FTOPS XVIII Starts Today

We give a lot of press to the major live poker tournaments, but the truth is that online tournaments are the bread and butter of many of today’s top players. You might have to wait all year for your shot at a $1 million prize at a live tournament, but such payouts are awarded on a weekly basis at the big poker rooms. For the next ten days, you’ll get 34 chances at a big cash all in one place – Full Tilt’s Online Poker Series.

The Full Tilt Online Poker Series has only been running for four years but has quickly become one of the largest and most lucrative online tournament series in existence. The first event starts at 9pm ET tonight. It’s a $200+$16 buy-in NL Hold’em tournament with an $800,000 guaranteed prize pool. The event is being hosted by none other than 2010 Main Event runner up John Racener who’s probably happy to be kicking back at his home base again, far away from Monday’s press mob.

FTOPS XVIII will continue from November 10 through November 21 with 34 events culminating in the Main Event on November 21. The Main Event has a $600+$40 buy-in and offers a guaranteed $3 million prize pool; the winner will also receive a jacket, an FTOPS gold jersey, and a virtual version of the that jersey for their avatar. If you’re feeling ambitious then the series offers something for everyone with Hold’em, Omaha, 7 Card Stud, 5 Card Draw, Razz and HORSE events all crammed in.

Satellites are still running for all but tonight’s event which means there’s still ample time for you to grind your way into a good seat without paying a bankroll debilitating buy-in. Even if you’re more of a fan than a player, the series is worth checking out for the pro hosts alone. Big name pro hosts include Howard Lederer for Event #20, Jennifer Harman for Event #28 and Gus Hansen for the Main Event. Also making an appearance are four November Niners with three hosting slots still to be announced.

PokerStars’ Regional Championships of Online Poker (RCOOP) are also underway with the Nordic and Baltic tournaments currently running. Next up on the RCOOP schedule is the USA Championship of Online Poker which offers at least a $3,275,000 prize pool and will start the same day the FTOPS ends. If you’re feeling a little less ambitious, then now might by the time to try a guaranteed at one of the other sites – chances are the big series will flush out some of the sharks, leaving competition a little fishier than usual going into the weekend.

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