November is looking like it’s going to be the tournament poker month of 2010. Not only have we seen exciting live tournament final tables from the likes of the World Series of Poker and the Partouche Poker Tour, but even online players are getting a taste of the action thanks to the Full Tilt Online Poker Series XVIII which kicked off last week. Yesterday opponents squared off for event 11, and battled it out for hours until finally s00tedj0kers89 was left standing victorious.
The Full Tilt Online Poker Series, more commonly known as FTOPS, is a regular series of poker tournaments held at Full Tilt Poker. The first FTOPS was held back in August 2006, and since that time they have been taking place roughly every three months, with both the number of events and the total guaranteed prize pool growing with each series. We are currently in the middle of FTOPS XVIII, which consists of 34 events that cover a range of formats and structures – with Rush Poker tournaments also on offer – and combine to give an awesomely large total guaranteed prize pool of over $19,000,000.
Event 11 of FTOPS XVIII took place on November 14th, and was a super stacked knockout tournament. Knockout tournaments take a portion of the prize pool and use it to place a bounty on each player’s head, such that for every player you eliminate from the tournament, you receive a small cash prize, in this case $20. This tends to generate a lot of action as it offers an incentive for players to be ruthless bullies at the table. The $120+$9 tournament easily exceeded its $800,000 guarantee, with the final prize pool weighing in at a cool $971,800, with over $150,000 for first place and 1,080 of the 9,718 entrants getting paid. It lasted just a few minutes under thirteen hours, and was the largest field of any FTOPS XVIII even thus far in the series.
Full Tilt Poker markets itself as the online poker room where you can “learn, chat and play with the pros”, and offer many opportunities for you to do exactly that. Further to this ideal, each FTOPS event has a host who is either a Full Tilt Red Pro or in some other way associated with the site. Event 11’s host was young pro Mike McDonald, who certainly knows his way around a tournament table with over $2.6 Million in career tournament earnings. His notable finishes include taking down the 2008 EPT German Open Championship, and placing third in a 2010 EPT No Limit Hold’em Main Event. He wasn’t able to repeat either performance this week, finishing in 2164th place in Event 11.
There were many other Full Tilt Pros competing in the tournament alongside Mike McDonalds, but the one who shone out the most was none other than former model and now famous poker pro Erica Schoenberg. Schoenberg has made numerous appearances on poker television shows over the years but has also lead a very successful poker career off-camera, with her total live poker tournament winnings being in excess of $780,000. She out performed all of her fellow pros in Event 11 before being eliminated in 189th place, for which she received $485.90.
The ultimate winner on the day was s00tedj0kers89, who battled through the very tough field of 9,717 other hopefuls over fifteen hours before coming out on top. As the players at the final table dropped by the way-side, he was left with runner-up nospeculation for the heads-up battle. The final hand saw s00tedj0kers89 with 27 million chips to his opponent’s 20 million, and as the stacks went in preflop and he flipped over TT, he was met with the excellent news that his opponent held 66.The 323KQ board was no help to the pocket sixes, and s00tedj0kers89 walks away with the golden FTOPS jersey and $155,488 in first place prize money.
While that win would be enough to keep almost anybody happy on its own, it is not the first outstanding FTOPS performance for s00tedj0kers89. In the fourteenth FTOPS back in 2009, he fought his way through an entirely different field of players to win his first golden jersey and $120,000 in prize money.
The official final table results are as follows:
1st: s00tedj0kers89 – $155,488.00
2nd: nospeculation – $106,898.00
3rd: LuvYouLongTime – $75,800.40
4th: castellmich – $55,392.60
5th: DianaVickers – $40,815.60
6th: syuga – $29,154.00
7th: bigred2587 – $20,407.80
8th: Raisemitdreck – $14,091.10
9th: zerojim – $29,154.00