It was week in which Full Tilt Poker re-launched under new management, but there were plenty of early teething problems. Brantu Cantu played his high stakes grudge match heads up sit n go against Jonathan Aguiar at Aria. And there was some bad news for poker legend Doyle Brunson.
Full Tilt returns
The big news of the week was undoubtedly Full Tilt Poker re-opening its doors for real money play after an enforced absence of around a year and a half. Things didn't go nearly to plan though when many players were unable to use various features on the site including, crucially, the option to deposit, transfer or withdraw via the cashier. Most issues were sorted out reasonably quickly, and even the problems that did occur were not enough to stop the traffic on the site steadily creeping up until Full Tilt once again became the second biggest site in the world.
Figures for the big Sunday tournaments look pretty good for the first time around, with over 1,000 players registered for the $200 Sunday Brawl, and a total of 3061 buy ins for the multi entry $200k guaranteed. Zebalhao of Portugal became the first winner of the flagship Sunday MTT since relaunch after striking a deal with palotnik from Israel when heads up.
We'll be seeing plenty more big buy in tournaments on Full Tilt in the near future as the schedule for a new FTOPS has just been released. There will be a total of 35 tournaments starting on December 2nd and ending on 16th with the $640 main event featuring a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool. Judging by the amount of money going into the first Sunday majors (over $600k for the $200k gtd) making the guaranteed figures shouldn't be much of a problem.
Cantu v Aguiar round 2
It was also a big week (at least in his own world) for Brandon Cantu who faced off against Jonathan Aguiar in a heads up match Cantu had requested in order to resolve a perceived injustice at the World Series Of Poker Europe mixed max event. At stake was the $130,000 difference between second and first places in that event, which Cantu felt had been won unfairly in the first place. The match had originally been planned to take place during October's Festa Al Largo at Bellagio but had to be postponed a little and in the end the pair hired a private table in the poker room at Aria.
Cantu emerged victorious this time, eventually winning when his pocket 6s held against Aguiar's pocket 5s. In customary good grace, Cantu took to Twitter to announce his victory, stating that “this teaches me a lesson that crying and complaining really does work in poker.” It's not clear quite how much sarcasm was intended when he went on to say “will the WSOP be holding a bracelet ceremony for me now? Seems only right” but seeing as this is Cantu we are talking about there is a fair chance the sarcasm level was exactly zero.
A health scare for Doyle Brunson
There was some sombre news this week for Doyle Brunson who was diagnosed with cancer once again. Having beaten seemingly unsurmountable odds when he was first diagnosed with cancer in the 60s, it seems Doyle quite fancies his chances of beating it for what would be a fourth time now, as fortunately the most recent tumour seems to not be an especially aggressive type. Messages of support have been pouring in for him, although those who contribute least to society haven't missed an opportunity to abuse the anonymity of the internet with their less than charitable words. “When you pass away I hope that Todd drags your lifeless body through the poker room so we can show respect by pissing on you!” was one such message that Doyle chose to make public. To somebody who's lived through as much as he has, it's going to take a lot more to rattle the old timer than that though.