Every time the Full Tilt Online Poker Series rolls around, most of the attention is centered on the Main Event. But if there’s one event that can compete with that show-stopping climax, it’s the much-loved Two-Day tournament. Event #22 is the only one of the 27 FTOPS XV tournaments to be split over two days, rather than crammed into one marathon session. The extra time allows for a shallower structure with more time for the best players to showcase their abilities. With a buy-in of $2,500 + $120, you can be sure that only the top pros are able to afford the luxury of a 2-day online contest.
This particular iteration attracted 794 entrants and fell short of its guarantee, creating some real added value in the $2,000,000 guaranteed prize pool, awarded to the top 84 finishers. Among the well known Red Pros who missed out on those money were Allen Cunningham, Andrew Black, David “The Dragon” Pham, Huck Seed, Roy Winston, Steve Zolotow, and Phil Ivey.
Only three of Full Tilt’s vast sponsored stable managed to make a profit from Event #22, including Niklas Heinecker in 80th. The Hamburgian picked up $5,200 to add to his $120,000 in online tournament earnings. Although you may not have heard of Niklas, he has already proved his live chops by cashing in the 2007 WSOP Main Event for over $100,000. Significantly further up the pay-scale was Steve Yea, an Asian former WoW player who has previously cashed for over $250,000 in a preliminary event at the Asian Poker Tour in Macau. Steve finished in 11th for $24,000, just behind the top sponsored player, Caio Pimenta. A 9th place finish paid out $32,000 to the player known to many as Blanketyblnk. Caio is a feared online pro and already has around $326,000 in online tournament winnings.
The two-day tournament was hosted by Carlos Mortensen, the Spanish poker-playing sensation who shot to fame by winning the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2001. “El Matador” is renowned for his complex chip-stacking displays as well as his highly tuned aggressive strategy. Among his many career highlights is a win at the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Classic for $1 million and the $3.9 million Season V WPT Championship title. He is already lighting up the circuit in 2010, having cashed for a total of $273,500 at the L.A. Poker Classic, along with a couple of money finishes at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He has combined live tournament winnings of over $9.1 million, putting him 13th on the All Time Money List. Unfortunately, Carlos could not add anything to his bulging bankroll in Event #22, finishing in 137th place.
The man who eventually took down the Two-Day title will be no stranger to online tournament fans. BadcardsAA, otherwise known as Raj Vohra, picked up the first place prize of $430,000. In second for $282,000 was Ace18, followed closely by UgotaBanana, who’s third place finish was good for $202,600. In the final hand of the contest, both players were all in on a flop of 3-4-5. With the cards flipped, Vohra held pocket 4s for middle set. This put him way ahead of Ace18’s 8-8, which was left drawing to two eights or runner-runner straight and flush draws. The turn and river held no miracles, running out 2-5 to confirm a victory in Event #22 for BadcardsAA.
This was the largest cash of Vorha’s short career and will go a long way in adding to his impressive $1.1 million in online tournament earnings. As a former professional tennis player, Raj is no stranger to high level competition, so it’s no surprise to see him posting consistently strong results. He has also shown his ability in the live arena, with total live winnings of over $291,000. He has three WSOP cashes, including one final table in a $5k NLHE event worth $195,000. From his base in Florida, he has made a strong start in 2010, cashing at the PCA and the Borgata Winter Open. He can now add an FTOPS title to a growing list of career triumphs.