Who let Andy Bloch into this thing? That's what Full Tilt Poker players were probably wondering when they looked up at the leaderboard in the $216 HORSE event in the FTOPS V series and saw the cowboy hat clad pro on top after two hours of play.
The buy-in may have been less than 1/200th that of the $50,000 HORSE event at the World Series of Poker, but that didn't stop a number of red-lettered pros from showing up for Event #2 in the FTOPS V series. Notable names besides Bloch included Lee Watkinson, host David Singer, Chip and Katrina Jett, Steve Zolotow, Berry Johnston, Allen Cunningham and several others. The only thing missing was Chip Reese.
In all, the tournament had 1,036 starters who created a prize pool of $207,200, easily eclipsing the guarantee of $100,000 in the pot. Fifty-six players would make the money, with first getting $51,800. Even players just squeaking into the money would get $1,140, five times their initial investment.
Andy Bloch faced hecklers from all sides. Railbirds didn't believe it was really him playing a $216 tourney. After Bloch faltered, Phil Gordon showed up to give his friend a hard time.
"Come on Andy, go broke already you donkey," Gordon typed into the chat box.
Bloch was eliminated shortly afterwards in 112th place.
It wasn't a good day for the pros overall. When it got down to 65 players, only Zolotow and Johnston remained when this interesting hand came up in Limit Hold'em between Zolotow, whose avatar is an eagle, and a player called jozexb.
Zolotow called a $16,000 raise from jozexb in the big blind. He check called the flop. Both players checked the on the turn. Zolotow bet out $16,000 on the river and jozexb thought for a long time before calling with . Zolotow showed and lost the hand. If Zolotow had played this hand more aggressively before the flop or on the flop, he stood a good chance at taking it down. As it were, Zolotow allowed jozexb to make a tough, but makeable call that left Zolotow short stacked. He busted shortly afterwards in 61st place. Jozexb used this nice call to propel himself among the chip leaders at the time. He went on to finish 25th.
Johnston was playing at a table with then chip leader VulpesVulpes after the bubble burst. He busted in 33rd when his heart flush on 5th street lost to a rivered full house - aces full of queens. Despite building a big stack during bubble play, VulpesVulpes caught a cold run of cards and was eliminated in 27th.
Around this time, AngelTheresa built a monster stack, often having more than double that of second place in chip count with 27 to 18 players remaining. She wielded her big stack like a wrecking ball, knocking the small stacks out of pots and stealing their blinds.
But SENDIT16, decked out in a Mike Tyson-esque avatar, steadily built his chips throughout the night and was able to beat AngelTheresa in heads-up play. SENDIT16 got $51,800 and a nice gold FTOPS jersey for the win. AngelTheresa won $34,188 for her second-place finish.