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FTOPS XXII Day 1: Tom "hitthehole" Middleton Wins Event #1 for $61,000

  • Brett CollsonBrett Collson
Tom Middleton

The 22nd installment of the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS), taking place between March 17-31, kicked off Sunday with the first two events. The popular series features 38 tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $109 to $2,100 across a variety of formats, culminating with the $640 buy-in Main Event that carries a $2 million guaranteed prize pool.

The launch of FTOPS XXII was unlike any other because it introduced a brand new game to the series schedule. Event #1 was a $240+16 Irish No-Limit Knockout tournament which attracted 1,522 players to barely eclipse the $300,000 guarantee. Irish poker is similar to no-limit hold'em, but players are dealt four hole cards preflop instead of two, and two of the cards must be discarded after the flop round of betting. The hand then plays out similarly to a standard hold'em hand.

Several big names and former FTOPS champions took a crack at the new game and made the money, including Mike McDonald (165th — $334), Paul "paulgees81" Volpe (152nd - $334), Luke "_FullFlush1_" Schwartz (103rd - $395), Scott Clements (46th - $639), Scott "SCTrojans08" Freeman (44th - $852), Thayer "THAY3R" Rasmussen (22nd - $1,217), Jeff "YoungSupremacy" Hakim (16th - $1,674), Luke "IWEARGOGGLES" Staudenmaier (15th - $2,252).

The nine-handed final table included three of the top online tournament players in the world. Griffin "Flush_Entity" Benger, Jordan "Jymaster11" Young and Tom "hitthehole" Middleton were each looking to become first FTOPS Irish Poker champ, and in the end it was Middleton who collected the jersey and the $60,880.

FTOPS XXII Event #1: No-Limit Irish Knockout ($300K Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

1Tom "hitthehole" Middleton$60,880
3Jordan "Jymaster11" Young$28,918
9Griffin "Flush_Entity" Benger$4,535

The second event of the day was a $216 no-limit hold'em re-entry event which featured an $850,000 guaranteed prize pool. The tournament failed to reach the guarantee with "only" 3,624 entrants, meaning there was more than $125,000 in overlay money up for grabs.

Among the notables who went deep in Event #2 were Mike "wywrot" Wyrot (97th - $765), Dani "Asky451" Stern (93rd - $765), Alex "dynoalot" Difelice (81st - $1,020), Dan "LeonP" Colpoys (46th - $1,360) and Felipe "clotilda" Montenegro, who made the final table and ultimately finished eighth for $13,600. The last four remaining players agreed to a deal, securing at least $80,000 for each. The eventual winner was "DMaradona," who collected $104,223 and his first FTOPS jersey.

FTOPS XXII Event #2: No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry ($300K Guaranteed)

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

5El viwjo lobo$41,650
8Felipe "clotilda" Montenegro$13,600
9Motionless Me$9,350

*Denotes four-way deal

FTOPS XXII will resume on Monday with three events: $216 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Rush (Event #3); $1,060 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max Multi-Entry (Event #4); and $216 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo (Event #5). To view the entire schedule, head over to

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