Full Tilt PLO Championship promises big pots

Phil Ivey
Who will dare to enter Ivey's realm this weekend for the $25k Pot-Limit Omaha Online Heads-Up World Championship.

On the heels of one of the biggest events in online poker history, Full Tilt poker is following up the $25k No-Limit Online Heads-Up World Championship with a $25k Pot-Limit Omaha Online Heads-Up World Championship on Sept. 6 and 7.

All the usual suspects will be there including Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, as well as a slate of lesser-known Full Tilt pros and online qualifiers.

It's no surprise that Full Tilt is attempting to produce an event similar to the Heads-Up No-Limit Championship, and the obvious choice for the follow-up is PLO. Many of the biggest hands in online poker history have been played in PLO, and it's not unusual for a couple of hundred large to be swapped in one hand.

Pro Phil Gordon says he thinks Pot-Limit Omaha could eventually challenge Texas Hold'em as the most popular poker game in the world.

"Pot-Limit Omaha is a great game that is enjoying widespread popularity, especially in Europe and on the Internet," Gordon told the New York Times blog Freakanomics. "It is a much higher variance game with some very interesting strategies. I think that it has a chance of surpassing Hold'em as the most popular form of the game in five to eight years. As people become 'bored' with Hold'em, they'll naturally progress to PLO."

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Considering the money now being swapped nightly, he might be right.

Ivey, likely the most famous and feared player in the game, finished up more than $700k in his Sept. 2 Full Tilt PLO session as part of a wicked start to his month. A win in the $25k PLO Heads-Up World Championship would likely set him up to break the all-time record for monthly online earnings.

Two of Ivey's WSOP bracelets are in PLO. The first came in 2000 for the $2,500 buy-in event. The second was in 2005 for the $5k buy-in event. He won $195k and $635k respectively for those takedowns.

Another of the semifinalists from the $25k Heads-Up No-Limit event, Brian Hastings, once won nearly $400k from the pocket of Patrik Antonius playing PLO. He lost in the semifinal of the Heads-Up No-Limit Championship to David Singer, who walked with $560k for the win.

Singer, one of the most decorated pros in the game, went on to win a bracelet (his first) at the 2008 WSOP in the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event.

No definitive word on whether Singer, Hastings or the other Heads-Up No-Limit Championship semifinalists Andy Bloch or Emil "whitelime" Patel will play, but we'd be surprised if Hastings wasn't around, even though he just started his sophomore year at college in New York this week.

Players who have $25k kicking around can buy right in and those who don't (read: 99.9% of the people reading this article and the donk writing it!) have a shot though qualifiers running from as little as 50 Full Tilt points.

Check out the qualifiers and other promotions that the poker site has to offer at full tilt.

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