With Winter firmly behind us the masterminds at Full Tilt Poker decided the time was ripe to unleash their latest Full Tilt Series of Poker. The 12th incarnation of this festival began yesterday, with Event #1 concluding an hour ago.
The new series kicked of with a classic 6-max No Limit Hold ‘em tournament, hosted by one of the world’s finest players, Erick Lindgren. The buy-in was set at $200, with 4,445 players competing for the 492 paid places. As with all FTOPS events, a healthy guarantee was in place to ensure a world-class prize pool – $1,000,000 of added money ensured that the eventual victor would walk away with a bankroll boosting sum.
As the initiated will know, all FTOPS events are hosted by one of Full Tilt’s stable of sponsored pros. With this being the first event of a new series an extra special master of ceremonies was lined up. Erick Lindgren has won over $7.3 million from live tournament play, making him the 20th highest earner in the history of the game. His trophy cabinet includes 2 WPT titles along with the WSOP bracelet which eluded him until last year’s World Series. His performance at that event also earned him the coveted 2008 WSOP Player of the Year title. Erick himself could only manage 1888th position today, although his fellow RedPro Ram Vaswani did manage to eke out a little profit in the tail end of the money.
After 12 hours of play the tournament finally reached heads up, with URBEHIND and Quietwinner set to battle it out for the Event #1 title. Both players started the contest roughly even, with about $10 million in chips each. The first few exchanges were won by Quietwinner, grinding down his opponent during a tentative opening.
URBEHIND needed a big pot, and he got it in explosive fashion when a big bluff on the river back-fired for Quietwinner. As the hand began chip stacks were at about $15 million to $7 million in favor of Quiet. A small preflop raise and call, followed by a pair of checks on the flop left the board as 5c-5s-Tc-Kc. URBEHIND came out strongly with $500,000 which was quickly called by Quietwinner. A third 5 on the river looked dangerous, and Quiet looked to take advantage of it with a $1.2 million bet. With a “sick” in the chat box URBEHIND made the call and flipped over Q-T for a full house fives full of tens. Amazingly Quietwinner revealed he had been on a stone cold bluff, with his Q-2 little more than playing the board.
With some ground recovered, URBEHIND went on to spike a King and steal an $8 million pot away from Quietwinner to put himself firmly in the lead. Quiet was not beaten so easily however and fought back with an $8 million pot of his own after his turn all-in push was left uncalled. Things fluctuated back and forth at this point, with neither player able to build up a decisive lead.
After a long period of to-and-fro the final twist came in a massive $13 million pot. With the board As-Qc-5d-Ks, Quietwinner bet $1 million and URBEHIND made the call. A seemingly innocuous 9s on the river prompted a flurry of action, Quiet betting $2.2 million only to be re-raised to $5 million by his opponent. After some lengthy deliberation Quiet announced, “I can’t fold,” and made the call. Whatever he had he didn’t feel like showing it after URBEHIND revealed his 7s-3s flush.
With Quitewinner on the ropes he was forced to shove his final $5 million in the middle with pocket 3’s. URBEHIND made the call with K-7 to set up a classic coinflip. A recovery looked like it might be on the cards until a 7 fell on the river to end the contest. URBEHIND picks up $191,020 for his first place finish, with Quietwinner receiving ($117,000) for 2nd.