Since its re-launch in November, Full Tilt Poker has been able to reclaim its spot among the top poker sites with its world class software, popular game formats, and the return of the nosebleed games. For the past few months, the world’s best cash game players have battled at the Full Tilt high stakes tables to the delight of railbirds and the poker community. Although the games have changed, the massive action and the cast of regulars have been a consistent presence on Full Tilt Poker.
Before the events of Black Friday, top professionals such as Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey battled at the high stakes tables to the delight of the railbirds. Several players such as Victor “Isildur1” Blom and Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies rose to fame at these tables as millions were exchanged weekly at stakes such as $500/$1000 No Limit Hold ‘em. Famous battles included Brian “Stinger86” Hasting’s $4 million day against Blom and the Tom Dwan challenge with the great Fin, Patrik Antonius. However, the good days of high stakes poker came to an abrupt end during the spring of 2011. The nosebleed games became a victim of the wrongdoing at Full Tilt Poker and the wrath of the US Department of Justice.
Nearly one and a half years later, the top professionals have reconvened at the high stakes tables to battle at games that seem unfamiliar to the railbird crowd. Prior to Black Friday, these games focused on the two most popular variants of poker: Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold ‘Em. Although these two games remain a popular choice for the game’s best, high stakes regulars have been experimenting with less popular games such as No Limit 2 – 7 and Fixed Limit Omaha 8 or Better. The action at these games has brought limit games and less common variants to the spotlight in the age of big bet games. Fortunately, the changes in games have not diminished the amount of action as millions still exchange hands on a weekly basis.
Despite the change in games and screen names, the biggest winners from the previous games have headlined the high stakes world over the past few months. Patrik “Finddagrind” Antonius has continued his successful career by crushing top opponents such as Frenchman Rui Cao. Tom “Durrr” Dwan returned from his Macau exploits to stake his claim at the top of the high stakes poker world. The poker prodigy took nearly $2.5 million from his opponents last week after experiencing a rough start. Full Tilt pro Victor “Isildur1” Blom has also claimed his spot amongst the best with a stellar start to the 2013 year. At one point, Blom was the biggest winner at the high stakes games in 2013 with nearly $5.2 million in winnings. However, his heater has cooled off a bit as Blom took some big hits that relegated him to some of the lower stakes Pot Limit Omaha games.
Given the presence of big names, the biggest star at the Full Tilt Poker nosebleed games has been Alexander “PostFlopAction” Kostritsyn. Since the re-launch of the site, the Russian poker professional has been the biggest winner at the nosebleed stakes and has nearly $2.5 million in winnings. Recently, Kostritsyn destroyed high stakes regular, patpatpanda, for $766,500 at the $300/$600 and $1500/$3000 mixed games tables, according to HighstakesDB. The high stakes regular has been dominant in these mixed game variants and has been a consistent presence at the nosebleeds.
The return of the Full Tilt Poker nosebleed games has brought some of the excitement back to poker. After a tough year and a half, the games have returned to the same peak that it experienced during the pre-Black Friday era. Although screen names (Phil Ivey is “Polarizing”) and the games have changed, the poker community still hangs onto the millions that are exchanged during these games on a weekly basis. The return of Full Tilt Poker has been a positive presence in the online world and the nosebleed games have been a big reason for the success of the site.