For over a year, PokerStars, which was formerly known for tournaments, has successfully filled the high-stakes void left by Full Tilt Poker’s departure from the market. When PokerStars acquired its former competitor and relaunched the brand last month, this raised the question as to whether the high-stakes cash games would shift back to FTP. If this week’s Online Railbird Report is any indication, that’s exactly what’s happening.
Earlier this week, FTP began the Full Tilt Online Poker Series XXI (FTOPS XXI),, comprising 35 events and representing the return of one of online poker’s most prestigious tournament series.
For a look at the FTOPS XXI results thus far, click here.
Where there are good tournaments, there are also great cash games, and this has been the case all week on FTP. While the week’s biggest winner, “1Il|1Il|1il|” (+$453,595 in 223 sessions/14,828 hands), actually came from PokerStars, the next five biggest winners came from FTP. They included Ben “Sauce1234” Sulsky (+$424,914 in 36 sessions/3,430), Ilkka “LokoIsBack” Koskinen (+$323,988 in 15 sessions/3,290 hands), Ben “1Mastermind” Chen (+$316,723 in 42 sessions/3,051 hands), “DealMeInFast” (+$299,501 in 28 sessions/3,716 hands) and “pummelfee123” (+$281,070 in 30 sessions/4,570 hands). With that said, it’s worth noting that Sulsky, who plays under “Sauce123”, lost $210,887 over on PokerStars.
Speaking of losers, no one lost more from Nov. 29 through Dec. 4 than Tom “durrrr” Dwan, a member of FTP’s “The Professionals”. He dropped a painful -$688,178 in 8,886 hands across 63 sessions, though that was a far cry from the -$1,829,404 his fellow Professional Gus Hansen dropped the week before. Not surprisingly, the next three biggest losers also came from FTP—“patpatpanda” (-$405,207 in 60 sessions/9,959 hands), Ben “Bttech86” Tollerene (-$337,375 in 32 sessions/2,912 hands) and Scott “mastrblastr” Seiver (-$302,063 in 31 sessions/2,199 hands).
“1Il|1Il|1il|” Closes November with a $445K Score
On Friday, Nov. 30, the $200/$400 pot-limit Omaha games were going strong over on PokerStars. Once again, “1Il|1Il|1il|” and Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies were fueling the action and were joined by an assortment of other high-stakes pros like “patpatman” and Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky. Not surprisingly, the biggest pots of the day were between Sahamies and “1Il|1Il|1il|”, with the former dropping $430K and the latter winning $445.4K.
In one hand, action was three-handed when “1Il|1Il|1il|” ($173,555) opened for $1,200 on the button, Sahamies ($100,000) three-bet to $4,240 from the small blind, and “patpatman” ($116,870) folded the big. “1Il|1Il|1il|” then pushed back to the tune of $14,560, Sahamies called, and the flop came down , which both players checked. When the turned, Sahamies led out for $27,355, “1Il|1Il|1il|” called, and the completed the board on the river. Sahamies wasted little time in moving all in, “1Il|1Il|1il|” called, and suddenly, a $200,475 pot was on the line. Sahamies revealed for a nine-high flush, but it was no good as “1Il|1Il|1il|” tabled for an ace-high flush.
In another notable hand, which was actually four handed, Sahamies ($148,641) opened for $1,720 from the cutoff, the button folded, and “1Il|1Il|1il|” ($87,785) three-bet to $5,880 from the small blind. The big got out of the way, Sahamies called, and then “1Il|1Il|1il|” fired out $8,400 on the flop. Sahamies refused to back down and raised to $37,675, and then called an additional $44,230 when “1Il|1Il|1il|” moved all in for $81,905.
“1Il|1Il|1il|” had flopped top two pair while Sahamies had a pair of aces with various draws. The turn gave the Finn a bunch more outs, but the river was not what he needed. Ship the $176,125 pot to “1Il|1Il|1il|”.
Speaking of hands where Sahamies ($70,018) had plenty of outs, action was heads-up when “1Il|1Il|1il|” ($337,137) opened for $880 and then called when Sahamies three-bet to $2,800. The flop saw Sahamies check-call a bet of $4,400, and then check the turn. “1Il|1Il|1il|” took the opportunity to bet $11,200 but was soon met with a check-raise to $48,158 by his opponent. “1Il|1Il|1il|” opted to three-bet, and Sahamies called off his last $14,660 to create a pot worth $140,034. The completed the board on the river, and Sahamies turned over for a pair of sixes and a lot of missed draws. Not surprisingly, “1Il|1Il|1il|” won the pot with .
