Championship poker is hotter than ever, even amidst the tumultuous upheavals of government regulations against online poker. Yes, by failing to properly differentiate between gambling and skills games, the government is targeting online poker. I’m sure they’re aware of how ridiculous their work is…but what the heck. Poker is a die-hard sport.
And what could possibly be a better demonstration of poker’s popularity than yet another tournament. This time, the Full Tilt Online Poker Series III, with its charming little acronym, FTOPS III, and equally charming guaranteed total prize pool money…a sizeable $3.4 million big ones.
The so called crown jewel, the pick of the picks, was the $1.5 million guaranteed no-limit hold’em main event course.
The main event of this tournament drew over three thousand entrants, paying $500 a pop. The price pool at the end of the night was $1,608,500, and among the top players were Mark Vos (142nd, $1,448), Chris Ferguson (203rd, $1,126), Paul Wolfe (261st, $1,046), and Layne Flack (308th, $885).
Some top internet players featured were Tuan “Supertuan1” Nguyen (18th, $8,043), Spiked (33rd, $4,826), Kyle “kwob20” Bowker (47th, $2,976), Eric “Rizen” Lynch (107th, $1,609), Sorel “kristy_sea” Mizzi (167th, $1,287), and Kevin “GetPWN3D” Saul (192nd, $1,126) within the top 200.
To receive a portion of the prize money, it was necessary to be within the top 459 players left. When it got down to the final table, among the players still standing, were poker pro Robert “Miss Lulu” Williamson III, a World Series of Poker bracelet winner in pot-limit Omaha; Internet poker phenom Brian “tsarrast” Rast;. Alec “traheho” Torelli; and Justin “Boosted J” Smith, who was the FTOPS III tournament leader board leader before the event began.
The final standings were:
1) Alec “traheho” Torelli – $288,001.93 2) Justin “Boosted J” Smith – $175,326.50 3) Brian “tsarrast” Rast – $114,203.50 4) Robert “Miss Lulu” Williamson III – $89,271.75 5) MychCumstien – $66,752.75 6) Balforios – $49,380.95 7) THEOLDLION – $36,995.50 8) CoinFlip – $28,953 9) bokpower – $21,553.90
Traheho had the chip lead with three players remaining. He had $7.2 million against the $4.6 million held by Boosted J in second, and the $4.3 million held by tsarrast in third place.
Tsarrast lasted seven minutes within the top three before his final hand was dealt. Traheho had $11.3 million at the beginning of the heads-up match. Boosted J held $4.8 million and was just one double-up from the chip lead, but it took all of two minutes for the contest to end. Boosted J made little headway before the final hand, which played out with a raise from Boosted J, traheho reraise up to $1.4 million, Boosted J push for all in at $5.5 million. In the final moments, traheho called and showed the ace and king of spades. The board ended up completely missing both of the players, with the jack and ten of diamonds, two and five of hearts, and the four of clubs. Boosted J ended with $175,327 in second place, while traheho earned $288,002 in first-place.