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If you’ve been looking forward to this year’s FTOPS as much as we have, then you know the excitement that’s been generated by this playing field. After several grueling hours of neck-and-neck poker, we can comfortably say that the contest lived up to the hype.

This year’s inaugural FTOPS tournament was a $200+$16 No-Limit Hold’em contest, with re-buys allowed up until the first break. 5,646 players entered, including such top pros as Phil Ivey, Jordan Morgan, Steve Zotolow, and Huckleberry Seed.

Hosted by Team Full Tilt member Erik Seidel, the tournament delivered even more great drama and card-play than we could have hoped for. Eventual winner SolidGoldman24k waded through a star-studded field to capture the top prize of $193,093.20 in a game which lasted for over just over twelve hours.

Didn’t stay up through the whole thing? We did. Check out our tournament summary below.

Tournament Summary

1st Period

Jordan Morgan and Phil Ivey led the pros early, with host Erik Seidel holding strong around midfield.

sign me up31 was the big stack for most of the first period, weighing in around 19,000. He was tailed closely by Born2Winn and culaopho, both hovering around 16,500.

Phil Ivey’s trip fives were enough to crack an opponents all-in on pocket kings, sending him above 10,000 with minutes remaining in the first hour.

hcteks took advantage of a late surge, overtaking sign me up31 to become the first player to clear 20,000. Immediately afterward, sign me up31 also made a winner out of pocket fives, vaulting him back atop the chip lead with just over 24,000.

With the first break came the end of late registration. All told, 5,646 players bought in to the first event of the 2010 FTOPS. Their $200+$16 buy-ins made for a total prize pool of $1,129,200. First prize measured $193,09.20, while second ($134,374.80) and third ($95,982) both yielded healthy sums. The top 720 players would go on to be paid, with the minimum prize set at $338.76.

2nd Period

By the midpoint of the second period, Brandon Adams led Team Full Tilt with 17,798 chips. Phil Ivey was close on his heels, checking in at 16,080. Fellow pro Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, who entered the tournament late in the first period, held steady with 5,550 in his stack. Host Erik Seidel (4,035) continued to play tight.

With mere minutes left before the second break, Ramux became the first player to clear 30,000 chips. He was overtaken with only seconds remaining by gamblincajun, who vaulted on top with 33,315.

sign me up31 remained in the top five, with 26,475 to his credit.

For his part, Phil Ivey became the first pro to surpass 20,000 chips. He finished the second period with 21,827, which was good for 21st place. Yongsuk Chang held 2nd on the Team Full Tilt leader board with a total of 18,316. Host Erik Seidel, determined to wait on a good hand, was still alive with 3,625.

3rd Period:

As the third period shifted into gear, 3,965 players remained to see the blinds kick up to 80/160.

Both Brandon Adams and Yongsuk Chang joined Phil Ivey in the 20,000-plus club, with fellow pro Steve Zotolow (17,252) creeping up behind.

With the blinds climbing to 140/280, Phil Ivey (Ad9h) called Icallnoway’s pre-flop all in (TsTc). Although a nine did come on the flop, Ivey lost a large pot, dropping him out of the top Team Full Tilt spot. Brandon Adams (26,681) now led the pro field.

Many of the familiar faces had fallen back below 30,000, with newcomers totoking (32,481) and lor111079 (30,988) making up the top two.

At twenty minutes before the break, three players had cleared 40,000 chips: PokerCzar (48,394), RLD1989 (41,877) and totking (40,977). Phil Ivey remained at the head of the pro class, sitting in 32nd place with 28,967 to his credit. Brandon Adams was right on his heels with 27,979.

Host Erik Seidel saw his run come to an end when his pocket nines met up against KK-Fan’s pocket kings. He was eliminated in the 3,200 position.

At a quarter to the hour, PokerCzar became both the chip leader and the first player to top 50,000.

With five minutes left before the next break, lor111079 distanced himself from the competition. His 75,040 stack far outweighed the next closest player, flyhigh2806 (58,900). RLD1989, PokerCzar, and totoking all remained in the top ten, with sign me up31 not far behind.

lor111079 maintained his grip on the chip lead as the third period came to a close, with 80,903 to his credit. 2,388 players remained.

