Second still earns Full Tilt player WSOP seat

Big stacks are good

Last weekend at Full Tilt Poker, coming in second in the exclusive World Series of Poker* freeroll for PokerListings players didn't necessarily mean earning the second-best prize. The poker site awarded the top two players in the freeroll WSOP prize packages.

The second-place finisher was i9nite, from Irvine, Calif. The 39-year-old player works as an IT project lead when he's not playing poker.

He told PokerListings he's been playing some form of poker off and on ever since he was a kid, but he started playing organized Hold'em about seven years ago.

"I always loved the combination of chance, strategy and psychology involved," i9nite said.

Now he unwinds from work just about every day by playing a little poker.

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"Full Tilt is the primary poker site that I play. I play there almost every day," i9nite said. "I really like Full Tilt's client software - it looks pretty good, is fairly fast and is well laid out. I also really like the fact that they have a large stable of poker pros that actually play the site."

The Californian tempered his praise a little bit, however.

"To be brutally honest, though, I've found the luck at the ring games to be shockingly streaky of late, and when I play, I play a lot of tables simultaneously, so you'd think the streakiness might be mitigated," i9nite said. "So far the streakiness almost always runs bad. Still, I can't complain about the tournament play!"

i9night found his way to Full Tilt Poker through PokerListings, which he said he still visits about once every month or so.

"I found it to be a great resource when first getting into online poker," i9nite said. "It was informative and contained useful directories of just about every available poker site. It was just a great introduction to the game."

It was because he first signed up at Full Tilt Poker through PokerListings that i9nite was able to qualify for the WSOP freeroll too.

He described the playing field of the freeroll tournament as fairly solid, and the play was considerably tighter than at most freerolls.

"But this made sense considering the good-sized prizes," i9nite said.

The top two players each won a World Series of Poker prize package that would pay for the $10,000 buy-in to the Main Event as well as the cost of travel and accommodations to get to Las Vegas to play.

The player who won the tournament was fogs1, and it was he who took out the third-place finisher to give himself and i9nite the top two spots.

"I was in the big blind with J-4 offsuit when the chip leader raised about 2.5 times the big blind under the gun," i9nite said, describing how fogs1 finished off the tournament.

The player in the small blind was also short-stacked and called the bet, so i9nite folded and got out of the way as the two clashed.

"The chip leader immediately pushed all-in, and the small stack thought for a moment and then called," i9nite said. "The chip leader showed A-8 and was a big underdog to the small stack's A-J."

However, an eight fell on the flop and the small stack couldn't improve on the turn or river.

"It must be said that lady luck was the chip leader on several hands and definitely came through for him in this last hand," i9nite said.

i9nite isn't sure yet if he wants to tempt lady luck himself at the WSOP. He said he hadn't made his mind up for sure if he was going to use the prize package to play in the Main Event or just cash it out.

"It would be a great experience and a lot of fun, but I'm thinking that my chances of getting into the money with such a large field are on the distant side," i9nite said. "Still, it's hard to get the possibility out of my mind."

There would definitely be some nerves that would come into play, i9nite admits, especially since he's never played in a casino before. His live poker experience has so far been restricted to small home games.

"I think I'd just have nerves over the entire situation," he said. "If I was up against any particular pro, I think I could just face them as if they were just another player."

The part that makes heading to the Rio in Las Vegas to play the Main Event so tempting is, of course, the thought of winning the top prize. The Main Event has made its winners multimillionaires for the past few years.

"I'd definitely buy a house and at least a couple nice cars," i9nite said. "I'd have to treat friends and family and spread the wealth a little. I'm due for a little vacation, maybe three or six months. You get the idea ..."

If the sensible side of i9nite prevails, he still has some generous plans for the cash value of the prize package.

"It's definitely a nice chunk of change, but I'd need to be a lot more practical," he said. "I'd probably get my family some nice gifts and treat for some big meals. But mostly, I'd need to pay bills, put some away for gas money and maybe bankroll some more poker play."

For more information about what the poker site has to offer players, visit full tilt.

* World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrahs License Company, LLC ("Harrah's"). Harrah's does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with PokerListings.com or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.

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