Just over an hour ago the Full Tilt Series of Poker Event #17 – a $300 + $22 6-max rebuy – came to an end. The tournament sported one of the largest guarantees of any in the 25 event schedule, coming in at $1 million. Yet again the Full Tilt team pitched it just right, with the eventual prize pool topping out at $1,180,000. The 1,134 entrants contributed an impressive 2,041 rebuys and 759 add-ons.
The strength, depth, and sheer number of highly skilled young internet pros continues to grow and grow, so it was no surprise to see one of their number at the top of the tree in Event #17. Mark Radoja, known on Full Tilt as xqsays, took the title along with $206,119.50 in prize money. The 23 year old Canadian has been already been a pro for 5 years, having famously earned $260,000 in four days at the FTOPS VIII in May 2008. In second place was another prominent young gun Chris Moorman, aka Moormani. The 24 year old pro from Brighton, England took home a chopped second place prize of $204,000. Although primarily known for his online skills, Chris recently recorded his third WSOP career cash in $1.5 No Limit Hold ‘em event.
A deal was discussed earlier at the final table, but there was some resistance and no agreement was reached. Once heads up play began the pair began a lengthy conversation, with Radoja particularly keen to see that the chop represented his heads up abilities and not just Moorman’s chip advantage.
It could have so easily been an old hand rather than a young blood taking home the title. The Vietnamese pro David “The Dragon” Pham finished Event #17 in 4th place. With over $7 million in live tournament earnings Pham is no stranger to high-stakes contests. He has made 5 WPT final tables, holds two WSOP bracelets, and back in 2000 was named the CardPlayer Player of the Year. He got his start in professional poker after some tutoring from his uncle and mentor Men “The Master” Nguyen.
In general it was a strong showing from the “Red Pros” of Full Tilt. Sponsored players who cashed include: Josh Arieh (29th), Toto Leonidas (39th), Tron Eidsvig (48th), Leandro Brasa (54th), and Brandon Adams (75th). A number of other notable players failed to make the money, including the November Nine’s British hopeful James Akenhead (469th).
The event was hosted by Cardrunners co-founder Taylor Caby. The experienced pro and savvy businessman is still one of the top coaches at the site and is a very respected high-stakes ring game player.