4th Period

Not a whole lot of action went on during the first half. The field inched back up to lor111079 (76,000), with miktown (61,374) creeping up behind. The blinds reached 200/400, with an ante of 50.

Brandon Adams retained his seat atop the Team Full Tilt ranks, clearing 50,000 and hovering around 15th place. Phil Ivey continued his steady climb, dragging four consecutive pots to bring his chip total to 28,406.Chris Ferguson remained in the picture, doubling up to reach 8,518.

Things began to pick up near the second half, however. rage4dorder, one of the early top-stacks, made another appearance in the top ten near the mid-point. His 56,937 was good for eighth place.

The remaining players got their first whiff at the money, as the field finally fell below 1,700.

With 20 minutes left in the fourth period, Yongsuk Chang made his presence felt atop the leader board. His 55,989 chip count put him ahead of Brandon Adams for the Team Full Tilt lead. Not content to rest on his gains, Chang advance to fifth place overall in a matter of only a few hands, bringing his tally to 66,602.

lor111079, meanwhile, had fallen back into 71st with 46,059. uNDeFeaTaBLE1 became the new chip leader with a total of 95,691.

Brandon Adams (52,522), Eric Froehlich (52,188) and Steve Zolotow (47,784) continued their strong play with 15 minutes remaining in the 4th. Phil Ivey held steady with 38,323.

At break, newcomer Sergei Berezin became the chip leader with 95,900. lor111079 had returned to the elite ranks, landing in second with 95,734. Yongsuk Chang was still the top pro, with his 66,096 mark besting Maciek Gracz’s 54,597.

Other notables included Chris Ferguson (40,184, 185th place) and Phil Ivey. The later of the two sat in 606th place with 19,725 after having his pocket aces cracked by soccermom2b’s pocket jacks.

5th Period

The blinds went up to 500/1,000 with a 125 ante as the remaining 1,117 took their seats.

Phil Ivey’s first FTOPS run of 2010 came to an end in after only a few hands in the fifth, when his 4,000 preflop raise was called by Emakers1015, who held a pair of 3’s. When the flop came Fc9d3s and the two got into a betting war, it sealed the deal for Phil. The face of Team Full Tilt finished in position 1,097.

Meanwhile, miktown and Sergei Berezin were engaged in a fierce battle atop the leader board, with both players hovering around 104,00 chips. Brandon Adams (66,967, 34th place) had regained the lead for the pros. Yongsuk Chang (64,706, 62nd place) was right behind.

With just over 25 minutes left in the first half, the field was only 65 players away from reaching the money. 1Sixty8 led all players with 163,355, followed by muckducks with 135,481.

The pay barrier was broken with 13 minutes remaining in the period. jonstermonster was the last player to finish before the money, ending his run in 721st place.

When break was finally called, 553 players remained in 2010’s inaugural FTOPS event. Agame18 led the field with 229,900 chips, followed by 1sixty8 with 209,299. Eric Froehlich led Team Full Tilt with 148,074, which was good for tenth overall. Yongsuck Chang held 88,842, also well above the chip average.

6th Period

The first round comprised entirely of money winners began with blinds set at 1,000 and 2,000 with an ante of 250.

The action was fast and furious for much of the first half, with the field dropping to 470 entrants at the 15 minute mark. Chris Ferguson continued to hover around 50,000 chips, as fellow pro Eric Froehlich led Team Full Tilt with 133,324 (24th place). Yongsuk Chang had taken a slight hit, settling back down to 71,517.

lor111079 (178,549) once again cracked the field’s top ten list, landing in 7th at 41 minutes before break. Agame18 continued to sit atop the tournament with a stack of 236,000 chips.

Chris Fegruson managed to double up near the halfway point, after an opponent holding AsQc bet enough to put him all in. Ferguson readily called, turning over AhKh. When the dust settled, the flop read Ac6s6h4s3c and Jesus’ chip stack read 92,046. Thanks to this new-found momentum, he managed to overtake Eric Froehlich for the top spot on the Team Full Tilt leader board in a matter of four more hands.

Blood continued to run hot at the tables, with only 350 players left by the midpoint of the 5th.

