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Posts Tagged ‘Full Tilt’

Record-setting Full Tilt Poker Montreal Main Event

The Playground Poker Club played host to a fantastic poker series that produced a record turnout for the $1,100 buy-in Main Event. The final tally for the tournament saw 1,625 players register for the Full Tilt Poker Montreal Festival Main Event, shattering the previous record of 1,173 players from the 2012 WSOPC Main Event in Montreal.

After crushing the record, Full Tilt Poker Country Manager Geoff Fardy was quoted as saying:

“Quebec is a hotbed for poker, home to some of the most talented players in the world, including 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel and finalist at this year’s WSOP Marc-Étienne McLaughlin, both of whom played in this event,” adding, “Full Tilt Poker is thrilled to bring a tournament of this calibre to Quebec and have the opportunity to host many of these outstanding players. Breaking the Canadian record is a great indication of the quality of the tournament and Canadians’ love of live poker.”

Heading into the final table it looked the tournament was Vinny Pahuja’s to lose. Not only was Pahuja one of the most experienced and accomplished players at the final table but he took a commanding chip-lead into Thursday’s action.

  • Seat 1: Roger Lamia — 3,380,000
  • Seat 2: Vinny Pahuja — 10,910,000
  • Seat 3: Colin Piche — 3,080,000
  • Seat 4: Zheng Yi Xie — 1,565,000
  • Seat 5: Henri Balcazar — 3,480,000
  • Seat 6: Bill Kontaratos — 6,715,000
  • Seat 7: Guillaume Rivet — 4,865,000
  • Seat 8: Michael Linster — 6,765,000
  • Seat 9: Eric Despres — 7,985,000

But the final table would not follow script, and Pahuja struggled throughout the contest, eventually finishing in a disappointing 6th place. After two more eliminations the final three players decided they wanted to lock-up a bit of the prize-money and cut a deal. The deal saw each player receive at least $150,000, but it was third place finisher Mike Linster who would pocket the most money ($200,000) just nudging past the winner of the tournament Henri Balcazar, who earned $194,046 for the win.

  1. Henri Balcazar — $194,046*
  2. Eric Despres — $150,000*
  3. Mike Linster — $200,000*
  4. Guillaume Rivet — $96,151
  5. Bill Kontaratos — $74,714
  6. Vinny Pahuja — $58,006
  7. Roger Lamia — $44,923
  8. Zeng Yi Xie — $35,150
  9. Colin Peche — $27,269

The festival also saw the return of the Full Tilt Poker live feed that first appeared at the UKIPT Galway series. The feed is made possible by Winmedia, and they have done an excellent job creating a product that not only works (an issue that has plagued live feeds all along) but also innovates. I wrote an in-depth article on the feed back in August, which you can read here: UKIPT Live Stream Could Revolutionize Tournament Coverage

Check out the latest tournaments for online poker at our Tournaments Schedule page.

The Rollercoaster Ride Known as Viktor Isildur1 Blom

There have been few poker players in the history of the game that have captured the imagination of the poker world like Viktor “Isildur1” Blom –putting him on a level with the likes of Tom Dwan and Stu Ungar. From his awe-inspiring debut on Full Tilt Poker in 2009 that saw him go on a multi-million-dollar upswing right out of the gate, to his inauspicious downswing that saw him give all of his winnings and then some back just as fast, to his enigmatic secrecy regarding his true identity, Blom has been one of the most talked about and polarizing figures in the game. And all of this happened while Blom was a mere teenager!

In the past couple years Blom has managed to maintain his relevancy even if he hasn’t been the catalyst of million-dollar pots (during his 2009 Full Tilt run Blom was a part of the 10 largest pots in online poker history) through his sponsorship with PokerStars, his Superstar Showdown Challenge Matches, and most recently his return to Full Tilt Poker (this time as a sponsored pro) and to his ultra-swingy ways, once again providing the poker world with million-dollar up- and downswings.

Blom went up big and went up early in 2013, coming out of the gates on a $4 million uptick in the first 10 days of the new year according to the high-stakes tracking website www.highstakesdb.com, but soon thereafter started giving a lot of those profits back, losing a couple million dollars (ho-0hum just a couple million) but has since righted the ship and is still the year’s biggest winner at the online poker tables, once again eclipsing the $4 million mark.

Blom has also been playing in some live events (his biggest tournament win to date was his victory in the 2012 PCA Super-High-Roller tournament which netted the young pro over $1,000,000) most recently at the PokerStars EPT London tournament series where he also participated in a challenge match between Team Full Tilt Poker (known as the “Professionals”) and Team PokerStars Pro. The match pitted Blom and his FTP teammates Gus Hansen and Tom Dwan against three Team PokerStars pros, Daniel Negreanu, Ike Haxton, and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. Unfortunately for Blom and Team Full Tilt they got their hats handed to them by Team PokerStars, losing the match eight games to one.

Blom’s losses came at the hands of ElkY, which is surprising considering his record in Superstar Showdown matches at PokerStars (which were played in a very similar format to this latest challenge match). In his Superstar Showdown career Blom put together an impressive record of 8-2, with his only two losses coming at the hands of Ike Haxton.

Even though Blom is up some $4 million on the year that is no guarantee he will even end 2013 in the black, but he could also wind up as the first person to top $10,000,000 for the year too! With Blom you just never know.

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Online Poker Traffic Numbers Tighten Between Party, iPoker and FTP

PokerStars is the clear-cut #1 online poker room in the world, with average traffic numbers that dwarf their competitors so much that they are measured exponentially, with PokerStars having over seven-times the traffic as the current #2 online poker room, Party Poker. However, once you get passed PokerStars the competition gets extremely fierce, and according to PokerScout.com the next three rooms/networks are running neck-and-neck for the #2 spot behind PokerStars: Party Poker, iPoker, and Full Tilt Poker.

