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FTOPS XVI Event 23 ended in a surprising upset victory for PTownDrunk, who left the final table with $56,500 dollars. PTownDrunk came back after barely surviving most of the final table with a small stack – when four players remained, he held barely 12% of the total chips.

The final three players, PTownDrunk, CriSiS7, and the_snail03 made a deal to cut the variance and chop their winnings before playing out the rest of the event, but left $7,500 to play for. PTownDrunk won $51,000 plus the first place $5,500 bonus, CriSiS7 won $47,000 and the second place $2,000 prize, and the_snail03 walked away with $51,500 before finishing third.

This event was a 4x deep stack shootout with a $500 + $35 buy-in and 557 entrants. The final table consisted of the three winning players along with govshark2, Intervention, 4everunknown, Harlem41, mahoney3, and MuckCMuckC.

4everunknown was the first player out. After he went out, the_snail03 went on a killing spree, busting out players and amassing a dominant chip lead. He won Harlem41’s stack with pocket aces against 88 in this hand:

Blinds: 5,000/10,000 ante 1,000. 8 Players.
the_snail03 (MP) with 433,380
Harlem41 (SB) with 227,411
2 folds, the_snail03 raises to 18,900, 3 folds, Harlem41 calls 14,900, 1 fold

Flop: 2h 4h 2d
Harlem41 checks, the_snail03 bets 26,900, Harlem41 requests TIME, Harlem41 raises to 78,000, the_snail03 requests TIME, the_snail03 calls 51,100
Turn: 6h
Harlem41 requests TIME, Harlem41 bets 129,511 all in, the_snail03 calls 129,511
River: 6c
Harlem41 shows 8d 8c for two pair, Eights and Sixes.
the_snail03 wins the pot (468,822) with Ah Ad for two pair, Aces and Sixes.

After calling down Harlem41’s scare card bluff, the_snail03 had the largest stack by far. But he didn’t stop there. Next, he busted Intervention by calling a preflop shove with pocket kings against JTo. Moments later, he nearly busted MuckCMuckC by calling KJo against KTo for a large 357,524 pot but lost when a ten came on the river. He recovered by knocking out govshark2 when he shoved Q9s against A5s and hit a flush on the flop. The_snail03 had a dominating chip lead when the event got down to the last four players. Fortunately for him, he accepted the payout deal before finishing third.

PTownDrunk wasn’t the only player to come from behind to win. In the semifinal round, Full Tilt Pro Jeff Madsen barely missed the final table when Harlem41 turned his small stack into a win. At one point, Harlem41 held 25,696 against 163,304 – less than one sixth of the pro’s stack. However, he doubled up three times in a row to reach the final table. First, he won with KQo against T9o. Soon after, his J9o beat Madsen’s pocket tens to give him a slight chip advantage. The very next hand, Harlem41 opened from the button, Madsen shoved, and Harlem41 called to reveal AKs against Madsen’s AJs for the win.

Although no pros made the final table, many finished well. Jeff Madsen (11th place), Ram Vaswani (18th), and Jon Turner (52nd) all finished in the money. The host, David Pham, finished 108th. Erick Lindgren, perhaps the biggest name in the event, finished 333rd. The only pro to finish below him was Marco Liesy, at 358th.