If you’re a microstakes tournament player then you’re probably struggling to get to sleep at nights this month. Either you’ll be staying up having run deep in an event, or you’ll barely be able to keep your eyes closed as you imagine all the pots you’re going to scoop in the events coming up in the morning. That’s right, Mini Full Tilt Online Poker Series XVII is upon us, and Event 12 concluded today leaving 289bet the lucky winner.
The Full Tilt Online Poker Series is held every few months and is, as the name suggests, a series of tournaments hosted on Full Tilt Poker. The buy-ins for these can be pretty steep and we don’t all have the budget for expensive tournaments, so the nice people at Full Tilt came up with the idea of MiniFTOPS – all the same events at one tenth the buy-in. This MiniFTOPS XVII, for instance, has the same 34 events as FTOPS XVII but at one tenth the buy-in while still guaranteeing a staggering $6,000,000 in combined guaranteed prize pools.
The big event to watch today was Event 12, the MiniFTOPS Heads Up No Limit Hold’Em Event. In a Heads Up Shootout tournament such as this, each player is paired with another, the two then having to battle it out until only one remains. Once each pair is left with one victor, a new set of pairs is created. This way half the playing field is lost each round until finally there are just two players left battling it out for the MiniFTOPS XVII Heads Up title. It’s a great format that allows you to get really personal with your opponents over the course of the tournament.
The event proved incredibly popular, drawing 3,952 entrants in total, whether they bought in for the $50 + $5 directly or won their way to the virtual tables through the plethora of satellite tournaments Full Tilt has been running. The guarantee for the prizepool was set at $150,000 and this was easily topped with the final figure being $197,600. 512 places paid with the official first place prize being over $30,000; a fitting reward for surviving the 11.5 of heads-up play.
Full Tilt markets itself as the site at which one can learn, chat and play with the pros, and the MiniFTOPS events are certainly no exception. Each event is hosted by a member of the Full Tilt family, and in the case of Event 12 it was Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger stepping up to the plate. The American pro is all too familiar with FTOPS, having won $107,226 in the series in 2007. Since then he’s smoothly made the switch to live play, doing extremely well there too, including an 18th place finish in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event. Unusually, he wasn’t to be seen on the tables in today’s event, which would surely have been a relief to many.
Full Tilt was certainly being represented strongly by others, however, with a bunch of red pros showing up to prove their might. Luigi Kwaysser proved the most successful of these, earning himself a 58th place finish. The young Hungarian pro already has a World Series of Poker Bracelet, not to mention his seven other WSOP cashes. No stranger to poker success, Kwaysser didn’t manage to get another title under his belt today but his finish was nevertheless good for $592.80.
In the end it came down to JMaster130 versus PrincessGlo heads up for the title. With first place prize money at over $30,000 and second place prize money just under $17,000 there was quite a lot of cash up for grabs, and the two quickly decided upon an even chop. Each would get $21,000, leaving just over $5,000 and the coveted title to play for. Despite the quick decision to split the money, the match itself was not so quick, and was surely trying for both players with eleven and a half hours of heads-up play under their belts. It was JMaster130 who eventually triumphed, earning himself $26,028.80 plus the title. A very solid prize for an equally solid day’s poker.
The great crowds at these MiniFTOPS events continue to prove that they’re a big success, due largely to the awesome variety of formats put on by Full Tilt. There’s really something for everybody on offer, so if you haven’t already then definitely head over and check out the schedule to see if there’s something that takes your fancy. With a bit of solid poker skill and some help from lady luck you should have no problems following the example of JMaster130 and walking away with a solid chunk of cash.
The official final four are as follows:
1. JMaster130 – $26,028.80
2. PrincessGlo – $21,000.00
3. darkhawk-2000 – $8,496.80
4. T Gottem – $8,496.80