Sunday brought the end of the first Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) since the site was acquired by PokerStars and the Rational Group earlier this year. FTOPS XXI featured 35 events and awarded more than $13 million in prize money, with many of the game's top talents shining bright throughout the two-week poker festival.
The series came to a close early Monday morning when a winner was crowned in the flagship $600 buy-in Main Event. The top honor went to Yann "yadio1111" Dion, who outlasted a field of 4,766 to claim the $453,229 top prize. Others finding success in the Main Event were Sorel "Imper1um" Mizzi, Steve "Zugwat" Silverman, Maksim "MAMOHT_T" Viktorovich, Gerald "Aberdonian85" Cochlan and Steve "betrthanphil" Tripp.
Main Event: $640 No-Limit Hold'em Multi-Entry
The FTOPS XXI Main Event nearly doubled its $1.5 million guarantee as 4,766 entries generated a prize pool of $2,859,600. With each player allowed up to three entries, it was no surprise to see the cream rise to the top. With four tables remaining, the field was stacked with big names like Dan "KingDan23" Smith, Sorel "Imper1um" Mizzi, Darren Elias, Tim "Tim0thee" Adams, and Steve "Zugwat" Silverman. Smith was attempting to add another major title to his tremendous year, but he ultimately feel short in 36th place for $6,005. Elias and Adams also fell short, but the final table was still loaded with notables.
Here's how the final nine stacked up late Sunday night:
|1||Sorel "Imper1um" Mizzi||2,317,831|
|2||Yann "yadio1111" Dion||5,482,652|
|3||Scott "iRockhoes" Augustine||6,600,189|
|4||Steve "Zugwat" Silverman||2,581,182|
|5||Maksim "MAMOHT_T" Viktorovich||2,690,333|
|7||Gerald "Aberdonian85" Cochlan||6,754,203|
|9||Steve "betrthanphil" Tripp||1,279,578|
It didn't take long for the fireworks to fly. On the second hand, with the blinds and antes at the 50,000/100,000/10,000 level, action folded to Sorel "Imper1um" Mizzi in middle position and he raised to 206,831. Steve "Zugwat" Silverman three-bet to 435,500 on the button, but Mizzi came right back over the top with a four-bet to 680,200. Silverman five-bet shoved and Mizzi called all-in for 2,497,831 with , leading Silverman's . The board ran out to leave Silverman with less than one small blind. Two hands later, he fell in ninth place.
A few hands later, after "AmplifiedSample" raised to 200,000 from middle position Steve "betrthanphil" Tripp moved all in on the button for 1,059,578 with . Mizzi called from the small blind, leading to a fold from "AmplifiedSample." Tripp's hand was dominated as Mizzi tabled and scored the elimination when the board fell .
It would be about an hour before the next elimination, and it came in the form of a double elimination at the 100,000/200,000/25,000 level. Maksim "MAMOHT_T" Viktorovich was second to act and went all in for 1,705,116. Mizzi re-raised all in for 3,725,286 from the small blind, but was met with a call from chip leader Yann "yadio1111" Dion in the big blind who called for about 33 percent of his chips.
The board fell and Dion faded all the necessary outs to knock Viktorovich and Mizzi out in sixth and fifth place, respectively. With that pot, Dion held about half the chips in play.
Gerald "Aberdonian85" Cochlan fell shortly thereafter, losing much of his stack in a battle of the blinds against "AmplifiedSample." After "AmplifiedSample" raised to 440,000 from the small blind, Cochlan shoved for 5,758,990 effective from the big blind with . "AmplifiedSample" called with and held through the board. Cochlan was down to three big blinds and busted the next hand.
Scott "iRockhoes" Augustine exited in fourth place, getting his last 13 big blind into the pot with against Dion's . The board ran out to end Augustine's run.
"AmplifiedSample" and "CSWAMI" battled in a few key hands during three-handed play, ultimately leading to "AmplifiedSample's" elimination. First, "CSWAMI" min-raised to 400,000 on the button and "AmplifiedSample" defended from the big blind. The flop came down and "AmplifiedSample" checked to "CSWAMI" who bet 315,000. "AmplifiedSample" re-raised all in with the bigger stack and after a few moments, "CSWAMI called all in for another 3,515,318 with . The ace-high was in fact leading "AmplifiedSample's" and help up through the turn and river.
Six hands later, at 120,000/240,000/30,000, "AmplifiedSample" three-bet shoved from the big blind for 7,836,047 over the top of "CSWAMI's" button min-raise."CSWAMI" called with and topped "AmplifiedSample's" when the board came down .
