The 13th Full Tilt Series of Poker is drawing to a close, but seems determined to go out with a bang. The penultimate tournament of the series captured the crowds thanks to its low buy-in and big guarantee. Over 8,400 people logged on for Event #24, the $120 + $9 No Limit Hold ‘em Knockout tournament with $750,000 guaranteed. In this, as with all Knockout tournaments, every single player had a bounty on their head, awarded to the player who eliminated them.
The size of the field was almost two thousand players larger than this year’s WSOP Main Event and assured that over 1,000 players would finish in the money. The tournament itself took 13 hours to complete and ended shortly after 3 a.m this morning. The total prize pool easily topped the guarantee at $846,000. $20 of the buy-in didn’t go into the prize pool, but was instead used as the knockout bounty.
The tournament was hosted by talented femme fatal Erica Shoenberg. As well as being a former model and pro volleyball player, she was also an accomplished Blackjack shark. She studied with the famed MIT team to hone her talents and cashed in the World Series of Blackjack. Playing in a home game with Phil Hellmuth didn’t put her off Texas Hold ‘em and since 2005 she has been dedicated to perfecting her play. Over the last few years she has amassed six WSOP cashes and 3 WPT cashes, contributing to total career tournament earnings of over $700,000. She can also count on her beau for some ring game tips, as she is engaged to high stakes Frenchman David Benyamine.
The final three players made a deal to split the money, an activity made possible just recently in a pre-FTOPS software update. The vast majority of tournaments have seen some form of money chop in or around the final table. The eventual winner of Event #24 was gruselspot, who picked up ($96,967.72), while second place Yaluht took home the biggest cash prize with $102,465.13. The third place finisher, Julaan Nikolay, was also sure to be delighted with his $95,009.95 reward.
Almost all the FTOPS events can count on a strong contingent of “Red Pros” to be in attendance, but they turned out in force for Event #24. The sponsored players would be a little disappointed with their performance though, with only 6 cashes from the 37 who entered. The highest finisher was German chess maestra Soraya Homam in 48th. She was accompanied to the digital cage by Trond Eldsvig (299th), Aaron Bartley (455th), Ryan Dreyer (542nd), Johan Brolenisu (615th), and Marco Liesy (1012th). Among those big names who failed to beat the bubble were Vitaly Lunkin, Jon “PearlJammed” Turner, Josh Arieh, Erick Lindgren, Huck Seed, David Pham, and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson.