FTOPS XX Struggles After DoJ Seizure

To look at the home page of Full Tilt Poker’s primary domain, you’d never guess that the poker room is currently hosting one of the industry’s largest online tournaments. The FBI notice of seizure still has a prominent place at the center of the page. Ironically, that notice is flanked by a rotating ad featuring Tom “durrrr” Dwan and a video ad that begins with a still of Phil Ivey – two popular American pros that cannot currently play at the site. As we all know, the domain was rebooted to allow American players to withdraw their funds, but it’s a very trimmed down site that those players are currently seeing. There’s not a trace of a Full Tilt Online Poker Series promotion in sight, despite the fact that FTOPS XX officially started on April 17.

While some applauded Full Tilt for going ahead with their latest FTOPS despite the fact that it was scheduled to start only two days after Black Friday, others have noted the tournament’s dismal numbers and almost total absence of press coverage with disappointment. In the past, the FTOPS’ big money events have transformed many amateurs’ careers, but a moment’s glance at the site’s traffic ticker makes it pretty clear that neither Full Tilt nor its online tournament series are in their usual form.

Up until today, very little news has been published about the twenty-some FTOPS events that have thus far been decided. With limited accessibility on the American version of the site, and with all the major search engines pulling Full Tilt from their top results, it’s been almost impossible to get news on FTOPS XX. We know that the biggest buy in event – Event #19: $10,000 + $300 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up – finished up on Sunday. Without the usual crowd of American high rollers it only attracted 21 entries. Peter Jetten took that one down, but his reward was a surprisingly small payout of only $94,500.

The popular new multi-entry events are faring a little better when it comes to prize pools, but they’re still nowhere near the record-setting size of the ones at the last FTOPS and Mini-FTOPS tournaments. For most events, the entries are numbering in the hundreds instead of the thousands with some less popular games only drawing entries in the double digits. Furthermore, without the huge contingent of American amateurs to dilute the pool, most of the events thus far have been surprisingly thick with sharks. Case in point, Sorel Mizzi has now cashed in a number of events and Russian regular NoPasaran just took down Event #28: Multi-Entry Pot Limit Omaha.

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