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Another day gone by, and another FTOPS Event in the books! Today we had the pleasure of witnessing the action of FTOPS XV, Event #9: $500+$35 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em.

Heads-UP NLHE is one of the toughest forms of poker available, period. No amount of books can teach you how to play this properly. In HUNL, you need experience, logic, instinct, a functioning BS-detector and a dash of luck to be truly successful. The game dynamics are always changing, the aggression being probably the only constant. And because you face just one opponent each time, the amount of hands you have to play consecutively boggles the mind. And no, you can’t fold your way to safety and lay it down every hand. If you try that route you will face defeat even quicker.

With this being one of the toughest forms of poker, it is to expect that a high buy-in online tourney will bring together the cream of the crop to participate. A buy-in of $500+ $35 certainly qualifies as high, and therefore we witnessed exactly that happening for this event.

1,024 of the toughest online players reserved their seats in this event. FTOPS XV Event #9’s cast of participants, among many, included online legends such as Eric Beren, Gigabet, Mr_BigQueso, NeverScaredB, no not baxter and Pappe_Ruk. Full Tilt’s red pros also made their presense felt, represented among many by the likes of Bill Gazes, Caio Pimenta, Stefan Rapop, Jeff Madsen, Isaac Baron, Haseeb Qureshi, Vivek Rajkumar, David “The Dragon” Pham and the always charismatic Gavin Smith.

Now normally, I always bring the screenshots of every bustout and/or interesting hand of every poker tournament I cover. Not so this time. The fact that it’s HU makes it very much impossible to show, in one bustout hand, exactly how it all went down. Any given match has waay too many ups and down for every player involved, and players coming back from 9:1 chip deficits and winning is definitely not unheard of. So I will be giving a detailed recap of the final HU match, and also the top 8 money positions.

Top 8
8th: Jas11, $14,336
7th: Smokinokun, $14,336
6th: Drake17, $14,336
5th: UnoffensiveNick, $14,336
4th: Amoroso50, $27,136
3rd: GnightMoon, $27,136

and then we had the HU tourney’s HU phase. 😉

HU
As the two emerged from the sea of contenters, both players just like every other individual HU match for this tourney started with 6000 chips in the final HU match of the tourney. The players in question, AAeveryhand and chickface, would then quickly reach to a deal which would award $65,000 guaranteed to second place, and they would play for the rest, which was $12,336. HU play did conclude relatively quickly though, compared to the pace of the rest of the event. Right after the deal was discussed, the following key hand took place.

AAeveryhand, on the dealer and thus first to act preflop, raises to 90. Chickface then commits the additional 60 into the pot. The pot going to the flop is 180 chips.

The flop comes 6s6hAc. chickface, first to act, decides to check it to the rpeflop raiser, who in turn does make an expected cbet of 120 into the 180 pot. chickface then calls.

The turn brings a Js, which on this board can be considered a total blank. Chickface checks once more, and AAeveryhand once again fires 300 into the pot. Chickface then calls. The pot is at 1,020 chips going into the river.

The river brings a 9d. Chickface checks once more, and AAeveryhand bets for a third time when checked to, this time for 875. Chickface calls very quickly, and just as quickly mucks her hand, sending the very large first pot of HU over to AAeveryhand who shows down 56o for the flopped trips.

After that blow, chickface could not recover anymore, and just a few hands later decided to see if Lady Luck was smiling on her with a KQo pf allin by betting and 3betting. Too bad that AAeveryhand picked up pocket 8s at the same time, and…

The rest is history. Chickface takes home the agreed-upon $65,000 for her efforts tonight, while AAeveryhand takes home the yellow FTOPS Jersey, $77,336 in spending money, and bragging rights for having won an FTOPS event. Congratulations everyone who participated, and remember: just because you did not meet Lady Victory today, does not mean that you won’t tomorrow. So try again in the next event!