Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Massive Prizes in Multi-Entry Double Guarantees Week on Full Tilt

Holy shipe! What's the opposite of overlay? Underlay? Whatever it is, that's the one word to best describe what happened on Monday night on full tilt, for the start of the site's Double Guarantees Week. As part of the introduction of the new multi-entry tournaments I wrote about last week, full tilt is running a promotion all this week in which every one of the nightly guaranteed prize pool mtts on the site is, for this week only, a multi-entry event, and the guaranteed prize pool is doubled from what it usually is to reflect the larger number of expected entrants into these tournaments as a result of the whole multi-entry thang.

And it looks like full tilt might have slightly underestimated the interest in checking out what the multi-entries are all about. Check out just the tournaments I regularly look into playing on a nightly basis these days on full tilt during the early evening hours east coast time:

6pm ET: The $26 buyin, 32k guaranteed is this week a 64k guaranteed. This tournament usually features around 1700, 1800 runners. On Monday night, with multi-entries in effect? 3,747 runners (entries). Total prize pool: $89,928. But this was just the beginning of the effect, as us east coasters weren't quite home from work enough yet to really start jumping in and fluffing up the prize pools.

7pm ET: This is where it starts to get good. The $75 buyin 40k guaranteed is this week an 80k guaranteed. This tournament usually features between 600 and 700 runners. On Monday night, it got 2,101 runners (entries), for a total prize pool of 144,969! $75 buyin, and a shot at a 145k prize pool. I would say you can't beat that in terms of value, but look at some of the other tournaments below and you might beg to differ. I was in this tournament, and actually ran pretty deep, surviving over 90% of the field despite being dealt zero pocket pairs, and having to fold JJ and TT preflop each once during the night, before I ran into Aces -- my specialty lately -- and busted in 96th place. It was a crazy tournament, far fuller than I've ever seen it even come close to before, with nearly three times the normal number of entries, which really showed in how this thing played out. It was a pushfest from about the second hour on, and I was lucky to last as long as I did.

8pm ET: Here was another incredible value. The $150 buyin 8pm ET tournament is usually a 75k guarantee, and this week is a 150k. Instead of the usual 500 or so runners that this tournament brings in, Monday night saw it attract 2,302 entrants with multi-entries in effect, for a total prize pool of $345,300! Again, if you're looking to play for a shot at a massive prize pool -- first prize in this thing was something like 80 grand -- for a relatively small buyin, this was as good a value as you almost ever see in online poker outside of the massive annual or quarterly tournament series.

Also at 8pm ET is the $26 buyin, 35k guaranteed that is this week a 70k guaranteed. Normally this tournament ends up with somewhere around 2000 runners, but on Monday night, it had 4,333 runners. This made for an awesome prize pool of $103,992, all for a $26 buyin. Again, if you don't like to play too big but love the thought of making a run at a 20k+ first prize, this was your chance.

Now, if you do like to play big, Monday night also featured one of the most amazing values I've ever seen in a regular nightly event. The 9pm ET Monday 1k ($1000 buyin) mtt, which usually features a 300k guarantee these days was bumped up to a 600k guarantee with multi-entries in effect. While attracting around 300-400 runners on a normal night, Monday night saw this behemoth tournament lure in 1,454 entries, for a whopping prize pool of $1,454,000! I'm not generally into buying in to one of the toughest tournaments available anywhere, for a grand a pop at that, but if I were such a person, my lord a 1.5M prize pool on a normal Monday night? This is like what the FTOPS ME used to be just a few years ago, and now it's the regular Monday night 1k tournament's prize pool? Simply incredible.

Lastly, I will mention the 50-50, which is a $50 buyin tournament that runs at 9:30pm ET on full tilt, and typically attracts somewhere around 1100 or so runners a pop. On Monday night, it swelled to 2,045 entries with the multi-entries in effect. This made for a lofty prize pool of $147,500! Again, a nearly 150k tournament for a $50 buyin? That's really awesome value if you're looking to make a nice bang for your buck.

And these were just the guarantee tournaments on display during the regular times when I am normally looking to play online poker in the evenings nyc time. I imagine it was much of the same throughout the day and night on the site, as everyone and their mother seemed to be flocking to full tilt to see what all the multi-entry hubbub was about. Now, don't get me wrong -- these prize pools were huge, but you were playing against a bunch of guys with up to four entries into each tournament, so if like me you only played the usual one entry for one buyin, you were at a massive disadvantage in terms of running deep. And also, the play in these things was looser than usual, in particular in the earlygoing, as players played them -- predictably -- much like monkey hour in the standard online rebuy events, and while loose play early might sound good to someone like me in terms of making it easier than usual to double up (which I did), it also makes it far more likely than usual that some poo-flinger will pick you off early (I did that too). Please don't read this post as me taking back any of what I said in my post on Friday about this new multi-entry phenomenon -- I'm not a fan, and I hope they don't make the multi-entry feature a widespread thing on full tilt going forward, because it doubtlessly bastardizes the game and turns these tournaments into more of a poker gimmick than they already are as a rule. But damn, if you're looking for some excellent bang for your tournament buyin buck, a week of these things here may be right up your alley. You're certainly not going to find much better value than these anywhere on the planet in terms of low-buyin, high prize pool tournaments.

I am hoping to play some actual multiple entries myself in these one or two nights this week just to see how that all plays out -- that 8pm ET with a $96 buyin for four entries, giving four shots at winning a piece of a 100k+ prize pool looks particularly compelling to me -- but for now I will probably continue taking my one shot in a few of these while I play some more of the UBOC events on the side as well. But double guarantees week on full tilt will certainly spice up the excitement a bit, and if nothing else it keeps me off of pokerstars for the week. Suddenly a $27.50 buyin with a "mere" 30k guarantee on pokerstars just doesn't seem all that exciting at 8pm ET, even if I have taken more than 10 grand out of that mtt just this month so far.

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