative 1 million in one session), reminiscent of “Isildur1’s” entrance onto the high stakes stage; the youth has still managed to earn over 1.6 million dollars in the first part of March. Those keeping track of the math still believe while “XWINKS” bankroll has the elite licking their lips and sitting against the player at every opportunity, there is still well over a million in profits in that bankroll for ammunition.

The background info floating around the web is yet another poker “Cinderella story” of sorts.  Behind “XWINKS” current rise to the top of the poker food chain, it is rumored that the player ran $4000 into $2,000,000 in 4 days. Known facts and post traits seem to point to “XWINK” being the same person known as “XBLINK” on UB who was $11 from being “busto” before running it up to a few 100k shy of a million in less than a month.

What remains to be seen is whether or not the hot streak will hold up, if “XWINK” will put some money in the brick and mortar bank or will continue to tangle with those responsible for grinding many a poker sensation into dust and discussion archives.

Or maybe, “XWINK” will just tone things down, take break on a high note and settle in as a regular and respected opponent. Canadian native and high stakes player Andrew “ClockWyze” Pantling was at one time also the anonymous sensation taking on the big boys, but took a more conservative, less self destructive approach and appears to remain in the black today. Canadians Mike “SirWatts” Watson and Shawn “Buck21” Buchanan are known to take on Gus and Ivey regularly, but rarely, if ever, going to the extreme of “Heads Up for Rolls”.  Hopefully, “XWINK” takes note of the example and we one day find out who and where the player is from.

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Jon Harnish
35 year old recreational player, husband and father of three from Calgary, Alberta. Enjoy lower stakes cash games including PLO and limit Omaha 8. Any of the micro-stakes HORSE games will play online MTTS and SNGs. Live, Tournaments and Satellites up to $550. I love the game but am far to social to take it seriously and sometimes give up a little to much information at the table because I enjoy discussing the game, so decided it was safest for my bankroll to take up writing about the game. That way I still get to meet the cool people and opinions on the game, but with a little less risk. Writing wise, currently a regular contributor to Poker Pro Canada, like to write profiles, previews and recaps the most. formally wrote for Canadian Poker Player Canada. My Poker Blogs have been featured on CardPlayer Social and SpadeClub as "Recommended" or in newsletters on several occasions and Pokerweblogs as "Blog of the Month". Past projects included organizing and promoting major events with the Canadian Poker Tour, introducing Big Slick Poker Tour to Southern Alberta and directing events and finals.


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