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Best of Gary Trask
It's been just 18 months since the inaugural Full Tilt Online Poker Series dealt out its very first hand and the manner in which the event has grown since that time is downright staggering.
FTOPS I began Aug. 16, 2006 and featured eight events. Overall, 7,789 players took part and just under $2 million was awarded. There has been quite a jump since that time in everything from the amount of players, total prize money and number events played. FTOPS VI, which wrapped up this past November and promised a payout of at least $9 million, included 16 events and saw more than 27,000 players compete for a record $11.1 in prize money.
Overall, the six completed FTOPS have awarded a total of $37,019,720 to 103,034 players.
FTOPS VII got underway on Wednesday and is promising to pay out at least $10 million as the total number of events had increased to 20. The tournament got off to a rousing start as 5,319 players competed for a $1,063,800 prize pool, which were both, by far, records for Event No. 1. A player with the screen name "cashmaker81" prevailed and collected a tidy $183,526.78.
FTOPS I: Crownnginger - $161,480
FTOPS II: Spiked - $224,653
FTOPS III: Traheho - $288,001
FTOPS IV: John_McClane17 - $336,217
FTOPS V: CrazyZachary - $395,905
FTOPS VI: Fkscreennames - $385,937
Like other poker tournament series, FTOPS consists of multiple tournaments in a variety of different games. The games vary from series to series, but have included Limit, Pot Limit and No Limit Texas Hold'em, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Hi/Lo, Razz, Pot Limit Omaha High, Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, H.O.R.S.E. and H.A. (half Pot Limit Hold'em, half Pot Limit Omaha). Each event is hosted by a Full Tilt professional.
FTOPS VII's Main Event is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. ET with Full Tilt pro Allen Cunningham acting as host. As it has been in the past, the buy-in is $500+$35 and every player at the final table will receive a limited-edition FTOPS jacket. Meanwhile, winners of each event along the way receive a jacket, an FTOPS jersey and the coveted gold jersey avatar for use on Full Tilt Poker.
The winner of FTOPS VI was "Fkscreennames," who brought home $385,937 in prize money, as compared to the $161,480 won by "Crownginger" in FTOPS I.
Two other new features that debuted in the FTOPS V are back for FTOPS VII. First, there's the "Bouncebackability" Freeroll, where the last player eliminated before the money in each FTOPS event is invited to play in a freeroll where a buy-in to the FTOPS VIII Main Event will be up for grabs. FTOPS VII's "Bouncebackability" Freeroll will be held on Saturday, February 23rd at 3 p.m. ET.
In addition, there is a $2,500 Two-Day Event that requires a $2,500 + $120 buy-in and carries a guaranteed prize pool of at least $1.5 million. Day 1of the event takes place Saturday, Feb. 16 and ends when the field is cut down to the final two tables or at the conclusion of level 17, whichever comes first. Day 2 starts the next day with a 30-minute blind structure and a 5,000 chips start.