Full Tilt Poker has recently created a new tournament format called the ‘Flipout’. It’s a fast forced all-in fest until you’re bust or you’re in the money. Then the real poker begins, but with a guaranteed return booked. Sounds like fun, right? Sounds like something, some might suggest, that could be perfect for a post-pub poker session.
This morning at 11am, in the High Stakes cash game area of the Hofburg Palace, the first-ever live Flipout tournament took place. Despite the early hour, particularly early for your average poker player on tour, a large group of grinders and poker enthusiasts jostled their way into the well-lit atrium that’s to host the €25/€50 and €50/€100 ring games over the next week. Today, the action was a little different with 184 players registered for their chance to play the Flipout freeroll. Just 81 seats were available with nine seats at nine tables, each of which would send one flippin’ winner to the Flipout final table. A smattering of Full Tilt Pros, including Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Gus Hansen, and PokerStars sponsored players had their seats guaranteed, but close to 70 seats were open for the taking.
As players such as reigning EPT Grand Final champ Steve O’Dwyer, EPT London champ David Vamplew and Team PokerStars Pro and mixed game beast Ville Wahlbeck wandered in, I received a nudge in the ribs: “Wish I could flip here,” said a disgruntled PokerStars man (not me). “I’d definitely get there.”
Everyone was hoping that they’d ‘get there’ because ‘there’ was a €5,300 seat into the EPT Vienna Main Event. Also, everyone making the final table – around 11% of the field – would be guaranteed a prize. After the carnage, oohhhs, aaaahhhs, curses, and celebrations, a final table was set which eventually saw Felix Schulze take the big prize and bragging rights of becoming the first-ever live Flipout champ (t-shirt available on request).
Schulze, a player with almost $160k in live tournament winnings, managed to beat Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Andras Nemeth into second place. Nemeth’s runner-up finish secured him a €550 online ticket while third-placed Holger Hubner pocketed a €330 online ticket. Vlad Lache (4th) and Richard Kapun (5th) were awarded tickets woth €220. The remaining four got tickets worth €120: Hakan Can (6th), Benjamin Mertens (7th), David Vamplew (8th) and Thomas Putzenlechner (9th).
PokerStars.tv’s Sarah Grant caught up was there to capture the action as it happened, including the mad scramble to draw an ace for a Flipout alternate seat…
Find out more about Full Tilt Poker Flipout tournaments here.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.