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Full Tilt loads up players with WSOP seats
June was a booming month for poker players at Full Tilt Poker looking for a free trip to the 2008 World Series of Poker*. The poker site hosted freerolls each week exclusively for PokerListings players resulting in a wide range of winners.
On June 1, The War Eagles topped the weekly Full Tilt Freeroll to win a World Series of Poker Main Event seat. Unfortunately the University of New Hampshire student is just 18, going on 19, and will have to just cash out his reward instead of heading to Las Vegas for the Main Event.
The War Eagles started playing poker around 2003 when it premiered on ESPN. He gave it a try online, found that he enjoyed the game, and stuck with it.
Now when he's not busy being a student, The War Eagles plays about two to three hours a night online. Most of that time is spent at Full Tilt Poker.
"It's the best site on the Web - great tourneys, big guarantees, lots of variety," he said.
The freeroll for PokerListings players at Full Tilt Poker exemplified those qualities. The War Eagles faced off against a field of around 90 people, which he described as very solid.
"I thought there were many good players, and the play was pretty tight," he said.
They were playing for a guaranteed prize package to go to the 2008 WSOP Main Event, plus cash for players in second and on down the prize chain.
All it took to qualify for the event was to have signed up at the poker site through a link at PokerListings and then to have earned the player points needed during the week before the tournament.
The War Eagles made it pay off with a $12,500 prize package win. Since he won't be heading to Las Vegas to use the seat, he plans to put it into a CD to earn some interest for the time being so he'll have some money to spend when he's done with school.
That doesn't mean he can't dream about what a win at the World Series would mean for him. The War Eagles said he would retire and perhaps sign a deal with some poker site so he could do what he loves - "play poker and ski."
Perhaps two years from now he'll be making the news again with another freeroll win that will send him on his way to that daydream.
The following week, 68 players who met the qualifications showed up to play in the next WSOP freeroll at Full Tilt Poker. This time it was 27-year-old thecondiment who picked up the prize package win.
The London, Ontario, Canada native has been playing poker for about three or four years.
"I enjoy many different games and am a competitive person by nature," he said. "Poker offered me the opportunity to play and make money at the same time."
thecondiment currently works as an installer for a window, door and siding company, but he finds time to play poker online quite often.
"I have played upwards of 40 hours per week but lately have not been playing as much, maybe 10 hours per week," thecondiment said.
Some of those hours are played at Full Tilt Poker a few times a week, which he considers to be one of the best poker sites out there. He also complimented PokerListings, calling it a great site with lots of good information about the game of poker.
Perhaps it's the information he's gained through his weekly visits to PokerListings that helped him overcome what he classified as a very strong field of players in the WSOP freeroll.
His win came down to a hand where he was ahead of his opponent with a 3-1 chip lead. thecondiment raised pre-flop from the button with A-J offsuit.
"He reraised me all-in as he had done a few times when I raised from there, and I called," thecondiment said. "He showed A-7 offsuit and flop came A-7-3. I turned the jack and I can't recall what the river was - it wasn't a seven!"
Unfortunately, thecondiment won't be using the prize package to try to increase his win at the 2008 WSOP. Instead he plans to use the money to pay off some debts.
But if he did go, and happened to turn his free seat into millions of dollars with a win, he said he would start a family and a small business, and invest some of the winnings.
"I have a beautiful girlfriend who hopefully one day will be my wife and start a family with me," thecondiment said.
On June 15, the Full Tilt Poker freeroll finally found a winner who was going to go to the WSOP. It was also the week the poker site stepped up its promotion for PokerListings players and offered prize packages to the top two players. Those players were fogs1 and MYRKO.
fogs1 is a 34-year-old Ohio resident who works in sales. He's been playing poker for about three years and plays two to four times a week both online and live.
He heads to Full Tilt Poker about two to four times a week, usually on weekday nights.
"I like Full Tilt's site. It is user friendly, and I don't have any problems moving through the site to find what I'm looking for," fogs1 said. "The game screen is also very easy to use."
He's also a regular at PokerListings, which he said he visits around once a week to catch up on some poker news.
"PokerListings is a great site with lots of information in the poker world and tips," fogs1 said. "Also if you are going to sign up for a poker site for the first time, it is a great site to get special bonuses like the freeroll that I was able to win."
fogs1 went up against a playing field of about 82 players to earn his seat in the World Series of Poker, and his win came down to playing one of the worst starting hands in the game of poker.
"I had 7-2 offsuit in the big blind; the small blind limped in and the flop was 8-2-7 rainbow," fogs1 said. "He bet into me, and I pushed all-in with my two pair. He called me and showed Q-8 offsuit, and my two pair held up."
It turns out fogs1 already had a WSOP prize package from a previous win, so he'll be heading to the World Series event though he plans to cash this latest prize package out. He foresees putting the money toward the purchase of a new car.
Perhaps he'll think about upgrading what kind of car he wants after the June 22 freeroll where he picked up another WSOP prize package win at Full Tilt Poker along with i9nite.
Maybe it's a sign of good things to come when fogs1 heads to the Rio next week to begin playing in the Main Event.
"Of course I will be nervous at first, but once the cards start to fly, I will be fine," fogs1 said. "I know the competition will be a lot stronger than I'm used to playing, so I will have to slow myself down and concentrate on every hand."
The Ohioan is also looking forward to the chance to play against some of the game's top pros. He said it could be the only opportunity he has to play against them.
"I think it would be fun to play against Phil Laak," fogs1 said. "He seems to always be in a good mood and keeps the game fun for everyone."
Of course, if he walks away with a win in the Main Event, he could find himself with plenty of opportunities to play those pros.
"If I was to win the WSOP Main Event, I would bank most of the money and retire [from my day job]," fogs1 said. "I would also play some of the bigger buy-in events like the WPT and more of the WSOP events in 2009."
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