Thanks to a combination of great cards and skillful play, Chris Ferguson was able to leap into second place on the overall tournament standings. At 25 minutes before break, Chris turned a pair of kings into 268,929 chips. This came moments before the blinds jumped to 1,400/2,800 with a 350 chip ante.

With ten minutes left before the end of the period, Agame18 led the field with 507,165 chips. Pghfan987 (461,186) and taaffey (377,458) were the closest competitors.

lor111079 was finally eliminated in 246th place, winning $564.60.

By break time, Pghfan987 (435,416) had closed the gap between himself and the chip leader Agame18 (493,325). Chris Ferguson remained in 22nd place with 239,363.

242 players remained.

7th Period

Blinds kicked off at 1,700/3,400 with a 400 chip ante.

Yongsuk Chang continued his strong FTOPS run, with a stack of 204,836 to his credit after only a few minutes of play in the 7th. Former Team Full Tilt chip leader Brandon Adams was also still around, hovering in the 98,000 neighborhood.

As the player pool dipped below 200, Agame18 maintained the chip lead with 483,180. msgardy ranked second with 409,605, and former top-dog PokerCzar made a return to the elite three with a total hovering around 408,000.

Two-thirds of the way through the period, new face ryanbluf shot past AGame18 and up to the top of the leader board with a total of 738,209. Fellow newcomer TheStein soon landed in second with just over 600,000.

Chris Ferguson continued his reign as the top member of Team Full Tilt, weighing in with just over 300,000 chips.

At five minutes to break, action tightens up considerably. 130 players remain.

With play coming to a halt, ryanbluf still leads the tournament with 755,834 chips. msgardy remains in second place with 658,162, followed by TheStein with 636,076.

The final four pros stack up as follows: Chris Ferguson (298,990 33rd overall), Steve Yea (156,168 79th overall), Yongsuk Chang (137,744 84th overall), and Brandon Adams (93,219 102nd overall).

8th Period

The blinds and antes have risen to 4,000/8,000 and 1,000. 122 players are still alive in the hunt for the inaugural 2010 FTOPS title.

The tournament has reached its seventh hour.

Chip movement and player elimination slows to a crawl as the seat count dwindles to 100.

The top dog is still ryanbluf with his stack if 865,428. msgardy remains in second with 721,987. Former chip leader AGame18 has dropped to 11th (524,655).

Brandon Adams (114th) and Steve Lea (115th) finish one after another, leaving only Chris Ferguson (243,405) and Yongsuk Chang (165,953) to represent Team Full Tilt.

Yongsuck Chang makes a gutsy pre-flop all-in call with pocket jacks, and breathes a sigh of relief when his opponent shows a pair of tens. Chang doubles up, assuming the top position on Team Full Tilt with 433,445.

We have a new chip leader. ags104 assumes control of the tournament with a stack measuring 889,402.

Chris Ferguson finds himself all-in before the flop with his AhQc dominated by Pokeradda’s pocket kings. The seasoned pro draws an ace on the river, however, doubling up to 502,810.

Play continues to crawl with 81 left in the field, 18 minutes away from break.

winkiac becomes the first player to clear 1,000,00 chips and now leads former top dog ags104 by nearly 300,000.

Blinds and antes reach level 30, a staggering 6,000/12,000 with 1,500 added.

After a long pre-flop deliberation, Chris Ferguson calls an opponent’s King-deuce all-in with ace-ten. Ferguson wins, vaulting him to the top of the leader board with nearly 900,000 chips. He is moved to a table with fellow remaining pro Yongsuk Chang (487,545).

uNDeFeaTaBLE1 returns to the top of the heap, raking in 1,488,766 chips. 68 players remain.

With two minutes left before break, Chris Ferguson goes all-in with a suited ace-king and finds himself up against an opponent’s pocket aces. Fergusen loses to ii DeCiMaTe, reducing, his chip count to just under 400,000.

The whistle sounds, and the players get up to stretch. UNDeFeaTaBLE1 is still chip leader with 1,564,776, followed by ii DeCiMaTe WITH 1,008,666.

Yongsuk Chang is still alive with 444,545, while Chris Ferguson has 366,370.

Blinds will increase to 10,000/20,000 with an ante of 2,500 after the break.

10th Period

The remaining 62 players take their seats.

