One thing that all poker players love to think about is a big score. Taking $10,000 and turning it into $8.5 million is the dream of all who enter into the World Series of Poker’s Main Event every July. For those of us on a much more modest budget, there are smaller buy-in online poker tournaments that can still mean hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. Such is the case at Full Tilt Poker this week, as the site has kicked off its Mini Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) XIV.
The MiniFTOPS is a replay of the most recent FTOPS series, spanning the course of 11 days and 25 events. The series mimics the FTOPS in every way in that the events are identical and played in the same order, only that the buy-ins are one-tenth of what they were for the FTOPS equivalent. This allows the casual players and micro-stakes grinders an opportunity to take part in the big-field tournament fun.
The first event was played on Wednesday, December 11th at 21:00 ET and hosted by Full Tilt Pro Jeremiah Smith. Event #1 was the $20+$2 No Limit Texas Hold’em Six-Max event that had a guarantee of $250,000. With that guarantee, Full Tilt Poker was banking on 12,500 people registering to meet the promised prize pool. The tournament exceeded that number, with 16,711 registrants who either bought in via cash or qualified through one of the many satellite tournaments available.
With the large field, a total of 2,100 people cashed, which represented about 12.6% of the total field. Those that min-cashed took in $30.08, which represents a profit of $8.08. Out of the entire field, only one in the money finisher turned out to be a sponsored pro at Full Tilt Poker, Christian Kruel. The pro from Brazil made the tournament’s final table.
The final ten in Event #1 were guaranteed at least $3,108.25 and saw Kruel make it down to the final four players. However, it wasn’t meant to be for the pro, as he exited in fourth place for a $14,872 payday. Play continued on, as MickeyMouseSON finished in third place for $23,061. With the final two players fairly close in chips, a deal was made to give the chip leader at the time, Parus345, $42,138 and his opponent, dbfla, a payout of $40,560. With the prize pool exceeded by over $80,000 and a fantastic dramatic finish, Event #1 was a big success and hopefully set the tone for the rest of the series.
On Thursday at 13:00 ET, Event #2 kicked off with a $20+$2 Seven-Game Six-Max tournament with a guarantee of $30,000. A total of 2,836 players entered to swell the tournament funds all the way up to $56,720. Notable finishers include Keith Sexton in 298th place ($34.03), Scott Fischman in 188th ($40.84), and Ester Rossi in 44th place ($113.44). The final table paid at least $731.69 and in the end it was Praetoriani finishing in second place for $7,078, as djcarib1984 took down the title and $11,171 first place cash prize.
On the same day, Event #3 started at 21:00 ET with a $50+$5 No Limit Texas Hold’em 3x Shootout hosted by Ryan Dreyer. This event also had a $30,000 guarantee, which would cover 600 players. By the end of the registration period, 729 had entered and the prize pool moved up to $36,450. Notables who cashed include Thomas Bihl in 39th ($153), Dreyer in 26th place ($218), and Scott Fischman in 19th place ($218). The winner of the tournament was donkos187, who earned $7,654. His heads-up opponent, scoop you, finished in second for $5,103. Other four-figure winners included Wesolowski in third ($3,645), KarlaIveyHansen in fourth ($2,733), icehawk in fifth ($2,004), NikolasDLP in sixth ($1,458) and qwertyak in seventh ($1,020).
The action continues on at Full Tilt Poker this weekend with the following events:
Event #6, Saturday at 13:00 ET, $50+$5 PLO 6max ($100,000 guarantee)
Event #7, Saturday at 15:00 ET, $10+$1 NL Hold’em rebuy ($250,000 guarantee)
Event #8, Sunday at 13:00 ET, $24+$2 NL Hold’em Knockout 6max ($200,000 guarantee)
Event #9, Sunday at 15:00 ET, $50+$5 NL Hold’em Heads Up ($150,000 guarantee)
Event #10, Sunday at 17:00 ET, $30+$3 NL Hold’em ($400,000 guarantee)