Full Tilt Poker's FTOPS returns on Sunday and the series is much anticipated by the entire online poker community. Often regarded as the best online poker series around, things were put on hold after Black Friday. With the series being back in action on Sunday, the online becomes much more important over the next two weeks, and things will kick off with Event #1: $200+$16 NL Hold'em Multi-Entry with a $750,000 guarantee.
The entire schedule of FTOPS XXI consists of 35 events. FTOPS XX tied for the largest schedule with 45 events, so things have scaled down a bit. Still, there's plenty to offer from the series that takes place from December 2 through December 16. The culmination will come with a $600+$40 Multi-Entry Main Event that boasts a whopping $1.5 million guarantee.
Just about every subsequent series since its inception, the amount of events has increased. In FTOPS I and II, nine events were held, which seems like a far cry from what an online poker series is considered today. For FTOPS III, things were bumped to double digits and steadily increased through to FTOPS IX. After a few back-to-back series with 25 events, things were on the rise again leading up to the all-time high of 45 events in FTOPS XIX, and you can see the growth of the series in the graphic below.
With so many events lined up for the next two weeks, the biggest names in online poker will be firing up their laptops for the grind. Numerous buy-ins and event formats will be played starting as low as $100+$9, but it's important to highlight a few.
The first event, the aforementioned Event #1: $200+$16 NL Hold'em Multi-Entry with a $750,000 guarantee, should easily surpass the guarantee and reach seven figures. The first event of the series is always huge and even more so when it happens to take place on a Sunday — online poker's premier day of action.
On Monday, December 3, Event #3: $1,000+$60 NL Hold'em Multi-Entry takes place at 1400 ET (2000 CET) and boasts a $300,000 guarantee. That's the biggest guaranteed prize pool until the Sunday in the middle of the series, December 8. At 1030 ET (1630 CET), Event #17: $120+$9 NL Hold'em Knockout Multi-Entry will take place with a big $600,000 guarantee. That same day there is Event #18: $300+$22 NL Hold'em Multi-Entry with a $750,000 guarantee that should also see huge numbers.
On Saturday, December 15 at 1100 ET (1700 CET), the largest buy-in event of the series takes place with Event #31: $2,000+$100 NL Hold'em Ante From Start Two-Day Event. With a guarantee of $500,000 and such a hefty buy-in, this will be the event where the biggest names in the game attempt to show off their skills to win the very prestigious title.
Then of course, you have the final day of the series on Sunday, December 16. First at 1030 ET (1630 CET), Event #34: $240 + $16 NL Hold'em 6-Max Knockout Multi-Entry takes place with a $600,000 guarantee. Then at 1330 ET (1930 CET), the $600+$40 NL Hold'em Multi-Entry Main Event with a $1.5 million guarantee takes place. In FTOPS XX, Blair "blur5f6" Hinkle famously chopped the Main Event for a massive payday worth $1,162,949.74. Since then, Hinkle has talked with PokerNews about the money being trapped online and also life after Black Friday occurred.
Along with Hinkle, there were 10 other players to pocket scores larger than six-figures. Those players were GIAMPP, Mads "SirMad" Amot, Jason "NovaSky" Koon, Nayza, Mike "CuteIsWhatIAim4" Telker, Kirbynator, Alexander "AD_84" Debus, O0Brian0O, Ryan "NextCase222" Sharp and Dan "WiLDmAn75" Buzgon. It's also worth noting that not online did Buzgon hit a score for over six figures, but he also made three final tables throughout the series. To get a more in-depth look the last series, check out FTOPS XIX by the Numbers.
Heading into FTOPS XXI, the aviator1 leads the all-time leader board over 2,200 points. in FTOPS XX, Sorel "Imper1um" Mizzi emerged atop the leader board after cashing in 17 of the series 45 events and earning 1,365 points. As a reward, Mizzi won entry into all FTOP XXI events as well as a custom avatar. You can keep track of the overall leader board on Full Tilt's website.
Needless to say, the entire online poker community is extremely excited to see FTOPS return to the virtual felt. It's set up to be an amazing series of events, and you can find daily recaps right here on PokerNews.