Posted by Gerry Poltorak on Aug 22, 2009 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

ftops xiii

The Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) is a massive series of online poker tournaments that Full Tilt Poker hosts every August. It’s comparable to the World Series of Poker in that there are a lot of tournaments held in a short amount of time and millions of dollars are given away in prize money. This summer’s event, the FTOPS XIII, awarded more than $16,000,000 to its participants.

This year’s FTOPS consisted of 25 tournaments, including a mix of no limit Holdem, pot limit Omaha, Stud, Omaha 8/b and more. Every tournament was a big one, with the lowest guaranteed prize pool being $100,000 and the largest one being $2,500,000.

The buyins ranged from just $109 and went all the way up to $2,500 but Full Tilt held hundreds of satellite tournaments leading up to the event. It definitely wasn’t a cheap tournament series but thousands of players won seats through satellite tournaments that started out at just a few dollars.

This year’s Main Event had a $500 + $35 buyin and a $2,500,000 guarantee but so many players entered that the prize pool swelled to just over $2,650,000. A player with the screen name Poligraph finished first this year and his reward for doing so was a fat $453,663 payday. The second and third place finishers received each $315,707 and $225,505.

Surprisingly, the Main Event isn’t the most expensive tournament in the FTOPS. The most expensive event is the 2-Day event every year with its $2,000,000 prize pool and $2,500 entry fee. It’s a no limit Holdem event but instead of the standard 9 person tables, it uses a shorthanded, 6 person format.

Despite the expense, the 2-Day event still attracted 850 players to compete this year. The cost was prohibitive to some players but it was still tempting because it had the second-largest prize pool in the series but the players didn’t have to battle against a field of more than 5,000 players like in the Main Event.

In addition to the traditional freezeout format, the FTOPS also included rebuy and addon tournaments, shootouts, knockouts and heads up tournaments. All the most popular tournament formats made an appearance at least once, which made this a nice, well-rounded series.


This year, Full Tilt Poker decided to try something new and host a “mini” FTOPS right after the normal FTOPS. The event has all the same events as the normal FTOPS except at 1/10th the cost. In all, the Mini FTOPS this year will have more than $3,000,000 in prize money up for grabs.

The mini FTOPS Main Event only costs $50 + $5 to enter but it features an impressive $500,000 guarantee. The mini 2-Day event will cost just $250 + $16 and guarantees at least $400,000 in prize money.

If you’re looking for some big tournament action but don’t want to pony up the big bucks for the FTOPS, the Mini FTOPS is the perfect solution. Hopefully this catches on because it gives small time players a chance to take part in something they never would have been able to without really stretching the budget.

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