Before you get your weekend started, we're here to send you off with the biggest poker stories of the day. In this edition of the Nighty Turbo, we're covering the upcoming FTOPS XXI schedule, results from the PokerStars UKIPT Bristol Main Event, and more.
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FTOPS is Back
Full Tilt Poker has reopened its doors and has wasted little time in bringing back its popular Full Tilt Poker Online Poker Series (FTOPS). On Friday, FTP announced that FTOPS XXI will run from Dec. 2 through 16, featuring 35 tournaments and millions in guarantees.
The series gets under way Dec. 2 with a $216 buy-in event with a $750,000 guarantee and culminates Dec. 16 with the flagship $640 buy-in Main Event with a $1.5 million guarantee. Last year, more than $9 million was awarded in the $640 buy-in FTOPS IXX Main Event alone, with Blair Hinkle collecting the largest share ($1.1 million) after negotiating a deal at the final table. The most recent series, FTOPS XX, ran post-Black Friday and saw much smaller prize pools because of the absence of U.S. players. Full Tilt Poker's real-money games are still unavailable in the U.S., as well as in segregated markets like Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Estonia and Belgium
Other key events on the FTOPS XXI schedule include a $1,050 no-limit hold'em multi-entry event on Dec. 3, a $1,060 reentry six-max event on Dec. 10, and a $2,100 no-limit hold'em event with antes from the start on Dec. 15-16.
Full Tilt Poker has come back with a bang since being taken over by PokerStars. Within minutes of going live for real-money on Nov. 6, FTP regained its position as the No. 2 poker site in the world, averaging 8,600 cash game players according to PokerScout.com. To compare, PokerStars has averaged 23,200 cash game players during the past seven days, while the third-place iPoker Network has averaged just over 3,000.
For the full FTOPS XXI schedule, visit FullTiltPoker.com.
Stars Travel to UKIPT Bristol
The PokerStars United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Bristol Main Event kicked off Thursday with 235 players putting up the £700+£70 buy-in. After eight levels of play, Jonathon Prested ended Day 1a as the leader with 121,300 chips and the only player to bag up a six-figure stack.
There were no Team PokerStars Pros in attendance on Day 1a, but several notables played the first flight. Dan Carter (61,900) and Sam Grafton (56,800) advanced to Saturday's Day 2, while others like Sam Holden, Jon Spinks and Roberto Romanello were sent to the rail. Joining Prested near the top of the Day 1a counts were Michael Danko, Kevin Killeen, Andrew Laurie, and Paul McTaggart.
Only 109 players survived Day 1a. Here's a look at the top 10 stacks:
Several well-known players decided to play on Friday's Day 1b, including Liv Boeree, Vicky Coren, Christophe De Meulder, Mickey Petersen, Martins Adeniya, Mat Frankland, James Dempsey, Just Ainsworth, Jake Cody and Neil Channing.
We'll have a full recap of the UKIPT Main Event in the Nightly Turbo next week. Until then, check out the live updates provided by the PokerStars Blog.
Betsson Joins MicroGaming Network
Stockholm-based company Betsson Ab, owner or Betsson Malta, and operator of sites like www.betsson.com, www.betsafe.com, www.casinoeuro.com, and www.cherycasino.com, has joined the Micrograming Poker Network (MPN).
The move follows the recent closure of the Entraction/IGT Network, where Betsson resided since March 2010.
“The MPN is one of the world’s most established online poker networks; naturally we are delighted to be joining the MPN," said Betsson Group Product Director Henrick Andersson. "At Betsson.com, we strive to create the finest gaming experience for our players and we are confident that by adding the MPN to our offering, we will deliver an exceptional experience to all of our poker players.”
“We are thrilled to have Betsson.com join the Microgaming Poker Network,” stated Lydia Melton, Microgaming's head of network games. “The MPN has undergone a transformation this year, and we are delighted that our efforts have resulted in the signing of such major operators. We look forward to working closely with Betsson.com on the MPN and in the Network Management Board over the coming years.”
In addition to Betsson.com, other operators such as Paf, iGameMalta Ltd, 24h Poker, and BetVictor Poker, will be joining the Microgaming Poker Network. It was also mentioned that more operators would be joining MPN in the upcoming weeks.
The Full Poker Experience at PKR
PKR.com has always been ahead of the game when it comes to realism. Since 2006, the next-gen online poker room has offered poker fans customizable avatars, a virtual drinks menu, and other features not available at most web poker sites.
On Friday, the next-gen online poker room expanded its offering when it released a software upgrade that features virtual food, card protectors, and 10 new chip tricks. Players can now use their PKR points to purchase virtual pizza, olives and sushi to go along with drinks like lemonade and bottled beer. And after washing the virtual grease off their hands, they can experiment with chip tricks like "The Omelette" and "5 Chip Star."
"Our goal at PKR has always been to deliver an engaging and entertaining experience and with the release of the latest version of our Poker software we've expanded on our popular virtual-goods product range to take PKR to the next level of immersion," said PKR Chief Operating Officer Leon Walters.
Casino City Times has more.
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