UNDeFeaTaBLE1 makes an impressive run, amassing over 1,800,000 chips. That’s nearly twice the size of the second-place stack.

Ferguson (358,370) and Yongsuk Chang (466, 045) hold strong at just below and above the chip average, respectively.

uNDeFeaTaBLE1 becomes the first player to clear 2,000,000 chips. Again, that’s nearly double the stack of ags104, the second-ranked competitor.

56 players remain in the field.

The gap between the top two player begins to close, with winkiac running his stack to 1,621,589.

Yongsuk Chang (802,966)continues his solid play, riding ace-queen to a sizable win over an all-in opponent’s ace-4. Back-to-back pots move him back into the top 33% of the field.

Chang continues his winning ways, boosting his stack to 1,100,000-plus after dragging a pot with trip kings.

40 players remain with 30 minutes left in the 10th period. UndeFeaTaBLE1 still leads with 2,573,191, over a million more than second-place Zerhyn (1,532m463).

Blinds reach 14,000/28,000 with a 3,500 chip ante.

With 10 minutes left before the break, Chris Ferguson was down to just under 80,000 chips.

Zerhyn became the second player to clear the 2,000,000 chip mark, with uNDeFeaTaBLE1 approaching 3,000,000.

Two minutes prior to break, Chris Ferguson (514,220) and his king-high double up off of Yongsuk Chang (406,510).

Once intermission arrived, there were 27 players remaining in the field. uNDeFeaTaBLE1 remained atop the leader board with 2,688,974.

11th Period

Chris Ferguson finishes in 27th place when his opponent, SolidGoldman24K, catches a queen to beat his own ace-king. Yongsuk Chang (315,510) is the last pro standing.

With eight minutes elapsed, 25 players remain.

uNDeFeaTaBLE1 clears the 3,000,000 chip mark. His smart play atop the field makes him an instant favorite to win it all.

Blinds reach 20,000/40,000 with a 6,000 chip ante.

Yongsuk Chang is finally eliminated. His pocket queens fall against iq287’s AhQh when an ace lands on the river. He finishes in 24th place.

After a short burst, MiltOnTilt gains a modest lead on uNDeFeaTaBLE1 for the top chip count. Both players fall back below 3,000,000.

The elimination of the final pro sparks some quick decisions. The field narrows to 20.

With the elimination of two more players came the restructuring of the tables. Now, the 18 remaining participants fill two 9-seat stations.

The field evens out considerably, with the highest stack (MiltOnTilt, 3,103,162) being less than twice the chip average.

SoulCollector22 eventually emerged as a contender, racking up 4,7200,230 chips just before the break.

12th Period

SoulCollector22 continued to lead the field as the count dwindled to 12.

Blinds reached 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 chip ante.

Halfway through the period, the tables began playing hand-for-hand. SoulCollector22 remained on top with 6,221,646.

With the elimination of PocketFiege, the tournament moved into its final stage.

The Final Table

The players continue their hesitant ways, with no one really distinguishing themselves from the pack. They’re predominately trading blows back and forth, many too squeamish to deal a killing strike.

At five minutes from break, there is still no action to report.

Finally, Zerhyn becomes the first player eliminated from the final table. He wins $11,856.60.

Next to go was lindeymise, whose ace-seven off-suit ran up against pocket jacks. He finished 8th, taking home $16,938.

SoulCollector22 maintained control over the table, with 8,177,535 chips in his stack.

Pocket aces were unkind to iq278, whose post flop all in was immediately called by PHHSKid99. The later, it seemed had made a set of threes. iq278 went home with $24,277.80.

Two hands later, uNDeFeaTaBLE1 was sent to the rail when his suited ace-ten came up short against trip jacks. He earned $37,263.60.

TheStein was next to go, losing to a pair of fives. He made $54,145.14 for his fifth place finish.

SoulCollector22 ended his run in fourth place, when his pocket nines were broken by PHHSKid99′ set of threes. He won $72,268.80.

MiltOnTilt said goodbye two hands later, after mucking his cards. He earned $95,982.

The, we were heads up between SolidGoldman24k and PHHSKid99. Both traded barbs for quite some time, before the former nailed a full house to take down the top prize.

So, congratulations to SolidGoldman24k on his amazing run. The 2010 FTOPS is off to a great start.