The various Full Tilt Online Poker Series have featured hundreds of different events since the festival began in 2006. The old stalwarts remain popular, with big-buy in Omaha freezeouts and cheap NLHE rebuys the order of the day for many tournaments, but the Full Tilt schedulers try their best to add a dash of innovation to every series. Event #27 of FTOPS XVI is just such an event, a mish-mash of styles and rules that captured the imagination of a select group of intrepid trailblazers.
A total of 1,069 entrants coughed up the $515 + $20 to play in this No Limit Hold ‘em Knockout Super Turbo tournament with minuscule starting stacks. Every player began with just 300 chips and a bounty on their head, leading to some breakneck action as an entirely shortstacked field vied to build up chips and eliminate their opponents. For every player sent packing, entrants pick up $115 sliced off from the vanquished player’s buy-in. The rest of the money goes straight into the prize pool, to make a final table spot still worth fighting for. There was a conservative guarantee of $350,000 placed on the main prizepool, which was comfortably topped, leaving 108 players to share $427,600.
The contest was hosted by experienced online hustler Isaac Baron. Before he was even old enough to play live poker on American soil, he was named CardPlayer Magazine’s Online Player of the Year. The California native is now 23 and has begun to make hay on the live circuit, as well as maintaining his dominating presence online. Four WPT cashes, three WSOP money finishes, and two EPT prizes have contributed to total live tournament earnings of over $1.5 million. He also knows a thing or two about FTOPS glory, having added some FTOPS titles of his own to his ever-growing trophy cabinet. With decades of potential poker mastery ahead of him, Isaac Baron may become one the most successful breakout internet stars of his generation.
Despite his proven prowess, tournament host Baron found himself languishing in 660th place. In fact, almost every Red Pro who entered the tournament failed to make the money. They would no doubt blame this on the crazy chipstacks and turbo speeds, but considering the number of pros that entered, Team Full Tilt will have to be disappointed with their showing in Event #27. The only sponsored player to make any money was Hendon Mobber Ram Vaswani. He managed to make it as far as 81st place, amounting to $769.68 – plus any elimination bounties he picked up along the way. Some of his famous companions who failed to cash included Aaron Bartley, Allen Cunningham, Carlos Mortensen, Erick Lindgren, Jeff Madsen, and Josh Arieh.
Full Tilt does not keep track of the number of eliminations accrued by each player, so it’s practically impossible to tell you the exact payouts for every position. However, unless the second place finisher knocked out over 300 players, we can pretty safely assume that Event #27 winner slickkid08 emerged from the tournament with the most money in his pocket. He picked up $96,210 for the win, a gigantic improvement over the sum total of $47 that he had previously won in Full Tilt tournaments. In second place was a more familiar character. David Paredes, who goes by the name of gaucho2121 online, lost the climactic heads-up battle and finished in second place for $60,933. Paredes is another online expert who has begun to make a name for himself in the live arena. Most recently, he picked up $184,816 for 5th in the PokerStars NAPT Venetian Main Event. Just behind David was skilled Polish online player Slayer_Pol, banking $45,111.80 for third place.
Seven players are currently contesting the FTOPS XVI Main Event final table, after which this barnstorming online poker festival will draw to a close. Stay tuned to FlopTurnRiver for updates and highlights from all the major tournaments.