Heads-up play began with Dion holding a 19,843,217 to 15,901,683 lead over "CSWAMI." After the two battled for about 20 minutes, they paused the tournament to discuss a deal and reached an agreement quickly. Each would earn $413,229.40 with $40,000 left for the winner.
The duel would last until the 200,000/400,000/50,000 level. Dion was on the button and min-raised to 800,000. "CSWAMI" three-bet all in for 7,857,950 with and was called by Dion with . The final board came down to lock up the title, and jersey, for Dion.
|1||Yann "yadio1111" Dion||$453,229*|
|4||Scott "iRockhoes" Augustine||$188,734|
|5||Gerald "Aberdonian85" Cochlan||$140,121|
|6||Sorel "Imper1um" Mizzi||$97,227|
|7||Maksim "MAMOHT_T" Viktorovich||$65,771|
|8||Steve "betrthanphil" Tripp||$45,754|
|9||Steve "Zugwat" Silverman||$31,456|
*denotes heads-up deal leaving $40,000 to the winner
The Main Event wasn't the only FTOPS action taking place on Sunday. The $240 multi-entry knockout kicked off Sunday morning, and the two-day $2,000 multi-entry event came to an exciting conclusion. Here's a recap of those two events:
Event #31: $2,100 No-Limit Hold'em Multi-Entry
Day 2 of the massive $2,000 multi-entry event began with 72 of the original 699 entries still alive. Poker pro Anthony "holdplz" Spinella led the way with 176,820 chips, but a number of notables had big stacks, including Keith "DaMurdera3" Ferrera (163,446), Ondrej "Vinkyy" Vinklarek (114,306), Matt "NoBadBeatsPlz" Kay (109,558) and Sebastian "p00cket00" Sikorski (106,212).
Among the players who fell just short of the final table Sunday were Paul "paulgees81" Volpe (20th - $5,592), Spinella (19th - $5,592), Jake "PSUtennis11" Toole (18th - $6,690), Amit "amak316" Makhija (13th - $10,485), and Hiren "hustla16" Patel (11th - $13,980). Russia's "KaKeTKa" was the final table bubble boy, leaving several notables left vying for the $335,520 top prize.
After a three-way deal, Kevin "A_theKevlar_2" Schulz went on to capture the Event #31 title and $255,780. Scott "stpauli111" Hall was the chip leader when the deal was made and received the lion's share of the chop, but Schulz earned the extra $40,000 that was set aside for the winner. Hall collected $254,659 for second place and Nicky "nickyluvshu" Tao Jin received $192,054 for third.
|1||Kevin "A_theKevlar_2" Schulz||$255,780*|
|2||Scott "stpauli111" Hall||$254,659*|
|3||Nicky "nickyluvshu" Tao Jin||$192,054*|
|4||Tobias "KTPOKP" Kuder||$118,830|
|7||Matt "NoBadBeatsPlz" Kay||$43,338|
Event #34: $240 No-Limit Hold'em Multi-Entry Six-Max Knockout
Event #34 kicked off a few hours before the Main Event and attracted more than 4,000 entries, creating a prize pool of $856,000. As we'd seen throughout this FTOPS series, a big name emerged as the champion. Ronny “ronnyr37617” Kaiser claimed his second career FTOPS jersey by winning the event outright for $142,609. Canadian pro Rudy "RuDyBoY X" Blondeau finished fourth for $48,792 and Kyle "kylejf" Frey took sixth for $19,688.
|1||Ronny “ronnyr37617” Kaiser||$142,609|
|4||Rudy "RuDyBoY X" Blondeau||$48,792|
|6||Kyle "kylejf" Frey||$19,688|
With FTOPS XXI coming to a close on Sunday, "callyoudownn" locked up the series leaderboard with 739 points. By finishing first, "callyoudownn" received a custom Full Tilt Poker avatar and a $10,000 package for FTOPS XXII which includes a buy-in for every event except the $2,000 two-day event. Others finishing in the top 10 of the leaderboard were Kevin "-1SickDisease-" Eyster, Bryn "OneUponaStar" Kenney, Mike "GoLeafsGoEh" Leah, and Sebastian "p00cket00" Sikorski.
FTOPS XXI Leaderboard
|3||Kevin "-1SickDisease-" Eyster||568|
|4||Bryn "OneUponaStar" Kenney||553|
|5||Mike "GoLeafsGoEh" Leah||517|
|8||Sebastian "p00cket00" Sikorski||485|