One of the most important online poker tournaments goes by the name of FTOPS XXVI and just as the name suggests, it is graciously hosted by Full Tilt Poker. There are tens of thousands of potential players that could participate in one of the numerous events, with the competition starting on August 3rd. There were plenty of qualifiers that ran live throughout July and some of them are still available for those who hope to book a seat at the main event, without paying the buy-in out-of-pocket.
On the bright side, direct participation in most side events is inexpensive while the prize pools are comparable to those featured by live tournaments. This is not the first time that the FTOPS is held, with the previous 26 editions attracting both poker professionals and amateurs. The fact that PokerStars which owns the poker room has been acquired by Amaya as a result of the Rational Group purchase is unlikely to change anything and the series will continue.
In 2014, the prize pool is estimated to exceed $4.5 million, but as always, the guaranteed amount will probably be surpassed. The first week of the series will conclude tomorrow and initial estimations suggest that the number of participants is considerably higher than last year. The grand finale is scheduled for August 17, with the winner of the main event to be revealed on that fateful Sunday, when the best Full Tilt Poker players are going to be presented with a large paycheck.
In order to maximize the exposure of these tournaments, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker professionals will attend the competition. Some of them do it by their own volition, others as a result of signing a contract that grants them a lot of exposure and access to prominent competitions. Regardless of the reasons that drive them here, regular poker players can rest assured that if they play long enough, they have a good chance of locking horns with a poker Pro.
There are plenty of bounties placed on their heads, so if you happen to cause the untimely elimination of a poker professional wearing the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker logo, you will be lavishly rewarded. The main event has a guaranteed prize pool of $10 million, which is a lot of money given the fact that players would only have to pay $635 to participate.
Past performance suggests that whenever the organizers announced a sizable prize pool and a guaranteed amount, the number of players exceeds expectations. As a result, there is no reason for the poker rooms to take money out of pocket to fuel the prize pool, as it exceeds the early estimates. Only time will tell how the FTOPS XXVI will fare this year, but so far participants are entitled to be optimistic.