FTOPS XIX Main Event and WPT Celebrity Invitational

This weekend saw the completion of another history-making Full Tilt Online Poker Series and also saw the always popular WPT Celebrity Invitational whittle its way down to a final table. One tournament – the FTOPS XIX – took place entirely online and spanned two full weeks of events. The WPT Celebrity Invitational, on the other hand, went down at the famed Commerce Casino in Los Angeles and wrapped after just two days of action with a final table determination that surprised everyone.

We’ll cover the FTOPS XIX Main Event first. Over the last two weeks we’ve highlighted many of the series’ more triumphant moments, and the final Main Event definitely belongs on that list. Thanks to the new multi-entry feature, this FTOPS’ Main Event pulled in a whopping 14,479 entries. Multiply that by the $600 buy-in and you get a prize pool of more than $8.8 million. Those numbers made the Main Event the fourth largest online tournament ever and even put it in the top 30 largest poker tournaments in history, nestled among notable company like the WSOP Main Event.

Whereas live poker tournaments of this size take days to reduce to a final table, it took only 14 hours to knock the FTOPS Main Event field down to two tables. No one wanted to surrender their seat, but the good news for the players that just missed the final table is that cash was so plentiful that a full 10% of the field hit the rail and still made a profit. Once the final table had shrunk to just three remaining players, an epic deal was struck that allowed eventual second-place finisher Blair Hinkle to take the lion’s share. To their credit, winner GIAMPP really earned their title by being one of only two final tablers to make it to the end on a single entry.

Here are the full FTOPS XIX Main Event final table results: 

GIAMPP – $877,950

blur5f6 – $1,162,950

SirMad – $805,440

Nayza – $451,745

WiLDmAn75 – $321,434

J NOCK – $230,216

425wedabest – $165,061

beerocrat – $121,624

Colonel Mustard – $86,005

In a totally different poker venue, the WPT Celebrity Invitational called it a day after naming its six finalists on Sunday. Pros Liv Boeree and Antonio Esfandiari were two of the last notable players to bow out of the competition while Lou Diamond Phillips was the last film and television star to hit the rail. When the dust cleared, the final six players were an eclectic but nevertheless capable bunch.

At the front of the pack with a slim 20,000 chip lead is high profile lawyer and model Damon Schramm. Just behind him with the second stack is pro Davidi Kitai. Kitai is being chased by lady chess player Almira Skripchenko. With the fourth place stack is another pro, Dan Heimiller. Behind the fifth place stack is another chess player, Dinara Khaziyeva, making the chess set as well-represented as the poker pros. Limping his way into a final table seat is hometown hero George Rechnitzer. The six finalists will reconvene March 2 to determine the 2011 World Poker tour Celebrity Invitational champion.

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