FTOPS [Full Tilt Online Poker Series] VII wrapped up its run on Sunday with finals in three events, among those the high-profile, $2,620 NLHE Event #17. That event ran for two days and drew 849 entrants, building a total purse of $2,122.500. The "red" sponsored pros and official "friends" of Full Tilt were out in force, with Ram Vaswani surviving all the way to the final table, where he bowed out first and collected a $36,082.50 payday. Other noted players running deep but missing the final were Eric Froehlich (13th, $14,857.50), Gavin Smith (31st, $7,216.50), JJ Liu (40th, $5,730.75), Michael "TIMEX" McDonald (41st, $5,730.75) and Darrell "Gigabet" Dicken (45th, $5,730.75). In all, 90 players cashed.
While Vaswani's payday was solid, it was still far short of the $488,175 which awaited the event's winner. Vaswani was joined by BigBlueBin23 and Fishof Thedai among the early final-table knockouts; BibBlueBin23 collected $49,666.50 for finishing eighth, while fishof Thedai's seventh-place showing was worth $63,675. Soon after, a short-stacked da-professional got the chips in good with against leader ABU-BILAL's , but bowed out when a three showed on the river, the entire board reading .
Five-way play in this final was where the battles really took place. With the blinds increasingly coming into play, the five survivors –- ABU-BILAL, RamdonDonk, slaktarn, John Newcombe and former FTOPS event winner Adam "csimmsux" Geyer (FTOPS V Event #8, PLO w/ Rebuys) –- each found themselves unable to deliver a knockout blow. Over a hundred hands elapsed before the next knockout occurred, and that was of RandomDonk, who came back from extreme short-stack status to challenge the lead before being reeled in and bounced. The chips went after a flop, with RandomDonk showing for the flush draw to slaktarn's (top pair, top kicker). The turn and river were and , respectively, moving slaktarn into the lead.
John Newcombe put up a lengthy fight as a shorter stack but eventually exited in fourth. The last of his chips went in behind after a flop, but csimmsux had an easy call with . The board completed with to trim the field to three. Another marathon then ensued, with an additional hundred-plus hands passing before slaktarn was bounced in third. Slaktarn's exit came following a raising war between he and csimmsux after a garbage flop; slaktarn eventually showed , but trailed csimmsux's , which held up when the board completed .
ABU-BILAL and csimmsux then began a final, lengthy heads-up battle before csimmsux edged ahead for the final time. The last hand saw the chips again go in following a rough flop, this time of . After the chips were in, ABU-BILAL showed the flush draw , while csimmsux opened and needed to fade ABU-BILAL's outs for the triumph. The turn gave ABU-BILAL extra outs to the straight, but the river instead gave csimmsux the straight and put the capper on a solid victory.
1. csimmsux — $488,175
2. ABU-BILAL — $307,762.50
3. slaktarn — $228,168.75
4. John Newcombe — $175,106.25
5. RandomDonk — $132,656.25
6. da_professional — $95,512.50
7. fishof Thedai — $63,675
8. BibBlueBin23 — $49,666.50
9. Ram Vaswani — $7,769.84