While the high stakes tournament experts and die-hard satellite fanatics are grinding their way through the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) or the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) the average internet player is left languishing on the sidelines. Full Tilt, masterminds behind the regular FTOPS series, have taken note of the masses. They’ve created the the MiniFTOPS, featuring the same 25 events as the regular series but at 1/10th of the buy-in. It debuted to much success during FTOPS XII and is now making its second appearance.
The FTOPS XIII concluded earlier in the summer with thousands of players awarded millions in prize money. The MiniFTOPS XIII got underway on September 9th with its own million dollar prize pool. $3 million has been guaranteed over the whole 25 event series, ridiculous value given that many of the tournaments sport buy-ins as low as $20. The famous two day FTOPS event also has its Mini-analogue. Converted into a deepstacked $250 + $16 No Limit Hold ‘em tournament with $400k guaranteed. The whole festival culminates with the Main Event on September 20th. This $50 + $5 tournament features a massive $500,000 guarantee.
Things got underway on Wednesday with a $20 + $2 No Limit Hold ‘em tournament with a $200k guarantee. The event, hosted by Christian Kruel, drew an incredible 16,750 players – over 10,000 more players than the regular FTOPS XIII Event #1. After 12 hours, leoelectric emerged victorious, taking home just over $50,000 for his troubles. Event #2 is also in the books, with 1,296 competing for a $30,000 guranteed prize pool. Bruno Stefanelli presided over this $30 + $3 No Limit Hold ‘em 6-max shootout, eventually won by Mr Snow7 for $6,804. Event #3 ended just seconds ago, with 08Dave receiving $11,721 for his performance in this Omaha Hi/Lo contest.
Full Tilt have packed this second MiniFTOPS with even more ways to win. Anyone who makes one of the 25 final tables will receive a limited edition MiniFTOPS XIII jacket and the winner of each event will also be sent an exclusive silver jersey. The biggest added prize will go to the player who finishes atop the MiniFTOPS XIII leaderboard. The overall best player from the series will win a prize package that includes entry in almost every FTOPS XIV event. The overall value of the pack is predicted to be somewhere around $7,500.
Perhaps the most intriguing addition to this years MiniFTOPS is the new challenge program. With the introduction of their Academy, Full Tilt debuted a new system whereby they could track your progress towards a number of set challenges. The goals were designed to help you put into practice skills learnt in pro lessons. For the MiniFTOPS there are a total of four challenges, all of which award entries into exclusive $1k freerolls.
First and foremost is the simple Satellite Challenge. For every MiniFTOPS tournament entry you win you’ll receive a freeroll ticket. Second there’s the more complex Hold ‘em Challenge. Here you’re set a number of tasks to perform in any of the scheduled Hold ‘em tournaments. Win a pot worth at least 20 big blinds with AA or KK, win a pot with an A-high or less bluff on the river, win 30 hands without a showdown, steal the same player’s blind 3 times, or reraise all-in preflop with a pocket pair at least once. Some combination of all of the above will net you even more freeroll tickets. The final two challenges are relatively straightforward. The Survivor Challenge requires you to reach level 10 in any tournament, while the Double Up Challenge requires you to, predictably, double the size of your stack.
Just like its bigger brother, all MiniFTOPS events are hosted by a sponsored Full Tilt pro. This series is a chance for some of the lesser known professionals to get their moment in the spotlight. Some of the more prominent hosts include Steve Zolotow, Joe Beevers, David Colclough, and Marco Traniello. Names that stick out among the crowd are Gavin Smith and Eli Elezra – who is scheduled to close out the series as the Main Event host.