Tournament players will be breathing a sigh of relief and enjoying a few days to themselves after a hectic two weeks of November. The Full Tilt Online Poker Series, which was in full swing from the 10th of November, came to a close today as the Main Event wrapped up. A three-way deal at the final table did not stop JHoWn from walking away with the FTOPS XVIII Main Event title, the coveted golden jersey, and the largest share of the prize pool.
The Full Tilt Online Poker Series is a series of tournaments hosted online at Full Tilt about every three months. Setting it aside from Full Tilt’s normal lineup of tournaments is the high level of participation by Full Tilt Pros, the awesome variety of tournaments and, of course, the astoundingly large guaranteed prize pools offered by each and every tournament in the series. These keep getting better with every series, and FTOPS XVIII was home to 34 separate events and over $19,000,000 in combined guaranteed prize pools.
Unsurprisingly, the Main Event was the most impressive tournament hosted, with a guaranteed prize pool of $3,000,000. The event was a fairly standard deep-stacked format, which meant that everybody was able to get in on the action rather than catering to specialists who favor one format. 5,023 players signed up for the $600+$40 buy-in event, just enough to squeak over the guarantee and bring the prize pool in at $3,013,800. The tournament lasted fifteen and a half hours, with 720 lucky players making it into the money.
As with all FTOPS events, the Main Event had a Full Tilt host, and in this case it was none other than famous poker pro Gus “The Great Dane” Hansen. Gus Hansen has probably been on enough poker television shows by now that if you’re reading this he doesn’t need an introduction, but just in case you haven’t heard of him he has enjoyed great success at poker including a World Series of Poker bracelet, three World Poker Tour open titles, an Aussie Millions main event title and numerous other cashes in major tournaments. In this FTOPS XVIII Main Event he was not so fortunate, and was eliminated in 3034th place.
With over 80 Full Tilt Pros taking part in the Main Event, Full Tilt Poker was truly living up to their reputation of being the site where one can learn, chat and play with the pros. Although he is normally known best for his Pot-Limit Omaha game and considered a specialist in that area, it was Felipe ‘Mojave’ Ramos who performed the best of the Full Tilt Pros on the day. With two World Series of Poker final tables and a third place ranking on the Brazilian all-time money list, the young pro finished in 113th place in the FTOPS XVIII Main Event, for a prize of $2,561.73.
After Ramos fell by the way-side it still took some considerable time to battle down to the final table, and even a while before there were just three players left on the virtual felt. JHoWn, hilyaki and ReifesEisen decided that they were interested in ensuring they walked away with a decent portion of the prize pool each, and a three-way deal was reached. According to FTOPS rules a certain amount of money must be left out of any chops, and play must continue until a single winner is reached who receives this bonus money, the golden FTOPS jersey and the title. That is exactly what happened, and in the end it was JHoWn who took down the event ensuring himself the first place finish and also the largest lump of cash, the princely sum of $411,932.13.
With the finishing of the Main Event, FTOPS XVIII came to a very successful close, with a great deal of both fun and money being handed out to the players. While tournament players will undoubtedly be sighing in relief and enjoying a few days off, they won’t have much chance to get into full holiday mode, as the PokerStars Regional Championship of Online Poker tournaments are already underway, and will continue until nearly the end of November.