All three of those pots, though nice, were well behind the day’s largest pot, which was awarded to “patpatman” at Sahamies' expense. In that hand, action was three-handed when Sahamies ($155,505) opened for $1,640 on the button, “patpatman” ($127,025) called from the small blind, and “1Il|1Il|1il|” ($171,443) three-bet to $6,800 from the big. Two calls ensued, the flop came down , and “1Il|1Il|1il|” bet $12,400 after “patpatman” had checked. Sahamies made the call, and then “patpatman” sprung to life with a check-raise to $34,400. “1Il|1Il|1il|” folded, Sahamies three-bet to $148,635, and “patpatman” called off his remaining $85,825. The and were run out on the turn and river respectively, and “patpatman” tabled for top set. Sahamies simply mucked and watched the $273,325 pushed to his opponent.
Year’s Biggest Winner Makes His Presence Known on Full Tilt to Durrrr’s Detriment
Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky is currently the year’s largest online winner thanks to $3.6 million in profit over on PokerStars, but on Sunday, Dec. 2, Sulsky made his presence known on Full Tilt Poker when he won $258,400 playing under “Sauce1234”. That came courtesy of Tom “durrrr” Dwan, who lost $214,600 at the $200/$400 no-limit hold’em tables. Despite being dismantled by Sulsky, Dwan did manage to win the day’s biggest pot, which actually came from a five-handed $75/$150 PLO table.
It began when Dwan ($69,444.50) opened for $450 under the gun and Chris “Genius28” Lee ($25,16.50) called from the cutoff. “Patpatpanda” ($75,272) then three-bet to $2,150 from the button, both blinds folded, and Dwan four-bet to $7,700. Lee got out of the way, “patpatpanda” five-bet to $24,700, Dwan called, and the flop fell . Dwan wasted little time in leading out for $45,900, and then called off his remaining $969.50 when “patpatpanda” raised.
“Patpatpanda” held aces, but they were no good as Dwan had flopped top two pair. The duo agreed to run it twice, but neither the on the first run nor the on the second delivered “patpatpanda” salvation. With that, Dwan scooped a pot worth $139,636.
More on Dwan’s FTP Slide
Tom “durrrr” Dwan’s return to Full Tilt Poker actually happened back on Nov. 17, which he followed up by playing five days in a row. It was during this time that he chose to take on no-limit hold’em specialist Alex “IReadYrSoul” Millar in $300/$600 heads-up NLHE. That match didn’t result in any big swings—Millar won $15K in an hour and a half over 460 hands—but it did produce a couple of interesting hands.
In the first, Millar ($64,799.50) raised to $1,200 on the button, Dwan ($116,035) defended from the big, and the appeared on the flop. Dwan proceeded to check-raise Millar’s $1,440 bet up to $5,600, Millar three-bet to $12,600, and Dwan four-bet $30K. Millar called, the peeled off on the turn, and Dwan quickly put out a big bet, which saw Millar call off his remaining $33,599.50.
Dwan had flopped two pair, but Millar had taken the lead by making a bigger two pair on the turn. The river failed to help Dwan, and he watched the $129,599 pushed to the man from the U.K.
Here’s a look at the other notable hand from that match:
More recently, FTP once again produced the biggest winners and losers this past Monday, most of which came from the $200/$400 no-limit 2-7 Triple Draw tables. It was there that Dwan dropped -$478K, most of which went to the day’s three biggest winners—“DealMeInfast” (+$275.7K), Ben “Sauce1234” Sulsky (+$219.4K) and Ben “1Mastermind” Chen (+$203K).
Week’s biggest winners (11/29-12/4): “1Il|1Il|1il|” (+$453,595), Ben “Sauce1234” Sulsky* (+$424,914), Ilkka “LokoIsBack” Koskinen* (+$323,988), Ben “1Mastermind” Chen* (+$316,723), “DealMeInFast”* (+$299,501), “pummelfee123”* (+$281,070), Alex “Kanu7” Millar (+$241,727)
Week’s biggest losers: Tom “durrrr” Dwan* (-$688,178), “patpatpanda”* (-$405,207), Ben “Bttech86” Tollerene* (-$337,375), Scott “mastrblastr” Seiver* (-$302,063), “NyPogadi11” (-$253,897), “kagome kagome”* (-$221,595), Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky (-$210,887), Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies (-$208,148), “patpatman” (-$179,869)
Biggest Year-to-date winners: Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky (+$3,630,292), Jens “Jeans89” Kyllönen (+$2,464,966), Ben “Ben86” Tollerene (+$2,217,507), “EireAbu” (+$2,176,527), Alex “Kanu7” Millar (+$1,601,077), Niklas “ragen70” Heinecker (+$1,558,324), “bernard-bb” (+$1,507,058), Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond (+$1,417,998), “longerpig” (+$1,392,569)
*Indicates Full Tilt Poker
Data, hands and re-player obtained from HighStakesDB.com