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Big buy-in, big field online tournaments always seem to attract the best players in the game, which comes as no surprise. The fields are mixed with players taking  꽁머shots, satellite winners, and of course the pros who frequent final tables amongst all the sites. So it comes as no surprise that the winner of the very first FTOPS VIII event is one of the very best players on the internet, if not the world right now.

The first event of the 8th FTOPS series was a $200+$16 No Limit Hold ‘Em 6-max event, which brought out an enormous field of 4,158 players, which created a swollen prizepool of $831,600, over $80k more than the $750k guarantee. It took just over nine hours for a winner to be crowned, as they took down a nearly $160k first place prize.

As to be expected with tournaments like these, some extremely strong players fell by the wayside close to the final table. Scott Fischman busted in 17th place for $4,782, and did the best out of the Full Tilt pros. Tough online tournament pro, bigegypt, busted in 32nd. Canadian tournament grinder Tim0thee had a great run as well, before he fell short in 62nd place.

The only notable going into the final table was “the guru 11”, better known as mr. menlo, or Issac Baron. Issac has been absolutely destroying high stakes tournaments for the past few years, and has even fared well at high stakes cash. He’s highly regarded as one of the best players around by his peers, as well. Here were the chip counts going into the final table.

  1.    dan_dada: 5,170,074
  2.    the guru 11: 2,533,396
  3.    jnjnlee86: 1,696,750
  4.    CABOWABO23: 1,394,174
  5.    commitment: 899,358
  6.    TheFunseeker: 780,248

And here’s what they were playing for:

1st: $158,852.23

2nd: $97,297.20

3rd: $67,525.92

4th: $49,896

5th: $36,590.40

6th: $24,948

The blinds at the final table started out at 40k/80k, with a 10k ante, which clearly meant that TheFunseeker and commitment were in a lot of trouble, as they wouldn’t last long without making a move. CABOWABO23 was the first to make a big move however, as his stack had dwindled down to 500k. He moved it all in under the gun, and was flat called by the guru 11, who was next to act. Everyone else folded, and CABOWABO23’s 9T of hearts would have to run down the guru 11’s AJ of clubs. Nothing formulated for CABOWABO23, and he was eliminated in 6th place, taking home nearly $25k.

Perhaps the sickest hand of the tournament came just a bit later, as the guru was sitting on a bit less than 2.5 million, and jnjnlee had a bit more than 2.5 million. The guru opened for nearly 210k with the blinds still at 40k/80k. It was folded to jnjnlee in the small blind, who shoved all in over the top. The guru insta-called, showing AK of clubs, vs. jnjnlee’s red AK offsuit. The flop came down 245, with two clubs, putting jnjnlee in jeopardy of losing what should always be a chop. The turn spit out an ugly Queen of clubs, giving guru the nut flush, and leaving jnjnlee with only 1 big blind. Jnjnlee was eliminated by guru just a few hands later, and left in 5th place, for $36.6k.

The guru saw fit to eliminate yet another player, as the blinds were up to 50k/100k with a 10k ante. It folded to commitment on the button who had just over 1 million, and pushed all in. Guru shoved all in from the small blind, isolating commitment. Commitment showed K8 of hearts, in a race vs. Guru’s 44. the flop came down 247, with 1 heart, putting commitment in a bad, bad way. The turn put out a sweat however, as the queen of hearts came, giving commitment a glimmer of hope. However, the river was the seven of hearts, not the heart commitment wanted to see. His flush was no good vs. guru’s full house, and he departed in 4th place, for $49,896.

It came as no surprise of course, that guru was responsible for another elimination, as the blinds were up to 60k/120k, with a 15k ante. TheFunseeker found himself quite short on the button, with only 1.2 million in chips. Dan_dada folded from the small blind, and the guru 11 called in the big blind. The guru found himself in another coinflip, with 33 vs. TheFunseeker’s K6 off suit. The 94Q flop offered no help to TheFunseeker, keeping the guru 11 ahead. The turn 10 gave Funseeker a gutshot, but the river 5 sealed his fate, as he took home a respectable $67,525.92 in 3rd.

It was quite a grind heads-up, as the blinds were up to 100k/200k, with a 25k ante. The guru 11 held a roughly 2-1 chip lead, with 8 million to 4 million, over dan_dada. Dan limped on the button, which was met by a raise to 600k from guru, which dan called. The flop came down 8TA, with two diamonds, The guru bet 600k, and dan_dada moved all in for roughly 3 million more. The guru made an impressive call with QQ, which was ahead of dan’s 36 of diamonds. The turn brought a three, giving dan five more outs, and the river brought a red eight. Unfortunately for dan, it was a heart, and he was taken down in second place, though still taking away and impressive $97,297.20.

As for Issac “the guru 11” Baron, he made yet another amazing notch in his belt, taking down first place in Event #1, and taking home $158,852.23.

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