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Biggest "Win" of my Life! I'm an FTOPS Champ!




Zettel: “Hey Doja, think I can get 1% of you?”

It was a joke. I was already half in the bag. I had about 9000 chips after a car ride to Toronto with Alexey driving. I was playing on my laptop with my rogers wireless 3g stick. My stack was a little below average, and my mood was completely set on partying and going out, not playing poker.

Me: “Sure bro, that'll be $9, first place is 250k so lets win some money”

Zettel: “sick, were going to ship it”

And... guess what... we did.


It was a beautiful day yesterday. Alexey and I hit the tennis courts and had an epic battle. I won the first set 7-6, he smoke showed me in the second set 6-0, then we had the last and final set yesterday.

It went back and fourth and we ended up in yet another tie break, but this time for the match. After being completely deflated by losing the first 5 points, I came back with 7 in a row and won the tie-break and the match. It was a good start to the day.


Zettel was pretty jacked to go party for some reason. We still really don't know why, it was a wednesday night and he had to work at 7 in the morning on Thursday. But hey, nice weather gets people excited, and I must say I am one of those people.

The problem was I really wanted to play the $300 rebuy FTOPS event. I thought I was just going to skip it, but then I realized, you know what, I have this rogers wireless stick, lets just drive down, I'll play on the way up, and I'll play super aggro and if I go deep I'll just skip the club.

The rogers stick worked unreal and I didn't lose connection once the entire tournament. The drive up was smooth and we started pounding the beers hard once we got to Toronto. There was a problem though that kinda put a damper on my plans. I didn't bust. I kept running people over with my “wanna go to the bar” aggression and ran up a huge stack that was over double the average.

I had the tournament on the big screen and everyone had a real good time watching me. We pounded beers with every pot win and the night wore on. Suddenly, it was almost 1 am and we had bottle service waiting for us at this new really sick club called Cobra. It was “Venom Wednesdays” which meant $100 bottles and lots of cute girls.


Everyone prepared to go to the club and I just couldn't miss out. I decided, with 60k chips (started with 1500) and over double the average stack, there was really only one solution. The way I figured it was we had bottles, right? Which meant we had a place to sit, right? Well then, what's stopping me from playing at the club?

Yup, we hit the streets with the laptop and walked to the club and I had full intentions of playing at the club while continuing the excessive drinking.


The problem was we arrived too late and we didn't have a bottle anymore and the club was completely packed. The club looked super good though, I'm pretty sure we know where we are going next wednesday. Stuck now with no where to drink we decided just to hit up Gretzky's. That was closed though!

So we were kinda torn on what to do. I didn't wanna go to a place where I couldn't sit down and play so I just decided I should go back to the condo. Sharpe and Elliot joined me and Alexey, Zettel, and Joe went to go somewhere else.

The rest, as they say, is history. With Sharpe and Alexey by my side all night I played, well, ridiculous really. Usually it's hard to not be timid with your gut feelings, but I was pretty wasted and I just decided I was going to play the whole thing on feel. I played very unorthodox to my usual play style and kicked the aggression into 6th gear. Sharpe and Alexey would plead with me not to make some of the 3 bets and light 4 bet shoves, but I just wouldn't stop. I made an insane amount of plays at pots when I sensed weakness, which I usually sometimes opt to pass on and wait for better opportunities. However, it seemed every single time my read was right this tournament. I literally did not have to win any flips or do anything crazy and grinded a super healthy stack all the way to the final couple tables. Not once did I get caught either and have to suck out. It really was, without question, the proudest I've ever been of my play so far in a tournament. Which is nice, because usually I'm just a donkey.

The final table (only 6 players it was a 6 max tournament) shaped out to be a real tough one. I had David Pham on my direct right, Moorman (in line for possible cardplayer online player of the year), and 3 other really solid dudes.

Then I finally got the one time! With 4 players left, Moorman opened my big blind as usual. He was super, ridiculously aggresive. Quite possibly one of the toughest I've ever had to play against. I 3 bet him with 10/10, he 4 bet me, and I standardly put on my shovers to put him to the test. He snap called me with QQ in what was now a 2.5 million chip pot. I was either gonna suck out and be chip leader or go busto.

I screamed hard for a 10, and I got it. My only suckout of the tournament, and by far the biggest beat I've ever laid on someone in my life. I pulled off the miracle and I wasn't out, I had 2.5 million chips and I felt like nothing could stop me.

Nothin did. Sure enough it came down to heads up with Moorman and I. We paused the tournament and decided to discuss a deal.

The deal was really interesting. He had about 3.4 million chips to my 2.3 million. I know I was a big dog, but I still felt really good. As many of you know I play almost exclusively heads up for my daily grind. I feel like this is by far the strongest part of my game. Moorman is no doubt a world class player. I will give him complete respect and say he may of played the best game I've ever seen anyone play in my life. Regardless, I still have so much experience in the heads up area, that I think I still had a pretty signifigant edge

He offered me a really fair deal though that I couldn't refuse. If I had a massive bankroll I probably would of declined. However, 1st was 246k and 2nd was 164k and I really didn't feel like playing heads up for over 80k, even if it probably was the best value. After about 15 mins, and lots of debate, we came to a deal. He gave me a few thousand extra; I took about 194k, and he took about 204k and we played for $12,000. I think I made a really good deal considering our chip counts and considering he is really one of the best.

I most certainly was on my game in the heads up. Every value bet was on and it was capped off with the call of my career. Moorman made a super sick check-raise bluff on the river. The board was 5/2/6/ 5/7 with 3 diamonds. He checked to me and I decided to make a really thin nice value bet of about 200k into a 600k pot with only A/2. However, then he raised me to 640k leaving himself only about 800k left. I tanked for the longest I tanked all tournament. It just didn't make sense unless he hit his flush on the river, but even then I thought he would of taken the lead on the turn with a flush draw. The only thing that made sense to me was a super sick awesome check-raise bluff by Moorman.

In the SCOOP tournament on stars I laid down a major hand when I was bluffed. I thought I was good but I still folded and decided to wait for a better opportunity. That opportunity never came and I can say I deserved to lose. I had a chance to win, but I didn't go with my gut and call when I should of. I wasn't going to let this happen again. I made a complete feel call and he showed king high and I won the pot and crippled him.

It's been a dream year or so with a 2nd and 3rd in the FTOPS and a 2nd in the SCOOP, and now, no more 2nd and 3rd curse. It was over after that and I went on to win my first major poker tournament and become a Full Tilt Online Poker Series champion.


[Zettel awakes for work at 7 am, completely wasted still]

Zettel: “What the fuck are you doing up still?”

Alexey, Sharpe: “Man he's still playing, he's heads up right now, he's going to fucking win!”

Zettel: “Unfuckingbelievable”

Me: DUDE! You have 1%! Remember last night wasted you bought 1% for $9!!!

Zettel: “Sweet mother of god...”

(thanks so much for the support and congrats, really and truly love ya all, see ya around at my web site http://www.acespadesshow.com)



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