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While the weather outside was frightful, the felt was so delightful in Full Tilt Poker’s game289XVIII Event 12. 4096 participants from across the globe put up the required $50+5 to battle it out mano-a-mano in this No Limit Hold ‘Em Heads Up Shootout.

Hosting Event 12 was “Friend of Full Tilt” Leo Bello, who earned his PhD in Pediatric Immunology in his home country of Brazil. Bello is also a noted poker author and co-founder of the Brazilian Series of Poker, which is one of the biggest tournaments in South America. Joining Bello were 16 other Full Tilt Poker Red Pros, including Lee Watkinson, owner of a WSOP bracelet, two-time WSOP bracelet winners Scott Fischman and David Pham, and this year’s WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener. This was not a good tournament for the Red Pros, though, as every one of them failed to make the money.

On the other hand, the tournament was a good one for Kristy Arnett, who plays online as guess16. Kristy battled her way through 11 rounds of heads-up play to make it to the final round, although she spiked a two-outer to get to the finals when her T8 was able to get there versus her opponent’s KT on a K T 8 flop. She played well throughout the tournament to get the the finals where she faced rh300487.

rh3000487 took an early lead in the tournament, but Arnett’s “never say die” attitude helped her grind back and take down the title. For her efforts, Arnett won $31,334.40 and a coveted silver MiniFTOPS jersey. rh300487 did not go home empty handed, though. His second place finished earned him a prize of $17,408. That will go a long way this Christmas!

Almost 9,000 players braved the cold weather to register for MiniFTOPS XVIII Event 10. Actually, the only thing cold was the cash, $173,860 was up for grabs. MiniFTOPS is a 1/10 scale model of the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS), but six figure prize pools are very common. The Turbo format ensured that blinds escalated quickly. The whole things was over in a little under 4 hours.

Hosting the $22 event was Joseph Cheong who you might remember as the third place finisher in the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event. That effort earned him $4.1 million. Cheong is no fluke though and he has proved it online and at live events. In 2009, he took down a MiniFTOPS event for over $55,000 and in 2010 Cheong won an EPT Highroller Event to the tune of $253,000.

Cheong didn’t cash in MiniFTOPS event 6, but one of his fellow pros picked up the slack. Russian beauty Svetlana Gromenkova made a deep run, finishing in 23rd. Gromenkova burst onto the scene in 2008 when she followed up an impressive performance in a WPT event with a win in a World Series of Poker Ladies Event. Besides the bracelet, Gromenkova took home the $224,000 top prize.

If a Full Tilt Red Pro didn’t win it, that means a mere mortal was crowned the victor. We don’t know if he was dealt pocket kings every hand, as that would have certainly aided his victory, but we do know KKeveryhand shipped it crucial after making a deal with greerzy_2. The $24,942 score constitutes the bulk of his career earnings which total to over $50,000. We know one Florida native who will be having a very merry Christmas! Congratulations KKeveryhand!

Runner-up greerzy_2 is a fan of the 90 man KO tournaments on Full Tilt Poker. He ventured outside of his comfort zone and it paid off big time. His second place finish earned him $22,000 even. greerzy_2′s previous big score came over three years ago when he took down a $26 freezeout and won $4,300.

MiniFTOPS XVIII is just gearing up. Multiple events are scheduled until the series culminates with the $1 Million Guaranteed Main Event on December 19th. Happy holidays and best of luck in the 18th installment of MiniFTOPS!

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