Prior to the relaunch of Full Tilt Poker in November of 2012 it appeared that Party Poker was distancing itself from iPoker, but with Full Tilt Poker back in the mix this trend was stopped dead in its tracks, and it seemed as though Full Tilt Poker would simply fall back into the #2 spot it held behind PokerStars prior to Black Friday. But Full Tilt’s traffic numbers have been increasingly inconsistent since its relaunch, and the migration of bwin players to Party Poker, as well as the iPoker Network adding a number of relevant skins like Everest Poker, Ladbrokes, and Dusk Till Dawn in recent months, has seen the race tighten between the three.

The battle has seen all three companies hold the #2 ranking at some point in the past year, and the latest traffic numbers show one of the tightest bunching of the three entities in months, with Party Poker’s seven-day rolling average at 3,300, iPoker’s at 3,200, and Full Tilt Poker’s at 3,050 (as of March 19, 2013).

Party Poker Traffic Trends

Party Poker’s traffic is up over the past six months according to PokerScout.com’s data, but recent changes to the site’s VIP Program and stakes offered, as well as the decision to segregate certain tables –cutting off winning players from sitting at these “beginner” tables—has sent traffic numbers down in the past month, after traffic had hit a recent high at nearly 4,000 players.

iPoker Traffic Trends

iPoker has been the most consistent of the three rooms, with a six-month traffic graph that any rakeback grinder would be proud of. Currently traffic is at a six-month high and the network continues to trend upward.

Full Tilt Poker Traffic Trends

Since relaunch Full Tilt Poker has seen traffic numbers as high as 8,000 players and as low as their current number of just over 3,000. My feeling is that this trend of peaks and valleys will continue as Full Tilt runs its seasonal poker tournament series the FTOPS (which just got underway) and occasional promotions that draw in players.

To see the latest online poker data and traffic rankings you can visit www.pokerscout.com. Get more rewards by joining our Club Titan VIP today!

Will 2013 be the Year of Viktor “Isildur1″ Blom

After a tremendous start to 2013, winning over $4 million in the first 10 days of the year at the Full Tilt online poker tables, the poker world is wondering: Is this the year Viktor Blom establishes himself as one of the game’s best players? If Blom can put it all together, and avoid the terrible downswings that have plagued his short career, he could very well find himself in the same group as Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, and Patrik Antonius when people debate the best players in the game.

Since emerging as a high-stakes player to be reckoned with back in late 2009 Viktor Blom –then known only as Isildur1—has been one of the most talked about players, as well as one of the streakiest, winning and losing millions of dollars in days, sometimes hours. In that time Blom has also been one of the most enigmatic players, capable of disappearing for months at a time, and making strange decisions, such as not defending his PCA Super-High-Roller title this year. But through it all, the poker world has always questioned Blom’s ability to pull it all together, and develop the mindset to rival his remarkable skills.

What makes Blom’s accomplishments so impressive –even though many players question if he is even a winning player at the high-stakes tables—is his willingness to play virtually anyone, at any stakes, and in any game; often times playing three or four of the best players in the game at the same time spread across multiple tables!

Blom started to put it all together in 2011, after joining Team PokerStars. During his stint at PokerStars –Blom is now a member of Team Full Tilt Poker, which is now owned by PokerStars—Blom took part in the Superstar Showdown Challenge matches, and racked-up an impressive record, only losing to Isaac Haxton. These matches, along with a willingness to play a bit smaller during his time at PokerStars seems to have helped Isildur1 become a better all-around player –something we are now seeing at Full Tilt Poker where he has been playing everything from PLO and No Limit Holdem to 2-7 Triple Draw and limit Omaha 8 or better.

Isildur1’s Superstar Showdown record:

  • (LOSS) Dec. 19, 2010: Isaac “philivey2694″ Haxton — Result -$41,701
  • (WIN) Jan. 2, 2011: Antanas “Tony G” Guoga – Result +$44,280
  • (WIN) Jan. 30, 2011: Daniel “w00ki3z” Cates – Result +$51,196
  • (WIN) Feb. 13, 2011: Eugene “MyRabbiFoo” Katchalov – Result +$111,750
  • (WIN) Feb. 27, 2011: Attila “DodgyFish72” Gulcsik — Result +$10
  • (WIN) March 20, 2011: Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu (part 1) – Result +$150,000 (Part 2) March 27, 2011: Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu (Part 2) – Result -$26,500
  • (WIN) April 3, 2011: Scott “urnotindangr” Palmer (Part 1) — -Result $5,425 (Part 2) April 10, 2011: Scott “urnotindangr” Palmer (Part 2) – Result +$66,607
  • (WIN) April 24, 2011: “Mastermixus” — Result +$1,279
  • (WIN) June 19, 2011: Rui “PepperoniF” Cao — Result +$150,000
  • (LOSS) March 11, 2012 (completed March 13, 2012): Isaac “philivey2694″ Haxton — Result -$5,093
  • (WIN) March 18, 2012: Andrew “Kanu7” Millar – Result +$37,687

Blom got his revenge on Haxton (who handed him his only two losses in the Superstar Showdown series) by defeating him in a special $1 million Challenge match, where each player put up $500,000 and played until someone was felted.

If Blom can grind out a winning year, most importantly proving he can be a consistent winner, avoiding the wild swings, 2013 could very well be the Year of Isildur1.

***Late Edit*** Of course Isildur1 dropped just over $1 million the night I wrote this article! But, the good news is he is still in the black by just over $4 million for 2013.

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